Middle Class Being Tested

This is nothing new, but a report on CNN Money today states once again the middle class in our country is being squeezed financially. It seems that they are paying more for almost everything, especially housing, gasoline, and health care. These costs are cause the American middle class, always the prototypical hard workers, to work even harder to maintain their status.

This latest doom and gloom was triggered by a new study done by Dēmos. This organization has created what they call a Middle Class Security Index that reports on how well middle class families are doing in three critical areas: income, housing, education, and health care. The first report on this index is not encouraging. From all angles, the middle class in America would appear to be in danger.

Most people would think that middle-income and middle class would be synonymous. That is not true. Despite qualifying for the designation “middle class” in terms of income, about 31 percent of middle-income Americans do not qualify under the Dēmos litmus test. As many as on in five current middle-class Americans are in danger of losing their middle class status due to problems in one or more of the area studied.

For example, more that half of middle class American have no net worth; their liabilities are greater than their assets. Almost 90 percent of Americans could not monthly living expenses for nine months should their income be lost. Eighty percent could not do so for even three months. (Dēmos defined essential living expenses as food, housing, clothing, transportation, health care, personal care, education, personal insurance and pensions.) On an average, middle class families have $3,500 more liabilities than assets. The health care and education portions of the study were scarcely better.

Many of the jobs that once supported the middle class are gone, often sent overseas to economies with lower labor costs. The American peer pressure to consume, consume, consume is putting pressure on this group is well. Middle class Americans are being asked to earn less and to spend more. Most are responding by doing just that and, as a result, are living paycheck to paycheck.

Much of the blame for these issues must be placed at the feel of the greedy, ruthless corporations whose only desire is money, and the American politicians that the corporations have purchased, lock stock and barrel, with campaign contributions and other more direct and illegal methods. Between them, these two groups have gutted the middle class, along with the rest of America.


Middle Class Being Tested — 3 Comments

  1. It’s sad to say, but the middle class, or whatever, is mostly to blame for this
    sad situation. They elected a man twice who don’t give a tinkers dam for the
    middle class or anyother class but their class–the wealthy. Why, I cannot
    understand. But, common sense tells me that people anymore don’t vote
    for someone, they vote against someone. We elected Gore, but the election
    was stolen from him. They voted against John Kerry because they didn’t like
    his wife and other dumb reasons. Now lots of people are going to vote against Hillary because they just don’t like her – nothing said about what she believes in
    or her philosophy, her agenda or whatever they can conjure up. It’s too bad, but, the American people form their opinions mostly from heresay or a few
    minutes of tv news each day. They don’t read papers, books, magazines or anything that might help them cast an intelligent vote. Unfortunitely, most don’t bother to vote period. No wonder our country has gone to Hell.

  2. john –

    It is sad, and it is certainly a large part of the root cause of the problem. I don’t know if you have read What’s The Matter With Kansas?, by Thomas Frank. Your point is more true, probably, in Kansas than it is anywhere else in the nation. And yes, the people suffering voted themselves into the problems. I hoped that the Internet would at least expose more people to larger parts of the issues, but that only seems to be working for the Ron Paul crowd, already known for being internet-savvy.

  3. The (GRD) great republican depression is about to awaken the American mind, jar the American soul and disenchant the American population! As they flee to Shanty towns on the outskirts of streets of foreclosed McMansions, with their dumbed down, surgically enhanced Barbie Girl sex toy psycho-consumer wives, past the obsolete, rusting, oil leaking SUV’s, towards polluted lakes and rivers filled with inedible mutant lifeforms, through the lung searing exhaust fumes of coal fired power plants and past their polluted ash piles, and into starvation on part-time and occasional work wages in the only industry left in America, the service industry, hearts filled with hatred, whatever hatred they last were taught on the magic screens of out times, a slow and eerie alien feeling will stir in their hearts. Self-awareness will be kindled and will grow well in the disappointment and deluded sense of entitlement gone sour. This gerneration, too weakened by their former and artificially fed lifestyle, will preach a different song to its offspring but too late to save themselves from the GRD and it will be their end. Good night America, sleep well!

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