Middle class America losing its grip, study shows

This hasn’t been a very good century for the middle class.

A new survey by Pew Research Center found that 51 percent of middle-class adults who responded said it would take them no less than five years to fully recover financially to where they were before the recession, with eight percent saying they’ll never get back to where they were.

It is, Pew said, a “lost decade” for middle-class Americans who’ve been slammed by job losses, falling wages, housing value declines and a bumpy stock market.

Nearly two in three people said they’ve responded to the ongoing downturn by reducing their spending, and nearly one in three said they are still finding it hard to pay off their bills. The vast majority said it’s a lot harder to keep up the lifestyle they enjoyed pre-recession.

Pew noted that both median household income and median household net worth have declined, the latter by 28 percent.

Not surprisingly, the percentage of people considered middle class is down, from 61 percent in the 1970s to only 51 percent last year.

28 comments Add your comment

YEAH RIGHT

August 23rd, 2012
11:02 am

according to the Affordable healthcare act, a person must make less than 9500 a year to qualify for medicare. If you are making minimum wage of $7.50 and working 24 hours a week, you will make more than 9500 a year. This means, that everyone with a job, will be required to buy insurance or face a tax penalty. I will protest by not buying insurance, or paying the tax, resulting in me being prosecuted by our government. :)

middle class

August 23rd, 2012
11:14 am

you should be prosecuted and arrested. you will be breaking the law.

YEAH RIGHT

August 23rd, 2012
11:45 am

then you can support me with my free health care, food, housing and cable tv.

haha

August 23rd, 2012
12:05 pm

free loader that’s what you are yeah right.

there are no free lunches.

You do not have the guts to do what you said. only a fool would take on the IRS. you really want to know what a government bully is like don’t pay your tax.

They don’t have time to waste prosecuting clowns like you, they simply send your employer a letter requesting your wages to be garnished.

good luck. remember the guy who flew a plane into the IRS building in Texas?

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha :)

mOtax

August 23rd, 2012
12:11 pm

the IRS doesn’t have to “prosecute” you if you don’t pay the tax they say. They just seize your property and your bank account, even without going to court!

LS

August 23rd, 2012
12:24 pm

Even though the middle class has supposedly lost financial ground in recent years, expectations have gone up for middle class families. Extravagant birthday parties for children, manicures/pedicures, and children enrolled in multiple expensive activies such as gymnastics, dance, and private music lessons. I’m not crying that hard when I hear people that are struggling to pay their mortgages spend money on these indulgences for their children.

monroe

August 23rd, 2012
12:35 pm

all these problems were caused by bush and his crooked republican friends. It will take obama years to clean up all these problems.

You lie!

August 23rd, 2012
1:01 pm

@YEAH RIGHT

I think you mean Medicaid, which was actually expanded under the ACA to include incomes up to 133% of the poverty level ($31K for a family of four). Alas, Georgia will almost certainly opt out of this expansion.

Also under the ACA, individuals and families making up to 400% of the poverty level are eligible for federal subsidies to offset the cost of private insurance.

YEAH RIGHT

August 23rd, 2012
1:09 pm

@ You Lie!

Poverty level is discribed as being someone who makes less than $9500 a year for a single person. Do the math, if you are working for 7.50 an hour and only doing 24 hours a week, you exceed this level. And you really trust your government to keep its word regaurding subsidies ?? How does the saying go, a fool and his money are what ?

You lie!

August 23rd, 2012
1:29 pm

“Poverty level is discribed as being someone who makes less than $9500 a year for a single person. Do the math, if you are working for 7.50 an hour and only doing 24 hours a week, you exceed this level.”

First off, no you don’t: $7.50/hr X 24 hrs/wk X 52 wks/yr = $9360/yr. Secondly, the poverty level for a single person is $11,170/yr. Therefore, under the ACA, you can make up to $14,856 and still qualify for Medicaid as an individual.

“And you really trust your government to keep its word regaurding subsidies ??”

Seeing as how the ACA was signed into law, yes.

Judge Smails

August 23rd, 2012
1:37 pm

If you are making $7.50 an hour and are getting only 24 hours per week…you need one of two things; a better paying job, or another job.

I learned at an early age that if you are only willing to work the minimum hours required, you will never be successful at any job you do.

For example, I work 24 hours in about two days. Get off your rear end and take control. Stop relying on Obama and his ilk to keep you afloat.

YEAH RIGHT

August 23rd, 2012
1:47 pm

You Lie,

Ok, lets use your 14,856 a year senario shall we. Divide it by 52 weeks a year, then divide it by 40 hour for a full time job. You come up with 7.14 per hour, which is less than minimum wage. Anyone with a full time job is SCREWED by the ACA.. :)

@ Judge,

I am a Structural Engineer, I have designed the structure for over 100 buildings in the atlanta area. I agree that people need to stop relying on Obama and his ilk to keep people afloat.

Judge Smails

August 23rd, 2012
2:00 pm

@ YEAH RIGHT – Can I also assume that you did not get where you are by working 8 hours a day and 40 hours per week? Or that the government was somehow responsible for your success?

YEAH RIGHT

August 23rd, 2012
2:14 pm

I worked my ass off for the past 12 years, and the Government did not do it for me….

Judge Smails

August 23rd, 2012
2:24 pm

And so you and I, both working as hard as we can to provide for our families, forgoing expensive toys and hobbies and taking responsibility for our own futures, are being asked (forced) to pay healthcare costs for people who have made poor choices, not worked hard, not educated themselves and fully expect us to support them with our hard earned cash.

Jefferson would be rolling over in his grave to see what “Liberty” looks like today!

YEAH RIGHT

August 23rd, 2012
2:28 pm

Like I said in the first post, I will be protesting. :) Go ahead and put me into jail, support me for once. :)

Judge Smails

August 23rd, 2012
2:32 pm

I will visit you in jail! My wife makes a killer chicken soup. :)

You lie!

August 23rd, 2012
3:46 pm

“Anyone with a full time job is SCREWED by the ACA.”

If you have a full-time job, you should be participating in a company-sponsored program. If you choose not to and make too much money to qualify for Medicaid or federal subsidies, you’re just being irresponsible.

MrLiberty

August 23rd, 2012
3:47 pm

Not just conincidentally, the Federal Reserve is 100 years old in 2013. It was set up by the banking cartels at the time to insure a steady transfer of wealth from the middle class and the poor to the rich. It has worked like a charm. The dollar of 1913 is now worth about 2 cents. All of the value of those trillions of dollars of wealth that was generated during the past productive century of american labor and innovation has been stolen from the american public, savers, investors and the like via the inflationary processes that are controlled by the Federal Reserve and executed by the Treasury Department.

It hasn’t been about job issues, falling housing prices, stock market swings or anything else. All of those things are just SYMPTOMS caused by the Federal Reserve and the debt enslavement of americans their existence in the economy creates.

At least at the beginning when we were still on a gold standard there were some limits on the spending of the government, the issuance of dollars, etc. but beginning with FDR’s theft of all american’s gold in 1934 and Nixon’s complete abandonment of the gold standard in 1971 the brakes have completely come off the government spending machine and the loss of value of the US dollar.

Please go to YouTube and watch the great videos about the Federal Reserve, espeically the ones by the Mises Institute (about the best hour of video you will ever watch).

Stop thinking this is about republicans or democrats. Both parties have benefitted from deficit spending to buy the votes of their supporters, and neither party has done anything serious to try and stop what can only be described as the greatest criminal event of human history. The ONLY person who has truly spoken out and gotten folks to wake up to the crimes the Federal Reserve has committed on behalf of the banking industry has been Ron Paul and he has been ignored at american’s own peril.

Rule by the Oligarchy (in our case, the banking and military/industrial complexes) has been the hallmark of every country that has seen the destruction of the productive middle class.

If you think that Obama will fix this, remember that his biggest supporters last time were Goldman Sachs, Citibank, JP Morgan companies, and other wall street banks. They were rewarded quite well over the past 3 years with massive money printing, bailouts, etc. This time around those same folks are Mitt Romney’s biggest donors (you don’t have to believe me, just check out the FEC website for yourselves).

This isn’t tin-foil hat stuff, although many would like to hope it was that far out. This is real, was warned about in 1913 when the Fed was being approved (over the Christmas break while most of congress was gone by the way) and nobody listened then. We are all suffering the consequences now and we MUST end this soon or there will be no america left to worry about.

MrLiberty

August 23rd, 2012
3:51 pm

The Income Tax was created in the years following the creation of the Federal Reserve to insure a steady stream of income to the government to pay the debt that the creation of every dollar insures. We as a country are slaves to our government and slaves to the Federal Reserve. You really owe it to yourself to get educated on this subject. Your children and grandchildren are their next victims.

YEAH RIGHT

August 23rd, 2012
4:39 pm

You Lie,

You do not get it at all. Why would your employer even continue to carry an insurance program for thier employees now that there is a law in place that ORDERS you to be insured ? Does your employer pay your car insurance now ? There is a law that orders you to pay for car insurance if you have a car. Now, on to health insurance, my employer provides it, but I pay for it out of my wages. To provide insurance to all employees, costs my employer close to 45k a year to insure all of our employees. If they do not provide for us after 2014, they will only be fined a simple $2500. That is quite a savings for my employer.

What happened to car insurance after they started requiring all drivers to be insured ?? IT SKYROCKETED.. the same thing is going to happen in 2014, those insurance companies are going to say, well since you now are required to have my product, you are going to pay what I want for it….

You lie!

August 23rd, 2012
5:16 pm

“You do not get it at all. Why would your employer even continue to carry an insurance program for thier employees now that there is a law in place that ORDERS you to be insured ?”

Because employers with over 50 employees are required to provide affordable health insurance, lest they pay a fine. Where have you been? Don’t you remember Papa John’s CEO warning that their pizza prices will rise by *gasp* $.13 to cover the additional costs they’ll incur as a result of Obamacare?

“If they do not provide for us after 2014, they will only be fined a simple $2500.”

It’s a $2000 fine for EVERY employee. Have 1000 employees and drop coverage? $2 million fine.

“…those insurance companies are going to say, well since you now are required to have my product, you are going to pay what I want for it….”

Except they now have to spend 80 percent of the premiums they collect on very specifically defined health care procedures (not overhead costs). If they fall short of this threshold, they must refund the difference to policyholders.

You obviously haven’t read the ACA, so I don’t understand why you’ve decided to oppose it.

Bob Walters

August 24th, 2012
1:32 am

No worries. 2013 inauguration day, Romney and the new Republican controlled Congress will restore human dignity to the citizens of these United States by repealing the entire ACA.

Tea Party 2012 and beyond! A force to be reckoned with!

Independent voter

August 24th, 2012
6:15 am

Bob Walters, sure hope you are right for our kids sake !!

Independent voter

August 24th, 2012
6:21 am

the folks who voted for Obama… the young 20 somethings… women and minorities…. who are trying to break in the ” middle class ” are going backwards under this administration.. unemployment and under employment in this group is over 20%… ” when you’re young you vote with your heart, when you get older you vote with your BRAIN “

MrLiberty

August 24th, 2012
1:22 pm

Bob Walters – Nothing will get repealed. Republicans love big government programs just like the democrats. In ‘94 they promised to get rid of the wasteful and unconstitutional Dept. of Education. Despite numerous years with Republican house/senate/president, all they could manage was to add No Child Left Behind and make the DOE ever more powerful and bloated.

I will believe that a republican will vote for smaller government when I see it (other than Ron Paul of course who ALWAYS votes for smaller government).

AltN8tivITP

August 24th, 2012
4:33 pm

Judge Yeah: You’re already paying for the uninsured with your tax dollars. Neither the Republican nor the Democrat parties are interested in helping the middle class. We need a viable third, ’sane’ party whose platform is to help the middle class taxpayers who are footing the bill for everyone else. Frankly, I’m tired of doing it.

And Medicare is a joke. They require patients to re-purchase prescriptions, etc. each time they move to a new location (e.g., from hospital to rehab center, etc.), even if the patient already has plenty of said Rx. Any why do they bill $120/month to rent a non-motorized wheelchair?

The banking, healthcare and education systems in this country are driving us to ruin while the politicians argue back and forth over whether or not women should have a right to autonomous control over their own bodies. Good grief…

Old Snarky

August 25th, 2012
6:29 am

“its the freshy fresh”..thats what they are saying now! LOL