Essay on The American Middle Class

Essay on The American Middle Class

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Increasingly, it seems like everywhere we turn, more and more people, from the politicians to the economists, from Wall Street to Main Street, everyone is talking about the American middle class and the problems they face. Pew Research Center, an American think tank based in Washington D.C. that uses statistics and public survey to establish the social and political trends that shape America and the world, found in their 2008 survey that more than fifty percent of Americans see themselves as middle class and four out of ten people who earn below $20,000 per year considered themselves to be middle class (“Inside the Middle Class.”) But exactly what is the middle class? And can a household making $20,000 a year belong to it? Depending on whom you talk to or which agency is issuing the classification, the contemporary American middle class is regarded differently. Regrettably, there isn’t any concrete measurement to identify the middle class. Unlike other subjects, the criteria for the middle class are broad and ambiguous. Take for example, the Webster’s dictionary defines the middle class as “class of people intermediate between the classes of higher and lower social rank or standing; the social, economic, cultural class, having approximately average status, income, education, tastes, and the like”. With a current population that exceeds three hundred million people, it is difficult to determine what level of income or education is considered average. However, that does not stop people from trying to characterize the middle class. The advocates for the traditional standard use income and lifestyle as their criteria. The U.S. Census Bureau, the economists and politicians utilize various income ranges as measurements for the middle cl...


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...www.pewsocialtrends.org/2008/04/09/inside-the-middle-class-bad-times-hit-the-good-life/>
Stange, Dean. “How does the fiscal cliff impact the middle class taxpayer?” Hewinsfinancial.com. OneBite: Eating the Financial Elephant. 23 Jan. 2013. Web. Accessed 21 Mar. 2014
“US Existing Home Median Sales Price.” Ycharts.com. Ycharts. Feb 2014. Web. Accessed 20 Mar. 2014.
Vigeland, Tess. “What is the middle class?” Marketplace.org. Market Place World. 11 Jan. 2008. Web. Accessed 08 Mar. 2014.
“What is the 2014 Federal Minimum Wage?” Minimum-wage.org. Minimum-Wage.org and Marathon Studio Enterprises. 2009-2011. Web. Accessed 20 Mar. 2014.

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