Where did the Middle Class Go?

The Struggling Middle Class

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.

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2 Responses to Where did the Middle Class Go?

  1. sa095420 says:

    I recently saw a re-run of ‘The Brady Bunch’ which is a show about a family where dad works and mom stays home to raise their six children. I guess that was the typical ‘American Dream’. Dad is the breadwinner and mom gets to spend all day nurturing the growth of the children and taking care of the house. Supporting a whole family on one modest income seems to be enough these days. I know families where not only do the mother and father have to work, but sons and daughters contribute some of their income to the monthly bills as well to avoid some type of default.
    It always makes me laugh when I hear about inflation being around 2-3% a year. Food inflation is rampant; especially with the drought that has destroyed a significant portion of the country’s crops. I will start a little fund to save some money for next year when the price increases of food and energy will speed up. This is just one direct cause that the dislocation between the so-called haves and have-nots, is dramatically widening. Couple that with rising tuitions because of all the subsidies, tax policy seemingly favoring only those who could afford the best accountants, public transportation skyrocketing because of budget shortfalls and medical costs that are outrageous and it is a definite recipe for the destruction of the ‘Middle Class’.
    Hopefully, political gridlock will end and our elected leaders will actually put the best interests of the American people in front of their lobbyist loyalty to help us all prosper and keep the middle class alive.

  2. ba104611 says:

    I think the “Middle Class” is the regular class existing in mass in bigger city like New York. After all the middle class get effected with daily inflation related to food, transportation, and basic needs. Depending on the status these days middle class has been classified as lower middle class and upper middle class. The bigger city have the classified middle class people. The main problem is middle class always tries to increase their status but it rarely happens. Because of the raised cost of living, private education and economic downfall it hard for middle class to cope with changes.
    The unemployment also is one more hindrance to the middle class. These hindrances are making middle class moving into the lower class. There should be some steps taken improve the quality of middle class life style.

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