By James Turnage-
Republicans and their convention have distanced themselves as much as possible from their president who was in office from 2001 to 2009. What was his name? Oh, yeah, G. W. Bush. He was a disgrace. The problem is that they want to elect his “twin separated at birth” this year.
A study released on Wednesday by the Pew Research Center had some very bad news for the middle class. Middle class income is defined as being between 39,000 dollars, and 118,000 dollars per year. The report describes this group as suffering its “worst decade in modern history.” Middle class income has fallen backward for the first time since WWII.
The study says that middle class Americans have been forced to minimize the money they spend. They no longer believe that hard work will help them get ahead in life, and that the future of their children will be the same or worse. 85 percent of this group says it is more difficult or impossible to maintain the standard of living they had one decade ago.
Timothy Smeeding, a University of Wisconsin-Madison economics professor specializing in income inequality had this to say: “Many middle income families have taken a big hit in the past decade as health care costs increase, mid-wage jobs have disappeared due to automation and outsourcing, and college tuition has mounted for those seeking to build credentials to get better work. In the meantime, more affluent families have fared better in net worth because they are less dependent than lower income groups on home property values, which remain shriveled after the housing bust.” He went on to state that wealthier Americans are more likely to invest in the stock market which is quicker to recover from a failing economy. Lastly he said: “No matter who is president, the climb back up for the middle class and the recovery will be slow and often painful.”
The Census Bureau said the middle class represents 51 percent of U.S. adults, down from 61 percent in 1971, due to the increase in the percentage of those dropping into the poverty level. In 1970 the share of U.S. income that went to the middle class was 62 percent. Wealthier Americans received 29 percent. By 2010, the middle class received 45 percent, while the nation’s wealthiest Americans received 46 percent.
The Pew research center noted that the notion that middle class income always enjoys a “rising standard of living”, is at the center of America’s basic structure.
The majority of citizens, about 62 percent blame congress for their failing lifestyle. 54 percent blame banks and financial institutions, while 47 percent say it’s large corporations. 44 percent point to the Bush administration, 39 blame foreign competition. Overall, 34 percent cite the Obama administration.
The average net worth for the middle class fell 28 percent in the last decade, from 129,000, to 93,000 dollars, wiping out two decades of gains. Upper level income rose from an average of 569,000, to 574,000 dollars, and, saddest of all, low income families lost 45 percent of their income to an average net of 10,000 dollars a year.
52 percent of the middle class believe re-electing Mr. Obama would help the middle class, while 42 percent think Mr. Romney would improve their quality of life.
In a decade, Romney became more wealthy while we became poorer. Who would you trust? The facts speak for themselves.