May 6th, 2014
06:48 PM ET

Analyst: America's middle class falling behind

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

Fareed Zakaria speaks with David Leonhardt, editor of the New York Times’ ‘The Upshot,’ about his latest research – and why the American middle class may no longer be the richest in the world. Watch the video for the full interview.

The most startling piece of data was this shift that has taken place in the American middle class. One way of looking at it, which you presented, was if you look at the median income...

Yes.

…of an American – and that's not the richest person, not the poorest person, it’s the person smack in the middle. And I think the Census Bureau defines it at about $50,000 a year, someone earning $50,000 a year. Look at this chart. Since 1981, that's what's happened.

It's not a good story, is it? In 1981, we had, by far, the richest middle class in the world. And what has happened since then is that income growth in these other countries has been substantially faster for the middle class and the poor.

Now, this is after tax income. That's a question a lot of people have. It's after-tax income. It includes direct government benefits, things like Social Security. So this is really what people have to spend. And it's really worrisome. And it's not just a 30-year trend. You also see it if you look since 2000. In some ways, it's more pronounced in the last 15 years.

This is the stunning one. You see all these other countries had much stronger income growth at the median level. But then since 2000, I mean the United States barely grew at all.

Zero. And so the obvious question is what's going on here? And there are a few things going on here. One, we have had economic growth that is quite similar to many of these other countries. Obviously, we've had faster growth...

Overall economic growth.

Yes. Faster growth than Spain, particularly recently. But it's not as if the U.S. is growing a lot faster than Sweden or than Canada. It's quite similar. But more of the bounty of our growth goes to a smaller group of people. So our economy gives more money to the executives at the top. And since the bounty as a whole, the pie as a whole, is growing similarly, if you give more of that to fewer people, there's less left over for everybody else. Not only do we have more pre-tax inequality, but those other countries, do more to – and it's a dirty word here, right – redistribute income…

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Topics: Economy • GPS Show • Inequality

soundoff (289 Responses)
  1. Chad Drufus

    Better hold on to your guns america. You are gonna need em'

    May 7, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Reply
    • DP

      > Better hold on to your guns america. You are gonna need em'

      and what you going to do with your guns w/o warm toilet, MRE and close airsupport ?

      May 7, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Reply
      • Ty

        The same thing every group of guerrillas the US has fought have done in the last 50 years. Go without and find a way to win anyway.

        May 7, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
      • BADGUY

        OMG....I can see it now. HUNDREDS of crazed CEO's and Wall Street Hedge Fund Managers....roaming the streets...attacking bowery bums with rolled up profit and loss statements. OH....THE HUMANITY!

        May 7, 2014 at 9:27 pm |
    • Dean

      Yes, stock up on gold, silver and lead. Especially the lead.

      May 7, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Reply
      • BADGUY

        Let me guess: You're EITHER a metals trader...or....own a gun shop. How'd I do?

        May 7, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
    • djjimi

      And don't forget: You did this to yourselves when you voted Reagan into office.

      May 7, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Reply
    • Jake

      What are you going to do with your gun? Who is going to attack you? The lunacy of it all. Are you going to take on the United States Armed Forces? They don't use just muskets anymore. They have tanks, attack helicopters, missiles, lasers, and automated systems that don't require personnel. What are you going to do again?

      May 7, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Reply
      • Big Bob

        That would be a really bad idea. Cuz no matter how many guns you have, there is only a finite amount of ammo that hasn't been bought.

        Gotta hand it to em for looking ahead

        May 8, 2014 at 9:51 am |
    • KawiMan

      Yep! Mine are loaded and ready to protect me and mine from our corrupt US Government.
      Until both Democrats and Republicans are flushed down the toilet and out of office, it's only going to get worse.

      America needs new blood to restore America back to greatness!

      May 7, 2014 at 9:42 pm | Reply
  2. Big Bob

    And how bout that profile on Kerry? What an effete doossshhhbaig! Ha ha! Not a bad gig for a traitor!

    May 7, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • BADGUY

      Traitor? Kerry? NO...I think all the "traitors", the Tea Party Patriots, surrounding the Bundy Ranch

      May 7, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Reply
      • Big Bob

        You probably weren't born yet. Google it son. Harry Reid owns all the land around Bundy's ranch. He wants all of it for a Chinese Solar Panel company.

        May 8, 2014 at 8:16 am |
  3. Big Bob

    Forgive me kids. I was born before 1990. ; D

    May 7, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  4. jack2

    Sounds wishy washy to me. However, this is Obama's economy where the middle class has no jobs.

    May 7, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Reply
    • OffGOPClownCar

      Dummy!

      May 7, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Reply
      • BigB

        That all you got? Come on, Lib-Progs run this board, giving your ilk every advantage, yet this is your "offering?"

        May 7, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
    • Old_Military_Guy

      Of course they will try and blame Bush, and the tea party. History will know Obama has sole ownership of this lovely economy. But the Democrats don't seem to study history...

      May 7, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Reply
      • Dean

        They read it after it has occurred.

        May 7, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
      • John Henderson

        1981 Ronald Reagan was the president, the god of republicans/conservatives

        May 7, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
      • Louie

        'Murica! I'd love to hear more of your Tea Billy wisdom, Cleetus. By the way, do you know where I can get a barbed wire tattoo cheap?

        May 7, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
      • BADGUY

        Thanks.... Ronny Ray-Gun.... for the mess YOU started!

        May 7, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
    • mona19595

      In Obama's economy the middle class doesn't exist at all. You are either rich or poor there is no in between. Thanks for that Mr. Obama........

      May 7, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Reply
      • BADGUY

        Don't blame Obama for the "sabotage" of our economy...and our middle class. It STARTED with Reagan and reached a crescendo under GWB. Obama was handed a Republican "pile of --" and NOW these right wingers are trying to blame HIM for THEIR Disaster.

        May 7, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
    • angela

      This has been going on since the year Reagan got into office. The middle class hasn't been gaining any ground since Obama was 18. I don't think it is Obama's fault. When you factor in things like excellent transportation better healthcare cheaper health care, free or very inexpensive college education in other countries we have been falling behind since the 1970s

      May 7, 2014 at 10:56 pm | Reply
  5. Sean

    Anyone who had posted on this article complaining about the rich getting richer should consider who is paying the salary of the rich... The answer to that question is, of course, the middle class... So stop implying that the middle class is powerless in its struggle against the' mighty rich'. Did you know comcasts ceo makes upwards of 30 million a year ... That is only possible because the middle class in effect writes him a check every month... The same could be said for many other companies. So do some research and stop patronizing businesses that encourage such disparity. Buy local, stop spending your cash at massive chain stores! To hear people whine and complain as they perpetuate the very disparity they complain about turns my stomach... The answer is not over there in Washington it is in your living room so step up or your license to complain will be revoked

    May 7, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Reply
    • Big Bob

      Fine job, Sean! But they've been raised to think of themselves as victims. They don't know any better.

      May 7, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • big Al

      Of course this is nothing complared to the massive checks we write to our big bloated government! Unfortunately, only thing we can do about that, is vote for the party that wants to cut taxes. 1/3 of middle class income is sent to the goverment, where billions of dollars are wasted by uncaring, arrogant, progressive government employees.

      May 7, 2014 at 3:53 pm | Reply
    • Name*Keith

      So, are you saying cut taxes on the middle class? Why should I be against the rich? I don't know a rich person who doesn't work pretty darn hard.

      May 7, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Reply
      • Sean

        My comment was a response to the voice of powerlessness... The people who are well off that I know put in far more hours than the people complaining about their wages.... I also admit that I don't mix with CEOs on a frequent basis but I have seen research that suggests that the rich work more hours than the poor.. This seems consistent with what I have observed ...

        May 7, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
      • karmachameleon

        Seriously? You must be rich since you have such a knee jerk defensive reaction. I think if you worked 24/7 you don't deserve $30 mil a year when you company is probably cutting pensions or further eroding employee benefits to "increase shareholder value". That's just one poignant example of the redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the affluent. But you'll probably decry the facts and insist we're all picking on the rich guy.

        May 7, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
      • Sean

        You make my point... Once again the 'poor powerless middle class ' subject to all sorts of mistreatment by the rich.. Whatever are we to do??? Let's just sit back and continue what we have been doing for decades and hope someone rescues us... Never mind that the buying power of the American middle class dwarfs all other countries... So where do you want to spend your money middle class ... Writing the checks for modern tyrants or writing checks to people in your income bracket???

        May 7, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
      • Philip

        I know plenty of rich people who don't work at all.

        May 7, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
      • Roxxc4

        Why tax more the people who make so much less? What benefit does that create? Why would you think the middle class doesn't work just as hard? There are people taking on two or three jobs....40-60+ hour work schedules (and that's if they can even get more hours)....and hardly make enough or even receive a raise. Less time to see their families. Less time to actually enjoy life or the fruits of their labor. Whereas, some of the rich hardly need to lift a finger just to make multimillions! The rich can also continue making money...even when they are not working...the income is passive, made with little effort. They use the work of others to do that. So, your definition of "work" is debatable. The key to a good economy is ensuring the middle class does well simply because there are more of the middle class than the ultra rich. When the middle class has more money to spend (not less), that's more profits going to business because there's more demand. More demand mean businesses hire more people to meet demand (that is...if businesses aren't greedy and simply choose to overwork the few people they do have to make more profits rather than hire more people). There aren't enough rich people using their money to sustain all businesses in this country.

        May 8, 2014 at 12:17 am |
  6. Hahaha

    Thanks, Ronald Reagan! That ol' trickle down ought to come along any minute now, right? Right? Hello? Anyone there?

    May 7, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • LOL

      Better than Obama's trickle up poverty.

      May 7, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Reply
    • Dean

      Ever worked for a poor person?

      May 7, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Reply
      • Yes I have

        Yes I have. I've worked for lots of poor people. Poor people call me all the time to work on their stuff. You are poor. Ever called a contractor to do some work for you?

        May 7, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
    • Name*Keith

      The economy Reagan inherited was much worse than the one Obama did. I was there raising 2 small children with my wife. Within 1 year you could see positive results. 2 years the economy was taking off.

      May 7, 2014 at 4:50 pm | Reply
      • Steve

        When the gov't starts a spending spree.. like under Reagan and Bush.. the economy appears to get better.. Imagine you getting a $50,000 loan.. for a while,it looks great.. then you have to start paying it back.. And it then shows itself to be a terrible mistake.

        May 7, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
    • BADGUY

      Oh...I don't know. I think I'VE been trickled down upon FOR YEARS by the top 1%.

      May 7, 2014 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  7. American

    Educate the world, pay for them to come here, let them have our jobs, fight their wars, get hated for it... We deserve to go extinct.

    May 7, 2014 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  8. *cpa Jim

    Not enough income redistribution? What a lame excuse. Virtually evey manufacturing job in the USA has been exported to china but don't blame evil corporations they are just responding to the anti business regulatory environment in the USA.

    Our government drives up cost by regulation puts Americans out of work and moves production to countries with no environmental regulation.

    That is moving wealth to china. Good job Obama

    May 7, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • ri0088

      And look at the environment in China now. The Health problems it has caused. How thick the smog get. China has many environmental issue severely affecting its biophysical environment as well as human health. What good will all these manufacturing and industrialization do when the area will soon be uninhabitable? That's why environmental regulation follow common sense. If there is enough demand, then regulations won't affect business growth. Many businesses resist regulation not because it hinders profits & success of a business, but rather because it slows the expand of the profits they're already making. If there isn't enough demand to drive profits, then regulations aren't the cause of poor business success.

      May 8, 2014 at 12:46 am | Reply
  9. George

    I love the simple mindedness of blaming Obama for a trend that started 8 years before he took office.

    The real reason why the economy is the way it is is that companies, ceo's and shareholders have been hoarding a larger and larger percentage of the profits. Even if McCain or Romney had won, they wouldn't have, and couldn't have done anything to stop it. It's excessive greed plain and simple. Fools are too busy trying to blame one party or the other.

    May 7, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Reply
    • Big Bob

      Actually, it began once Nafta was signed. And you're right. Crash McCain and Mittens couldn't have stopped it once the genie was let out of the bottle. But our current leader is poised to sign off on yet another treaty to send more jobs to the Pacific rim. The last president who didn't sell out the the elites was Reagan and they took a shots at him. Hint: it wasn't about Jodie Foster. Oh! There's that banging at the door again!

      May 7, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      SHow a graph of annual US corporations holdings ownership by nationality, and you will see the money being made is leaving the US>..

      May 7, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  10. d cartier

    australia passed america several years ago as well. the net worth of the average american is now around 100,000K
    . in australia it is now around 400,000. four times as much. not bad for a 'socialist' country. how did this happen? as an american this does not make me happy. the american dream is dead if you are middle class.....we are falling behind in so many areas. we spend twice ( of GDP ) as much as any other western country on medical programs but we rank last in the western world in terms of quality health care.....we need to get rid of the GOP and the demo party and start again. our system in broken...and it cant be repaired....

    May 7, 2014 at 3:23 pm | Reply
    • paul

      If you spent far less on military arms and trying to be world policemen you and all the other citizens of the world would have more take home money and the world would be a far better place to live, You pay extreme over above money for tanks , fighter jets, missle defense systems and rockets than is necessary, The human race unless it stops dumping garbage in the oceans and preserve its fresh waterglaciers, rivers, lakes, aquifers, you are going to be drinking urine, Big people only patronize big people , small people anoy them, because they are really nothing,

      May 7, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Reply
      • Big Bob

        Actually Paul, all that spending for weapons over the years wasn't necessarily a bad thing for the middle class in the US. It provided well paying jobs. Give one a sense of doing something for the country you love and holding back what is proving to be a very palpable adversary. Now that all of that has fallen away, the Russian bear once again rears it's ugly head and we can't do anything about it. And you're right, Paul, small people do annoy me. But happily for you, Paul, small people begat more and more and more small people. Big people aren't allowed to begat large people anymore. Unfashionable with the new elites don't you know. So be happy, you can sit in the mud and eat bugs with them when us bigs die or are killed off.

        May 7, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
    • WiltonManors

      Consumer Prices in United States are 32.49% lower than in Australia
      Consumer Prices Including Rent in United States are 34.88% lower than in Australia
      Rent Prices in United States are 39.62% lower than in Australia
      Restaurant Prices in United States are 34.40% lower than in Australia
      Groceries Prices in United States are 24.87% lower than in Australia
      Local Purchasing Power in United States is 25.83% higher than in Australia

      May 7, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  11. Rich R

    Last week I saw 8 construction workers, 4 doing a roofing job, another 4 doing brick work on a rehab job. There was one 'Anglo" supervisor who spoke in Spanish at each of the jobs. This happens in every town and city and rural area, taking away work from middle class workers. I guess its for what the President would call the greater good, you know, spreading the wealth: and its a darn shame

    May 7, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  12. Ty

    Yeah, this is the type of thing that happens when we elect a socialist president. You wanted change, right? Here it comes....I hope the homeless shelter is the change you were looking for.

    May 7, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Reply
    • Big Bob

      Unfortunately, it's worldwide. It's basically the Y-T replacement program. Here in the US, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and Austrailia. They don't seem to want us around anymore. It's a 60 year old program and the heat is being turned up. So....check your privilege.

      May 7, 2014 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  13. betterdays

    Since wealth is now officially evil, this ought to be considered good news, right?

    May 7, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  14. Badly-Bent

    See, even capitalism can't avoid creating an aristocracy.

    May 7, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Reply
    • brilliant comment!

      just love your comment. In the old days we had kings. They got everything. We got nothing. The masses lived in poverty. Nowadays we have capitalism. It created a super-rich class. They got everything. We got nothing. The masses live in poverty. wow! what an awakening! We are right back to where we started. It must be a natural human tendency, or propensity, or failing. now you've really got me thinking.............. 🙂

      May 7, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Reply
    • BADGUY

      Capitalism...IS....aristocracy. To be a Capitalist...you've GOT to have capital...DUH! With our top 1% OWNING 42% of the capital....and the bottom 80% owning only 7%,... the chances of a majority of Americans to become capitalists is about the same as winning the lottery.

      May 7, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Reply
  15. Dr veruju

    What middle class?

    May 7, 2014 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  16. DE

    The Republican agenda is WORKING!!!

    May 7, 2014 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • Badly-Bent

      More like Obama's Hope and Change

      May 7, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  17. YYJ

    One of the reasons the middle class is being hurt is some of te immigration laws. You cannot allow companies to import workers on a workers Visa they can pay less to do the same job. This allows those who could become true middle class (75K) to never make it because a company can grab a foreigner and pay them only 50K. The reason he middle class has become stagnant is because the one the not enough job positions are available that require real skills. Or the ones that do require real skills are being filled by workers on a workers Visa. Raising the min wage is a good start. No one who works 40 hours a week should be struggling. In fact the Goverbment should offer special work hour credits for those who work more then 40 hours a week, to encourage people to work more and reward them for doing so. I'm all for immigration reform but the middle class in this country needs to be fixed before we allow an even larger influx on people fighting for the already limited true middle class jobs.

    May 7, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  18. luke

    Thanks to Obama !

    May 7, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  19. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    May 7, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  20. death eater

    Thank you Reagan.

    May 7, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Reply
    • WiltonManors

      You do realize Reagan hasn't been president for like a zillion years.

      May 7, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Reply
      • BADGUY

        It's like a chain reaction...you know like dropping one ping pong ball on a floor covered with TWO ping pong balls in a zillion mouse traps. The AH STARTED the movement of jobs and work OUT of the country. Without HIM, we'd STILL have a viable economy.

        May 7, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
  21. gkelley

    Well, we got what we have been asking for since the majority voted for Reagan: Let the wealthy keep their money and they will create jobs for the rest of us; the wealthy are the job creators. Now the wealthy haven't been wealthier, but where are the jobs?
    Infact, Reagan Republicans have been worng - the middle class creates the jobs. Taxing the welathy and invewsting in the middle class by providing affordable higher education, infrastructure so small and medium businesses have access to markets, and research to produce disruptive technologies have enabled the middle class to create jobs and fantastic wealth. How did Steve Jobs come from the middle class and create Apple - education, government research from semiconductors, computers, internet, and the infrastructure for access to markets.

    May 7, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Reply
    • Big Bob

      Jesus H. Christ! How you could be more wrong? Do you realize how american life was before Reagan? Probably not! People on welfare live better than the middle class did in the 60;s and 70's. 2 cars, AC, computers and more and more and more. I can't believe you're using Steve Jobs as an example. He's burning in hell!! No one person is more responsible for killing well paying industries as he was. Hip ones too, gkelley. Record biz. Communications. Printing. On and on and on.
      Wake the up you silly babe in the woods!

      May 7, 2014 at 6:09 pm | Reply
    • WiltonManors

      The Reagan expansion years marked a period of economic progress for middle class Americans. Middle class income increased 11 percent after adjustment for inflation, while nearly 20 million new jobs were created.
      ,
      Compare that to Obama.

      May 7, 2014 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  22. Bruce

    Why are we paying CEOs obscene amounts in the US? If CEO pay was capped at say $1 million a year can you imagine how much more middle class jobs could be saved, created, wages increased. The benefits for the country would be huge.

    May 7, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Reply
    • Dr. Feel good

      Then they only thing that would really happen is that people who's job is worth more than a million dollars would go elsewhere, that would kill big companies and oh guess what lots of jobs lost for the middle class, you think this CEOs earn big money just because? That's a loser mindset

      May 7, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Reply
      • ri0088

        What kill companies are lack of demand.....not how much you pay CEOs. If there's no demand, there's no profits. With no profits, CEO don't get paid either. When the majority of the country (middle class) has less to spend....that mean there is less demand.

        May 8, 2014 at 1:19 am |
  23. started with Reagan, and the GOP continues the trend

    America is being undone by the GOP, because they only care about themselves

    May 7, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Reply
    • Big Bob

      Yessss! Because they're sooooooo powerful! Everyone bows to the Reeeeeeeepublicanssssss!

      Now that's sarcasm!

      May 7, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Reply
  24. resident

    Let's see...between the union-busting of the Reagan administration combined with the God-almighty EPA creating ever-more Byzantine environmental obstacles to business and industry what did you expect?

    May 7, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      H8llary Clinton will be our next president.
      Ronald Reagan was a great president.
      Hillary is an ideal leader for this era.

      May 7, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Reply
      • Big Bob

        Sad but true. The other party has be squelched into silence. One party rule has been the goal of the elites. They've got it. Hillary will be appointed president if her health allows it. But don't be surprised if Moochelle is made president. Sure she has no experience, but that doesn't seem to matter anymore. And of course, after the current influx of new democratic voters and the continued indoctrination of the current democratic voters, there is no way she could lose. And then, as the elites would have it, One world government! That's what you'll be paying your taxes for. Enjoy, suckers. That will make your daddies mad!

        May 7, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
  25. steve696

    So, President Obama has been successful in something. He has achieved the decline of the middle class in America.

    May 7, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  26. Jake

    People don't get what has been happening since 1980. All the gains in income have been going to the top 2% richest already. If you are not in the top 2% it makes no sense to support the GOP policies that have made this happen. But it is hard for some people to understand the economics. What they can understand is their hatred for others. Very sad for the country.

    May 7, 2014 at 7:01 pm | Reply
    • brilliant comment!

      good point Jake. Reaganomics definitely favored the rich. no question about it. But then, the rich became super-super-rich by making all their products in Asia, at a fraction of the cost, while pocketing the difference. Sam Walton taught them how to do it. At the same time, the taxes that these multi-national corporations pay, in any country, became a very murky business indeed, with clever accounting managers siphoning billions thru tax-havens like the Caymen Islands! The saying was: let your income take a vacation in the caribbean before it comes home.......... 🙂 So not only did the rich get much richer, they even got to pay little-to-zero taxes, which made them much much richer, while the money going into tax revenues dwindled, causing Medicare to get severely cut and social security to teeter near extinction, and Obamacare tax withdrawals from our paychecks to get implemented! Basically the middle-class American got screwed. And democrat or republican has nothing to do with it. Greed and poor long-term strategy has everything to do with it......... 😦

      May 7, 2014 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  27. Common Sense

    This is not a Republican or Democrat thing, it's simple economics.

    This is the unfortunate negative side effect of progress and increases in productivity. Compare work tools that didn't exist 35 years ago that allow the average knowledge worker to be significantly more productive now: Computers, Tablets, Fax Machines, Smart Phones. For instance, I can communicate a message (doing it right now) to 1000's of people instantaneously.

    Also, jobs that the Middle class did 35 years ago are more likely to be outsourced to other countries where they can be done at a fraction of the cost. The only way to stem this tide is if 120MM+ American househoulds decided to all hold hands and say they were only going to buy American made or created goods. Its too hard to pass up on cheap goods made outside of the US for most, so the spiral downward continues.

    Finally, policies geared towards raising taxes on the wealthy to re-distribute to the poor (ala Europe) result in more out-sourcing to save money, compounding the problem. Policies geared towards cutting taxes on the rich (ala Reaganomics) also lead to more outsourcing as they realize they can make even more money under lower taxes.

    May 7, 2014 at 7:34 pm | Reply
    • Tax Imported Goods

      Let's starting Taxing imported goods..... Protectionism is the only way forward

      May 7, 2014 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  28. barb'sbarb

    Our society is changing - we are moving towards a 2-class society.

    Read the book The Divide by Matt Taibbi - very much tells you want is happening in America ...

    May 7, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  29. Bubba

    Now this really is a matter of National Security.

    May 7, 2014 at 9:37 pm | Reply
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