Middle class continues to collapse into poverty - but here's how we can stop it
FREE Catholic Classes
The middle class is going extinct, according to another new study. The result confirms what many fear, changes in the economy are not favorable to those in the middle. We are not prepared for the changes that are occurring.
The middle class is shrinking, and it's largely its own fault. Middle class voters commonly vote against their own self interest.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The middle class continues to shrink. Over the next five years, the economy is expected to add 7.2 million new jobs. Most of those jobs will be low-paying jobs. Middle income jobs will are expected to grow at only 3 percent. That growth is so small as to result in a loss over time. High income jobs are growing at the rate of 5 percent.
These findings are the result of a study by CareerBuilder Economic Modeling Specialists International. The study defined middle-income as jobs that pay between $14 and $21 per hour.
The decline of the middle class is the result of two factors, diminished union representation and increased automation.
Unions used to improve working conditions for workers across the board. When unions won concessions for their workers, even non-union businesses were forced to improve pay and other conditions to keep their workers from seeking union work or representation. However, Unions have declined since the 1960s when 1 in 3 workers belonged to a union. Today less than 1 in 10 working Americans belongs to a union.
Unions have diminished for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is automation. Automation is taking over repetitive jobs, especially in manufacturing. Many businesses have also relocated overseas to take advantage of lower labor costs.
As manufacturing and other trades have declined in America, service industry jobs have grown. The number of workers in the service industry and its low barrier to entry means wages in service jobs tend to start low. Many service professions are not unionized.
At the same time the middle class is shrinking and the lower class is growing, the upper class is doing well. Wall Street continues to post gains. Jobs which require highly specialized skills sets and do not involve repetitive work are growing. High paying jobs with a future include those in technology and management. Businesses continue to fare well, but there's a limit to how well they can do.
The American economy depends heavily on middle class consumption. But as the middle class shrinks, and middle class wages fall relative to inflation, businesses are likely to suffer a decline. After all, what happens to a business if there are no customers that can afford its products?
A lack of skilled workers can also hurt business in the long run.
There are solutions available. Affordable college is one solution. Well-educated workers are more valuable, producing a greater quantity of high-value goods an services. Linking wages to inflation would also be useful and would prevent the loss of purchasing power suffered by the middle class. A return of unions and collective bargaining could also help. A robust scheme of collective bargaining could help eliminate the need for minimum wage laws, providing more flexibility for businesses to hire more workers.
Another solution would be to establish programs to re-skill workers. As people lose jobs to automation, they can learn new skill sets to allow them to be productive in the new economy.
Such a solution would be cheaper than putting people on welfare benefits, and would convert laid-off workers back into taxpayers faster than any other solution.
The arrival of new technology designed to save labor is already changing the labor market. But people still need to be able to work and support themselves. To accomplish this goal in a rapidly changing world, we need education and training that keeps up. That's missing right now, and as a result, we're losing the middle class.
The decline of the middle class.
Also problematic is the informal, one-sided alliance between the middle class and the upper. Middle class voters have a habit of repeating upper class mantras about things like work, wages, unions and government. The result is many middle class voters consistently vote against their own self-interest. They deride progressive proposals as "socialism" and object to the notion of higher taxes on those wealthier than they. Most middle class workers have unfounded fantasies about breaking into the upper class someday, which is why they align so quickly with the rich.
However, the upper class provides no reward for their loyalty, as the statistics prove. Middle class jobs are often eliminated at the slightest hint of a profit elsewhere. Middle class workers then find themselves among the poor with little notice. By the time they realized they've been used politically, it's too late.
The middle class is in crisis and most members will become poor over the next decade, if swift measures are not taken.
Despite the dire news, there are no concrete proposals to change anything at this time.
The California Network is the Next Wave in delivery of information and entertainment on pop culture, social trends, lifestyle, entertainment, news, politics and economics. We are hyper-focused on one audience, YOU, the connected generation. JOIN US AS WE REDEFINE AND REVOLUTIONIZE THE EVER-CHANGING MEDIA LANDSCAPE.
Thirty plus years ago, the U.S. Catholic bishops wrote a very challenging pastoral letter titled "Economic Justice for All." In their ... continue reading
For the past 60 years, the Federal Reserve's yield curve has predicted recessions. Now, as the yield curve shows signs of inverting again, ... continue reading
Markets have suffered their worst April start since the Great Depression, led by Amazon which lost 5.21 percent of its value in one day ... continue reading
Global markets have dropped for the past few days, and just this morning have rebounded. It remains to be seen if the recovery is ... continue reading
The world is richer and more productive than ever before in history. Yet, income inequality is growing the poverty is on the rise. Middle ... continue reading
FREE Catholic Classes Pick a class, you can learn anything
by Catholic Online
- Daily Reading for Monday, May 27th, 2019 HD Video
- St. Augustine of Canterbury: Saint of the Day for Monday, May 27, 2019
- Pope Francis urges Catholics to help children by supporting adoption
- Daily Readings for Monday, May 27, 2019
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 HD Video
- Polish bishops pledge greater sensitivity for abuse victims
- Making a Difference: Wars, threats of more wars, dishonor Memorial Day
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, May 24th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, May 26th, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, May 25th, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.