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Thu Sep 13, 2012, 02:47 AM

Census: Middle class shrinks to an all-time low

Source: Wash. post

The vise on the middle class tightened last year, driving down its share of the income pie as the number of Americans in poverty leveled off and the most affluent households saw their portion grow, new census data released Wednesday showed.

Income inequality increased by 1.6 percent, the Census Bureau said in its annual report on poverty, income and health insurance. This was the biggest one-year increase in almost two decades and suggested that a trend in place since the late 1970s was picking up steam.

As a snapshot of a nation recovering from one of its worst recessions ever, the census report had both shadows and highlights. Median household income declined $777, to $50,054 before taxes. But the poverty rate, which many experts had predicted would rise to rates unseen in nearly half a century, inched down a hair to 15 percent, a decline of about 100,000 people. And fewer Americans were without health insurance, largely because of a provision in the 2010 health-care law allowing young adults to stay on their parentsí policies.

The new census statistics, coming out just two months before the presidential election, should fuel the ongoing debate over the shrinking middle class, income inequality and a gnawing fear that for many, the American dream is receding out of reach. This week, the Pew Research Center said a third of Americans now identify themselves as lower class or lower-middle class, up from a quarter four years ago. Among young adults, the percentage who see themselves as occupying the bottom of the heap is even higher.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/poverty-was-flat-in-2011-percentage-without-health-insurance-fell/2012/09/12/0e04632c-fc29-11e1-8adc-499661afe377_singlePage.html



Obama should articulate that Romney would make things even WORSE.

7 replies, 1846 views

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 02:58 AM

1. They really need to put back in the inheritance tax otherwise we are going to

have everything pooling into the hands of a few people much like say a royal class.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 05:49 AM

2. That last bit sounds like good news to me.

It's time that the poor stop being duped into thinking they're middle class, especially when there basically is no middle class. Nothing will be done about the problem of income inequality until it is actually recognized by those harmed by it.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 07:08 AM

3. Hoover policies yield Hoover results

Pretty simple stuff.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 08:06 AM

5. Great point. The last period of extreme inequality in the US came peaked under Hoover. n/t

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Response to pampango (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 08:13 AM

6. Obama actually brags that he's more like Hoover than any President since

Obama More Conservative Than Hoover? Someone Thinks So.

The whole thing's become utterly surreal.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 09:02 AM

7. It was his press secretary talking only about how limited government spending has been, but

I agree that limiting government spending is a bad policy when you are trying to boost the economy.

I understand that another stimulus or just increase government spending would never get through a republican House and that the administration is trying to counter republican partisan 'big spending' allegations, but it would be better to own the stimulus and promote another one as a counter to republican 'austerity' than to play their game.

I guess even FDR played the "Hoover" game and fell victim to the "austerity" bug in 1937 so apparently no one is immune to it.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 07:12 AM

4. Tax cuts for the rich should fix that.

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