The decline of the middle class

Share via Email The Consumer Hourglass Theory has been coined by Citibank to describe the new corporate strategy of marketing to high- and low-income earners but ignoring the squeezed middle. Corbis No one can accuse the candidates on stage at Monday's Republican debate of not discussing a broad range of topics. They talked about big issues like social security, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, energy independence, repealing healthcare reform and the need for job creation. And they talked about small issues for political point-scoring:

The decline of the middle class


The quality of available jobs is decliningwith a shift toward part-time and contingent work. And while the Great Recession intensified these trends and added a staggering loss of housing wealth, the problems go further back and are far more systemic.

As the trend toward inequality and polarization becomes increasingly unmistakable, the critical question becomes how we understand the way this state of affairs came to be, and thus what we can do about it.

Today in Salon, writer Edward McClelland has a powerful piece on the political decisions that led to the decline of the American middle class. The mood is elegiac: I grew up in an automaking town in the s, when it was still possible for a high school graduate — or even a high school dropout — to get a job on an assembly line and earn more money than a high school teacher.

Capitalism has been doing exactly what it was designed to do: In some cases, these interventions may have been undertaken with the best of intentions, to lower prices or promote growth, but they ultimately tipped the balance away from the middle class and people trying to work their way into it.

It is indeed a failure of government to protect the interests of ordinary Americans to achieve and hold onto a middle-class standard of living, but the problem is not passivity and a lack of intervention.The U.S.

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economy is forecast to add more than 7 million jobs over the next five years, but whether workers benefit from that growth depends on which sector they work in. Middle-income earners are. The middle class in America is being systematically destroyed.

Once upon a time the United States had the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the world. The rest of the globe looked at us in envy and wondered what we were doing right.

The decline of the middle class

But now everything seems to be going wrong for the middle class. Nov 07,  · Definitions of the middle class vary, though, with one study from economists at Mumbai university claiming that half the population in India can be defined as middle class.

Middle class no longer dominates in the U.S.

According to Pew research, only 12% of China’s population are considered poor, while a fifth of India’s populace still fall into this segment. The Importance (and Neglect) of America's 'Middle Neighborhoods' When a neighborhood isn't rich -- and isn't poor -- government tends to forget about it.

Nov 15,  · These are some of the conclusions from a new working paper by a group of economists investigating the reasons for the decline of the American middle class. While .

Jan 25,  · The middle class, if defined as households making between $35, and $, a year, shrank in the final decades of the 20th century.

Death of Organized Labor: Death of Middle Class | The Progressive Press