Families in America today are either poor or rich
The Middle Class is very close to becoming extinct according to the PEW Institute. For more than four decades the Institute has never seen the current dynamics of our society. There appears to be only two classes of people in the country from an economic standpoint – the rich and the poor. The Middle Class – a long time determinant of the way in which the economy functioned has dwindled to the point of almost being a nonentity.
Families in America today are either poor or rich. The question is how did we get there? It is not a new phenomenon, yet one we hoped had disappeared as economic conditions from World War II and the Great Depression dissipated as more and more men took jobs in the Federal service.
While the pay was not all that great having a job in the Federal Government meant stability and health benefits for workers and their families. Individuals went to work for 30 years and retired with a pension, which also culminated in most instances with the retirement of a 30-year mortgage. A 30 year mortgage was taken care of with a job that lasted 30 years. Consistent employment is what creates financial stability and it is also what helped to create the Middle Class.
The surge in unemployment and the housing crisis that impacted families from all over the country were the beginning of the erosion of the Middle Class. Poor people generally don’t own homes and although there are surely the working poor, many people are poor because they are unemployed and living off of meager assistance from the state or nothing at all. The Middle Class is predicated perhaps more on the ebbs and flows of the economy than the rich or the poor. The poor will always be with us and it appears that the same statement is true for the rich. The Middle Class will only be with us if they can stay consistently employed. They don’t often have trust funds and they can’t blow dust off of old money.
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