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Snyder writes: "We just got more evidence that the middle class in America is dying. According to brand new numbers that were just released by the Social Security Administration, 51 percent of all workers in the United States make less than $30,000 a year. Let that number sink in for a moment."

Food service worker Reginald Lewis Sr. speaks at a rally for striking service workers in Washington, D.C. (photo: Good Jobs Nation)
Food service worker Reginald Lewis Sr. speaks at a rally for striking service workers in Washington, D.C. (photo: Good Jobs Nation)


Goodbye Middle Class: 51 Percent of All American Workers Make Less Than 30,000 Dollars a Year

By Michael Snyder, Washington's Blog

24 October 15

 

e just got more evidence that the middle class in America is dying.  According to brand new numbers that were just released by the Social Security Administration, 51 percent of all workers in the United States make less than $30,000 a year.  Let that number sink in for a moment.  You can’t support a middle class family in America today on just $2,500 a month – especially after taxes are taken out.  And yet more than half of all workers in this country make less than that each month.  In order to have a thriving middle class, you have got to have an economy that produces lots of middle class jobs, and that simply is not happening in America today.

You can find the report that the Social Security Administration just released right here.  The following are some of the numbers that really stood out for me…

-38 percent of all American workers made less than $20,000 last year.

-51 percent of all American workers made less than $30,000 last year.

-62 percent of all American workers made less than $40,000 last year.

-71 percent of all American workers made less than $50,000 last year.

That first number is truly staggering.  The federal poverty level for a family of five is $28,410, and yet almost 40 percent of all American workers do not even bring in $20,000 a year.

If you worked a full-time job at $10 an hour all year long with two weeks off, you would make approximately $20,000.  This should tell you something about the quality of the jobs that our economy is producing at this point.

And of course the numbers above are only for those that are actually working.  As I discussed just recently, there are 7.9 million working age Americans that are “officially unemployed” right now and another 94.7 million working age Americans that are considered to be “not in the labor force”.  When you add those two numbers together, you get a grand total of 102.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.

So many people that I know are barely scraping by right now.  Many families have to fight tooth and nail just to make it from month to month, and there are lots of Americans that find themselves sinking deeper and deeper into debt.

If you can believe it, about a quarter of the country actually has a negative net worth right now.

What that means is that if you have no debt and you also have ten dollars in your pocket that gives you a greater net worth than about 25 percent of the entire country.  The following comes from a recent piece by Simon Black

Credit Suisse estimates that 25% of Americans are in this situation of having a negative net-worth.

“If you’ve no debts and have $10 in your pocket you have more wealth than 25% of Americans. More than 25% of Americans have collectively that is.”

The thing is– not only did the government create the incentives, but they set the standard.

With a net worth of negative $60 trillion, US citizens are just following dutifully in the government’s footsteps.

As a nation we are flat broke and most of us are living paycheck to paycheck.  It has been estimated that it takes approximately $50,000 a year to support a middle class lifestyle for a family of four in the U.S. today, and so the fact that 71 percent of all workers make less than that amount shows how difficult it is for families that try to get by with just a single breadwinner.

Needless to say, a tremendous squeeze has been put on the middle class.  In many families, both the husband and the wife are working as hard as they can, but it is still not enough.  With each passing day, more Americans are losing their spots in the middle class and this has pushed government dependence to an all-time high.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans now live in a home that receives money from the government each month.

Sadly, the trends that are destroying the middle class in America just continue to accelerate.

With a huge assist from the Republican leadership in Congress, Barack Obama recently completed negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Also known as Obamatrade, this insidious new treaty is going to cover nations that collectively account for 40 percent of global GDP.  Just like NAFTA, this treaty will result in the loss of thousands of businesses and millions of good paying American jobs.  Let us hope and pray that Congress somehow votes it down.

Another thing that is working against the middle class is the fact that technology is increasingly taking over our jobs.  With each passing year, it becomes cheaper and more efficient to have computers, robots and machines do things that humans once did.

Eventually, there will be very few things that humans will be able to do more cheaply and more efficiently than computers, robots and machines.  How will most of us make a living when that happens?

The robopocalypse for workers may be inevitable. In this vision of the future, super-smart machines will best humans in pretty much every task. A few of us will own the machines, a few will work a bitwhile the rest will live off a government-provided income… the most common job in most U.S. states probably will no longer be truck driver.

For decades, we have been training our young people to have the goal of “getting a job” once they get out into the real world.  But in America today there are not nearly enough good jobs to go around, and this crisis is only going to accelerate as we move into the future.

I do not believe that it is wise to pin your future on a corporation that could replace you with a foreign worker or a machine the moment that it becomes expedient to do so.  We need to start thinking differently, because the paradigms that worked in the past are fundamentally breaking down.

So what advice would you give to a young adult today that is looking toward the future?

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

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+22 # Gregory F 2015-10-24 14:13
This is a sobering article, to say the least. I've never truly bought into the notion that our economy is recovering and going great guns, the job market is booming, yada, yada, yada... I personally left the job market and created my own small business about a year ago. I'm not getting rich or anything, but my bills are paid and I'm starting to be able to save a little money each month.
I tell my grandchildren to learn a skill that they can turn into a small business and empower themselves, as I don't see much of a future working for someone else. I'm wondering if people like myself were included in this study. Technically I don't have a job, but I'm on course to make around $50,000 this year.
 
 
+27 # lsd 2015-10-24 16:04
An economy based on consumerism, like a snake eating its own tail, how could that fail, shocking.
 
 
+27 # mbrownec 2015-10-24 16:14
If we let the statistics in this article sink in, we'll realize how much "trickle down" economics since the Reagan administration has destroyed the working class in the U.S.

Selling the American people on trickle down economics, via nationalism, was a rich man's trick that began the dissolution of the middle class in America.

The statistic of “If you’ve no debts and have $10 in your pocket you have more wealth than 25% of Americans. More than 25% of Americans have collectively that is" should make us literally cry, at first, and then get angry ... really angry!

Our government sold the working class out as "slaves" to the oligarchy class. Millions of people are having to fight to simply have a very modest roof over their head and adequate food for themselves and their families.

The continued defunding and cancellation of social programs equates to slow, tortuous genocide of the poor, chronically unemployed, disabled, and the elderly.

There is barely a trace of real democracy left in the America. Oh what a shame, she had such great potential in the dreams of our founders.
 
 
+24 # Dongi 2015-10-24 16:51
Our young people should learn how to build barricades so they can block the streets on their way to overthrowing the capitalists and creating a government that cares for its citizens; young, middle age and old. We need education for the young, jobs for the middle age and retirement provisions for the aged. And, for everybody decent medical care. The environment should be pro-tected and the infrastructure maintained. We don't need billionnaires nor millionnaires.

If a government can't provide these things, then it is time for a kind of government that will. It is a very old concept of government but surprisingly new as well.
 
 
+20 # Capn Canard 2015-10-24 17:28
I am not surprised... Those numbers look far too common, but I feel very confident that we will never see or hear stories like this on the MSM.
 
 
+18 # ligonlaw 2015-10-24 23:03
Yet, so many of those underpaid, overworked Americans still vote for Republicans who will never address income inequality. Union membership is declining, with slightly more than 11% of workers in unions today compared to 20% thirty years ago. The death of the middle class has come after a long lingering societal illness. The dominance of 400 families may be a permanent and immutable feature of the American future while the majority of our people continue to compete for jobs with workers in the third world.
 
 
+2 # Cassandra2012 2015-10-25 12:23
Unions need to do more education tackling point by point all the lies the oligarchs have spread about union corruption (as compared to corporate corruption???)
 
 
+19 # Shorey13 2015-10-24 23:25
I said in 1980, when Reagan was elected, and have been saying (to my friends dismay!) the same thing at every opportunity since: the goal of the Reagan/Thatcher Devolution has always been to turn America (and the rest of the world) into a Third World country, where a few people don't really need to work and everybody else is begging them for a low-paying, crappy job. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams....

Nice to see that a few others have finally awakened to that reality. Worse, much worse, there is exactly no plan whatsoever for how to deal with this disaster! None. If anyone is interested (and for 35 years no one has been!) I have a perfectly reasonable plan, known as Peoples' Capitalism, where we are all dealt in, and profits are not reinvested to destroy the world with pathological growth, but distributed to us as dividends, which eventually would provide enough income to cover basic needs, after which those who want more would be welcome to work for it.

The main reason no one will listen, I have learned, is that those who love the market hate the poor, and those who love the poor hate the market. Look, markets are not going away and poverty is becoming endemic, so we have to use the market to provide for basic needs. And there will never , never, be enough good jobs again. Never. Get used to it.
 
 
+2 # Cassandra2012 2015-10-25 12:24
Serfs for the plutocracy .... and cannon fodder for their imperial wars....
 
 
+2 # Organizer 2015-10-25 06:24
Thoughtful comments Shorey13! I especially like the notion of accepting the reality of markets while still being angry about and devoted to eliminating poverty - not feeling that you need to be devoted to one or the other - but that you can integrate both into your way of thinking and acting.
 
 
+9 # ericlipps 2015-10-25 07:40
Quote:
In many families, both the husband and the wife are working as hard as they can, but it is still not enough. With each passing day, more Americans are losing their spots in the middle class and this has pushed government dependence to an all-time high. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans now live in a home that receives money from the government each month.
I'm old enough to remember the 1972 presidential election, in which the Nixon campaign predicted that if George McGovern were elected half the country would be on welfare and the other half would be paying for it.

Well, McGovern was not elected . . . and yet, here we are. If half the country isn't (yet) actually on welfare, it's certainly on government assistance. And if we never get to the point where half the country is on welfare, it'll be because of the five-year lifetime limit--and if you think you see a lot of homeless people, and even families, on the streets now, just wait until that limit starts catching up with more Americans who can't get jobs with at least a survival wage.
 
 
+2 # Shades of gray matter 2015-10-25 11:13
That sentences at the top didn't say "full time" worker; are these? You can rant and rave about "the system" until you feel good about yourself, but things will not change until full time workers making less than a Living Wage take advantage of their sheer numbers and do something way outside of the box for them: VOTE THEIR ECONOMIC & SOCIAL INTERESTS. Vote absentee, it's EASY.
 
 
+3 # Beenie 2015-10-25 11:24
Salaries are too low and jobs too scarce. I'm making more than $30K every year but I'm also working 3 jobs so I can make the same money I was making in 1992, It's awful for anyone out there trying to make a living, but it is especially tough for women. So the best thing is for women to get out and VOTE!!! We're the ones who make up the majority of voters and that gives us POWER! WE can do this - we SHOULD do that and we can get rid of these wretched repugnicans and get this country back on course. And make corporations PAY THEIR DAMN TAXES
 
 
+1 # Robbee 2015-10-25 11:58
in answer to - # Shorey13 2015-10-24 23:25 "I said in 1980, when Reagan was elected, and have been saying (to my friends dismay!) the same thing at every opportunity since: the goal of the Reagan/Thatcher Devolution has always been to turn America (and the rest of the world) into a Third World country, where a few people don't really need to work and everybody else is begging them for a low-paying, crappy job. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams...."

- shorey, do you never dream of an america where congress has nothing to do with billionaires, because billionaires have nothing to offer them? nothing?

if you do, then dream of public funding, only, of elections! go bernie!
 
 
0 # Robbee 2015-10-25 12:40
re: # Dongi 2015-10-24 16:51 "Our young people should learn how to build barricades so they can block the streets on their way to overthrowing the capitalists and creating a government that cares for its citizens; young, middle age and old. We need education for the young, jobs for the middle age and retirement provisions for the aged. And, for everybody decent medical care. The environment should be pro-tected and the infrastructure maintained. We don't need billionnaires nor millionnaires.

"If a government can't provide these things, then it is time for a kind of government that will. It is a very old concept of government but surprisingly new as well."

- dongi, do you never dream of an america where congress has nothing to do with billionaires, because billionaires have nothing to offer them? nothing?

if you do, then dream of public funding, only, of elections! go bernie!
 
 
0 # Dongi 2015-10-27 08:10
I dream of publicly financed elections all the time. It is the only way to break the political power of the rich and super rich.
 
 
0 # Robbee 2015-10-25 12:52
why does anybody have to listen to billionaires and their super-pacs? - says
# Beenie 2015-10-25 11:24 "Salaries are too low and jobs too scarce. I'm making more than $30K every year but I'm also working 3 jobs so I can make the same money I was making in 1992, It's awful for anyone out there trying to make a living, but it is especially tough for women. So the best thing is for women to get out and VOTE!!! We're the ones who make up the majority of voters and that gives us POWER! WE can do this - we SHOULD do that and we can get rid of these wretched repugnicans and get this country back on course. And make corporations PAY THEIR DAMN TAXES"

- beenie, voters don't listen to us because they're too confused by massive ad campaigns funded by billionaires and their super-pacs!

- beenie, do you never dream of an america where congress has nothing to do with billionaires, because billionaires have nothing to offer them? nothing?

if you do, then dream of public funding, only, of elections! go bernie!
 
 
0 # Robbee 2015-10-25 12:59
why do so many voters vote against their economic self-interest? says - # Shades of gray matter 2015-10-25 11:13 "That sentences at the top didn't say "full time" worker; are these? You can rant and rave about "the system" until you feel good about yourself, but things will not change until full time workers making less than a Living Wage take advantage of their sheer numbers and do something way outside of the box for them: VOTE THEIR ECONOMIC & SOCIAL INTERESTS. Vote absentee, it's EASY."

- gray, voters don't listen to progressives because they're too confused by massive ad campaigns funded by billionaires and their super-pacs!

- gray, do you never dream of an america where congress has nothing to do with billionaires, because billionaires have nothing to offer them? nothing?

if you do, then dream of public funding, only, of elections! go bernie!
 
 
0 # Robbee 2015-10-25 13:10
what if half of america is on welfare? - says - # ericlipps 2015-10-25 07:40 "... the Nixon campaign predicted that if George McGovern were elected half the country would be on welfare and the other half would be paying for it.

"Well, McGovern was not elected ... and yet, here we are. If half the country isn't (yet) actually on welfare, it's certainly on government assistance. And if we never get to the point where half the country is on welfare, it'll be because of the five-year lifetime limit--and if you think you see a lot of homeless people, and even families, on the streets now, just wait until that limit starts catching up with more Americans who can't get jobs with at least a survival wage."

- eric, voters don't listen to progressives because they're too confused by massive ad campaigns funded by billionaires and their super-pacs!

- eric, do you never dream of an america where congress has nothing to do with billionaires, because billionaires have nothing to offer them? nothing?

if you do, then dream of public funding, only, of elections! go bernie!
 
 
0 # Robbee 2015-10-25 13:29
why do so many voters vote against their economic self-interest? says - # mbrownec 2015-10-24 16:14 "If we let the statistics in this article sink in, we'll realize how much "trickle down" economics since the Reagan administration has destroyed the working class in the U.S.

Selling the American people on trickle down economics, via nationalism, was a rich man's trick that began the dissolution of the middle class in America ...

There is barely a trace of real democracy left in the America. Oh what a shame, she had such great potential in the dreams of our founders."

- mbrownec, voters don't listen to progressives because they're too confused by massive ad campaigns funded by billionaires and their super-pacs*!

- mbrownec, do you never dream of an america where congress has nothing to do with billionaires, because billionaires have nothing to offer them? nothing?

if you do, then dream of public funding, only, of elections! go bernie!

* note that super-pacs are new but their negative ad campaigns are not - reaganomics is the economic theory, that never worked in practice, but, by starving the middle class, vaulted the billionaire class to our ruling class!
 
 
0 # Robbee 2015-10-25 13:41
why do so many voters vote against their economic self-interest? says - # ligonlaw 2015-10-24 23:03 "Yet, so many of those underpaid, overworked Americans still vote for Republicans who will never address income inequality. Union membership is declining, with slightly more than 11% of workers in unions today compared to 20% thirty years ago. The death of the middle class has come after a long lingering societal illness. The dominance of 400 families may be a permanent and immutable feature of the American future while the majority of our people continue to compete for jobs with workers in the third world."

- ligonlaw, voters don't listen to progressives because they're too confused by massive ad campaigns funded by billionaires and their super-pacs*!

- ligonlaw, do you never dream of an america where congress has nothing to do with billionaires, because billionaires have nothing to offer them? nothing?

if you do, then dream of public funding, only, of elections! go bernie!
 
 
0 # jsluka 2015-10-25 15:57
Out of breath yet Robbee? (LOL)
 
 
0 # Robbee 2015-10-25 15:58
the alternative, to congress, state legislators, governors and judges for sale to the only bidders, is, as bernie proposes, public funding, only, of all federal, state and local elections! go bernie!

as bernie puts it - “Long term, we need to go further and establish public funding of elections … American democracy is not about corporations and billionaires being able to buy candidates and elections. It is not about Wall Street and big oil or the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson spending billions of dollars to elect candidates who will make the rich richer and everyone else poorer. According to media reports the Koch brothers alone, one family, will spend more money in this election cycle than either the Democratic or Republican parties. This is not democracy. This is oligarchy. The defining principle of American democracy is one person, one vote – with every citizen having an equal say – and no voter suppression. And that’s the kind of American political system we have to fight for.”

wake up here on rsn and listen to bernie!


8/4/15 bernie spoke on the senate floor for 15 minutes, inserting carter's comment into the senate record (watch bernie’s speech on c-span!)

to solve our oligarchy problem bernie laid out his case for public funding, only, of elections - GET ALL PRIVATE MONEY OUT !
 
 
+1 # Robbee 2015-10-25 16:43
laugh if you can! - # jsluka 2015-10-25 15:57 "Out of breath yet Robbee? (LOL)"

- rsn is full of folks who have profound grievances how our government abuses our citizens but, other than vote bernie of course, have no idea what to do about it -

the fundamental reason they are almost clueless is that, strangely, they don't listen to bernie!

what about you j? you ready to start listening to bernie yet? or is that funny too?
 

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