The middle class is “people who have significant skills and perform varied tasks at work, under loose supervision. They earn enough to afford a comfortable, mainstream lifestyle. Most wear white collars, but some wear blue” (Gilbert 255). So then what does “Middle-Classness” mean? “Middle-Classness” can be defined by the habits, perspectives, practices, and beliefs that help people obtain/maintain status as part of the middle class. “Middle-Classness” also have cultural capital and social capital. The definition of cultural capital is noneconomic goods, such as family background and education, which are reflected in knowledge of language and the arts (Schaefer 13). On the other hand, social capital is the collective benefit of
Hernandez states “In recent years, a significant body of research and analysis has documented the breakdown of the middle class and the impact of the current financial crisis on family income, housing, and jobs.” The middle class has a huge impact on the income, housing, and the jobs. If the middle class completly decline, it would affect the housing market because there would only be the rich and the poor. The poor would not be able to afford the housing. Their income would be low and would cause a huge gap between the rich and poor. That is why we need to sustain the middle class because without the middle class there would be economic
“There is a wide belief that Americans are less class conscious than Europeans” (Vanneman). Because the United States consumes more than any other country, the global economy relies on our consumption. “The middle class is an ambiguous social classification, broadly reflecting the ability to lead a comfortable life” (Kharas). During the industrial revolution, there were aristocrat traditions in royalty, class, and rank in Europe. In America, the industrial revolution was coming of a wealthy nation. The United States is has a two party system, Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats wanted more people in the middle class, mainly blacks and immigrants. The Republicans wanted to protect the people who were already in the middle class, whites, and successful working people. The middle class in America is sometimes threatened by its own success. “The definition of the middle class is the people of generic roots like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Robert Johnson, and Sam Walton can become billionaires” (Hockenberry). Not everyone who is in the middle class can become a billionaire and using their stories as an example is the death of the American
The opposite claim, as it were, is that the gap in income levels does not necessarily prevent the lower and middle classes from achieving the American Dream and that the supremely rich are a necessary fixation in the United States because they employ so many people. Therefore, the stability of the economy requires this inequality. In an essay written by Brandon King, who believes that the American Dream is still fully obtainable by all classes, he says, “...We should keep in mind the ways in which large businesses and financial insti-tutions enable many others to attain economic stability and security.” Although this view is very understandable and yes, the economy does partially rely on people of wealth for business, the excess wealth of those that own most of the money in the United States (not those of moderate wealth, but those who own the majority of it) is unnecessary and unbeneficial to the rest of the country. The majority find themselves unable to gain enough footing to provide themselves with the requisite materials to catch up to a world in which the list of imperative resources for success keeps growing longer and the ability to acquire these things keeps getting
The plight of the middle class has become a controversial issue amongst the media as growing income inequality has risen in the nation’s consciousness (Boushey, 2012). The steady increase in income inequality in the United States is known to be actually shrinking the size of America’s middle class. (Miller, 2014). Famous philosopher, Aristotle, “pointed out that if the working class disappears, then the poor will become the majority. The poor are often less educated than the rich, and usually tend to struggle just to make ends meet. If the poor are the majority, then in a democracy they will vote to take away the money from the rich” (Why Inequality Matters, 2015).
Capitalism has been the central force behind the growth of the United States’ progressive economy. Within such advanced economic system the chances of economic disparity are significantly high. In fact, over the past three decades there has being a steady increase in unequal wealth distribution among the economic classes. To sustain the current unequal wealth distribution among the classes of the American population, there are numerous factors that influence and shape this trend. For some members of the population it is alarmingly disturbing to know that recent statistics have shown that, “In the US [alone] the wealthiest 1% of its population owns more than the bottom 95 %” (Gutman). As for the difference in economic wealth, it resulted from the defects of capitalism supported by the capitalist economic system that has a high tendency to reward individuals or groups of people who have much capital. Although the American economic system guarantees equality of opportunity for all and is relatively the best economic system to be devised, capitalism enables the wealthiest of the wealthy to disproportionately gain more control of economic capital and increasingly move above and beyond the average standards of living. Therefore, in actuality capitalism does not ensure equality of opportunity for all and would be ideal for the wealth members of society.
When we as human beings are born into this world, there are things that we have control over, and other things that we have no say in. We control what we do with our lives, what schools to attend, what activities to be a part of, and who we marry, for example. This seems to be quite fair, and for the most part, we take it for granted. While we do have these kinds of freedoms, there are other aspects of life that we have no control over. One thing that we are born into, is our social class. No matter who you are, there is a social class that you fall into, and you really have no say in it. The one social class that seems to be the most populated is the middle, or working class. These people usually classify themselves as being as normal, or as ordinary as they come. While that seems to be the common thought, there are plenty of middle class families that aren't as normal as they think. Depending on what class you belong to, your perception of "normal" tends to vary. So what exactly is "normal" to the average, middle, working class family?
Having a strong middle class indicates that America’s democracy will be effervescent and its economy will be beneficial, which will lead to the notion of precisely what America is all about. The setback is that the weakness of America’s middle class not only harms those affected by it, but all other individuals living in the U.S as well. America’s incomes are deteriorating or weakening, while items necessary to live increase in cost, and the probabilities of falling behind are beginning to develop. It is important that the gap between the upper class and the lower class is condensed, this way a strong middle class will be emitted. The modern persona of middle class citizens in America derives from the post World War II era. In 1944, the GI Bill was created to provide returning veterans with money to cover college, business, and home mortgages. This money gave servicemen the opportunity to afford a home of their own for the first time ever resulting in the vast proliferation of residential construction. This was how American subdivision commenced (Suddath). The fault in the subdivision initiated when the strong gap between the upper class and the lower class formed due to income inequality, race and gender disparities, education, and technology. The American government is working to rejuvenate the middle class and shorten the gap between the upper and lower class. In 2012, Vice President Joe Biden stated, "America's middle class is hurting, it is our charge to get the middle class — the backbone of this country — up and running again" (“A Strong” n.d.). The revitalization of America’s middle class is possible. In order to do so, the costs ...
Sachs, J. D. (2011). Why America Must Revive its Middle Class. Time. 178(14). Ps. 30-32.
America has been known for its large population of wealthy middle class. But is it no longer the case with shrinking size of middle class since the year 2000. To uplift the middle class and narrowing the inequality gap, President Barack Obama proposed a plan to address the “Middle-Class Economics.” However, middle class can be a tricky term when most American identified themselves as middle class. To better identify the target beneficiary of such policy, this essay will discuss the definition of middle class, the meaning of middle-class lifestyle and who falls into the category of middle class.
In Confronting Inequality, Paul Krugman discusses the cost of inequality and possible solutions. Krugman argues to say that it is a fantasy to believe the rich live just like the middle class. Then, he goes into detail about how middle class families struggle to try to give their children a better life and how education plays a factor in children’s future lives. For example, children’s ability to move into higher education could be affected by their parents economic status. Also, He discusses how politicians play a role in the inequality, because most of politicians are in the upper economic class. Finally, Krugman says how we could possibly have solutions to these various inequalities, but how America won’t get
Income inequality not only harms us fiscally, but also affects our mental and physical wellbeing; therefore, it is important to identify the right ways to control wealth distribution among people.
Going back to 1978, the typical male worker was making around 48,000 dollars per year while the average person in the wealthy group of the 1 percent earned 390,000 dollars per year. By 2010, the typical male worker earned less than in 1978 whereas the person in the top 1 percent earned more than twice as much as before. Today in America, 400 people have more wealth than half the population of the United States. Reich explains that a strong middle class is what gives our economy stability. This leads to the fact, that 70 percent of the economy is based on the consumer. If the middle class’ wages declin...
The next hypothesis, which states that the elites have taken the characteristics and behaviors of wealthy investors, the results indicate that in the early 1990s only 14% of the affluent households own portfolios of stocks worth more than $2 million. Then, this percentage of elite households multiplied to 41% in 2001. Moreover, the results also show the rises and declines of no involvement in the labor force among the elites. These findings suggests that when the economy is good most of the elites live of their investments instead of their actual jobs, and when the economy is not so great they start to involve again in the labor market. Although these findings indicate that the top one percent investments are easily growing, there is not much support to prove the second hypothesis of the behavior of elites as wealthy investors.
The most often cited cause of the decline of the middle class in the United States is stagnant wages. Between 1955 and 1970, real wages adjusted and inflation rose by an average of 2.5 percent per year. Between 1971 and 1994, the average growth of real wages was 0.3 percent a year. The stagnation of wages has been especially noticeable to middle-class people, who rely very much on the money they make at their jobs. Recessions seem to hit higher income households much harder, which sends them down to the middle class. Middle-income households may or may not be more likely than higher-income households to qualify for unemployment compensation when jobs are scarce. But those who do are more likely than high-income households to receive benefits that replace a greater share of their regular wages, which helps them maintai...