Middle Class Death Watch: As Poverty Spreads, 28% of Americans Who Were Part of the Middle Class Have Fallen Out of It

Sunday, September 18, 2011
By Paul Martin

(E-mail this out to all your e-mail list!!!…Paul)

AmPedStatus.com

Editor’s Note: This is our first Middle Class Death Watch roundup. Building off of our extensive report on the financial destruction of the United States, this will be a regular feature moving forward. Here we present a collection of news reports from the past two weeks detailing the collapse of the middle class.

Overall Snapshot

Middle-Class Americans Often Fall Down Economic Ladder: Study – nearly a third of Americans who were part of the middle class have fallen out of it

“The promise of the American dream has given many hope that they themselves could one day rise up the economic ladder. But according to a study released those already in financially-stable circumstances should fear falling down a few rungs too. The study… found that nearly a third of Americans who were part of the middle class as teenagers in the 1970s have fallen out of it as adults… its findings suggest the relative ease with which people in the U.S. can end up in low-income, low-opportunity lifestyles — even if they started out with a number of advantages. Though the American middle class has been repeatedly invoked as a key factor in any economic turnaround, numerous reports have suggested that the middle class enjoys less existential security than it did a generation ago, thanks to stagnating incomes and the decline of the industrial sector.”

Downward Mobility from the Middle Class: Waking Up from the American Dream

“The idea that children will grow up to be better off than their parents is a central component of the American Dream, and sustains American optimism. However, Downward Mobility from the Middle Class: Waking up from the American Dream finds that a middle-class upbringing does not guarantee the same status over the course of a lifetime. A third of Americans raised in the middle class—defined here as those between the 30th and 70th percentiles of the income distribution—fall out of the middle as adults.”

Housing Crisis

More Americans ‘double up’ and share homes in tough economy

“This spring, there were 21.8 million “doubled-up” households across the nation, a 10.7 percent increase from the 19.7 million households in the spring of 2007, the Census Bureau said. That means 18.3 percent of all households were combined households.”

The millions of Americans living in long-stay motels

“They are known as the last resort. Millions of Americans are staying in budget long-stay motels as the country’s economic problems get worse. The grisly rooms are seen as the lowest of the U.S. housing ladder, only just above a cardboard box. In tiny rooms with paper-thin walls and nylon sheets, vulnerable Americans are making their homes for a few hundred bucks a month.”

Homelessness could spread to middle class, Crisis study warns

“The economic downturn and the government’s deep cuts to welfare will drive up homelessness over the next few years, raising the spectre of middle class people living on the streets, a major study warns. The report by the homelessness charity Crisis says there is a direct link between the downturn and rising homelessness as cuts to services and draconian changes to benefits shred the traditional welfare safety net.”

The Rest…With Links…HERE

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