5 Trends That Are Destroying The Middle Class In America

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

The middle class in America has been shrinking for decades, and our leaders seem powerless to do anything about it. Two years ago, the middle class became a minority in this country for the first time ever. In other words, the middle class now accounts for less than 50 percent of the population. But back in the early 1970s, the middle class made up more than 60 percent of the population. I have often compared being in the middle class to playing a really bizarre game of musical chairs. When the music stops playing each month, more chairs are being pulled out of the middle class, and most of us are just hoping that we will still have a chair for the next go around.

 

Earlier today, I came across a USA Today article that discussed some of the factors that are slowly but surely eviscerating the middle class. I am going to share four of those factors with you, and at the end I am going to add one extra one. First of all, the article pointed to a decline in manufacturing and the rise of “service jobs” as one of the key trends that is changing the nature of work in America…

‘Once dominant industries, like manufacturing — which paid well even without a college degree — have been overtaken by service sector jobs, most of which are low-paying, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.’

In the old days, even if you didn’t have any higher education you could support a middle class family by working in manufacturing. We were the greatest manufacturing society that the world had ever seen, and Detroit had the highest per capita income in the entire country. But after decades of sending manufacturing jobs overseas, manufacturing’s share of the U.S. economy is at an all-time low and formerly great manufacturing cities such as Detroit have become rotting, decaying hellholes.

Secondly, the USA Today article pointed to the rising cost of a college education…

‘The cost of getting a college degree is up more than 1,000% since 1978, according to Bloomberg.’

This is a particular pet peeve of mine, because I am still paying off my old law school loans. We encourage our students to get as much education as possible and to not worry about all the debt, but then millions of them find themselves financially crippled and without good jobs once they graduate. This makes it extremely difficult for a lot of our young people to enter the middle class.

Thirdly, the USA Today article brought up stagnant wages and the rising cost of living…

‘Decades of stagnant wages mean both parents must often work to make ends meet, creating a need for child care and elder care that didn’t exist in 1950, for example, when two-thirds of women were full-time “homemakers” aka caregivers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.’

Once upon a time, a single income could easily provide for a large middle class family in America. But today so many families have both parents working, and yet many of them still find it very difficult to pay the bills each month. In fact, surveys have found that somewhere around two-thirds of the entire country is living paycheck to paycheck.

Fourthly, the USA Today article mentioned “the gig economy” as a major issue…

‘The gig economy (Uber, Airbnb) has exploded, giving workers more control and flexibility, but fewer benefits or legal protections.’

Independent work and contract work have become major societal trends, and this isn’t going away any time soon. These types of jobs do not typically come with health insurance, retirement benefits, etc. and so this is something that our nation is going to have to wrestle with.

Fifthly, I would like to throw in the decline of small business and entrepreneurship in America. Working for yourself or starting a business have always been ways to lift yourself up into the middle class in this country, but today it is harder than ever to become independent. The government is absolutely killing small businesses and entrepreneurs with rules, regulations, red tape and high taxes, and little relief appears to be coming our way any time soon.

At this point, the percentage of Americans that are self-employed is hovering near the all-time record low, and if we hope to have a thriving middle class ever again we need to get this fixed.

We also need to train our young people for the jobs of the 21st century. At one time we had one of the best education systems on the entire planet, but today our system of public education has become a global joke.

And I am not exaggerating one bit when I say that.

To give you an idea of how badly the quality of our workforce has declined, I want to share with you something that the owner of a small manufacturing company posted in an Internet discussion forum

I own a small manufacturing company. Most of the assembly work is done at a bench, with hand tools. The work is not difficult, but quality and consistency is paramount.

We are entering into our busiest time of year, and steady growth combined with losing one of our senior bench techs has caused me to run some ads (after spreading the word around to friends and associates).

I have been involved in the manufacturing business for about 30 years, and have seen thousands of resumes.

The last couple weeks I have been reviewing a couple dozen resumes a day. What I am seeing now, is stunning and disappointing. When did people stop learning how to compose a sentence? When did they decide that a resume composed of two sentences is somehow complete? The poor level of spelling, grammar, and frankly effort has me perplexed and perpetually face-palming.

So far, I have two resumes that were not immediately round-filed. Just two.

If this is the current state of our potential work force, we are in trouble.

That really resonated with me, because I have heard pretty much the same thing from so many business owners over the years.

Decades of following the “progressive agenda”, and I am talking about both Democrats and Republicans, has been absolutely disastrous for our society.

We desperately need a complete and total cultural revolution, and that means returning to the values and the principles that this nation was founded upon.

If we continue on the same path that we are currently on, the middle class will continue to deteriorate, and our nation as a whole will continue to decline.

We can do better, and we must do better.

 
  • Better, You could move to Asia, like how your great grandfather’s moved from Europe to America. Change is the reality of this 3D on earth. Things have to go up and down and change.

    America is 1000% never coming back to its past glory. Guaranteed. Rome never became great again so did Greece…Everyone is given one chance only on earth.

    Make a move to Asia and give your children a life Not China but South East Asia which will play a key role in coming times.

    • Safee Ilmudeen

      So what countries in Asia do you reccomend going besides china any ideas or suggestions

      • Dan Wingert

        I have been to India and the people treated me very well.

  • greedestroysociety

    Part of the reason college is so expensive is because the administrators at some schools get hundreds of thousands per year and a book that would normally cost 20 in the real world costs 120 if it’s a school textbook. They have a captive audience and take advantage of it by extracting every penny they can from students.

    • Jim Davis

      College texts are a racket. Yes, indeed!

      • islam = terror

        Mine have enough lies to make me throw up.
        trying to tell me gmos are okay is just one thing

  • DJohn1

    There used to be an alternative to a college education. Not everyone is suited for college. One alternative was apprenticeships that start you at 55% of scale and move up as you learn your trade. At the end of an apprenticeship one is making 95% of what a journeyman makes. And you do not owe a fortune to a college.
    The college scene does not guarantee anyone a good living.
    Especially in the liberal arts fields.
    If the field ends in “ology” chances are it will not pay off in the long run.
    There is a glass ceiling in a lot of fields that without the college degree you may not be promoted into management. But management typically fires people after the age of 50 if they haven’t reached the top.
    Apprenticeships was the old way for a person to make a decent living. We need to get back to it. Skilled labor should count.
    Companies and corporations generally do not give a care for their workers and the feeling is often mutual. The workers do not care beyond the next paycheck for the businesses they work for and with good reason.
    The movement towards college started in 1945 when after the war the military gave its battlefield commanders a choice. Get a degree or go back to being a non-commissioned officer(like a sergeant).
    One officer went to his local college and got a degree in making clay pots.
    It was a degree in ceramics. In the early 60s, his name came up as an expert in ceramics. They put him in charge of the transistor program. He ended up a general simply because he got a degree in making pots!
    Just because a person goes through college is no guarantee they will make a good manager. Yet companies make it a condition of being a manager in a firm which is silly. Someone with years in the business they are working in is often passed over for someone with a totally unrelated degree from a college.
    When I was in the work force I had 35 years experience as a journeyman tradesman. I knew the technical side of my trade better than most. Yet they put a college educated grocery manager over the top of me. My degree was the apprenticeship I served.
    That person was intelligent. But that person was totally ignorant of the everyday workings of our business. That person was dependent on me to keep things running.
    That is not unusual.

    • islam = terror

      All the diversity crap taught in college and revisionist history makes me sick.

    • MrKelly

      Just move to an Agrarian life and starve the Beast. Feed yourself.

  • JOSEPH ANGEL

    In American society, a strata of “experts” came to be regarded as philosopher-kings who thought that they knew what was best for us unwashed plebeians. Granted, they had high intelligence, but many lacked character/integrity and sought to shape our society to their advantage. Nothing wrong with seeking higher education, but character comes first. Since my birth, (((they))) have essentially monetized our society and economy and seem to hold nothing in esteem beyond money and personal power/privilege. There is nothing wrong with money or goodies, but if that is the end all, be all, then yes, there is no hope for our country to regain its legacy. I was always most fascinated by the concept of the social compact which is a secular extension of the Golden Rule. If we could regain those concepts, we could put ourselves back on the right track again.

  • islam = terror

    The poor level of spelling, grammar, and frankly effort has me perplexed and perpetually face-palming.

    That boss is perplexed? He isn’t smart enough to know that many people applying crossed the border illegally and English is their second language?

  • HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US

    Just buy some bitcoin and be done with it

    • zootopia carrot farmer

      What if bitcoin goes down in value?

      • HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US

        2000 will be the bottom

  • Helix6

    Prosperity -> Laxity -> Cynicism -> Decline -> Chaos -> Invasion -> Occupation -> Determination -> Rebellion -> Diligence -> Prosperity. (China)

    or

    Prosperity -> Laxity -> Cynicism -> Decline -> Chaos -> Invasion -> Occupation ->
    Dissolution. (Rome)

    Things will get worse before they get better. Much worse.

  • Dan Laurita

    I served 24 years in the US Air Force. I “retired” 15 years ago but we, like too many more grandparents had to raise our grandson. He graduates next year and I have been grooming him to move out. He says we are being “unfair”. I asked him why, when he will be out of school and legally a man we were being “unfair”? He responded that we should support him until he has a “good job and is making really good money”! I told him in the real world just about everyone starts at the bottom and works their way up but he insist this is “unfair”! When I and most of my friends were 17 or so we couldn’t wait to get out from underneath our parents. What happened? BTW I kicked my youngest out after he had served a 4 year term in the Army and had 2 tours of Iraq under his belt. He assumed he could come home and live off us. Nope!!! He thanked me a few years back because I kicked him out. It gave him the motivation to better himself and now he makes well in excess of 6 figures. Parents have to be parents and not their buddies. This is part of the problem with America. We don’t need to move….we need to address our value system.

  • 1 Horrendous Trend that’s Helping to Destroy All of America: Christians and Patriots Promoting the Genesis of America’s National Woes.

    America was once great but not for the reason most people believe it was. In fact, quite the opposite – a classic case of Isaiah 5:20, calling evil good and good evil.

    Yahweh, God of the Bible, blesses nations (makes them great and prosperous) when they look to Him as their sovereign and thus His moral law as the standard for government and society, per Deuteronomy 4:4-8, 28:1-14, etc. Consequently,
    America’s greatness was the result of the 17th-century Christian Colonial governments of, by, and for God established upon His unchanging moral law:

    Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835: ‘They [the 17th-century Colonials] exercised the rights of sovereignty; they
    named their magistrates, concluded peace or declared war, made police
    regulations, and enacted laws as if their allegiance was due only to God.
    Nothing can be more curious and, at the same time more instructive, than the
    legislation of that period; it is there that the solution of the great social
    problem which the United States now presents to the world is to be found [in
    perfect fulfillment of Deuteronomy 4:5-8, demonstrating the continuing veracity
    of Yahweh’s law and its accompanying blessings, per Deuteronomy 28:1-14].

    “Amongst these documents we shall notice, as especially characteristic, the
    code of laws promulgated by the little State of Connecticut in 1650. The
    legislators of

    Connecticut begin with the penal laws, and … they borrow their provisions from
    the text of Holy Writ … copied verbatim from the books of Exodus, Leviticus,
    and

    Deuteronomy.…” (Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 2 vols. (New York: NY: The Colonial Press, 1899) vol. 1, pp. 36-37)

    On the other hand, Yahweh curses nations who reject His sovereignty and replace His law with their own man-made surrogates. Thus, America began to be cursed (by God’s long suffering only incrementally at first) when the 18th-century founders replaced the 17th-century Colonial governments with their own humanistic government of, by, and for the people based upon capricious Enlightenment traditions. Without repentance for these sins of sedition our complicity therein, it was inevitable that America would find herself teetering on the precipice of moral depravity and destruction.

    For more regarding these two polar opposite forms of government, see online Chapter 3 “The Preamble: WE THE PEOPLE vs. YAHWEH” of “Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective” at http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/BlvcOnline/biblelaw-constitutionalism-pt3.html.

    Then find out how much you really know about the Constitution as
    compared to the Bible. Take our 10-question Constitution Survey at http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/ConstitutionSurvey.html
    and receive a complimentary copy of a book that examines the Constitution by
    the Bible.

    • Gay Veteran

      bilge

  • Gay Veteran

    “The middle class in America has been shrinking for decades, and our leaders seem powerless to do anything about it….”

    they’ve been helping the decline

  • Zlatko Milanovic

    Five trends that are destroying the middle class in America:
    1. They vote Republican
    2. They vote Republican again.
    3. They continue to vote Republican, and blame Democrats for their problems.
    4. They get brainwashed watching Fox Fake News, and vote Republican.
    5. They get angry because their job got shipped overseas by Republicans, then they go vote for more Republicans.
    Stupid is as stupid does….