The War on America’s Middle Class

The War on America’s Middle Class
by
David Schlecht

There is an interesting article circulating the Web showing numerous indicators of how America’s middle class is being destroyed. Here are just a few examples:

  • 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
  • 61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
  • Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
  • Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
  • In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
  • As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.
  • The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
  • Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.
  • In the United States, the average federal worker now earns 60% MORE than the average worker in the private sector.
  • The top 1 percent of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America’s corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.
  • In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.

What policies have caused this mess? One party is hell bent on reducing government (in other words, removing regulations on greedy business). One party wants more tax breaks for the rich. One party is screaming to reduce and remove tax dollars spent on the middle and lower class while voting for more subsidies for the international corporations. Both parties are afraid to protect American industries.

I know, I know, it’s not a party issue, it’s a policy issue. But who is voting for America and who is voting against America and for the multi-national corporations?