America’s Middle Class Crisis: The Sobering Facts

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.
Consider:

• 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• Middle-income jobs have been replaced by low-income jobs, which now make up 41% of total employment.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.

This entry was posted in 2012 Election, Middle Class, News, U.S. Economy, Warrior Obama and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to America’s Middle Class Crisis: The Sobering Facts

  1. You finally figured it out? Time to go talk to your Republican friends about it. They’re the problem.

  2. Robyn says:

    It took them this long to figure out what’s been happening for years? At this rate we’ll all be dead before it’s fixed.

  3. Stephen Iversonn says:

    It’s the economy, stupid. Repeat.
    It’s the economy, stupid. Repeat.
    It’s the economy, stupid.

    Killing Osama was a great, feel-good moment and long overdue but, the American people are hurting and they can’t pay their mortgage, credit card bills and student loans with pieces of Osama’s blood-stained turban.

    Elections are won and lost on the economy. Call it what you want: bread and butter issues, or, mom issues, it doesn’t matter. What matters is, last week, the release of the latest jobs report showed the number of newly unemployed had jumped to 474,000.

    Obama is fundamentally clueless on jobs and he seems to not care. If I hear him yap about “green energy will create jobs” one more time I will slit my wrists. The key to turning around the economy is manufacturing.

  4. Herminio Sanchez says:

    Lou Dobbs used to talk about the war against the middle class in America. The liberal left embraced him as a kind of working class hero. But the moment he started to talk about immigration and how the influx of undocumented Mexicans were effecting the weakening job market, the left turned on him and Dobbs became a monster. But you know what? Lou Dobbs was 100% right. The cards are stacked against middle class Americans and President Obama is hastening the destruction of the middle class by approving tax cuts for the super rich while kicking everyone else to the curb.

  5. Mets Fan says:

    I’ll go on record here. If unemployment isn’t under 8% by the 2012 election, I don’t think Obama will be reelected president.

    Unemployment needs to be at or around 7% for him to win another term. Too many people voted for him expecting a more dramatic response to jobs. He hasn’t delivered the goods.

  6. This is coming from a conservative: Obama, if you talk about “green jobs yada yada” “renewable energy creates jobs yada yada” “we need everyone to go to college and become doctors and scientists yada yada” I don’t know what to do. Obama, flipping you off would be very enjoyable.

  7. Adirondacky says:

    From my humble perch, after watching Obama as president for 2 1/2 years, it seems he is very concerned about helping the wealthy keep even more of the money thanks to new tax cuts for the rich, reducing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 26% and dancing as fast as he can for Wall Street. When it comes to the middle class — or what’s left of us, he can’t be bothered. He’s an elitist pretending to be a populist.

  8. Stephen Iversonn,

    It is the economy and it is always the economy.

    I give the warm fuzzies from killing Osama bin Laden 3 months to fade away. Then Americans will be back to asking, “where are the jobs Mr. Obama and why am I paying $4 a gallon for gas.”

  9. Jolly Roger says:

    The simple fact of the matter is that we’ve created our own nomenklatura, with no ties to the real world, and no concerns about it. This structure has come to largely resemble the Soviet structure of the Brezhnev era. It was during the Brezhnev era that a huge pool of people with no real prospects and no stake in the preservation of the society were also created.

    People laugh at me when I assure them we’re only a few years from collapse. Let’s see how many of them are still laughing a few years from now.

  10. libhomo says:

    The middle class is being looted out of its existence by wealthy and corpoorate elites, with the help of bought politicians like Boner and Barack Bush.

  11. feminazi says:

    My daughters are struggling. They work like dogs. Their husbands work like dogs and they can’t get ahead. One of my kids suffers from depression. She keeps saying how she doesn’t understand what she’s doing wrong in this economy or how she could do things differently. The gas prices are really taking a toll because she travels for work but her company hasn’t increased its mileage reimbursement. Obama has forgotten about the middle class but he will pay for it on election day.

  12. Matteo says:

    Compensation received by chief executives of the biggest US companies surged 11% over the past 12 months to $9.3 million on average, The Wall Street Journal reports.

    Citing a study conducted for the newspaper by management consultancy Hay Group, The Journal said the increase was largely due to decisions by company boards to reward CEOs for strong profit and share-price growth with bigger bonuses and stock grants.

    The survey covered the 350 biggest companies that filed their statement between May 1, 2010, and April 30, 2011.

    While the middle class gently weeps.

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