US Middle-Class Is Going

Pivotfarm's picture

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Every wondered why the rest of the world envied the US middle-class? There were many reasons once, a long time ago and one of them was their affluence, their wealth, their ability to be able to afford whatever they wanted. But, that was back in the days when there was a team spirit out there in the US. People were working together not against each other. Today, nobody envies or eyes the American middle-class; it’s poverty-stricken and has turned into the poor workers (if they even have a job). Middle America is so yesteryear. Today, it seems as if it’s fashionable to be poor; at least, we’re all doing it.

The fat cats are grabbing the cream at a faster pace than most other countries in the world, but Middle Americans are doing far from well in comparison with other middle-classes around the world today. For the first time in decades, the American middle class is in decline in comparison with other countries.

It’s the first time in forty years that the Canadian middle-class equivalent family has been better off than the American middle class. That can’t be said in less stark terms. The nineteenth century was characterized by the abolition of the ruling classes to the benefit of the middle classes, growth in wealth and better sharing out of what was in the coffers of our nations. Today, the decline of the middle class in the US is on and it will be mirrored by all other nations in the world in years to come. We have returned to feudal England, the ruling few and the poverty-stricken masses.

But it’s now the Canadians that are doing better than the middle class Americans. The mere fact that it’s Canada is even harder as a blow for the middle-class Americans that laugh at the late-night TV-show jokes that use the guys just over the boarder as the butt of their every joke. It’s middle-class Americans that will have the tables turned on them now. The idea that they still have more income than others in the middle classes around the world is now a thing of the past.

How can the US maintain its position of the superlative-laden economy where things are done best? It can’t in a world in which the Chinese have understood that they need to send their kids to school; Highly-skilled people are now just about everywhere and competing with that is impossible. The US has failed to redistribute the wealth of the nation in a fairer way and it’s the top layer that gets to keep more and more. The lower echelons just slumber in growing struggles to keep their heads above the water. Who gets favored by the tax system in the US? Certainly not the middle class.

Median income in Canada was already on a par with US median wages in 2010. Over the past decade countries in Europe such as the UKSweden and the Netherlands are slowly closing the gap in median incomes with the US. Once upon a time, it was the US that was way ahead, now the gap is closing fast.

Per Capita gross Domestic Product (PPP) shows that the USA is not doing so badly. It’s the 8th country in the world today in terms of GDP per capita (PPP):

The USA has the wealth, but it’s not being distributed in a fair-deal way. For the middle class to be suffering like this it means that the money is going somewhere else than to the middle class. Americans that are in the middle class are not managing to keep up pace with their counterparts around the world.

• Median income stood at $18,700 in the US in 2010.
• That’s $75,000 for a family of four after tax.
• This means a 20%-increase in comparison with 1980.
• But, it’s not moved at all since 2000 (after adjustments for inflation).
• In the UK there was a 20%-increase between 2000 and 2010.
• Median Income in Canada rose also by 20% over the same period.

Thankfully, the US is a country of gamblers, a place where there will hopefully be a big-game hunt for the idea that will renew the challenge of the economy. In the meantime, it’s the middle-class American that looks as if it is nearing extinction.

Originally posted: US Middle-Class Is Going

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AdvancingTime's picture

 Just over a year ago I stumbled upon a blog on WordPress .com written by Gerry Spence who was born and educated in the small towns of Wyoming where he has practiced law for almost fifty-five years. As a  nationally known figure in the legal system Spence  has spent his lifetime representing and protecting victims of the legal system from what he calls The New Slave Master: big corporations and big government. Below is a disturbing take on society put out there by Gerry Spence and the idea that we have become no more than slaves.

Mr. Ed's picture

Ah yes, the olden days... I remember them well:  auto workers highly trained to tighten a few bolts (requiring a couple of hours of mind-racking learning!!) making $70 - $80 an hour.  It's something I haven't forgotten - happened around the time off-shoring began.

Those were the days... them "middle class" auto worker dudes would drive home in a honkin big truck and fire up that old barbeque for steaks a couple inches thick and break out the beer.. a fitting reward for suffering the terrible mental strain of such a job.

Of course the scientist down the street and the engineer next door were doin pretty good too: 40-50 an hour - no worries about starving!  But then, they didn't have labor unions with all those government connections and stuff...

Yes, those days have passed.

Oh! Did I mention that this was around the time the trend toward offshoring began?


EDIT:  soorrrry! forget what I said above.  Had my thinking cap on there for a minute... it's all Wall Street's fault.  Yep! and it is too!

tulip_permabull's picture

Ironic, the picture of the family gathered around in worship before the altar of television, internalizing the very messages that were meant to destroy the family unit itself.

Isn't it odd? We let let people into our houses through the tv that we would never let come in through our front doors. These people dose us and our children for hours at a time with images and tales in praise of sadistic violence, and perverted and immoral sexual activities. Yet....

So television has done a great job to bring us to this place, a place where we are so confused in our own values (or see ourselves as being so alone in our values) that we no longer feel that we have a right to speak up against what is bad or defend even our very lives ourselves against evil.

Good job tv! 

peaceful's picture

very well said...very well put. But it was Marx who first saw the alienation. And he was the one that said it would lead to inauthenticity ( a term that  Heidegger expounded upon later). Now we are just a bunch of fragmented, inauthentic, lazy morons being run by equally inauthentic people. No way it can last long

Savyindallas's picture

Yes-messages like Michael Sams kissing his boyfriend in  an orchestrated act that the media uses to "educate" Americans. Gay love-isn't it beautiful?! Yes my 12 year old daughter is really moved by this.  Thank God Talmudic jews run this country-otherwise we would still be enslaved in the ignorance of our past. 

g'kar's picture

If only the USA had some oil.

robnume's picture

Victorian England, anyone? That is what we've regressed to.

Grouchy Marx's picture

Sorry. Victorian England had both superior tea, and fashion. 

Sambo's picture

And it had QV (Queen Victoria).... :)

we get QE.

Grouchy Marx's picture

To make Canada vs. the US a fair comparison, you would need to discount the escalating pay scales for hockey players.

rsnoble's picture

Now we're just another rotting fucking shithole.  Congrats globalists! Score!

What's even funnier are watching other morons following a failed system in an effort to be just like us. LMAO jokes on you.

Otto Zitte's picture

Just kill all the lawyers, and the pain will end.

rsnoble's picture

Actually that's part of the plan see that way you go straight to jail.  Cut out the middleman. LOL.

Otto Zitte's picture

Think it through. Do you have 3 hots & a cot for 100 MILLION miscreants? You want to discover how badly your allies have set you up, consider your options when you try supressing the morally upright. If the survivors don't hunt every last one of you down, the nations will.
Utterly friendless.
The penalty for treason is death. Wikileaks dump, a big bug in OpenSSL. The fuse is lit.

the0ther's picture

Only kill the prosecutors then. Those feckless assholes. Zero bankers jailed. Prosecutors are scum. 

robobbob's picture

correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the shining "success" of Canada (oil, and minerals), and Norway(oil),  really just stories of governments capitalizing on special resources to cover their policies?

Grouchy Marx's picture

I think they sell minerals because they haven't learned yet how to sell worthless treasuries.

teslaberry's picture

the tyranny of stastics-----


per capita XYZ 

gini coefiicnet


etc etc etc....


these numbers are all massive lies and comparing the u.s. to Qatar --AN ACTUAL SLAVE STATE------on an apple to apples basis using a statistic almost PROVES THE COMPELETE AND UTTER SUCCESS OF BRAINWASHING HUMAN BEINGS USING THE RUBRIC OF 'NUMBERS' AND 'SCIENCE'. 

this brainwashing is , in part, the method by witch economics was craftily presented as a 'social science' and even sometimes as an actual science  to the dumb lay public. 


it takes an educated person, or a self taught didac to understand how deeply crafted the brainwashing goes. 


as long as you can fool most of the people most of the time--------------thats advertocracy for you. 

the truth is whatever is being advertised as such. 


RaiZH's picture

I refuse to go anywhere ! 

*Orders more gold*  

OC Sure's picture

This article is lies:

"The nineteenth century was characterized by the abolition of the ruling classes to the benefit of the middle classes, growth in wealth and better sharing out of what was in the coffers of our nations."

The growth of the middle class in the 19th century came from the production of real things by people left free to produce as they pleased. Wealth was created and the purchasing power of money rose, therefore the middle class was on the incline. Wealth was created not shared.

"Today, the decline of the middle class in the US is on" [because the third central bank, the Federal Reserve, is counterfeiting and providing the means for those who produce no thing to steal from those who produce any thing].

"The US has failed to redistribute the wealth of the nation in a fairer way and it’s the top layer that gets to keep more and more."

The premise here is that it is the responsibility of the government to allocate wealth. That is balderdash! The upper tier get more and more because they are the primary recipients of the counterfeiting. Whomever receives the hot-money first uses its power to purchase real things (or cover defaulted loans) as quickly as possible which leaves the cold-money holders with far less power to purchase at all.

What cold-money holders would have purchased had not their power to purchase declined has been stolen from them by the hot-money recipients. This is the nature of the theft by counterfeiting.

Pivotfarm, stop your lapdog propaganda.

Singelguy's picture

"The US has failed to redistribute the wealth of the nation in a fairer way and it’s the top layer that gets to keep more and more."

I see your point but I think he was referring to tax and regulation policy, bought and paid for by the upper tier, where the middle class gets hit with the bulk of the taxes, small business is mired in suffocating rules and regulations, in order to lessen competition. In the meantime, the big corporations off shore the jobs and their profits, and what profit is earned inside the USA is either written off through the myriad of loop holes in the 70,000 page tax code, or taxed at 15%. Had the federal government negotiated fair trade agreements instead of free trade agreements, whereby the playing field was more even, and American jobs were more protected, there would have been no need for the counterfeiting.

Mr. Ed's picture

First two paragraphs:  well said!

Hannibal's picture

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (ALL CAPS).... is a corporation,...and so are you!

Leraconteur's picture

Back while doing market research for my position years ago, my instinct told me the figures for local incomes and home pricees could not be real.

I then crunched numbers locally and nationally - and this was pre-2009.

What I discovered was this:

If you remove the top 20% of earners you find that in the United States of America, most people earn about $22,000 to $26,000 per year.

This is comparable to pre-2009 Greece, or Portugal, Korea, Bahamas, Malta, Slovenia, Taiwan, Portugal, Trinidad and Tobago.

The USA has always been a country with lower middle class SES. Until 2009 it had an upper middle class income. Now it has a lower middle class income to match its social values. WWE. Tattoos. Miley Cyrus. It's only going to get worse. People who did not like being poor moved there to move up the ladder - but that's all they have now. The desire to not go back to that status back in the old country. Americans won't go well back into the poverty they moved away from.

It's the well off that make the USA appear to be well-to-do and gives America a 53k/year per capita income.

In reality it's more like 25k. Just get outside any of the major cities or coastal areas and what you see tells you this is true.

JRobby's picture

Good stuff.

Now look at the same numbers the same way in 1979, 1989 & 1999. Then compare those numbers each of these years to household debt.


Banksters win again


drendebe10's picture

Stand up and give thanks to the corrupt, arrogant narcissistic illegal alien liar in chief living its grand imperial golf life style for accelerating the demise of US citizen tax paying serfs and peasants meager living....

NEOSERF's picture

And $15,000 a year, $300/mo rent, no taxes, free food and health care look pretty DAMN good to someone in a mud hut in Haiti, Brazil, China etc..  make no mistake about it, our "success" since WWII and opening the doors (NAFTA), for jobs to leave and everyone else to come in is pulling the US back to 2nd world status.  If enough of those at $15K feel that living here is safer, healthier and provides income 10x back home, there will be no wealth inequality revolution.  What you WILL have is an underclass of broke, unemployed, angry 55-75 year old baby boomers who started the TeaParty but will realize its ineffectiveness in changing the status quo and will need to move to Greenpeace methods that get on the nightly news.

flyingcaveman's picture

Whats the tax rate there?  I think I might be better off there in a mud hut if the taxes arn't too high.

Otto Zitte's picture

Fuck Greenpeace. Star Chamber. Kill them all.

Duc888's picture



"Thank the private sector for sending work offshore and showing their contempt for US citizens with their use of guest workers, illegals, and contigent labor."


Fuck 'em  they want to ship jobs overseas, then slam a tariff of products they want to turn around and sell on these shores.  Every dollar collected on offshore tariffs should be a dollar less in income taxes paid by citizens here.


Problem solved.

Vendetta's picture

Since regulating trade is written in the US Constitution:

"To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;"

I guess Thomas Jefferson knew what he was writing about when he wrote:

""Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of  a day.  But a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly proves a deliberate systematic plan of reducing us to slavery." - Thomas Jefferson

Globalism is all that

sethstorm's picture

Then you'll get the inevitable invocation of the consumer argument, which is used to end the debate.


Duc888's picture


"The USA has the wealth, but it’s not being distributed in a fair-deal way."


I hate reading stupid shit like this.  Stop with the triple taxation and bullshit regs.....Let small businesses develop.

Vendetta's picture

THe regulations are to keep small businesses down while the mega corps lace all the regs with loopholes that they exploit.

Sabibaby's picture

and bankrupt companies fail.

no more banksters's picture

A more simple model in favor of the 1%

Maximum possible equality on the base - chaotic inequality in total and the extinction of middle class

elwind45's picture

Every wonder if you spent an extra ten minutes a day with your studies how much extra knowledge you would have obtained? The middle class is a control term? You can come in but you never leave or NOT BEING MIDDLE CLASS IS THE VERY LEAST OF OUR GOING CONCERNS? Musings about CHINA and its middle class will in the future be on EVERYBODIES minds once they become of age looking for work! CANADA and other middle classes are not as command and control based and add color to your meme and nothing beyond past comparisons?

newbie vampire's picture

How ridiculous is it when a communist country like China can encourage the emergence of a middle class ?

And compare that to the US where Wall Street "owns" the govt and encourage the outflow of jobs to China and elsewhere.

The American middle class is diminishing and soon to be an endangered species , betrayed by the elites in politics and Commerce especially Banksters.  Manufacturing jobs are unlikely to come back unless americans are willing to accept wages lower than China and elsewhere.

It is understandable to elect a politician into the nation's highest office, taking that person on his/her word that he/she might just make that difference and make the US prosperous again. 

But to re-elect a failure for a second term when he has proven incapabilities is nothing short of INSANITY.

Now we have a US filled with cannon fodder with little hope of improving their lives, just waiting to be fed into the war machine.


sethstorm's picture

Thank the private sector for sending work offshore and showing their contempt for US citizens with their use of guest workers, illegals, and contigent labor.  In addition, you can include those that circumvent existing laws to make things worse for workers.

Any entity that uses such, no matter how large or small, is complicit.


Savyindallas's picture

Thank the Government (and their shadow Government masters) for directing the 'private sector" to take such actions. In a true free enterprise sytem, private corporations, with reasonable contraints imposed by Government, would not be taking such actions detrimental to the nation.

Tall Tom's picture

Any parties whom use the goods and services of the aforementioned entitties are also complicit. Take a good look in the mirror.


"Your level of participation is up to you." ~ Tyler Durden,  'Fight Club'


It does not matter whether it is in complicity and compliance; or; in contempt and disobedience.


Actually with the shallowness expressed here it just really does not all.

dexter_morgan's picture

Fundamental change has been wrought.

Monty Burns's picture

The bedrock of American success and wealth was the White middle class. It's being destroyed and among the main reasons are:

1.  Affirmative action

 2. Dumbing down of everything to accommodate 'minorities'

 3. Mass Third World immigration

 4.  The demonization of the White male

5.  Globalization and 'free' trade

6. The foregoing enabling the elites to grab the nation's wealth

Radical Marijuana's picture

More than anything else, it was debt slavery, backed by wars based on deceits. The other trends listed were side-effects of being able to make and maintain a society in which there could continue to exist runaway debt slavery, backed by wars based on deceits. The same ruling classes that made and maintained that social pyramid system were behind the set of laws that caused all of the other things listed, which were aspects of divide and conquer, which includes privatize and globalize.

newbie vampire's picture

More than anything else, it was debt slavery, backed by wars based on deceits.


And now we're waiting for Spartacus.

sethstorm's picture

7. Contingent labor

8. Circumvention of existing laws to pass on risk (and not reward) to the people that do the work.

Metal Minded's picture

A World without Work: Nigel Cameron at TEDxLacador(18:00)

ebworthen's picture

Good stuff, thanks.

With all the money printing, bail outs, and self-checkout I wonder why anyone should work.

I Write Code's picture

I'm not John Galt, I just play him on TV.