Future of the Middle Class

Is the outlook getting grimmer for average Americans?


The percentage of middle-income U.S. households has declined significantly in recent years, leading some economists, policy experts and politicians to argue that the American middle class is in deep trouble — or even disappearing. Globalization, automation and declining union membership have shrunk the manufacturing workforce — historically a bulwark of the middle class — and an increasing share of the nation's wealth has accrued to the richest Americans. Many experts say achieving middle-class status today is unlikely without a college education and entry into the white-collar work world — a stark turnaround from the booming post-World War II years, when a stable blue-collar job anchored millions of families in a middle-class lifestyle. Still, some experts call fears of a middle-class decline overblown, saying poor Americans ...

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