Sunday, May 8, 2011
While Warrior Obama is riding high after sending the order to the U.S. Navy Seal team to kill Osama bin Laden, the president is tone deaf when it comes the dramatic economic crisis hitting America’s middle class.
The Daily Ticker’s Aaron Task discusses how two recessions, a couple of market crashes, and stubbornly high unemployment are all wreaking havoc on America’s middle class. Sherle Schwenninger, director of economic growth and American strategy programs at the New America Foundation points out some stunning facts that highlight the struggles the average American is having getting a decent-paying job and keeping up with rising cost of living.
• There are 8.5 million people receiving unemployment insurance and over 40 million receiving food stamps.
• At the current pace of job creation, the economy won’t return to full employment until 2018.
• Middle-income jobs are disappearing from the economy. The share of middle-income jobs in the United States has fallen from 52% in 1980 to 42% in 2010.
• Middle-income jobs have been replaced by low-income jobs, which now make up 41% of total employment.
• 17 million Americans with college degrees are doing jobs that require less than the skill levels associated with a bachelor’s degree.
• Over the past year, nominal wages grew only 1.7% while all consumer prices, including food and energy, increased by 2.7%.
• Wages and salaries have fallen from 60% of personal income in 1980 to 51% in 2010. Government transfers have risen from 11.7% of personal income in 1980 to 18.4% in 2010, a post-war high.
The bottom line is simple says Schwenninger: The middle class is shrinking, which threatens the social composition and stability of the world’s biggest economy.
“I worry that we’re becoming a barbell society, a lot of money wealth and power at the top, increasing hollowness at the center, which I think provides the stability and the heart and soul of the society and then too many people in fear of falling down.”
Warrior Obama may be able to coast to reelection as the “president who killed Osama bin Laden,” but there’s an argument to be made that the crisis in America’s middle class represents a far greater threat to the stability of the United States than Osama bin Laden.