Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Lost Middle Class

By Dale Bowling

Middle-class Americans have often felt they were losing ground and for the better part of three decades they have been. America’s middle class has shrunk in size, in wealth, and in political influence since the mid-eighties. The Great Recession of 2007-8 made things even worse.

In 2010 the top 1% received 93% of all income gains. In 2011, all groups but the top 20% of earners saw their incomes drop on average.

Per capita the top 1% has income 288 times that of the median income.  It was 125-1 in 1962.

Corporate profits are higher than in the height of the Bush administration, but they show no sign of trickling down to middle-class Americans. Productivity continues to rise, but employees are not being compensated accordingly.   

There has been a polarization of the workforce, where jobs of moderate level of skill, i.e manufacturing jobs, disappear leaving only very highly skilled and no skilled jobs behind, which squeezes the middle class even further.

So, what are the effects of the lost middle class on American Democracy? Money talks and that is never more true now that outside groups can pour as much money as they want into political campaigns. When a billionaire can say he’ll spend $100 million to elect Candidate A, what chance has the middle class of being heard and respected?

Luckily in America, candidates need our votes and I think we all know that it’s the Democrats who will stand up for middle class Americans. Join us in fighting for the American Middle Class. Vote Democratic on November 6!

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