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What’s Killing the American Middle Class?


What’s Killing the American Middle Class?

Richard Eskow

A new study by the Pew Research Center spurred a rash of headlines last week about “the dying middle class.” But the word “dying” might be more appropriate if we were watching the regrettable but inevitable effects of natural forces at work. We’re not.


Excellent, start to finish. Thank you. Interrelation between climate change and middle class? Increased utility bills. Some geographical dislocation over time. More I’m sure. On the positive side, maybe when discussing infrastructure jobs, include green energy, efficiency, reforestation, wetlands reconstruction and so on?


One of the main causes, the bad trade deals (NAFTA and the WTO deal) should be mentioned by name.
And of course the Clintons were major proponents of those bad trade deals.
But I am sure Hillary will change her stripes once she is President (Not!).


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Reagan’s anti-government rhetoric, blaming the poor, and waxing on about the “city on the hill” were all lead-ups to the deregulation craze that led to the re-engineering of the economy. Against gravity, it pushed wealth upwards to the tippy top of the financial food chain thus depriving all those in the bottom sectors.


The first major legislation to launch the systematic dismantling of the middle class occurred in the mid 70s when mortgage securitization became legal.

Had that legislation included a Consumer Protection Agency rating.and approval program securitization may have been OK, however, cutting securitization loose with few regulations beyond notification protocol enabled Bill Clinton’s Commodities Futures Modernization Act that enabled the subprime mortgage scam to expand to the extent it was a major driver of the 2008 meltdown that in one fell swoop pushed more Murkins out of the middle class than all of events of the previous two decades had.


You are absolutely correct but also add in Bush, Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama all of these guys continued this cycle that has led up to the demise of the middle class.


The author forgot to add mounting student loans to the calculations.


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He had me right up until the end. I hate it when that happens.

It’s time to stop those forces in their tracks, take back our democracy, and create a middle class that’s more vibrant and inclusive than ever.

I totally agree with the sentiment, but for all those communities of color Eskow mentioned, there really has never been a democracy for them to take back. I say “let’s transform our democracy, and create…”


Cause of death: Suicide. Think about what this country did. They looked at the policies and programs that were implemented from FDR to Reagan, which took the country to its height of wealth and productivity, and CHOSE to do the exact opposite. They reversed the policies, ended the programs, and the inevitable happened.


I never could figure out why people chose to purchase plastic bottles of water, most of which is just ordinary tap water.


No, the middle class either demanded or applauded every policy that caused this, from Reagan’s deregulation mania onward. They applauded the years on massive corporate tax cuts (“vital to job creation”), Clinton’s creation of super-cheap workfare replacement labor, the longest war in the US history, years of building a prison system that makes the old Soviet gulag look puny in comparison, decades of shipping out US jobs…


Also , look at the people who vote for these morons in offices. Plus their is a rigged election system . Wall Street was never punished. At least in the 1980s bankers went to prison for savings and loan violations. Why didn’t they this time for crashing the global economy? Plus the banks got fines but the ceos who committed the crimes are still there. Why? Hold the president, the department of justice, and congress responsible. This one started with Bush 2 and ended with Obama.


Never had to when I was growing up, and for years after that.


But why?


Yes, they did - the silent non progressive majority.


Quite frankly, I think that eugenics or at least a modernization of it is involved. Elimination of the poor and middle class so that the fat cats can feed on fewer and fewer resources.


Too many people are “sheeple” or are uneducated , apathetic or care about the wrong things. Think about it who created and allowed McDonald’s to thrive? If people had brains, that would not have happened.


Irrational to appaud shipping out jobs for decades no less first calling it inflation then the global economy and people are naive enough to buy it! Very well put post by the way.