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America continues to lose the middle class. The upper income population is growing from 17% to 20% since 2000, while the lower income population has grown from 28% to 29%. On balance that looks like the total income should be rising, but the median income has dropped about 8% in nearly the same time. The poor are getting poorer faster than the rich are getting richer. In the middle, the middle class had been the economic majority at 61% in 1977, down to 55% in 2000, and down to 51% in 2014. That majority status may already be lost. The trouble for the economy is that the middle class was the driver for the economy. They were the ones who had discretionary income and spent it on home improvements, a bit more comfort, and occasional luxuries. The lower class had little or no discretionary income. The upper class had excess discretionary income which wasn’t spent but was frequently placed into secure (and frequently tax-avoiding) investments. There does not appear to be any mechanism in place to curtail the economic, and subsequent cultural and political, bifurcation of America.

(Click on the chart for the link.)

st_2016-05-12_middle-class-geo-01

America’s Shrinking Middle Class” – Pew Research

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One thought on “Bifurcation Of America Continues

  1. This is the story of my life. Post war middle class (with an attitude of affluence), late teens to thirties poverty, thirties moving up, forties and fifties working affuent, sixties retired slipping middle class. Sigh…

    But many things exist to create a sense of fulfillment like the wonder of the universe (terrestrial, space and spirit), writing, music, and art which is all around me in Langley. These were my comforting values at 3 and still are at 70. Thank god for the library, community orchestras and public performances, and artists who freely share their creations. And no matter where I have called home, there are always tribes of creatives to be found.

    Focusing on this keeps me from obsessing about the fact that I don’t have the funds to travel as I had once dreamed, that I can’t have all the fun new electronic toys and services that I’m teased with. That I can’t provide the nest egg for my granddaughters’ college funds, nor contribute significant funds to the services that sustain our community and my sense of well being.

    Like

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