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Jimmy Carter Slams Growing Inequality, Crumbling Middle Class


Jimmy Carter Slams Growing Inequality, Crumbling Middle Class

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Former President Jimmy Carter slammed the nation's growing inequality and lack of affordable housing on Monday, and said that greater equality "would pay rich dividends for Americans" of all income levels, statements one analyst says offer a stark contrast to policies during his administration.


The middle class isn’t crumbling and the median house in the US cost ~$200k, very affordable.

"The most spectacular change involved the explosion of the upper middle class (incomes from $100,000 to $349,999). It grew from 12.9 percent of Americans in 1979 to 29.4 percent in 2014 — from 1 in 8 U.S. households to more than 1 in 4. The rich ($350,000 in income or more) went from 0.1 percent of households to 1.8 percent in 2014. If these two groups are combined, nearly one-third of Americans have incomes exceeding $100,000. (Note: All these thresholds apply to three-person households; income levels are adjusted for differences in household size.)

Meanwhile, the poorer segments of the population declined. The poor and near-poor (less than $29,999 of income) dropped from 24.3 percent of the population in 1979 to 19.8 percent in 2014. The lower middle class ($30,000 to $49,999) fell from 23.9 percent to 17.1 percent, and the middle class ($50,000 to $99,999) decreased from 38.8 percent to 32 percent.
All in all, it’s an important story. “The growth in the rich and upper middle class and the declining proportion of the population in the middle and lower classes indicate widespread economic growth between 1979 and 2014,” writes Rose."

Is the middle class moving up?

Despite perceptions to the contrary, living standards for most people have been steadily rising.