Every read a statistic that leaves you flabbergasted and dismayed? Well, I just read one that makes me shit on myself, which is flabbergasted squared plus two. It just so happens that, as of 2006 (so it doesn’t even count the most recent economic sodomy perpetrated upon us), 1/4 of Americans who were born into the middle class in the fifties and sixties will fall into the lower class or poverty as adults. While it is equal across race for women, it’s not equal across race for men, so that 38% of black men born into the middle class will slip into
hell poverty, while around 21% of white and Latino men will loose their socio-economic status.
The middle class is defined as people who fall between the 30% and 70% percentile of income distribution. The median income in the US is $46,326. Poverty is defined as “$22,350 (total yearly income) for a family of four”. There are now 46.2 MILLION people in the US living in poverty. Obviously, this does not count those families of four who make twice as much … say even as much as a whopping $45,000. We can only assume you light your cigars with $100 bills when you are rolling in that kind of wealth! Saving for retirement and sending your kids to college must be a breeze!
What does this disparity look like? It looks like this:
My dad rose to upper middle class from abject poverty. My brother the fireman, and his wife who is a teacher, are clinging to middle class by their fingernails. I married a guy whose salary allows us to be middle class, and I am grateful. My brother the paramedic, who works 50+ hours a week, and his wife, who also works her ass off, make below the poverty line. My parents give generously to make sure car payments and whatnot are met. What do people do if they don’t have a Dad who can help? There is no social safety net outside of the family anymore. What happened? Simple: most of our manufacturing jobs went overseas and “accounting for inflation, median wages for men between 30 and 50 dropped 27 percent—to $33,000 a year— from 1969 to 2009, according to an analysis by Michael Greenstone, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economics professor who was chief economist for Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.” Meanwhile, the top 10% grow steadily richer. The US now hovers between Jamaica and Cameroon in terms of income inequality.
This kind of information makes me really depressed, y’all.