Middle Class Worse Off Than You May Think

by
April 12, 2015

middleclasspovertyIf you worry about the declining fortunes of the U.S. middle class, take heed: It might be worse than you realized.

Tracking the middle class can be difficult, because the group is hard to define. Typically, researchers look at households with incomes or net worth in the middle of the entire population. This approach, though, might provide a falsely rosy picture. It doesn’t, for example, capture the fates of families that start out in the middle and — due to a job loss or other setback — end up in the bottom.

Two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis — William Emmons and Bryan Noeth — sought to address this shortcoming by focusing on households’ demographic characteristics, rather than income or wealth. Specifically, they looked at families whose breadwinner was at least 40 years old and had achieved a level of education that would typically allow a middle-class standard of living.

Whites and Asians needed exactly a high-school diploma to qualify. For blacks and Hispanics, it took a two-year or four-year college degree — a stark recognition of persistent racial inequality. …

  • ChuckL

    This comment is incompete. “Whites and Asians needed exactly a high-school diploma to qualify. For blacks and Hispanics, it took a two-year or four-year college degree — a stark recognition of persistent racial inequality. …

    It fails to list the courses taken by the Blacks and Hispanic, and it may also be ignoring the speaking ability or inability of these groups in the English language which may be attributed to the lack of demanding that these skills be learned in high school to earn a passing grade.

    Many public schools grant passing grades on a social need or right rather than on actual performance.

    This clearly shows the need for establishing tuition rates for all public schools that are equal and the provision of VOUCHERS to the parents for the payment of these tuitions. All of these must be controlled only by the states with the Federal Government completely denied any say in the matter. The choice of school must be up to the parents and students. It must not be based solely on the home address.

    ONE SIZE FITS ALL does not and never has worked to make things better.

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