Thursday, December 10, 2015
The American Middle Class Continues To Shrink
I have discussed before the sad fact that the American middle class is shrinking. Now the Pew Research Center has released some figures about this from a survey they have done. Note that in 1970 the middle class made up the largest share of Americans. It had 80 million people, while the lower and upper classes had a combined 51.6 million. At that time, the middle class contained 80% of the U.S. population.
Things have changed. Now the middle class only makes up about half of the population. It has 120.8 million people, while the lower and upper classes contain about 121.3 million people (and the huge majority of those are in the lower class).
This shrinking middle class is a problem, but not the only one. The percentage of household income has also tilted toward the rich. In 1970, the middle class got 62% of the nation's income (while the rich got 29% and the poor got 10%). Now the middle class only gets 43% of income (while the rich get 49% and the poor get 9%).
This is the result of the Republican's trickle-down economic policy, which tilted the economic playing field to favor the rich at the expense of all other Americans. And that policy is still in place, because the Republican-controlled Congress has blocked all attempts to change it (to a policy fairer to all citizens).
We must change our failed economic policies, or the middle class will continue to shrink and the lower class will grow (because the rich are hogging an ever bigger percentage of the nations income). Unfortunately, that will not happen until the Republicans are voted out of office -- the sooner, the better.
The definition of middle class used by Pew is below.