U.S. middle class set back over last decade
The U.S. middle class has shrunk drastically over the last 10 years as Americans’ net worth has plunged, wages declined and standards of living slipped away, according to a report released on Wednesday.
Middle-income earners, long seen as the solid center of the country, are pessimistic and place the blame squarely on U.S. lawmakers, banks and big business, the findings by the Pew Research Center showed.
“There’s been a very steady, long-term shrinkage” in the number of people in the middle class, said Paul Taylor, executive vice president for nonpartisan research group. “There’s also less money in the middle.”
Since 2001, median household income has fallen from $72,956 to $69,487 in 2010, the report said.
The median household net worth, which is the value of assets minus debt, dropped from $129,582 to $93,150 over the same 10-year period, according to Pew, which analyzed U.S. data along with its own survey of nearly 1,300 adults who consider themselves middle class.
The plight of the middle class has become a bellwether of the U.S. economy in the wake of the recent Great Recession that officially ran from December 2007 to June 2009, ending just six months into Obama’s first term.
According to the poll, 62 percent of respondents said Congress deserved “a lot” of the blame for the nation’s economic troubles over the past decade, while 29 percent blamed lawmakers “a little.” Banks and financial institutions as well as large corporations were also largely at fault, respondents told Pew.
Various surveys have shown Americans – particularly women, minorities, children and young adults – are still struggling amid the slowest economic recovery since the 1980-81 period.
The shifting middle class over the last decade is just part of a longer trend, Pew researchers said.
About half (51 percent) of U.S. adults fell into the middle class in 2011 compared to 61 percent 1971, as more Americans either moved into upper or lower income groups, the center said.
job well done then the elites will cry..we want 2 classes..us and the slaves..anything else in between just leads to white noise..