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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:17 AM
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American meritocracy at risk
Moderate and lower earners under more pressure

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The trouble that began last summer in the financial markets raised the likelihood of a U.S. recession, but for America's middle class, the downturn has been under way for many years, experts plan to tell a congressional panel on Wednesday.

Hit with higher gasoline prices, declining home values, rising health-care costs and little or no income growth since 2007, the outlook for those in the middle class and those with even lower incomes is dire.


The richest 20 percent in the country earned more than half of the nation's total income.

"The American meritocracy, the foundation of the American Dream, is at risk. Social mobility is now less fluid in the United States than in other affluent nations," she said.

The top 1 percent of U.S. households possess a third of America's wealth and the bottom 60 percent only 4.2 percent



According to Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren, incomes -- in inflation-adjusted terms -- have been declining since 2007. This is particularly clear in the middle- and lower- income groups.

"For many families in America, the recession did not begin in the past six months. The real recession began several years ago," Warren said.


"It is no surprise that millions of families have turned to debt to try and bridge the gap between their incomes and their expenses. Debt of every kind has increased sharply," Warren said.


Seems 'we' are inching closer to relabeling those Americans who are still clinging to the moniker of 'Middle Class' and standing in food bank lines to 'Moderate and lower earners'.
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:57 AM
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1. I heard the other day that upward mobility was easier
in England than in the US today. That's England folks, with all their Kings and Queens, and all their Lords and Knights, with all their inherited power and inherited financial structure, an average Joe has a better chance of getting out of poverty or moving out of the middle into the rich than anyone in the US.
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