Middle Class Shrinks to ALL-TIME LOW

And Unemployment and Inequality Are Worse Than During the Recession

The Washington Post notes in an article entitled “Census: Middle class shrinks to an all-time low“:

The vise on the middle class tightened last year, driving down its share of the income pie as the number of Americans in poverty leveled off and the most affluent households saw their portion grow, new census data released Wednesday showed.


For many economists, the most troubling statistics were those on income inequality underscoring the middle-class squeeze.

The 60 percent of households earning between roughly $20,000 and $101,000 collectively earned 46.6 of all income, a 1.5 percent drop. In 1990, they shared over 50 percent of income.

The Post also notes that inequality has actually risen post-recession:

“What’s disconcerting is that inequality is going up post-recession, and it’s happening because the top is starting to pull away again,” [Jane Waldfogel, a professor at Columbia University’s School of Social Work] said.

Bloomberg reports that income inequality has grown to the highest level since 1967:

The U.S. Census Bureau figures released yesterday underscored the struggles of American families in a sputtering economic recovery. The report also showed the income gap between rich and poor people grew to the widest in more than 40 years in 2011 as the poverty rate remained at almost a two-decade high.

In reality, inequality in America is the worst its been since 1917. Indeed, as we noted last year:

Inequality among Americas is worse than in Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen. As NPR notes, inequality is higher in the U.S. than in many banana republics in Latin America. And social mobility is lower in America than in most European countries (and see this, this and this).

It’s only gotten worse since then …

The Weekly Standard points out that unemployment is also worse than during the recession:

According to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), only 58.3 percent of Americans over the age of 16 are currently employed. That’s the lowest percentage in the past year—so things are getting worse, not better. But things haven’t just gotten worse over the past 12 months; they’ve also gotten worse since the recession ostensibly ended and the recovery ostensibly began.

In fact, for an amazing 38 consecutive months, the percentage of Americans who are employed has been lower than the percentage who were employed during the recession. According to the BLS, the low-water mark for employment during the recession was 59.4 percent, while the high-water mark for employment during the “recovery” has been 59.3 percent. That’s right:  When it comes to the percentage of Americans who are employed, every month of the “recovery” has been worse than any month of the recession.

The economy cannot recover unless inequality is reduced, there is a healthy middle class and people have jobs.

We’re going in the wrong direction.

Postscript: This is not a partisan issue. Despite what you may assume, most conservatives are against insane levels of inequality.

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  • Since when the Washington Post start worrying about the 99% Americans? The paper belongs to pro-Israel rich fat-cats. In March 2011 – Richard Cohen wrote an Op-Ed in the Washington Post, entitled ‘A democratic Egypt or a state of hate?‘ had joined the Israeli hasbara organs like WSJ, New York Times, The Blaze, The United West, World Net Daily, Bare Naked Islam, Tea Party Tribune, Act!, etc. to claim that the Occupy Wall Street movement is supported by the anti-USrael Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.


  • Jim Davey

    Dear reader, please disabuse yourself of the underlying false claims in the referenced Post Script article about most conservatives are against insane levels of inequality which states “… the vast majority of people (89%) preferred distributions of wealth significantly more equal than the current wealth spread in the United States”. Frankly I doubt the integrity of that research, considering the greed filled and often racially biased thinking of far more than 89% of the conservatives I know, but given that … those 89% do not control the corporations that control the hand picked Republican and some Democrat politicians that write the legislation (which they do not read before voting upon), and create the policies that accomplish the profound shift which is destroying many in the middle class.

  • That is “Life During Wartime” (Talking Heads).

  • gozounlimited

    And is being murdered at an all-time high with chemtrails. Cali is supposed to get HOT >>> HOT >>> HOT TODAY! Why? see here ….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVnMjd5_J14
    and here ….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ7eZQ-lK2s
    and here ….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrOKbPvIwM4
    and here ….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mlkfZQi870

    The drought is fabricated … Obvious Yet? Lovin chemtrail blood, chemicals, heavy metal, nano-particles in my food, air, water. You Too? YUM Pres. Obama …. Guess your not gonna need my vote … Your not getting it either Rommonkey ….

    • gozounlimited

      See the moisture (they are trying to kill) coming from Cali and going over Nevada …. killing the moisture with chemtrails … see here: http://radar.weather.gov/Conus/full_loop.php

      • gozounlimited

        GOOD NEWS! The Chemtrail Hunters knocked it all down today. GOOD JOB! Left with clean blue sky and dramatically lower temps in Cali. LA is HOT though. Gotta take care of this stuff ….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbBDyvQMRU0 …. You know how … I told you how.

        • gozounlimited

          But they are going to lie about it…..In order to avoid explaining why it isn’t Hot Hot Hot …. they fabricate the temperature. Look at Fresno for example ….. the heat index is 99 degrees, yet the temp is recorded at 103.8 degrees. No clouds … no wind …. so temp and heat index should be the same….. see here: http://www.wunderground.com/weather-forecast/US/CA/Fresno.html. Do they think we are stupid or brain damaged? The meteorologist who publish these lies must be.

          • gozounlimited

            No chemtrails last night or this morning in Cali …. So lets look at Fresno again. At 11:30 am the current temp is 86.9 degrees. 4 degrees cooler for this time of day than predicted with geoengineering. see here: http://www.wunderground.com/weather-forecast/US/CA/Fresno.html

            The heat index is 86 degrees without wind, clouds, so tacking on .9 degrees helps the illusion. So now the forecast calls for 96 degrees at 6:00 pm …. Watch um jack up their make believe temps…so you think we are experiencing global warming, drought.

  • gozounlimited

    GOOD NEWS for Middle Class …….

    State court ruling deals blow to U.S. bank mortgage system

    (Reuters) – The highest court in the state of Washington recently ruled that a company that has foreclosed on millions of mortgages nationwide can be sued for fraud, a decision that could cause a new round of trouble for the nation’s banks.

    The Washington Supreme Court held that MERS’ business practices had the “capacity to deceive” a substantial portion of the public because MERS claimed it was the beneficiary of the mortgage when it was not.

    This finding means that in actions where a bank used MERS to foreclose, the consumer can sue it for fraud. If the foreclosure can be challenged, MERS’ involvement would make repossession more complicated.

    On top of that, virtually any foreclosed homeowner in the state in the past 15 years who feels they have been harmed in some way could file a consumer fraud suit.

    “This may be the beginning of a trend,” says Elizabeth Renuart, a professor at Albany Law School focusing on consumer credit law.

    Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/14/us-foreclosures-courtcase-washington-idUSBRE88D1OF20120914

    What Are You Waiting for? Sue the Evil F-ers!

  • gozounlimited

    It’s 2:30 pm PST in Fresno CA, and the chemtrails started in the Fresno area (Central Valley) at approximately 1:00 pm. Based on wunderground.com …. Fresno has reached 100.1 degrees. That is a 14 degree increase in 3 hours. Fresno was on track to reach 95 degrees at this time, but instead we see chemtrails and a temp increase of 5 degrees over normal. see here: http://www.wunderground.com/weather-forecast/US/CA/Fresno.html….See the pattern?

  • fgbouman

    As the recession started, some number of employers moved their employees from full-time employment to casual labor status in order to save on the employer’s component of payroll taxes. At the same time withholding taxes ceased to be collected from the employees and in most cases their wages were lowered significantly. After a couple of years in this mode, many of these persons lost that job. But, as no taxes had been paid for their unemployment insurance, they were not even able to claim unemployment compensation. In other words, these people ceased to appear as employed on any surveys. I’ve no idea what the total number of such people is, but, at least in Las Vegas, it is significant. It may be that there is now a large underground economy which simply does not appear on the books and that actual employment is better than we think. Having said that, though, the work of people in the underground economy tends to be barely enough to keep body and soul together. The folks who have used up their unemployment compensation are probably falling into this underground economy as well.