Goodbye Middle Class: 51% Of All American Workers Make Less Than $30,000 A Year

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

We just got more evidence that the middle class in America is dying.  According to brand new numbers that were just released by the Social Security Administration, 51 percent of all workers in the United States make less than $30,000 a year.  Let that number sink in for a moment.  You can’t support a middle class family in America today on just $2,500 a month – especially after taxes are taken out.  And yet more than half of all workers in this country make less than that each month.  In order to have a thriving middle class, you have got to have an economy that produces lots of middle class jobs, and that simply is not happening in America today.

You can find the report that the Social Security Administration just released right here.  The following are some of the numbers that really stood out for me…

  • -38 percent of all American workers made less than $20,000 last year.
  • -51 percent of all American workers made less than $30,000 last year.
  • -62 percent of all American workers made less than $40,000 last year.
  • -71 percent of all American workers made less than $50,000 last year.

That first number is truly staggering.  The federal poverty level for a family of five is $28,410, and yet almost 40 percent of all American workers do not even bring in $20,000 a year.

If you worked a full-time job at $10 an hour all year long with two weeks off, you would make approximately $20,000.  This should tell you something about the quality of the jobs that our economy is producing at this point.

And of course the numbers above are only for those that are actually working.  As I discussed just recently, there are 7.9 million working age Americans that are “officially unemployed” right now and another 94.7 million working age Americans that are considered to be “not in the labor force”.  When you add those two numbers together, you get a grand total of 102.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.

So many people that I know are barely scraping by right now.  Many families have to fight tooth and nail just to make it from month to month, and there are lots of Americans that find themselves sinking deeper and deeper into debt.

If you can believe it, about a quarter of the country actually has a negative net worth right now.

What that means is that if you have no debt and you also have ten dollars in your pocket that gives you a greater net worth than about 25 percent of the entire country.  The following comes from a recent piece by Simon Black

Credit Suisse estimates that 25% of Americans are in this situation of having a negative net-worth.


“If you’ve no debts and have $10 in your pocket you have more wealth than 25% of Americans. More than 25% of Americans have collectively that is.”


The thing is– not only did the government create the incentives, but they set the standard.


With a net worth of negative $60 trillion, US citizens are just following dutifully in the government’s footsteps.

As a nation we are flat broke and most of us are living paycheck to paycheck.  It has been estimated that it takes approximately $50,000 a year to support a middle class lifestyle for a family of four in the U.S. today, and so the fact that 71 percent of all workers make less than that amount shows how difficult it is for families that try to get by with just a single breadwinner.

Needless to say, a tremendous squeeze has been put on the middle class.  In many families, both the husband and the wife are working as hard as they can, but it is still not enough.  With each passing day, more Americans are losing their spots in the middle class and this has pushed government dependence to an all-time high.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans now live in a home that receives money from the government each month.

Sadly, the trends that are destroying the middle class in America just continue to accelerate.

With a huge assist from the Republican leadership in Congress, Barack Obama recently completed negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Also known as Obamatrade, this insidious new treaty is going to cover nations that collectively account for 40 percent of global GDP.  Just like NAFTA, this treaty will result in the loss of thousands of businesses and millions of good paying American jobs.  Let us hope and pray that Congress somehow votes it down.

Another thing that is working against the middle class is the fact that technology is increasingly taking over our jobs.  With each passing year, it becomes cheaper and more efficient to have computers, robots and machines do things that humans once did.

Eventually, there will be very few things that humans will be able to do more cheaply and more efficiently than computers, robots and machines.  How will most of us make a living when that happens?

The robopocalypse for workers may be inevitable. In this vision of the future, super-smart machines will best humans in pretty much every task. A few of us will own the machines, a few will work a bitwhile the rest will live off a government-provided income… the most common job in most U.S. states probably will no longer be truck driver.

For decades, we have been training our young people to have the goal of “getting a job” once they get out into the real world.  But in America today there are not nearly enough good jobs to go around, and this crisis is only going to accelerate as we move into the future.

I do not believe that it is wise to pin your future on a corporation that could replace you with a foreign worker or a machine the moment that it becomes expedient to do so.  We need to start thinking differently, because the paradigms that worked in the past are fundamentally breaking down.

So what advice would you give to a young adult today that is looking toward the future?

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DJ Happy Ending's picture

All aboard the gravy train.

Most Americans would give up their birthright for a free bowl of soup.

wee-weed up's picture

Obozo's trickle-up poverty

Ignatius's picture

Look, Obozo is a cunt and a half, but you can't hang this one on him.  He's a tool not a craftsman.

drendebe10's picture

The Communist Executive Officer sets the tone and this is on the lying, traitorous fudgepacker's watch so fof course it's on the illegal indonesian kenyan muslim thing....  the thing needs its skin sandpapered off, buried in salt and then tossed out in the middle of an Iranian desert with a can of Pennzoil....

mkkby's picture

The kenyan nigger is the one making secret trade agreements, so YES, the blame goes on him.

It looks like many more people need to be quitting their meager jobs and making more on welfare. 

Personally, I recently went gault and gave up a high paying job:

I refuse to be a part of the never ending fraud that forces me at gunpoint to pay for every nigger's food, housing, phone and now health care. 

I refuse to bow down to employers who demand more and more of my free time.

Most of all, I refuse to sit in insane urban traffic because the fed's phoney money has made it impossible to own a home within 40 miles of a so-called high paying job.

I am more equal than others's picture


When this thing finally falls apart, it will be the combination of declined incomes and morality that will expose how rotten it has gotten.  Walk Dead will be lived out in the streets.  Zombies are those who have nothing of value (money and morals).  I want to be Rick but probably overwhelmed and killed by a hoard of zombies.

James_Cole's picture

It has been estimated that it takes approximately $50,000 a year to support a middle class lifestyle for a family of four in the U.S. today

50k? Where? For decent school zone area (i.e. a place that doesn't think 'creationism' is a legit subject and evolution is not) that's gotta be more like $300k+

Even for a single person 50k would be very lean.

Trick Shroadé's picture
Trick Shroadé (not verified) mkkby Oct 21, 2015 4:33 PM

You sound like a model employee.

Never One Roach's picture

America's collapse = O'Bama's Legacy.


" Yes we can! "

Babaloo's picture

It's Galt.  But I wouldn't have expected you to be able to spell it correctly.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Nice work mkkby;

I'm seriously thinking about building my own fucking houseboat, and living on it down south. No property taxes, no school tax, just a few hundred square feet of deck, hammock, composting toilet and a solar panel or three.

Few acres on some tribuntary where I can tie up once in a while and fuck this working like a nigger for the niggers.

mkkby's picture

Good idea.  I'm hearing a lot about people doing that with used/cheap RVs.  If it's on wheels, then it's not considered a structure for property tax purposes.

Peak Bull's picture

Obama will still find you. He is in the process of claiming all streams and rivers in the US; your boat will soon be on his land.

GotGalt's picture

I also went Galt about 2.5 years ago, giving up a six figure job with full bennies in my 40s.  I just got so fed up with the system, said screw it.  Always was a frugal person and saved large amounts of yearly salary to invest.  Now I'm just focused on living the life I want to live instead of bowing down to the man umpteen times per day and dealing with 3 hr round trip work commutes.  All that stress and hassle of being a productive citizen only to see the worthless government do reach arounds and take 30%+ of what I earn.  Nope, not anymore.  While I have not transitioned to being a leech (drawing any government subsidies), I am very focused on doing my part to starve the machine and pay as little taxes moving forward as humanly possible. 

James_Cole's picture

In your 40s? I bet it took your employer at least a dozen seconds to find your replacement.

I'm sure good for you and all that but it's not really 'going galt' unless you are irreplaceable.

Johnny Caine's picture

Only blacks are on welfare, except for all the white trash in my town. The blacks are the ones fucking you bro, not the banks and the gov. It's all the Blacks and Mexicans. Only people with color in there skin do evil shit and are lazy bums. You're really smart kid. Go read some more Spider-Man comics and leave reality to the adults. Pretty sad how many thumbs up losers voted for this retarded comment.

mkkby's picture

Keep being a SJW and parroting what they tell you on TV.  No matter how much you suck up, they hate your guts and will cap your ass when ever they get the chance.

Ah fuck it.  There's no fixing stupid.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Hey dawg go look at the black on white rape, murder rates and compare to the white on black rape, murder rates.

Your type makes me lol.

jenniewadeguy's picture

And, don't forget that owning a home within 40 miles of a high-paying job could very well place you amongst violent looting shooting predators--the very same niggers for whom you are paying for food, housing, smart phones and now health care. 

Seer's picture

Fucking Party Pussy.  Non-stop.  You hang around here to toss out that tired shit time and time again.

What of the world, of the world BEFORE Obama?  You know, the one in which the vast majority of humans on the planet make the equivalent of a cup of Starbucks?

Plain and simple: You FAIL.

I detest the chief-in-chair-sitter, but I don't feel the need to make it my hobby to blast that person (who is but a puppet).

Either you're an igornorant fuck or you're a party pussy.

Hitlery_4_Dictator's picture

LOL. I hate both parties. We know who run things and it's not presidents. Hard to not dis-obama though, he's pretty damn bad. Can't blast him enoug IMO. I'll blast the next one too, don't fret.

11b40's picture

Seer wasn't talking to you.

Jstanley011's picture

If he/she hit "Reply" on the post of whoever it was, it would be easier to tell.

Hopeless for Change's picture

he/she did, hence the indentation of his comment box.

11b40's picture

Bring back Captcha, and save us from the masses, please. I understand the need for ad revenues and know it's now all about eyeballs, but is sure was nice when you had to have at least basic math skills to post.

Even the Hedge has been corporatized.

August's picture

No longer merely inevitable, Global Economic Apocalypse is starting to look more and more attractive.

Vlad the Inhaler's picture

Obama only does what the Job Creators tell him to do.  

Duc888's picture




That's fine by me.


I'm lowering my tax liability and increasing my fun.


Starve the assholes.

thepigman's picture

LOL.......BUY STAWKS!!!!!!

mkkby's picture

Sorry duc, FAIL.  The people cannot starve a system based on printed phoney money.  The fed is already printing 1/3 or more of what the gov spends.  Illegals and H1Bs will take over any vacant job, as they have now for decades.

Eventually after most of europe and japan "go greece" the US will have it's reset.  Just enjoy life the best you can until then.  They can kick the can for a long, long time.

Teh Finn's picture
Teh Finn (not verified) Oct 21, 2015 3:54 PM

Holy crap I'm accelerating towards the 1%!  Thanks Obama!

Shizzmoney's picture


71 percent of all American workers made less than $50,000 last year.


This is where the line really is drawn: it's not so much the 99% vs the 1% as it is the 71% vs the 29%.  That because 28% of those in the 29% rely so much on the 1% to live their materialistic, narcassitic lifestyles that they will do anything to protect their nests.  Including throwing the majority of the country under the bus...which these stats show they have actually already have done that. 


France has a 99 v 1 situation, and the guillotines came out.  Quickly.  This is starting to fervent in countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Syria....places where empire is highly involved.  The shit is going to get worse before it gets better...because those "in power" have no interest in changing anything.

Ignatius's picture

The design of this 'miracle' is the 1% of the 1%, let's not obfuscate.

Sudden Debt's picture

I just came from a seminar for HR in the future for gen Z and how their future will be when they join the workforce as thenfirst are turning 18 this year.

Gen Z will have a very hard time and how they saw it was all about the KRAFT

kraftwork... and it's what people want, the "local" stuff and not the multinational products, one size fits all products.

So 50% will become independent according to that think tank. Not to become rich but because their believe in bulking. Work 20 hours a day followed by debulking by taking 2 days off.

So in a way...

It's a answer to robotisation...

But if you look to it from a distance... it looks more to me like a underground local economy where they'll try to survive and where globalization won't be in their vocabular because that will be the products they can't afford.

And if you visit azia, south america et all, they predict we'll get what they have. Small stands selling and repairing everything so maybe they'll be able to buy food and a tin roof.

We're walking into a nightmare and it's not in the far far future.

It's really close.

50% will be able to adjust, and 50% won't. What will happen to those Z's who can't adopt, they didn't say or even mention. So they'll fall off the graphs I guess.

Seer's picture

There's an historical norm.  The oil-era is a substantial deviation from the norm.  It's pretty much a given what direction things are to head.  We won't be able to maintain the necessary infrastructure that supports the global economy: it's given it, the global economy, the ability to scale up to such a gerat size- economies of scale in reverse, going down, down, down...

Sudden Debt's picture

It's bett not to think this one through, we're nearing it at lightning speed and we can't stop it.

We can only pray it doesn't happen to fast and that we're not confronted with it and our kids can adopt to it.

But never the less the transition itself will be painfull to say the least.


Jstanley011's picture

Fall off the graphs, but only after they burn the cities.

Omen IV's picture

Look to sell anything you need buyers with free cash flow - it is not going to be there for artisan products - $20,000 = $10.00 per hour - wages need to be $2.00 per hour to overcome far east -  China / Vietnam  - plus shipping cost - people in rural areas where the land and buildings can be low cost and if they dont use air conditioning very much or drive much  then $3-5,000 is all there will be at the low endfor cash flow

for those up the food chain - management positions will be part time - pay will be $20-60,000 -  government at local and state level will declare Bankruptcy under the new muni laws enacted after the election - massive force reduction especially in education -  no pensions anywhere post BK.

The kids dont have a chance which is why they are stopping incarceration as the solution - the jail population will be the only steady meal and housing these people will see

Murder by Neglect is what will be the norm - citizens are reverted to labor status with marginal utility declared early in life - and then off the air quickly


massive real estate debacle - cash flow to pay rents ? - check what is happening in Athens - landlords cant pay the Real estate taxes since their tenants cant pay them but the property taxes are collected with electric bills - no pay tax  - no get electricity


there was good reason for Jade Helm!

Sudden Debt's picture

Half the country has a bachelor, management jobs are pretty standard down the line you know, and management of who?

Engineering and electricians will have a shot in repairing that crap. 

We'll maybe have another bubble in the robot industry... maybe... as the retail might be to broke to buy stocks.

And don't count on those hourly wages at all, they'll work below the transportation costs of the azian countries, those will go up a bit because mass transport will dy off but then again self driving trucks will spoil that to.

Fron any angle you look at it, it's bad.

I just pray I can leave my kids a chance and enough for them to get a good life.


bullybear's picture

If robots become advanced enough to be a widespread replacement to human labor, who/what do you really think will build the robots? Ummm... robots.

SDShack's picture

Real estate is the last bastion of wealth in this country, so the elites are engineering its transfer from the middle and upper middle class to the elites. This is all by design so they can consolidate their New Feudal World Order.

It started after the Dot Com Bust with the Housing Bubble. That was for Owner Occupied McMansions. The popping of that Real Estate bubble has shaken out the Owner Occupied class in favor of the Renter Class. The current Rental Owners are going to be shaken out in the next Real Estate Bust, and the Oligarchs will pick that up. Think REIT's run by JPMorgan, etc. Just like Family Farms have been replaced with Corporate Farms. The same will be done with the current Renter Class or Renters and Rental Owners. Consolidation into giant REIT like entities the will control massive amounts of human renters. All this influence will allow for equally massive govt. subsidies as the inevitable slow collapses continue. EBT for Renters, ala Rental Assistance... all govt subsidized to keep the sheeple voting for more govt while also keeping them controlled.

The last piece is the Security State. The only middle class will be those that are part of the Security State because they will be necessary to the Elites to keep all this from blowing up in their faces. This will probably be about the 25% like you say, maybe 20%, but not much less since this puts the whole order at risk. So expect 70-75% in poverty and totally dependent upon the upper classes, with about 50% as useful Debt Slaves (serfs) earning just enough to eek out a meager existence while providing the horn of plenty for the upper classes. The final 25% will be cannon fodder in future wars, or relegated to inner city slums like Detroit. These slums will be so bad, that not even the Security State will bother trying to control them. There it will be survival of the fittest, and gangs will essentially rule, probably along ethnic and/or religions lines.

Bottome line = Rulers on top, paying Elites to do their bidding and control the serfs. Debt slaves to provide the labor necessary for the upper classes, and Barbarians that live outside the order in their own do or die world. Welcome to the New Feudal World Order, same as it ever was.

yrad's picture

I like the comment but we all saw the Hunger Games...

MisterMousePotato's picture

And the other 29% are employed by .gov.

SDShack's picture

Yep, they are vital to the Security State to keep the whole thing from blowing apart.

Mine Is Bigger's picture

The situation will only get worse with the implementation of TPP.

silverer's picture

TPP = Thoroughly Plundered Population.