The Shrinking American Middle Class

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Source: The Upshot

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  1. incady commented on Jan 27

    The lower income class has stayed roughly the same, and upper income has the largest gains. This means that many that were in the middle class has moved to the upper income class. So this means there has been upward mobility in the last 30 years.

  2. Futuredome commented on Jan 27

    The “middle class” was a government invention. Before the 1940’s the middle class was a small subset of merchant and professionals. After the 1940’s, the government’s boosting of NSC 68, public expansion of social services filtered down to the private sector.

    • rd commented on Jan 27

      The indicates that the 0.1% are now cannibalizing the upper income people as there is less money to extract form the middle class. The important thing though is to increase the number of poor to maximize income and wealth transfer.

    • willid3 commented on Jan 27

      at first blush, one would think that bigger wealthier middle class, would mean more profits to the 1%, but, more poor and poorer makes sense if you want to make cheaper, and lots more of it, offerings, plus you dont have to work so hard making them happier, so the 1% dont have to work so hard. maybe they learned that from China?

    • msndc commented on Jan 29

      Futuredome I believe you’ve dipped yourself in the cesspool of ignorance and sipped a little of it on the way out.

  3. constantnormal commented on Jan 27

    Except that China is (and has been for at least a decade, prolly longer) purposefully expanding their middle class … providing some higher octane filling to their expanding economic pie …

    • rd commented on Jan 28

      They are still contaminated by that Communist thingie. They will learn in time to focus on concentrating wealth at the top.

  4. CitizenWhy commented on Jan 27

    Globalization = developed countries like the US becoming more like Brazil (Prosperous but with plenty of poor people and a wealthy class that reaps mots economic rewards) and countries like China becoming more like the USA but also like Brazil. In brief, importing poverty, exporting prosperity, producing a global wealthy class that views all taxes as evil and avoids them and is loyal to no particular country.

    • Iamthe50percent commented on Jan 28

      You are right. But I think it is unstoppable. Even the “socialist” Obama is pushing for this Trans-Pacific Partnership that will equalize the economies of India and the USA.

  5. whatdoiknow commented on Jan 28

    Wait… per the graphs, I see a percentage decline in both lower income and middle income population, but an increase in upper income. Unless the lower tiers’ reduction is because they’re migrating out or literally dying off (no evidence of that), then the remaining explanation is that the lower incomers are moving up to middle income and middle incomers are moving up to upper income.

    Why the long faces?

    • tagyoureit commented on Jan 28

      Lower income group, while smaller than in 1977, is growing since 2000. It’s the only group that increased during the past 13 years. We want that group in particular to shrink, but it looks like something when wrong in 2000.

      That’s why the long face.

  6. Livermore Shimervore commented on Jan 28

    Well… the times and you MUST adapt. The article says that for the first time incomes considered high have gone down. I’d like to see what % of income is spent on housing and ownership costs relative to other periods of time since the census data began.
    My father is pre-war generation. When expenses go up but wages are not rising or even falling, his modest expectations taught him to downsize, even when the value of held assets were rising. The end game was to have your money working for you once you realized that your work income will not pull more weight up a steeper incline.
    The rolling 20 year on the S&P since 1971, or shortly after this polling began, has been at worst 7% and as high as 18%. Yet according to recent posts on this blog the average investor over 20 years manages a 2% return on what is probably single digits of earned income. Unless you have the skills needed to see a rising wage, like in math, science, engineering or IT, then this economy has concluded that your income will not rise. If that’s the reality then you have to rethink the bigger house, or even buying a house in the first place and just about everything else that diverts income away from savings and investment and towards quality of life. This has been the best time in my life to invest. For others it has been the best time to take on more debt.

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