Future of the Middle Class

April 8, 2016

CQ Press

Peter Katel

The percentage of middle-income U.S. households has declined significantly in recent years, leading some economists, policy experts and politicians to argue that the American middle class is in deep trouble — or even disappearing. Globalization, automation and declining union membership have shrunk the manufacturing workforce — historically a bulwark of the middle class — and an increasing share of the nation’s wealth has accrued to the richest Americans. Many experts say achieving middle-class status today is unlikely without a college education and entry into the white-collar work world — a stark turnaround from the booming post-World War II years, when a stable blue-collar job anchored millions of families in a middle-class lifestyle. Still, some experts call fears of a middle-class decline overblown, saying poor Americans who face far tougher conditions are being overlooked. Presidential candidates in both parties are responding to middle-class discontent, with Democrats promising to cut college costs and Republicans proposing changes in the tax code.

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Research and Analysis · Stopping the Attack on New York's Middle Class

Countdown: New York’s Vanishing Middle Class


Katherine Bridges

New York’s middle class, particularly among Gen X,  is struggling to afford food and a roof over their heads as retirement is becoming an illusion for them.  This telephone survey of  New Yorkers age 35 to 70, found food costs are having a serious impact on the financial condition...

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