Is the idea of a powerful and well-populated middle class easily obtainable with hard work a myth or is it provable fact?
That was the focus of a recent study by Pew Research looking at the middle class on a global level. The truth revealed showed more hope than reality.
While here in the US, most people consider themselves middle class, a 56% majority would be considered high income around the world. Yet, inside our borders, low income outdistances middle class and high income by a large margin. The same is shown globally.
Per the US government, poverty level in the nation for a family of four was $23,0021. The study covers the period from 2001 to 2011. The median income in the US was down to $51,939 in 2013 compared to a mean of $55,562 in 2001 before the financial crisis of 2008-2009.
Comparing US income to the rest of the world only 7% of Americans are middle class with only 3% being in poverty. What a difference when we see our lives in America and then look at the lives of those around the globe.
This is not to say there are not issues with poverty and income equality in America the Beautiful. Yet, when put into perspective, America and its citizens are blessed or lucky or any phrase you want to use.
Low income families dominate in the US and not the middle class. There are more of us near the poverty level for our nation than there are of us who think we are middle class. And it is not getting any better or easier to rise into the ranks of the middle class.
While there have been thousands of jobs created over the past few years, the majority of the jobs being created are either low paying or part-time positions. Income, wages, have remained static making mobility nearly non-existent. The disparity between the ones at the top of the economic ladder and those trying to get on the first rung continues to grow.
Check out the full study from Pew: A Global Middle Class Is More Promise Thank Reality.
From the Cornfield, it is not enough to work hard. There must also be the opportunity to move up with a company or business. There must be jobs created which provide a more desirable income base.
Crowing about the number of jobs created is hollow unless those jobs are full-time and pay more than what one can receive on unemployment or temporary aid. When the under-employed and those who have dropped out of the labor market can’t see daylight or reason to hold on, hope itself becomes a myth.
The middle class in America will remain mythic until those wanting a good-paying position can find openings for sustainable opportunities.
With the presidential election campaigns launched, a main concern Americans will be looking at is the position of the candidates on the economy, how to rid the country of the financial sluggishness and a program to create the type of jobs with the income Americans need.