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Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:00 PM

The Middle Class In America Is Being Wiped Out Here Are 60 Facts That Prove It

From my email (ergo, exempt from the four paragraph limit) ...


The middle class in the United States is being systematically destroyed, and nobody is doing much of anything to stop it. Our incomes are shrinking, our share of the income pie is at an all-time low, our jobs are being sent overseas, debt burdens have soared to unprecedented heights and millions of formerly middle class Americans have fallen into poverty. America once had the largest and most vibrant middle class that the world has ever seen, but now it is rapidly being shredded. Unfortunately, this is particularly true for younger Americans. Today, families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent. That is astounding. The truth is that there are not enough decent jobs for the hordes of young people that are entering the marketplace each year. Once upon a time, a college degree was just about a guaranteed ticket to the middle class, but in 2011 more than half of all college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed. Sadly, statistics tell us that the younger you are, the less likely you are to have a chance to live "the American Dream". Nearly half the country already lives in a household that receives direct financial assistance from the federal government, and that percentage grows with each passing day. We are rapidly being transformed from a country of middle class citizens into a country of impoverished government dependents. If dramatic changes are not made, the middle class in America will continue to decline every single year. What would our society look like if the middle class disappeared entirely at some point?

The following are 60 facts that prove that the middle class in America is being wiped out...

#1 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.

#2 As the middle class shrinks, more Americans than ever have been forced to become dependent on the federal government. Federal spending on welfare programs has reachednearly a trillion dollars a year, and that does not even count Social Security or Medicare. Welfare spending is now 16 times larger than when the "war on poverty" began.

#3 Median household income in the U.S. has fallen for four consecutive years. Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.

#4 The U.S. economy continues to trade good paying jobs for low paying jobs. 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

#5 The number of Americans living in poverty has increased by more than 15 million since the turn of the century.

#6 The number of Americans on food stamps has grown from 17 million in the year 2000 to more than 47 million today.

#7 Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps. Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.

#8 According to the Pew Research Center, 61 percent of all American households were "middle class" back in 1971. Today, that figure has fallen to 51 percent.

#9 In the United States today, 35 percent of all households live on $35,000 or less each year.

#10 One recent survey discovered that 85 percent of all middle class Americans believe that it is harder to maintain a middle class standard of living today than it was 10 years ago.

#11 62 percent of all middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.

#12 According to one survey, 77 percent of all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time.

#13 In 1989, the debt to income ratio of the average American family was about 58 percent. Today it is up to 154 percent.

#14 Total U.S. household debt grew from just1.4 trillion dollars in 1980 to a whopping 13.7 trillion dollars in 2007. This played a huge role in the financial crisis of 2008, and the problem has still not been solved.

#15 While debt loads for middle class families are going up, the net worth of those same families is going down. According to the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of families in the United States declined "from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010".

#16 The percentage of working age Americans with a job has been below 59 percent for 40 months in a row.

#17 Today there are about 3.25 million Americans that say that they want a job but that have not searched for a job in more than a year because they believe that it is so hopeless.

#18 When you total up all working age Americans that do not have a job in America today, it comes to more than 100 million.

#19 The unemployment rate for African-Americans rose dramatically from 13.2 percentin November to 14.0 percent in December.

#20 The unemployment rate for Americans in the 18 to 29 year-old age bracket is 11.5 percent overall. For African-Americans in that age group, the unemployment rate is now up to22.1 percent. Millions of young people believe that the system has totally failed them.

#21 Families that have a head of household under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

#22 Last year, an astounding 53 percent of all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.

#23 Today, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents.

#24 According to the Tax Policy Center, the recent fiscal cliff deal will raise taxes more for those making between $30,000 and $200,000 a year than it will for those making between $200,000 and $500,000 a year.

#25 According to a Gallup survey, only 60 percent of all Americans say that they have enough money to live comfortably.

#26 One recent survey found that 63 percent of all Americans believe that the U.S. economic model is broken.

#27 Each year, the average American must work 107 days just to make enough money to pay local, state and federal taxes.

#28 Consumer debt in America has risen by a whopping 1700 percent since 1971.

#29 There are now 20.2 million Americansthat spend more than half of their incomes on housing. That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.

#30 The average American household spent approximately $4,155 on gasoline during 2011, and electricity bills in the U.S. have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

#31 According to USA Today, many Americans have actually seen their water bills triple over the past 12 years.

#32 Health insurance costs have risen by 23 percent since Barack Obama became president. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, health care costs accounted for just 9.5% of all personal consumption back in 1980. Today they account for approximately 16.3%.

#33 In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance. Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.

#34 According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 46 percent of all American workers have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, and 29 percent of all American workers have less than $1,000 saved for retirement.

#35 The United States has lost an average of approximately 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

#36 The United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

#37 According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.

#38 In 2000, there were more than 17 millionAmericans working in manufacturing, but now there are less than 12 million.

#39 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs. Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

#40 Since 2000, U.S. multinational corporations have eliminated 2.9 million jobs in the United States and have added 2.4 million jobs overseas.

#41 According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades if current trends continue.

#42 According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 declinedby 27 percent after you account for inflation.

#43 At this point, one out of every fourAmerican workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less. If that sounds like a high figure, that is because it is. Today, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.

#44 According to the Pew Research Center,only 23 percent of all American workers believe that they have enough money to get them through retirement.

#45 According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans households on average have 288 times the amount of wealth that the average middle class American family does.

#46 In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

#47 According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.

#48 The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have a net worth that is roughly equal to the bottom 30 percent of all Americans combined.

#49 At this point, the poorest 50 percent of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.

#50 The United States now ranks 93rd in the world in income inequality.

#51 The average CEO now makes approximately 350 times as much as the average American worker makes.

#52 Corporate profits as a percentage of GDP are at an all-time high. Meanwhile, wages as a percentage of GDP are near an all-time low.

#53 Today, 40 percent of all Americans have $500 or less in savings.

#54 One recent survey found that 28 percent of all Americans do not have a single penny saved for emergencies.

#55 Shockingly, at this point 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be "low income" or are living in poverty.

#56 According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of "Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming."

#57 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an all-time record 49 percent of all Americans live in a home where at least one person receives financial assistance from the federal government. Back in 1983, that number was less than 30 percent.

#58 According to U.S. Census data, 57 percentof all American children live in a home that is either considered to be "poor" or "low income".

#59 For the first time ever, more than a millionpublic school students in the United States are homeless.

#60 According to a stunning new Gallup survey,65 percent of all Americans believe that 2013 will be a year of "economic difficulty".

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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Middle Class In America Is Being Wiped Out Here Are 60 Facts That Prove It (Original post)
Scuba Jan 2013 OP
riverbendviewgal Jan 2013 #1
PSPS Jan 2013 #2
jtuck004 Jan 2013 #3
PSPS Jan 2013 #13
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #14
humbled_opinion Jan 2013 #4
plethoro Jan 2013 #5
humbled_opinion Jan 2013 #8
plethoro Jan 2013 #10
november3rd Jan 2013 #6
plethoro Jan 2013 #7
PopeOxycontinI Jan 2013 #11
plethoro Jan 2013 #15
abelenkpe Jan 2013 #9
Igel Jan 2013 #12
progressoid Jan 2013 #16
indepat Jan 2013 #17

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:32 PM

1. Keep lowering the taxes

I grew up during Ike and Kennedy....taxes were higher and there was lots of jobs and life was good. Lots of union jobs too. My dad worked one and my mom was a stay at home mom.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:45 PM

2. Sorry, your email is right wing talking points

It's a sad fact of life that not everything you read on the internet (or in email) is true.

As soon as I read, "Federal spending on welfare programs has reached nearly a trillion dollars a year," I stopped reading. This is another one of those RW dog whistles along the line of "food stamp president." Oh, and it isn't really true (unless you count almost everything in the budget not related to the military as "welfare.") This was cooked up during the campaign to help RMoney.

New lie: The government spends more on welfare than everything else!
Senate Republicans redefine "welfare" to make it sound very expensive
http://www.salon.com/2012/10/18/new_lie_the_government_spends_more_on_welfare_than_everything_else/

Fox News Echoes GOP's Misleading Definition Of Welfare
http://mediamatters.org/research/2012/10/20/fox-news-echoes-gops-misleading-definition-of-w/190792

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Response to PSPS (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 09:24 PM

3. Maybe 47 million of our neighors on food stamps OUGHT to be a Democratic talking point. n/t

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:36 AM

13. I agree. But the email was just Obama-bashing right wing lies.

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Response to PSPS (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:48 AM

14. total federal spending in 2011 was about $4 trillion. so spending of 'nearly' a trillion on welfare

 

programs (which would be medicaid, SSI, food stamps, TANF, housing, mental health to the indigent, & some other stuff) seems rather believable. to me.

medicaid alone = $275 billion, more than 1/4 of the 'nearly' 1 trillion number cited.

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/42636

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:15 PM

4. So tell me than how did raising our taxes

by eliminating the FICA 2 percent reduction in taxes which many of us lower income people were using to make ends meet help stop the decline of the middleclass?

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Response to humbled_opinion (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:26 PM

5. This made Social Security additions being partly supplemented by the General Treasury, thereby

 

giving accuracy to the Republican talking point that Social Security is adding the deficit. If the President wants to give a 2 per cent tax cut/credit to the poor, fine, but NOT using Social Security funding to do it, thereby insuring the program that the general population paid into most of their lives and are counting on being there when they retire.

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Response to plethoro (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:36 PM

8. Excellent then answer these....

Why didn't he champion a 2 percent reduction in Income Tax while at the same time rasining the FICA tax back to 6 percent?

or

Why Didn't he champion a SS cap elimination and make the 2 pecent FICA tax permanent for those making less than 50K annual?

You do realize that some of us are going to be literally hurt economically because of this tax increase, Right?

Do you suggest we just eat it and move on?

Please let me know what to tell my kids they can't have now that I have to shave $800 per year out of my expenses, summer vacation? Trip up to Philly to see family? A new computer, nah this one I am on now running Win XP bought in 2005 should make it another 10 years or so right?

I personally don't care what talking points the idiots on the right were using, why would even suggest knee jerking to those demands?

I think many here on this forum are actually losing their minds, people used to defend those of us barely making it but I guess after we voted for Obama the usefullness is gone.... I hope that's not the case but it is increasingly clear that people are defending the indefensible and I just don't understand why....

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Response to humbled_opinion (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:49 PM

10. You need to ask yourself the answer to your two either/or questions. I already know, but this is not

 

the place to discuss it. People are not seeing what is happening. I like your second suggestion.

"Why didn't he champion a 2 percent reduction in Income Tax while at the same time rasining the FICA tax back to 6 percent?

or

Why Didn't he champion a SS cap elimination and make the 2 pecent FICA tax permanent for those making less than 50K annual? "

I still want to help people not making it, even if my taxes have to go up. But I do NOT want the vehicle to be cuts to my Social Security caused by funding from a source which adds to the deficit. This is why that 250,000 dollar income limitation on the rich that Obama did not adhere to was so important.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:29 PM

6. Don't Worry; It's Going To Get Worse

Feast your eyes on some of the Heritage Foundation's Plan To Save The American Dream:

http://www.savingthedream.org/?utm_source=heritage&utm_medium=spotlight&utm_campaign=HeritageHomepage

They want to do away with capital gains taxes completely, and have a flat income tax rate for everybody.

They want to prevent government from serving the people's interests, only the wealthy and big corporations.

A middle class person will be somebody who enlists in the military so that when they get out in a few years, they can get a good job working on a feudal lord's manor as a slave-driver, overseer, or vigilante.

Government has no clout to combat unfair labor practices, environmental crime and pollution, child pornography, suppression of women, extortion, financial fraud, etc.

They're focused. They own Congress. And they're in the fight for the long haul.

They've got a lot of money behind them.

How far have they gotten so far? Just check out Public Campaign's report on Senate Obstruction http://www.campaignmoney.org/sites/default/files/Cashing_In_On_Obstruction.pdf.

The bigger the disaster they cause, the more these "disaster capitalists" are poised to profit.

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Response to november3rd (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:32 PM

7. There is going to be blood in the streets this year, and I don't mean from

 

some whacko killing a bunch of helpless kids.

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Response to plethoro (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:12 PM

11. Nah.

If there was going to be blood in the streets, it would have happened by now.
Americans are living in a perfect mind-controlling cocktail
of talk radio, faux snooze, psych meds, stupid sports and reality shows,
and evangelical wacko religion.
Perhaps for the first time in history the elite have stumbled on the right combination of things to
permanently stave off even the most justified rebellion.

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Response to PopeOxycontinI (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:28 AM

15. Yes, I'm afraid of that. I'm hoping for remnants of courage. But am not sanguine about it.

 

ddddddddd

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Response to november3rd (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:42 PM

9. You say

"Government has no clout to combat unfair labor practices, environmental crime and pollution, child pornography, suppression of women, extortion, financial fraud, etc. "

Not only do they not have the clout, they don't have the money. When we cut spending it comes from gov programs and social programs never from corporate subsidies or the military.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:15 PM

12. Point #8 needs a bit more detail.

As it is, it gives the impression that the shrinking of the middle class has only increased lower class ranks.

Quoting the the same report that the list considers authoritative, "The hollowing of the middle has been accompanied by a dispersion of the population into the economic tiers both above and below. The upper-income tier rose to 20% of adults in 2011, up from 14% in 1971; the lower-income tier rose to 29%, up from 25%."

So upper class expanded to include 20% of the population, up by 6 percentage points, using the Pew Research Center's definition of "upper class," while the "lower income tier" increased by 4%.

Either way, the middle class shrank, but unless you consider the loss of families to the "upper class" as bad then there's only a 4% reduction that we need really care about in this particular regard.


Otherwise the list is difficult to parse because it's a mix of economic and lifestyle/self-classification criteria, along with a lot of perceptions. There's a point there, but it's weakened by having many of the supports be weak or inconsistent.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:43 PM

16. While I agree with the sentiment, it would be nice to have some citations for these statistics.

I tend to avoid unverified statements like this.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:29 PM

17. The continuance of junior's two wars and 98% of his tax cuts, the

doubling of MIC spending, neglect of the infrastructure, inadequate funding of national health issues including food safety, austerity, lack of a system of national health-care, relentless, burgeoning income inequality, never-ending clamor to reduce social security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits portend a devastating assault in the coming decades on all facets of national life included in the quality of life ranking factors, almost all unnecessary because the government has long refused to require the most affluent and large corporations to bear an equitable portion of the income tax burden necessary to fund governmental operations, service debt, and meet other obligations, an abject abrogation by elected officials, imo, to fulfill their oaths of office.

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