Monday, January 11, 2016

Fewer Americans Claim To Be In The Middle Class

I thought this recent YouGov Poll was interesting. The poll was done between December 28th and 30th of a random national sample of 1,000 adults, and has a margin of error of 4.1 points.

What was interesting is the change in how people view themselves. For decades now, polls like this have shown that a majority of Americans consider themselves to be in the middle class -- maybe lower middle class or upper middle class, but middle class nonetheless. This poll suggests that is no longer true.

It shows that a plurality of Americans (46%) now say they are in the working class, while only 41% say they are middle class. I think this reflects a growing realization by many Americans that we have an unfair economy (tilted to favor the rich), and that they are among those on the losing end in that economy. They see themselves as struggling to keep up with inflation (which is true) while the rich and the corporations make more money than ever (and pay less taxes).

Also interesting was what the respondents considered to be middle class. The average figure thought to be the least amount of income to be middle class was $52,270, while the median (with equal numbers stating more and less) was $50,000. For the most to be middle class was an average of $133,503, and the median was $100,000.

I think most in both political parties are unhappy with our economy. The sad part is that too many working class Republicans still believe the GOP trickle-down policy will work -- if we just lower the taxes for the rich and corporations even more, jobs (and raises) will be abundant. Unfortunately, that is exactly the policy that has been in effect for the last three and a half decades -- and it is the reason we are currently in such an economic mess.

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