The American dream shatters: The death of the middle class

Middle-class families, which used to be the backbone of the United States economy are becoming poorer. Despite the constant bombardment of news of a “healthy economy,” 62% of middle-class families struggle to afford a basic middle-class lifestyle.

Even though the unemployment rate that has reached a 50-year low of 3.7 percent, most jobs across the U.S. don’t support a middle-class or better lifestyle, leaving many Americans struggling, according to a new study. When factoring in both wages and the cost of living in the metro area where the job is located, 62% struggle to provide a middle-class lifestyle according to the study by Third Way, a think tank that leans center-left on the political spectrum.

“There’s an opportunity crisis in the country,” says Jim Kessler, vice president of policy for Third Way and editor of the report. “It explains some of the economic uneasiness and, frankly, the political uneasiness” even amid the most robust U.S. economy and labor market since before the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009. But is the economy robust? Or are we being fed a line by the mainstream media? The middle class is not thriving, and increased regulations and higher taxes make it difficult for people to branch out on their own and create their own business.

“I’m frustrated with the fact that I’m not going to be able to save anything because my rent is so high,” says Esther Akutekha, who says she’s 30ish and pays $1440 per month to rent an apartment. Akutekha is a public relations specialist and her job pays more than $50,000 a year, but she’s still struggling. “I don’t even know if I can afford” to have children,” she added according to USA Today.

But the dwindling middle class is nothing new. The results from Third Way‘s model indicate that the opportunity to earn a good living is scarce throughout the United States and it will no doubt only continue to worsen.

Full article: The American dream shatters: The death of the middle class (Intellihub)

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