• Goodnight American Dream: The Middle Class Is Now a Minority

    December 14, 2015

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: #99Percent, Economy, Minimum Wage


    The middle class, which for 40 years has represented a majority of the country in practice, and formed the foundational belief in what has been known as the “American Dream,” is now just half the United States, according to a new report.

    Over at least the last four decades, productivity gains have gone largely to the top of the economic pyramid, increasing both their income and wealth. Real income growth has been flat for most Americans, even as the cost of living has increased.

    Need it in numbers?

    The share of America’s income going to the middle class has fallen from 62 percent in 1970 to 43 percent now. Today, the majority of our national income goes to the upper class, which reaps a 49 percent share. (by comparison, the share of income going to the upper class in 1970 was just 29 percent). The median wealth of middle class households has fallen by more than one-fourth since the beginning of this century.

    Need it in simple terms?

    The rich are getting very much richer, seeing their wealth grow exponentially. The middle class is shrinking. Meanwhile, the poor are still poor and their numbers are growing. We are indeed heading toward a society within a society within the world’s wealthiest nation — one percent of “us” now own half of everything.

    The implications of this path are dark.

    At the point where a handful of people control most of the wealth, and the other money in our nation is so diffuse as to make those individuals in the bottom 99 percent of our society irrelevant except as cheap labor, we live in a modern day version of feudalism. Money is power, and a select handful now can control elections with “donations,” can have laws written and rewritten to match their needs, can keep a lid on the minimum wage more and more of us depend on now to get by, manipulate college loan and mortgage rates to keep people in debt, and secure ownership of the land we live on and the places we live. Hyper-wealthy people through their charitable foundations are free to social-engineer our world, paying to say grow one form of educational system while leaving another to wither on limited funding.

    How did the wealthy pull off the greatest peaceful takeover of a nation in human history? Very easily. Their master stroke, however, was not to take predatory capitalism to its extreme, but to do so without sparking more than a whisper of disagreement from the very people they trod upon.

    Here is the linchpin of how the rich have taken us: they have convinced average Americans to act and vote against their own interests, in part by manipulating them into opposing any program that has a chance of benefiting black and brown equally or more than themselves. Decent health care and nutrition for everyone? That’s socialism!

    Our entire culture is fear-based, from our religion to our media to Wall Street. It drives everything, and fear is the most powerful tool that rulers can use to manipulate people. It is this constant state of fear that really makes us exceptional compared to every other advanced nation.

    People, we have been bought. Someone else now, in every effective and meaningful way, owns us. Suckers.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • chuck said...


      Exceptionalism u$a!

      12/14/15 8:10 AM | Comment Link

    • Helen Marshall said...


      I wish I did not have to agree with this. Cannot imaagine teaching US Government classes now.

      It’s not good to be old..but somedays it seems ok.

      12/14/15 8:58 AM | Comment Link

    • Jeff (no, the other one) said...


      In Dad’s day, a HS diploma was a really good thing; with a college degree, you could “write your own ticket,” they said. Didn’t the GI Bill pay $400 in a time when Harvard cost $500 (per term or whatever)…?

      Re-reading Howard Zinn’s history of America, and the ruling rich playing everyone against everyone else for their own benefit really hasn’t changed all that much.

      12/14/15 10:43 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      quote”Meanwhile, the poor are still poor and their numbers are growing. “unquote

      Yeah, well once the number of poor increases to a point they get hungry enough, they’ll do something about it. As for “fear”, I’d submit if one single Wallstreet banker was found burning from a lamp post, the .01% would start getting the message. Another one the next day, would cause Wallstreet to panic. Three would cause it to start imploding . And four would start a revolution. Blood would run in the street.

      On the other hand, a commenter on the current top story at the Intercept, has a good idea.

      quote: “Forgive me if I have recurring fantasies about hiring mercenaries, equipping them with FBI jackets and black SUVs, and having them walk into every CEO office on Wall Street, arrest everyone involved and hold them for a People’s Court – indictment, waterboarding and eventually the guillotine. What Wall Street (and Bush and Co. right before they left office) did wasn’t just raiding the Treasury’s coffers, but mass murder. Just the usual, in other words.”unquote

      All I could add is to also drag US war criminals from their granite palaces and burn them alive in the street.

      Frankly, I don’t have a shred of doubt, at some point soon, something will cause the damn to burst. Most likely…gun confiscation.

      12/15/15 7:41 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Could Congress put something in a bill in the next weeks to kill the internet as we know it, for fear? Happy Holidays if u celebrate. LA schools closed. Fear! Go shopping and relax dammit. Peace on Earth. FLSFLGSFU

      12/15/15 1:10 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...


      As an ex-pat watching from afar the screwing of the middle class of the Dumbest Country on the Planet, it is evident that you fools have not let your education gone to your head. You vote for congress whores who prostitute themselves for an organization that is killing your children, you swallow lies from your government that threatens your security with its boneheaded decisions,while both wings of the War Party have fooled you into believing the future is bright and the US is the planet’s best hope for freedom. FREEDUMB, indeed.

      12/17/15 11:41 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...


      Speaking of educated fools, special award goes to Wheaton College for suspending a professor for her dangerous thoughts on religious freedumb.

      12/17/15 11:48 AM | Comment Link

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