In class we have been focusing a great deal on the differences in social classes as well as the emerging issues that are becoming more aware within each class. Issues such as the current poverty line America has calculated based on the minimal amount of food is need to survive, as well as the problematic concern over America’s 1%, whom interestingly enough owns the majority of America. Nonetheless, one controversy that largely stood out to me was the disappearance of the middle class. Initially, I didn’t quite think about it as much as I should have however as Professor McKinney continued with his lecture I found the topic to be more and more profound. There’s no question that America has a lower class, some less fortunate than others, and also has an upper class, some who are also more fortunate than others, oddly enough. However, what about everyone else who falls in between? As oppose to the upper class and the lower class, where we can easily distinguish between the two social classed, the middle class as we know are slowly beginning to acknowledge themselves as an “upper-lower class.”
When we think of someone who is considered to be of the middle class, assuming we’re only judging based on their income and style of life, we imagine a family that isn’t struggling financially, yet aren’t living a lavish lifestyle either. In other words, for the past few decades the middle class has always been the class who lived “comfortably.” They owned a home and didn’t struggle to pay for their over head, may have owned a car or two that wasn’t a struggle to maintain either, and were sending their children away for college.
However, contrary to popular belief, that style of living doesn’t quite exist any longer. As the video above shows, while the middle class family household income has been fairly consistent over the past few years, the cost of their overall living as sky rocketed. The cost of living has increased 56%, the cost of education has also risen. Thus, the income that allowed middle class families to live comfortable years ago, is now causing them to struggle.