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Thread: What is really happening to the middle class

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    What is really happening to the middle class

    You may have heard that America's middle class is dissappearing. This is often left to imply that if unchecked, that America will be divided between a few enriched but many poor Americans. But what is really happening?

    The Pew Research center has looked into it and these are the numbers. Everything is categorized into household income which is adjusted for the number of occupants. The lower class is defined as having household incomes which hare less than 67% of the median household income. The upper class has a household income more than twice as high as the median. Anything in between is the middle class.
    The American Middle Class Is Losing Ground | Pew Research Center

    When we look at the data, we can indeed see that the middle class is shrinking.

    ST_2015-12-09_middle-class-03.jpg

    In 1971, 61% of Americans were in the middle class but by 2015, that number had fallen to 50%. The lower class had increased from 25% to 29% in that same timeframe. However, the upper class grew by an even greater amount than the lower class. In 1971, they were at 14% but by 12015, they were at 21%. So while some people who grew up in the middle class fell into the lower class, others rose into the upper class.

    Another interesting fact is that blacks had their income status by 11.2% in the 43 year period; this is actually higher than for whites which was 6.8%. Unfortunately, hispanics saw theirs decrease by 7.2%. Women increased their social status by 3.5% while men increased theirs by 2.7% (if there's a gender pay gap, it's closing).

    ST_2015-12-09_middle-class-12.jpg

    The great news is that if you're married, the chances of you becoming rich have really gone up and if you decide not to have kids, then your odds of falling into the lower class goes down. The bad news is that if you don't get married, then the odds of falling behind have gone up while the odds of getting rich have only gone up marginally.

    ST_2015-12-09_middle-class-13.jpg

    Another interesting statistic is the amount of gain made by senior citizens. In 1971, most of them were in the lower class but unlike many other demographics, the lower class has actually fallen

    ST_2015-12-09_middle-class-17.jpg

    As of 2015, a majority of high school dropouts are in the lower class and this trend is only increasing. People with high school diplomas and even people who have done some college (but not completed four years) are increasingly falling into the lower class but not many are rising into the upper class. It seems like the safest bet to getting rich in this day and age is to get a bachelor's degree.

    ST_2015-12-09_middle-class-18.jpg

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    Re: What is really happening to the middle class

    Quote Originally Posted by Masterhawk View Post
    You may have heard that America's middle class is dissappearing. This is often left to imply that if unchecked, that America will be divided between a few enriched but many poor Americans. But what is really happening?
    Thanks for sharing that.

    I'm seeing (for the most part) people with more "things" than they seemed to have 30-50 years ago. Homes are bigger. Families have more cars. They have more recreational things, and kids seem to have a plethora of clothes, even poorer children who can buy clothes very cheaply at Walmart. All in all, society, in general, seems to be wealthier -- or -- they at least give the appearance of more wealth. Maybe a lot of that is credit cards. LOL

    The marriage aspect is interesting, but understandable. Same as the "no kids" thing. Kids are expensive little critters.

    While I don't think higher education is for everyone, I think we could promote apprenticeships that picked up some of the slack. And, keep preaching birth control for unweds.

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    Re: What is really happening to the middle class

    About old folks in 71, these were guys that lived through the Great Depression. There were fewer social programs to help the elderly, actually, their woes had a lot to do with us getting them in the first place. The suffered in the Depression, and helped carry the country through WW2, and we felt like we owed them.

    One stat is that the number of hours worked, by family, increased roughly 300%, from the Sixties to the big crash. That doesn't get mentioned much.

    I forget the term, but there is a stat that measures how fast the rich get richer, relative to everyone else. That took a big jump starting in the 80s. That was entirely political, a result of tax cuts, and such. It's one of the reasons schools suck, trains crash, bridges fall down. If you want a country that works, you need to constantly build the future. Instead we kiss rich butt. It's a recipe for failure and decline.
    There is a monster in the White House.

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    Re: What is really happening to the middle class

    Quote Originally Posted by late View Post
    About old folks in 71, these were guys that lived through the Great Depression. There were fewer social programs to help the elderly, actually, their woes had a lot to do with us getting them in the first place. The suffered in the Depression, and helped carry the country through WW2, and we felt like we owed them.

    One stat is that the number of hours worked, by family, increased roughly 300%, from the Sixties to the big crash. That doesn't get mentioned much.

    I forget the term, but there is a stat that measures how fast the rich get richer, relative to everyone else. That took a big jump starting in the 80s. That was entirely political, a result of tax cuts, and such. It's one of the reasons schools suck, trains crash, bridges fall down. If you want a country that works, you need to constantly build the future. Instead we kiss rich butt. It's a recipe for failure and decline.
    That might be true, but only in part. I tend to kiss the rich butt when taking what they have to offer. I was retired and decided to go back to work, to feel needed, to keep busy and up with things. I work part time, at my leisure, instead of having a career, I work my hours, go home and relax. It is not about the money at this time in my life.
    It was "the rich" who offered me a job.
    I work with many young people, most of who are unwed parents. I observe. Here is part of what I came up with.
    Younger people want it all, want what their parents works hard all their lives to accomplish. A perfect house, a cool car, the latest fashion, make up, gadgets, you name it, they want it because they think they deserve it. With that sense of entitlement comes resentment.
    May be we can build the future by instilling more responsibility and the fact that hard work can pay off if we set money aside instead of spending it without thinking.
    Why do schools suck?
    You say "trains crash, bridges fall down", so perhaps we should want our president succeed in improving our infrastructure. May be he isn't so wrong about wanting jobs to come back. Jobs create revenue and help building bridges, and good jobs keep a lot of people out of trouble. Of course people would have to be willing to work and take some pride instead of just showing up for a paycheck.
    Blame is easy. May be if we stopped blaming from the top down and start looking at the problem from the bottom up, we can come about changes.
    How can we speak to the pain beneath the anger?
    Author unknown.

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    Re: What is really happening to the middle class

    Quote Originally Posted by late View Post
    About old folks in 71, these were guys that lived through the Great Depression. There were fewer social programs to help the elderly, actually, their woes had a lot to do with us getting them in the first place. The suffered in the Depression, and helped carry the country through WW2, and we felt like we owed them.

    One stat is that the number of hours worked, by family, increased roughly 300%, from the Sixties to the big crash. That doesn't get mentioned much.

    I forget the term, but there is a stat that measures how fast the rich get richer, relative to everyone else. That took a big jump starting in the 80s. That was entirely political, a result of tax cuts, and such. It's one of the reasons schools suck, trains crash, bridges fall down. If you want a country that works, you need to constantly build the future. Instead we kiss rich butt. It's a recipe for failure and decline.
    look at the market gains since 1980

    if you werent a part of it, you didnt share in the gains

    you cant get wealthier if you never save, and never invest
    “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine.”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Re: What is really happening to the middle class

    Quote Originally Posted by HowardBThiname View Post
    Thanks for sharing that.

    I'm seeing (for the most part) people with more "things" than they seemed to have 30-50 years ago. Homes are bigger. Families have more cars. They have more recreational things, and kids seem to have a plethora of clothes, even poorer children who can buy clothes very cheaply at Walmart. All in all, society, in general, seems to be wealthier -- or -- they at least give the appearance of more wealth. Maybe a lot of that is credit cards. LOL

    The marriage aspect is interesting, but understandable. Same as the "no kids" thing. Kids are expensive little critters.

    While I don't think higher education is for everyone, I think we could promote apprenticeships that picked up some of the slack. And, keep preaching birth control for unweds.
    I think a lot of it is credit cards and the fact that things are more cheaply made now. I agree with promoting apprenticeships. There are plenty of good paying trade jobs out there. Maybe we need to figure out how to introduce these kids into that system instead of trying to shame them for not burying themselves in debt by going to college.

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    Re: What is really happening to the middle class

    Quote Originally Posted by gdgyva View Post

    look at the market gains since 1980

    if you werent a part of it, you didnt share in the gains

    you cant get wealthier if you never save, and never invest
    Nice job at missing the obvious.
    There is a monster in the White House.

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    Re: What is really happening to the middle class

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPeanut View Post

    I think a lot of it is credit cards and the fact that things are more cheaply made now. I agree with promoting apprenticeships. There are plenty of good paying trade jobs out there. Maybe we need to figure out how to introduce these kids into that system instead of trying to shame them for not burying themselves in debt by going to college.
    During the Reagan years we went from being the world's largest creditor, to being the world's largest debtor.

    While I have nothing to do with kook economics, that did change the way the economy worked, and not in a good way.
    There is a monster in the White House.

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    Re: What is really happening to the middle class

    Quote Originally Posted by late View Post
    Nice job at missing the obvious.
    i am sorry

    did you expect the poor to suddenly start getting rich by some magical means?

    wealth is achieved over time by saving and investing....it is generational

    for the first time, my family will probably be left something in a will....mine

    it has taken me 40+ years to accumulate what i have....

    and my kids, and my grand kids will be the beneficifiaries

    and i didnt miss the obvious....you did....accumulating the gold takes time, patience, and a will

    too many seek instant gratification....and growing wealth is not a short term project
    “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine.”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Re: What is really happening to the middle class

    Quote Originally Posted by gdgyva View Post
    i am sorry

    did you expect the poor to suddenly start getting rich by some magical means?

    wealth is achieved over time by saving and investing....it is generational

    for the first time, my family will probably be left something in a will....mine

    it has taken me 40+ years to accumulate what i have....

    and my kids, and my grand kids will be the beneficifiaries

    and i didnt miss the obvious....you did....accumulating the gold takes time, patience, and a will

    too many seek instant gratification....and growing wealth is not a short term project
    or may be think that all well to do are trust fund babies, pro athletes or Hollywood do what I have to to advance my career do gooders.
    How can we speak to the pain beneath the anger?
    Author unknown.

    Matthew 5:5-9


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