The middle class has been declining in the past few decades. This is important, because it affects the economy. As well as the families that are trying to maintain their position in this social class, or are trying to get in it. These findings have important implications for the broader domain of the United States economy. Harming what people are buying and not buying.
There might be many reasons for the middle class declining. One main reason is the inequality in America. The second reason is the shift of employment, to eastern countries. These jobs include many manufacturing jobs that would have allowed people to become the middle class in the past. It could also be from the rising debt the middle class has. The highest debt in the united states is the mortgage. The middle class is something that is considered to be the American dream for many people. Many people considered the middle class to be a well-off social class. People that are considered to be well off include people that do not have to live paycheck off paycheck every month. They are financially secure in their life, with the possibility of retiring at old age.Yet for the past few decades the majority of people do not consider themselves to be middle class. The majority of people do not have enough money to meet their needs. Which include rent and other utility bills that are too important, for them to forget.
Many cities have seen a decline in adults who fall in the range of the middle class. “In Goldsboro—an old railroad junction town and home to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base—the share of adults who are middle income fell from 60% in 2000 to 48% in 2014, or by 12 percentage points” ( America’s Shrinking middle class). According to the article America’s shrinking middle class , a huge amount of people stopped falling in the requirements of the middle class. Even though this is data from one city, this shows that there is a problem. According to Brandon King the author of The American Dream: Dead, Alive, or on hold more Americans are changing their look on the American dream. “…about what they believed constituted being ‘ successful’ with the majority naming things such as a steady job, financial security for the future, being able to retire without struggling, and having a secure place of residence” (King pg 611). According to McClelland the majority of people consider the American dream as not being in debt.
The one reason people say that the middle class is shrinking, is because of the inequality that is in America. “With the richest 1 percent (as ranked by non-home wealth) owning 43 percent of total household non-home wealth in 2007 (compared to 35 percent for net worth) and the top 20 percent owning 93 percent (compared to 85 percent for net worth)” (Edward Wolff). This shows that the number of wealth goes to a small group of people. “The number of millionaires almost doubled between 1989 and 2001, the number of “penta-millionaires” ($5,000,000 or more) increased three and a half times, and the number of “deca-millionaires” ($10,000,000 or more) grew more than fivefold” According to Wolff the rich are just getting richer, while the poor are just getting a bad deal. According to the article America’s shrinking middle class the people living in the lower income class is increasing. “More American adults live in lower-income households than in upper-income ones, 29% vs. 20% nationally in 2014”(America’s Shrinking middle class). There has been a shift in which Americans get a larger income.This could be caused by the job’s moving to a different country. “Galipeau and Voss, who met working at Carrier, lost their jobs in 2004, when the company moved the last of its Syracuse manufacturing operations to Singapore”(McClelland pg 552). According to McClelland the work that use to consistent for the American middle class, all moved to other countries. Where according to him the companies can pay the workers half the pay the United States workers need. Since the majority of the rich own the industries that work in different countries, they are saving money by not paying as much to the workers.
Which goes with what the article The shrinking middle class myth or reality says about the decrease in the ability of what is called smokestack industry. Yet according to the same article between the years, of 1973 and 1983 the decline of middle class workers in these jobs was about .5 percent. According to the article this decline in industry work has little effects of the declining middle class. Yet McClelland states that problem is not with capitalism it is with the government. “The shrinking of the middle class is not a failure of capitalism. It’s a failure of government” (McClelland pg 553). McClelland states that capitalism is doing what is was created to do, this is to give jobs to the masses and pay them with what is needed to survive. Even with the problem with little work, for the american people, their can also be other problems.
Yet according to Edward N. Wolff the problem is the mass of debt collected by the middle class. “As noted above, the ratio of debt-to-net-worth of the middle three wealth quintiles rose from 37 percent in 1983 to 46 percent in 2001 and then jumped to 61 percent in 2007”(Edward Wolff). According to Wolff the major part of debt to the middle class, is the mortgage. “In fact, mortgage debt on owner-occupied housing climbed from 29 percent in 1983 to 47 percent in 2007” (Wolff). This either came from the refinancing of mortgages, or the buying of houses that increased in value to much, As well as in credit card debt. According to Brandon King the author of The American Dream: Dead, Alive, or on hold states that more people are renting houses instead of buying. “…a recent study showed a decrease in home and ownership from 69% in 2005 to about 66.5% in 2010, and an increase in renter households of 1.1 million” (King pg 611).
In recap it seems that the majority of people are struggling in the United States. People cannot pay their bills on time. At times cannot even keep a steady job. There is a big gap between the rich, and lower income people. This problem can come from both the loss of jobs in the country, and the huge debt that people get into from their past. This is a huge problem, for all of us. This can really harm the economy, and ruin this government.
In my opinion the real problem is the loss of jobs. People cannot finds jobs, or they cannot keep steady job. This then gets people in huge debt that puts the economy in more risk. I do not know if the jobs are going to other countries, or if they are making more advances in technology not requiring people to do jobs. For instance, car companies use machines to build cars, not people. Self check outs make people not have simple jobs like a cashier. Causing people to lose their jobs not allowing them to be able to support themselves, and worser their families.
- Wolff, Edward N. “Recent Trends in Household Wealth in the United States: Rising Debt and the Middle-Class Squeeze – An Update to 2007.” Recent Trends in Household Wealth in the United States: Rising Debt and the Middle-Class Squeeze – An Update to 2007 by Edward N. Wolff:: SSRN. N.p., 07 Apr. 2010. Web. 05 Mar. 2017. <https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1585409>.\
Recent trends in household wealth in the United States: Rising Debt and the Middle-class squeeze was found in Google scholar. It’s main purpose is to be used as statistics in this paper.
- “America’s Shrinking Middle Class: A Close Look at Changes Within Metropolitan Areas.” Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project. N.p., 11 May 2016. Web. 05 Mar. 2017. <http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2016/05/11/americas-shrinking-middle-class-a-close-look-at-changes-within-metropolitan-areas/>.
America’s Shrinking Middle Class: A Close Look at Changes Within Metropolitan Areas. Was found by searching in EBSCO, and is primarily used for facts and statistics.
- Rosenthal, Neal H. “The shrinking middle class: myth or reality?” Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor 108.3 (1985): 3-10. Web. < http://www.jstor.org/stable/41842428>.
The shrinking middle class:myth or reality? Was found in google scholar, and is primarily used for facts and statistics. As well as to give a different opinion on the shrinking middle class.
- McClelland, Edward. “RIP, the middle class: 1946-2013.” Salon. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2017. <http://www.salon.com/2013/09/20/rip_the_middle_class_1946_2013/>.
RIP, the middle class was found in a copy of They say I say, it is primarily used for opinion. As well as not very reliable.
- King, Brandon. “The American Dream:Dead, Alive, or on Hold?” “They say/I say”: the moves that matter in academic writing: with readings. By Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel K. Durst. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2012. 610-17. Print.
The American Dream:Dead, Alive, or on Hold? Was found in a copy of They say I say it is primarily used for opinion, as well as not very reliable.