What’s Killing the American Middle Class?

For decades I have been watching the middle class slowly disappear…..for me it was most pronounced with the election of Bill Clinton and the leadership of the DLC……I admit it has been in decline before he was elected but with that election the downward spiral became more pronounced…..NAFTA was a horrible idea for the working class of the US and yet we are doing similar agreements almost every administration……

So the question should be…..What is killing the American middle class?

Richard Eskow: Americans work more hours than citizens of any Western European country, a burden that keeps them away from their families, friends, and personal activities.

A new study by the Pew Research Center spurred a rash of headlines last week about “the dying middle class.” But the word “dying” might be more appropriate if we were watching the regrettable but inevitable effects of natural forces at work. We’re not. We’re seeing the fruits of deliberate action – and sometimes of deliberate inaction – at the highest levels of power.

The great American middle was never large enough, even at its height. It always excluded too many people – sometimes, shamefully, merely for their skin color. And now, instead of growing and becoming more inclusive, it’s fading away instead.

It’s true that the middle class is dying, but not from natural causes. It’s being killed. What – and, for that matter, who – is responsible for its slow death?

Source: What’s Killing the American Middle Class? – LA Progressive

Sadly I do not see the situation improving much no matter who is elected….but as usual we Americans will soldier on and make others rich…..it is the American way.

13 thoughts on “What’s Killing the American Middle Class?

  1. Great post again. High taxes and these trade agreements have drive many companies and manufacturing out ot the country. For over 15 years I worked in call centers (many of these jobs would place an employee in lower middle class bracket), now more and more of these jobs are being shipped overseas. I agree with your final statements. I don’t know if he middle class will ever recover.

    1. Thanx I am glad you liked it…..I do not think that it will recover especially with the stock of candidates we have….

  2. Who – is responsible for its slow death?
    I dunno know…. I’m just working class!
    grin
    Bottom of the Heap…
    I like it that way…no car….
    No holidays in posh hotels..
    Never eat out…..I cook better!
    Dang,not even a small pool in the garden or as you folk say The Yard…
    And holes in me boots as well!
    And as Happy as a sky lark…
    grin

  3. low wages, no benefits, no pension , too many hours required or not enough hours, can’t afford house or car, state income taxes, med ins too high

  4. The Free Trade mentality is undeniably at the heart of the decline. Nobody can say otherwise with a straight face. You just can’t replace huge numbers of $20/hr jobs with minimum wage, service sector, jobs & expect anything else.

    What I find interesting is how much better Canuckistan’s middle class has done than America’s. We are in all the same stupid trade agreements America is in. Proportionally, we’ve lost even more manufacturing jobs. Yet up until now, our middle class is still hanging on. I’d love to see a study, but I suspect:

    1) Free Healthcare. Even if your decent paying job moves to China and you get stuck flipping burgers at a job with no benefits, you’ll never have to worry about losing everything if a family member gets seriously ill. (Also our average minimum wage is higher.)

    2) A more uniform (if not better) public education system that doesn’t condemn you the way it does in some places in America. And cheaper University tuition. While still not good enough, the debt hole to crawl out of is smaller.

    3) Cheap dollar. Our dollar skyrocketed after 2008, but has since fallen back to it’s usual embarrassingly low-level against the US Dollar. This really helps what export jobs we have left. In a way, it’s a “trade barrier”.

    4) We have far more oil than we can ever use. Selling it to oil-junkies has kept the nation’s books in decent shape, which takes the edge of demands for the spending cuts that clobber the middle & working classes. We’ve had plenty of cuts, but they’ve been smaller & slower.

    But I fear it’s all only a matter of time until our middle class starts dying off. Even (closeted) socialism can do only so much against naked capitalism.

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