The middle class has been steadily shrinking, but most Americans still believe that they are a part of it. Perhaps this is due at least in part to the egalitarian values which have been pounded into our heads for most of our lives. Very few Americans would have the gall to define themselves as “upper class”, and I have never met anyone that would describe themselves as “lower class”. In place of “lower class”, many politicians now like to use the much more politically correct term “working class”, but a more apt description might be “the working poor”. Today, half of all American workers make less than $30,533 a year, and you certainly cannot support a middle class lifestyle for a family with children on that kind of income.
We just got more evidence that the middle class in America is rapidly disappearing. According to a shocking new study that was just released, 62 percent of all jobs in the United States do not pay enough to support a middle class life. That means that “the American Dream” is truly out of reach for most of the country at this point. Today, Americans are working harder than ever but the cost of living continues to rise much faster than our paychecks are increasing. Earlier this month, I went and looked at the latest numbers from the Social Security Administration, and I discovered that 50 percent of all American workers make less than $30,533 a year. But that is just above poverty level. In fact, the federal poverty level for a family of five is currently $29,420. Most families are just barely scraping by from month to month, and most U.S. workers are just one major setback away from falling out of the middle class.
The middle class in America has been declining for decades, and we continue to get even more evidence of the catastrophic damage that has already been done. According to the Social Security Administration, the median yearly wage in the United States is just $30,533 at this point. That means 50 percent of all American workers make at least that much per year, but that also means that 50 percent of all American workers make that much or less per year. When you divide $30,533 by 12, you get a median monthly wage of just over $2,500. But of course nobody can provide a middle class standard of living for a family of four for just $2,500 a month, and we will discuss this further below. So in most households at least two people are working, and in many cases multiple jobs are being taken on by a single individual in a desperate attempt to make ends meet. The American people are working harder than ever, and yet the middle class just continues to erode.
We have repeatedly been told that the U.S. economy is “booming”, but meanwhile the middle class in the United States continues to be hollowed out. The financial bubbles that the Federal Reserve has created have been a great blessing for those at the very top of the economic pyramid, but most of the country is still deeply struggling. According to one survey, 78 percent of all full-time workers in the U.S. live paycheck to paycheck, and that doesn’t even include part-time workers or those that are unemployed. We have also been told that unemployment is “low”, but the real numbers tell us that there are more working age Americans without a job in 2018 than there was at any point during the last recession. Most of the people that my wife and I know are struggling, and I continually get emails from readers all over the country that are struggling. The sad truth is that the middle class is slowly but surely dying, and more people are falling into poverty with each passing day.
Over the past decade, an unprecedented stock market boom has created thousands upon thousands of new millionaires, and yet the middle class in America has continued to shrink. How is that even possible? At one time the United States had the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the planet, but now the gap between the wealthy and the poor is the largest that it has been since the 1920s. Our economy has been creating lots of new millionaires, but at the exact same time we have seen homelessness spiral out of control in our major cities. Today, being part of the middle class is like playing a really bizarre game of musical chairs. Each month when the music stops playing, those of us still in the middle class desperately hope that we are not among the ones that slip out of the middle class and into poverty. Well over 100 million Americans receive money or benefits from the federal government each month, and that includes approximately 40 percent of all families with children. We are losing our ability to take care of ourselves, and that has frightening implications for the future of our society.
If the U.S. economy is really doing so well, then why is homelessness rising so rapidly? As the gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase, the middle class is steadily eroding. In fact, I recently gave my readers 15 signs that the middle class in America is being systematically destroyed. More Americans are falling out of the middle class and into poverty with each passing day, and this is one of the big reasons why the number of homeless is surging. For example, the number of people living on the street in L.A. has shot up 75 percent over the last 6 years. But of course L.A. is far from alone. Other major cities on the west coast are facing similar problems, and that includes Seattle. It turns out that the Emerald City has seen a 46 percent rise in the number of people sleeping in their vehicles in just the past year…
If the U.S. economy is “doing well”, then why are almost 40 million Americans still on food stamps? That number is almost exactly where it was at the end of the last recession, and supposedly we have made so much progress since that time. Of course any progress that has been made has been extremely uneven. Earlier today, I wrote about how the gap between the rich and the poor in this country is the biggest that it has been since the 1920s. For years, the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program pumped “hot money” into the financial markets, and that was an enormous blessing to the top 1 percent. But meanwhile tens of millions of average families have continued to struggle and the middle class has continued to decline. In the U.S. today, 66 percent of all of our jobs pay less than 20 dollars an hour, and close to 40 million Americans rely on the federal government to feed them every month. The following comes from Bloomberg…
If your family is really struggling right now, you are far from alone. I have been publishing The Economic Collapse Blog for more than eight years, and all throughout that time I have seen the middle class in America get smaller and smaller and smaller. It is almost as if we are all playing a really bizarre game of musical chairs and every month someone pulls a few more chairs from the game. Yes, there are some people that have gotten exceedingly wealthy over the past eight years, and most of that wealth is concentrated in places such as New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco. But meanwhile, most of the rest of the country has been steadily getting poorer. Just take a look at Detroit – at one time it had the highest per capita income in the entire nation and now it is a rotting, decaying war zone. Of course dozens of other formerly great manufacturing cities all over the nation have suffered a similar fate. Since 2001, we have lost more than 70,000 manufacturing facilities and millions of good paying manufacturing jobs. Those good paying jobs have been replaced by lower paying “service jobs”, and you can’t support a middle class lifestyle on those types of jobs.
If Republicans don’t wake up, there is a very real possibility that we could lose control of the House of Representatives in 2018. And if that happens, Donald Trump’s agenda will be dead in the water because the Democrats will use their majority to block everything. Trump’s surprise election victory last November was perhaps the single most galvanizing moment for grassroots Democrats in this generation. Just as the election of Barack Obama gave rise to the Tea Party movement, we are now seeing a tremendous amount of energy among liberals all over the nation. If Republicans cannot match this energy, we are going to be in for quite a shock in November 2018.
I guess by now we should be accustomed to politicians lying to us. For years, Republicans have been promising to repeal Obamacare if we would just give them control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. We did that, and now they are breaking that promise. Because even if “Obamacare 2.0” miraculously gets through the Senate, most of the essential elements of Obamacare will survive. If you look at the latest Senate bill, most of the Obamacare subsidies are still in there, many of the Obamacare taxes are still in there, and most of the Obamacare regulations are still in there. On top of everything else, the bill would create an absolutely massive health insurance company bailout superfund, and that is something that the Democrats never even dared to do. The bill being pushed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wouldn’t actually fix much of anything, and it certainly cannot be called a “repeal” of Obamacare.