Middle Class Meltdown

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

5 Figures That Define the Middle Class -- The Motley Fool

Once America's backbone, the U.S. middle class is disappearing before our eyes.<p>The middle class is often thought of as the backbone of the American …

Equality

The American middle class is dying — and it's driving department stores out of business

The deterioration of the middle class in America is decimating department stores.<p>Shares of Macy's, Dillard's, Kohl's, and JCPenney spiraled as much as 15% this week after the companies reported weak quarterly sales.<p>The retailers were hammered despite all four showing signs of modest improvement …

Trends

Our Broken Economy, in One Simple Chart

This chart captures the rise in inequality better than any other chart that I’ve seen.

Economy

Trump’s proposals could hike taxes for nearly a quarter of the middle class

When one of President Trump's senior economic advisers was asked what the White House's plans for tax reform would mean for a typical middle-class family, he answered with confidence.<p>“Going to mean a tax cut,” said Gary Cohn, the director of Trump's National Economic Council, at a news conference …

Equality

Half of American families are living paycheck to paycheck

More than seven years after the Great Recession officially ended, there is yet more depressing research that at least half of Americans are vulnerable to financial disaster.<p>Some 50% of people is woefully unprepared for a financial emergency, new research finds. Nearly 1 in 5 (19%) Americans have …

United States

Will Seattle figure out how to deal with its new wealth?

The city struggles to learn from history and find the right balance in its latest boom time.

U.S. Census

Americans Who Can’t Afford Their Homes Up 146 Percent

Over 38 million American households can't afford their housing, an increase of 146 percent in the past 16 years, according to a recent Harvard housing report.<p>Under federal guidelines, households that spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs are considered "cost burdened" and will …

Housing

Yes, Your Parents’ Status Does Influence Your Earning Power

"If you’re born poor, you die poor," a U.K. politician lamented six years ago. Sadly, little has changed.<p>Britain is joined by the U.S., France and …

Equality

Half of Americans are spending their entire paycheck (or more)

Nearly half of Americans say their expenses are equal to or greater than their income, according to a new study from the Center for Financial …

Denver

Walmart's latest move confirms the death of the American middle class as we know it

Walmart is getting into aspirational retail — and it says a lot about the American economy.<p>On Friday, Walmart announced it was acquiring Bonobos for $310 million in cash. The high-end men's retailer attracts young, urban customers with its slim-fitting pants, shirts, jackets, and suits and …

Middle-class

This eye-popping chart on inequality is a slap in the face of America’s middle class

Why does the US economy still feel iffy to most Americans despite an eight-year economic expansion and historically low unemployment?<p>Look no further than this eye-popping chart of income growth between 1980 and 2014 courtesy of Berkeley’s elite-squad of inequality research, including Thomas …

Equality

The Old Are Eating the Young

Around the world, a generational divide is worsening.<p>Edmund Burke saw society as a partnership between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are yet to be born. A failure to understand this relationship underlies a disturbing global tendency in recent decades, in which the …

Economics

Amazon's and Walmart's latest moves confirm the death of the middle class as we know it

Amazon and Walmart are battling for shoppers at the highest and lowest ends of the income spectrum, leaving the middle class in the dust.<p>Amazon, whose Prime service claims more than 70% of upper-income households in the US — those earning more than $112,000 a year — is suddenly going after …

Equality

These Charts Show Just How Small the U.S. Middle Class Is, Compared to Europe's

And it's getting smaller.<p>If you have the nagging sense that income inequality is getting worse in the United States, some new data from Pew Research …

Equality

Report: Minimum wage workers have to work 95 hours a week to make rent in Colorado

DENVER – A new report paints a dim picture of the state of housing affordability in Colorado and around the country.<p>Compared to other states, …

Nowhere in America can a full-time minimum wage worker afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment

There is nowhere in this country where someone working a full-time minimum wage job could afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment, according to an …

Housing

It's not just the 1%. The upper middle class is oppressing everyone else, too

The top 20% have set things up to guarantee virtually all of those spoils go to their descendants. Where does that leave the rest of us?<p>Residents of the real world most likely know the great American meritocracy is a lie. And yet, we are so heavily indoctrinated that even the most unsurprising …

Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think

In a candid conversation with Frank Rich last fall, Chris Rock said, "Oh, people don’t even know. If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there …

Equality

L.A.'s crisis: High rents, low pay, homelessness rising and $2,000 doesn't buy much

I was walking the dog last week in a South Pasadena park when I glanced at a man and woman having breakfast at a picnic table.<p>I’d seen them before; this time I said hello.<p>Margaret and her son Chris told me they live in their car.<p>“We’re lucky,” said Margaret, who asked that I not use her last name. …

'Dark money' threatens to drown out voice of middle class

<i>Tiffany Muller is the executive director of End Citizens United, the largest campaign finance reform organization supported entirely by small-dollar</i> …

When You’re Poor, Life’s Little Annoyances Actually Ruin Your Life

<i>Excerpted from</i> <b>Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America</b> <i>by Linda Tirado. Out now from Putnam.</i><p>I once lost a whole truck over a few hundred bucks. It …

Money

Trump's Crazy Budget Assumptions Will Batter The Poor And Middle Class

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 19: Copies of President Trump’s FY’18 budget books are stacked, at the Government Publishing Office, on May 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)<p>The Trump administration budget is to be unveiled on Tuesday, though advanced information was available …

Equality

How Trump’s budget helps the rich at the expense of the poor

For President Obama, the gap separating rich and poor Americans was, as he put it in a speech in 2013, “the defining challenge of our time.” He and his administration labored against Republican opposition and stubborn economic realities to shrink that disparity for eight years, making reducing …

Equality

Illinois' middle class shrank over the last 40 years. Here's why.

The decline of the middle class and rise of income inequality have been at the heart of the nation's economic storyline for years, and a new report attempts to quantify how those trends have hit Illinois.<p>Middle-income households, which in the early 1970s made up 59 percent of all households in …

Shelters seeing more people because of high rent prices

DENVER – As the price of renting in Denver keeps going up, many people are feeling the pain and some families are finding they just can’t afford …

Housing

Study By MIT Economist: U.S. Has Regressed To A Third-World Nation For Most Of Its Citizens

America divided – this concept increasingly graces political discourse in the U.S., pitting left against right, conservative thought against the …

Equality

Can the middle class afford college?

The beginning of May was the deadline for the last of high-school seniors to make their final decision about where they’re going to college next fall. For some it was a sprint to the finish as they weighed the social and academic fit of campuses still on their list, but also the all-important …

Equality

Researchers have answered a big question about the decline of the middle class

America is getting richer every year. The American worker is not.<p>Far from it: On average, workers born in 1942 earned as much or more over their careers than workers born in any year since, according to new research — and workers on the job today shouldn’t expect to catch up with their predecessors …

Equality

How Noncompete Clauses Keep Workers Locked In

Keith Bollinger’s paycheck as a factory manager had shriveled after the 2008 financial crisis, but then he got a chance to pull himself out of recession’s hole. A rival textile company offered him a better job — and a big raise.<p>When he said yes, it set off a three-year legal battle that concluded …