Middle Class Meltdown

By DJ Spiess | The slow destruction of the middle class in America.

Why even half the middle class is living paycheck to paycheck

It’s an election year so buzzwords like “income inequality,” “the working poor” and “American dream” are ubiquitous. But there’s one thing …

Money

The decline of the middle class is causing even more economic damage than we realized

I have just come across an International Monetary Fund working paper on income polarization in the United States that makes an important contribution to the secular stagnation debate. The authors — Ali Alichi, Kory Kantenga and Juan Solé — use standard econometric techniques to estimate the impact …

Middle-class

FIU Study: Middle Class Is Shrinking

The middle class has fewer and fewer job opportunities in Florida according to the newest edition of an annual report called “The State of Working …

Middle-class

Picturing a Big Year for the Poor and Middle Class

The income and poverty report released on Tuesday by the Census Bureau was such a blockbuster that you’d think the Census bureau had just issued Beyoncé’s next secret album the night before..<p>Even for many traditionally pessimistic economic observers, this was a very welcome report. Real median …

America’s Inequality Problem: Real Income Gains Are Brief and Hard to Find

Working families finally got a raise.<p>Early on Tuesday, the Census Bureau provided some long-awaited good news for the beleaguered working class: The income of the typical American household perched on the middle rung of the income ladder increased a hearty 5.2 percent in 2015, the first real …

Study: A shrinking middle class in Florida means more economic polarization

<b>Here are some key takeaways from the analysis:</b><p>• Between 2009 and 2014, the share of households that belonged to the upper class grew 8.1 percent, the …

American South

Don't Blame Globalization For Western Middle-Class Woes, Blame Government Policy

Globalisation is widely blamed for the woes of the Western lower middle classes. Jobs have gone to China, and wages have been pushed down by competition from immigrants. Politicians are promising to impose trade restrictions on China, prevent firms offshoring jobs, and close the borders to prevent …

Globalization

Column: Denmark has figured out the only way to save the American Dream

Denmark may be the best country in the world for a poor kid to grow up in, but that's not because they're more likely to get a middle class job. …

Denmark

Fixing wealth inequality: future generations will think us mad, and they will be right

We will rue the day we did not use this period of ultra-low interest rates to invest in infrastructure and put our people to work<p>If there is one global political and economic lesson to be drawn from the Brexit experience and the rise of Sanders and Trump let it be this; we ignore the distributional …

Who’s getting rich off your student debt?

The student loan program was supposed to help open the door to higher education, but it’s become something else: a profit center for Wall Street and …

Loans

Middle class vanishing as income gap widens

A recent study by the Pew Research Center found a widening wealth gap is moving more households into either higher- or lower-income groups in major …

Are you shrinking along with the middle class?

The declining middle class has become a major theme in this year's presidential election. It's a catch-all topic that touches on all sorts of problems that candidates like to hit, from jobs being lost to China to student loans, costly medical care and the nation's falling rate of homeownership.<p>So …

The disappearing middle class, and a nation, on the brink

The American middle class is declining. As our middle class falls, our political temperature rises. Crane Brinton’s likening of political revolution …

Middle-class

Failing Central States Pension Fund is out of options - May. 20, 2016

What happens when a pension fund runs out of money?<p>One of the biggest private pension funds in the country is almost out of money, and fresh out of options.<p>The Central States Pension Fund has no new plan to avoid insolvency, fund director Thomas Nyhan said this week. Without government funding, the …

Pension Funds

These 5 Facts Explain the Unstable Global Middle Class

The growth of a global middle class is one of the great successes of globalization. But rising quality of life begets rising expectations that many …

Globalization

Apparently We Need More Bureaucracy To Save The Middle Class

I can think of various reasons why we might want to preserve the American middle class: that lifestyle is the finest that any large group of humans has ever been able to enjoy, all the way back to Ur of the Chaldees. The standard suburban ranch style, indoor work with no heavy lifting and bounteous …

Middle-class

The Death Of The American Middle Class Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

To borrow from Mark Twain, a whole lot of people seem intent on reporting if not the death of the American middle class, then at least its demise. Thanks to a Pew Research Report, reported here by the Chicago Tribune as one example, casual readers assume the reports on the death of the American …

Equality

Shame on us for creating middle class minority

I’d like to tell you a little about my family.<p>My grandpa was a farmer. Born just after the turn of the last century. Married during the Roaring ‘20s, …

The Digital Disparities Facing Lower-Income Teenagers

Teenagers in lower-income households have fewer desktop, laptop and tablet computers to use at home than their higher-income peers, according to a new study. And those disparities may influence more than how teenagers socialize, entertain themselves and apply for college or jobs.<p>At a time when …

The hidden inequality of who dies in car crashes

Traffic fatalities in the United States have been plummeting for years, a major victory for regulation (strict drunken driving laws have helped) and auto innovation (we have safer cars). But that progress obscures a surprising type of inequality: The most disadvantaged are more likely — and have …

Justice

America will die old and broke: The systematic right-wing plot to ransack the middle-class nest egg

Despite what conservatives say, the safety net works—which is why the 1 percent wants to stage a hostile takeover<p>Through a quirk in state term limits combined with a terrible midterm election, the Nevada legislature has been taken over by amateurs and extremists. The legislature is now debating …

The "Paid-What-You're-Worth" Myth

Low Skilled Humans Need Not Apply: Exponential Job Disruption

I wish to emphasise before I begin that robots taking jobs is not the problem, the issue is the current <b>government policies</b> that are not ready to …

Artificial Intelligence

The Gap is ending on-call schedules. Here's why the practice was making workers miserable.

In recent years, labor rights groups have campaigned against a common management tactic called on-call scheduling. In an effort to save costs, many retailers require workers to call in just an hour or two before a shift starts to find out if they'll be able to work. That uncertainty can create …

Here's Why There's No Such Thing as Free Public Education Anymore

It’s nearly back-to-school time, which means parents and kids will soon be heading to stores to stock up on all the supplies needed to complete …

How Rich People Raise Rich Kids

Even when they’re adopted, the children of the wealthy grow up to be just as well-off as their parents.<p>Lately, it seems that every new study about social mobility further corrodes the story Americans tell themselves about meritocracy; each one provides more evidence that comfortable lives are …

Wealth

Noam Chomsky: The United States is totally isolated

The iconic philosopher on America's broken education system and the lasting influence of the Monroe Doctrine<p>We’re pleased to publish another interview with Professor Noam Chomsky. In this recent conversation with Dan Falcone, a Washington DC–based high school history teacher, Chomsky builds on our …

Work and Worth

Is the American Dream dying?

Cezar Iordan came to the U.S. from Romania when he was 20.<p>He didn't know anyone, and he didn't speak English. He had only $100 in his pocket. But he was determined to succeed.<p>Now 10 years later, Iordan runs a successful moving business called Moovers Chicago. He has a bachelor's degree, and owns a …