My last post in this space demonstrated that the Middle Class in America has gotten larger, not smaller, over time.
I made the point that more and more people are making more and more money even as we keep the dollar values locked into 2008 values:
In 1967 [earliest data available] 83.7% of the families in America made less than $75,000 in constant 2008 dollars.
That percentage in 2008? 59.7%.
In other words, 16.3% of Americans were making $75k or more in 1967. In 2008, better than 4 in 10, or 40% of Americans were making that same money.
And the mean income in 2008? $79,634.00 compared to $49.606.00 in 1967. Not only has the median income gone up, but the % of people making it has gone up as well.
But how does it FEEL today vs. yesterday? Are we able to enjoy a standard of living that is significantly better now than it was then?
Well, I think so:
The middle class. The Great MC.
What is it, how is it defined? Is it growing? Shrinking? Is it, more importantly, being exploited by the rich and the powerful to enable their largess?
Is Obama right? Is it true, in fact, that the folks-the “Us”- are being used and manipulated in some grand game to keep the rich richer?
For me, the rhetoric needs substance; needs some form of validation. There has to be some means by which the idea has a backdrop to judge the truth. There has to be a definition of the middle class that we can use to see if, in fact, what is being said is true. Or not true. And for me, it comes down to two things:
- The earnings of the middle class.
- The life style, or things, that the middle class can buy.
So, let’s take a look:
For a long time now I’ve been interested in “The Middle Class”, or as I call it, The Big MC™ . What it is, what it means and how it’s been used over the years. My fascination comes from two sources; my own personal experience and then the use of The Big MC in today’s Liberal shaping of the term.
America’s greatest allure is that through the promise of Liberty any individual is able to achieve that goal of leaving the days of back breaking labor to the days of our fathers and giving a better life to our children. It is our birthright as a nation that our citizens are able to have a better tomorrow rather than a better yesterday. It’s our hope, our collective yearning, that our drive to and from the salt mines will bring better days, has framed our national dialogue.
It is both ironic and horrifying that the same should be used as a wedge to drive us apart and serve to prevent that very dream from it’s manifest.