Dying Middle Class: The Number Of Americans That Can't Afford Their Own Homes Has More Than Doubled

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Have you lost your spot in the middle class yet?  For years I have been documenting all of the numbers that show that the middle class in America has been steadily shrinking, and we just got another one.  According to a report that was produced by researchers at Harvard University, the number of Americans that spend more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing has more than doubled.  In 2001, nearly 16 million Americans couldn’t afford the homes that they were currently living in, but by 2015 that figure had jumped to 38 million.

When I write about “economic collapse”, I am writing about a process that has been unfolding for decades in this country.  Back in the early 1970s, well over 60 percent of all Americans were considered to be “middle class”, but now that number has fallen below 50 percent.  Never before in our history has the middle class been a minority of the population, but that is where we are at now, and the middle class continues to get even smaller with each passing day.

So these new numbers saddened me, but they didn’t exactly surprise me.  The following comes from NBC News

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.


Under federal guidelines, households that spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs are considered “cost burdened” and will have difficulty affording basic necessities like food, clothing, transportation and medical care.


But the number of Americans struggling with their housing costs has risen from almost 16 million in 2001 to 38 million in 2015, according to the Census data crunched in the report. That’s more than double.

Sometimes people try to convince me that the economy is doing “well”, but when I ask them how they are doing personally the news is almost always dreary.  I know so many people that are working for close to minimum wage that used to be solidly in the middle class.

One of the biggest reasons why the middle class is shrinking is because paychecks are staying about the same while the cost of living continues to rise steadily.  Of course one of the biggest factors in the rise of the cost of living is health insurance.

There are many people out there that have seen their health insurance premiums double since Obamacare went into effect.  And one health insurance company actually tried to do this to me and my family too, and so at that time I immediately switched carriers.

But even though virtually every single Republican in Congress campaigned on repealing Obamacare, it doesn’t look like it is going to happen.  In fact, on Sunday Senator John McCain told Face the Nation that the effort to repeal Obamacare is “probably going to be dead”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Sunday the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare is “probably going to be dead.”


“My view is that it’s probably going to be dead,” he said on CBS’s Face the Nation.


Support for the bill has been eroding over the July 4th recess, and McCain said he believes Republicans should work with Democrats to craft health care legislation.

As a voter, this greatly frustrates me.  The Republicans got a bill to repeal Obamacare through the House and through the Senate and on to Barack Obama’s desk in early 2016.  So why can’t they get that exact same bill to Donald Trump’s desk now?

We worked really hard to give the Republicans control of the White House, the Senate and the House, and now they are stabbing us in the back once again.

This is just one example of why I intend to be a “wrecking ball” if I get the chance to go to Washington.

We have got to lower health care costs on the middle class.  There is no other option.  Millions of families all over the country are being absolutely suffocated by rising health insurance premiums.  Sometimes I get so frustrated with these RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) that I want to scream.

So many families are living on the edge right now.  Various surveys have discovered that somewhere around two-thirds of the entire nation is living paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time, and one study found that 69 percent of all Americans do not have an adequate emergency fund.

But when you are living on the edge, there is always a danger that you could go over.

Every month, more Americans fall out of the middle class and into poverty.  Even during this so-called “economic recovery”, we are seeing alarming spikes in poverty all over the nation.  For example, the number of homeless people living on the street in New York City has increased by 39 percent over the past year…

Street homelessness in New York increased by 39 percent in 2017, according to the latest annual survey by the Department of Homeless Services.


There were 3,892 homeless and unsheltered people on the night of February 6, 2017, up from 2,794 people at the same time last year, said the report, which is conducted on one night of the year. This is the highest increase since 2005, when Michael Bloomberg was mayor.

And bankruptcies continue to rise as well.  Consumer bankruptcies were up once again last month, and commercial bankruptcies continue their very disturbing climb

Commercial Chapter 11 bankruptcies – an effort to restructure the business, rather than liquidating it – jumped 16% year-over-year in June to 581 filings across the US. Total commercial bankruptcies of all types, by large corporations to tiny sole proprietorships, rose 2% year-over-year to 3,385 filings, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. This was up 39% from June 2015 and up 18% from June 2014.

Since the end of the last recession, the middle class has continued to get smaller and smaller in this country, and now it appears that another economic downturn is upon us.

Are we just going to stand aside and do nothing as the middle class in America dies?

The Democrats don’t seem to care.

The Republicans don’t seem to care.

If we continue to do the same things that we have been doing, we are going to continue to get the same results.

In other words, unless we start doing things differently the middle class in America is going to continue to be systematically eviscerated.

Wake up America.  The middle class is dying and if we want to save it we have to take action now.


Bam_Man Mon, 07/10/2017 - 18:27 Permalink

If you think voting for the "blue team" or the "red team" is going to change any of this, you are a fool.This is EXPLOITATION CAPITALISM, aka "The Law of the Jungle".

Bigly TrustbutVerify Mon, 07/10/2017 - 18:49 Permalink

Meh. Mine has been paid off for 10 years.  Why sell unless I have something i am going to proactively?I am not renting next to some noisy crack whores. It is hard to control neighbors as turnover can change your apt in 6 months!Where i am now i cannot see into neighbor's houses. The noise is not an issue. I have my own water. I say one can have a higher quality of life if you can get a little land. An acre will do. For me it is an issue of control. I like to have as much control as possible. Apt living has none. You can break your lease and walk, but that is not optimal for me. That said, this is not for everyone. Many love to live in dense cities.In addition, who knows how much of an offset of $ devaluation a housing crash will actually be net.Find a place to LIVE and stop treating it as an 'investment' only. 

In reply to by TrustbutVerify

NaturalOnly Bigly Mon, 07/10/2017 - 21:40 Permalink

This is NO exaggeration. I lived in a nice apartment in Dallas. I had a meth smoker move upstairs. I figured it out when I was deathly ill and I had ear pain. A Google search revealed that meth smokers bleed from the ears. It damages their ears.I am avoiding ever living in an apartment again. I don't care if I have to work 7 days a week forever. You have to pay extra to get away from the creepy people.

In reply to by Bigly

rickv404 Mon, 07/10/2017 - 18:45 Permalink

"The Republicans got a bill to repeal Obamacare through the House and through the Senate and on to Barack Obama’s desk in early 2016.  So why can’t they get that exact same bill to Donald Trump’s desk now?"Because they were never serious about getting rid of Obamacare. On the contrary, they are all for it. Most Republicans are liberal and all are bought and paid for by special interests.

Bay Area Guy rickv404 Mon, 07/10/2017 - 21:18 Permalink

Exactly.  The politicians on both teams have a tremendous vested interested in keepig the status quo.  By making everyone fight with everyone else on virtually every topic under the sun, they can continue doing what they do best.....looting the government treasury and looting the pocketbooks of every single one of us.

In reply to by rickv404

cesarsp_us Mon, 07/10/2017 - 19:08 Permalink

America has peaked.All the things that matter to Americans are too expensive. healthcare too expensive. Houses too expensive.higher education too expensive. taxes too Damm high And no matter who wins the white house red or blue things will never change only get worse...

IntTheLight Mon, 07/10/2017 - 19:08 Permalink

Immigration. Immigration. Immigration.

Destroying wages. Destroying neighborhoods. Most immigrant babies born on Medicaid. ESL schools. MS 13.

The costs of immigration are borne by the middle class. H1Bs take jobs at half the salary and bring wives that produce anchor babies and generate welfare.

No American wants their kid in a school where 109 languages spoken. All the money goes to immigrant children in ESL schools. Even 10% requires reallocation of resources.

I could go on but I think you get the point.

America is full. No vacancies.

And social security goes into general operations and pays for welfare of immigrants.

waspwench IntTheLight Tue, 07/11/2017 - 03:27 Permalink

There should be absolutely no assistance of any kind for illegal immigrants.   They are breaking the law by being here and for the American taxpayer to have to subsidize them is an outrage.   Additionally, there should be no assistance for any immigrants until and unless they become US citizens.   This would mean that they would have to be able to be completely independent for the first five years that they were here.  I am an immigrant and I had to have a job to come to (which there were not enough Americans to do) and the employer provided medical insurance.   I do not consider this in any way unjust.   An immigrant should be a net asset and if they are not then they ought not to have been permitted to come into the country.

In reply to by IntTheLight

SteveK9 Mon, 07/10/2017 - 19:16 Permalink

'Repealing Obamcare' is useless unless there is something better to replace it.  Canada's national health system, covers everyone (including people there on a work permit, as I was).  There is no paperwork AT ALL, which which one has to deal.  Your insurance does not depend on employment AT ALL.  The measured results are better than the US and the per capita cost is 50%.  Yes, it costs half of what we spend to cover everyone, whether they have a job, however old they are etc.  Every developed country in the World has something similar, except one.

Centerist SteveK9 Mon, 07/10/2017 - 19:29 Permalink

If you repeal ObamaCare and just let people buy insurance across state lines with whatever coverage levels they want, that would solve the bulk of the issues.As for Canada's healthcare system, you guys pay a lot of taxes for the privilege of having a six-month wait for routine care, and many end up just traveling to private clinics or to the US to get taken care of, so they pay out of pocket for treatment, anyway.  Why waste money on a socialized system that will deliver such poor results that you'll end up paying for your own treatment in a private clinic, anyhow?

In reply to by SteveK9

Wide-Eyed and … Mon, 07/10/2017 - 19:17 Permalink

Do housing costs include property taxes?  He didn't mention those.  Our house has also been paid off for over 10 years, and we aren't going anywhere.  This is our home and our hedge against future calamity.  We have an orchard, large gardens, a pond, chickens, farm equipment and a large enough place that we could take in most of our family, if needed.  We built this ourselves, with our own blood, sweat and tears, with 25 years of grueling work.  And now our only fear is what property taxes will do to us in the future.  Heaven forbid you should live in a nice house and not want to pay your "fair share" for it.  I can afford my house just fine.  What I can't afford is the taxes an out of control government thinks I owe them for the privelage of living in the house I built.

Centerist Wide-Eyed and … Mon, 07/10/2017 - 19:33 Permalink

Property taxes are theft.  They effectively amount to property owners paying the government rent in order to keep their own property.  If you have to pay rent to keep a house that you've already paid for, then it seems that your private property rights are not being well respected.We are lucky to live where property taxes are low, so we don't pay much.  I hope that it stays that way.

In reply to by Wide-Eyed and …

YourAverageJoe Wide-Eyed and … Mon, 07/10/2017 - 19:52 Permalink

Burleson County, Texas just realized this year that my house that was built in 1994, has a septic system, so they increased my valuation $10k.My informal protest phone meeting I told the assessor that if my septic system, which was permitted by the county when house was built suddenly became an enhancement to the value, what about next year, when they decided that the nails also enhance the value???He didn't budge. Now I gotta make a 200 mile round trip to protest formally.

In reply to by Wide-Eyed and …

Wide-Eyed and … YourAverageJoe Mon, 07/10/2017 - 20:53 Permalink

We did two appeals of our assessment.  Both times we were assured that our taxes were indeed too high and would be lowered.  We left both meetings feeling vindicated, only to have a written notice arrive in the mail a few weeks later that informed us that our taxes would not be changed.  Both times they smiled at us and lied to our faces.  We represented ourselves.  I am not sure if having a lawyer with us would have helped or not.  But then you have to compare the cost of a lawyer as opposed to what possible savings he might get us with our taxes.  The whole thing is a freaking racket for all of them.We live in a small town in western Pa.  Last year I read in our local paper that our county had bad air and we were required to do something about it.  The county commissioners decided such work was above their pay grade, so they bounced it back to the state and told them to fix it for us.  I told my husband I fully expect a letter in the mail telling me that we will need to pay a Carbon fee for having a fireplace and a woodstove in our home.  It's only right that we pay our share for polluting the county's air.  They still haven't come up with a plan to fix it, so who knows.

In reply to by YourAverageJoe

Fartboxbuffet (not verified) Mon, 07/10/2017 - 19:41 Permalink

Didnt Thomas jefferson and andru jackson warn of this cancer of zionst money changers and what they would do welcome to the show

smallbedbug Mon, 07/10/2017 - 19:58 Permalink

no problem, as long as I have my FaceBook, Linkedin, SnapChat and Tinder accounts and living at my parents house. My job in Sillicon Valley, I am fine. My 401k is my retirement.

bunnyswanson redmudhooch Mon, 07/10/2017 - 20:32 Permalink

Everything is relative and relatively speaking, America is heaven.  You should know this.  Refugees are flooding shores of every other country besides ISRAEL, of all places.  Because of that, white discrimination is off the charts.  The fact 65 million voted for Trump should give us all hope.  Get the dead weight off the shoulders of tax payers.  The ESL workers in social service offices are Hispanic, and they are angry.  Country is being taken back at local level, just by showing up at city meetings. 

In reply to by redmudhooch

truthalwayswinsout Mon, 07/10/2017 - 20:18 Permalink

Small business formation is being severely crippled by our Left Wing Radical Half-Breed Muslim Nigger loving Hillary Clinton fans at GOOGLE.They have destroyed the ability of republican and conservative small business people to create a brand and a company. They insure that you never place in search results.Either we must stop using them so they go out of business or they must be broken up or sued for the search rigging that they do every day.

Deep Snorkeler Mon, 07/10/2017 - 20:38 Permalink

Silly American VoterOur American way of life is not sustainablebecause the ecological basis and economic structureupon which is depends are rapidly decomposing.

PitBullsRule Mon, 07/10/2017 - 21:04 Permalink

You will NEVER get health care until you make more doctors and nurses.  Health care, for the most part, is people doing things to other people.  You can't have too many people for health care, because a portion of the excess people could be providing the health care, if they were trained.  You don't have a health care problem, you have a training problem, you need to train more doctors and nurses.In the field of engineering we force people from all over the world into the colleges, and import them into the industry.  Because of that we have computers that talk to us and 3D printers and airplanes that you can ride like a motorcycle.  But doctors are still sticking thermometers up your ass and taking a guess.  Its a technology that hasn't kept up.

Crusader75 Mon, 07/10/2017 - 21:20 Permalink

Keep allowing the minority GOP to gerrymander its way into power, and keep it permanently, cutting taxes on the 0.1%, hell, why have capital gains taxes at all, Hong Kong doesn't, concentrating wealth further and further, that's the obvious strategy.