More Americans than ever say they're 'lower class'
Five years after the start of Great Recession, this dismal finding surprises even some activists.
A record 8.4% of Americans now label themselves as "lower class." That's the highest showing in the more than four decades that the General Social Survey has asked this question, according to the Los Angeles Times. The survey is run by an independent research group affiliated with the University of Chicago.
Not surprisingly, less than 55% of respondents agreed with the statement "people like me and my family have a good chance of improving our standard of living," the paper said. That's the lowest level since the General Social Survey first asked that question in 1987.
"The rising numbers surprised some researchers and activists even in light of the bruising economy. For decades, the vast majority of Americans have seen themselves as 'middle class' or 'working class,'" according to the LA Times.
High school dropout Susana Garcia of Hawthorne, Calif., is a case in point cited by the paper. She juggled two full-time jobs to cover the mortgage on her home, but was forced to quit one of them after one of her children started skipping school.
"But that meant losing the house and the nearly $60,000 she had parted with as a down payment," the LA Times says. "Her $12.68-an-hour paychecks now have to cover the rent and a host of bills. Nothing is left over to save, she said."
People who feel bad about their economic situations now probably won't be feeling better in the coming months. Lackluster retail sales recently prompted Barclay's to trim its forecast for U.S. gross domestic product growth for the third quarter to 1.5% from an already glacial 1.6%. That's not going to help many struggling Americans to raise their opinion of their economic well being.
Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr.
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Bad enough that some choose to have multiple children out of wedlock that they can't afford to support. But then to expect everyone else to pay their way - that's low class.
Taking money from taxpayers for food and shelter, while at the same time spending hundreds of dollars a month at the salon or on a data plan or on tobacco and alcohol - that's low class.
Able-bodied people collecting disability - that's low class.
Disparaging the efforts and labors of other people, and yet somehow believing that you are entitled to the fruits of those efforts or labors - that's low class.
Blame our elected officials, the large corporations and Wall Street for the 99% getting hit again.
Mark my words, a second United States Revolution will be the only way to get the 99% heard!
" I don't mean to be rude or insensitive, but we all make choices in life"
That said, the economy is doing far worse than the media or our so-called leaders would want us to believe. They enjoy healthcare for life and huge wages for jobs that don't result in any sort of results for which they were hired while the rest of the U.S. population struggles.
I'm tired of seeing commercials for "No Kid Hungry" and other nonsense. What exactly are the three meals served in public schools doing if not feeding these worthless brats? My tax dollars also pay for their lazy parents to sit around and watch television and eat Cheetos all day.
Voted for Obama and now you complain?
Still cannot make a connection between a Golf Playing President and an Executive in Charge?
You think that a Community Activist will ever wish for more wealth for his followers?
No. You were wrong then and you are wrong now. It will get worse going forward.
One of the hottest social and economic problems in America, today, is poverty. Poverty is at or above 16% (I personally think it is higher because many in poverty are not counted) this percentage total is about 3,450% higher than poverty was in the early 1960s. Economic experts blame poverty, depending on which political party is in power, on the federal government. They are partially correct. Poverty is the direct cause of bad government (both political parties), bad advice from self proclaimed economic experts (like the idiots of FOX news), and advisors to people in politics that have been given the power, by vote of the people, to make decisions that care for the health and welfare of all Americans. The main problem is power hungry and greedy politicians that really do not care one iota about the health and welfare of the people. Poverty is a direct cause of the following, 1) a total lack of qualification, including a work for benefits by those that are capable of working and enforcement of the lawful use of benefits within the welfare programs, 2) spending far too many tax dollars on wars that do not benefit Americans, but cost a large number of American lives as well as money and equipment, 3) a tax dollar giveaway program in the form of foreign aid to many countries that do not support American beliefs in any way, 4) a low minimum hourly wage. Contrary to the belief of self professed experts, a low income leads to poverty, 5) non-enforcement of existing immigration laws. People from foreign countries are allowed to enter the United States illegally and fill jobs that belong to Americans, 6) allowing American businesses to relocate to foreign countries without any consideration for the American workers. Penalties on the companies that relocate is the only solution, 7) United States making major purchases from foreign countries even when a better quality exists within the United States, 8) veterans who gave part of their body to protect American beliefs reduced to poverty because of a non-responsive health and welfare system and veteran’s survivors placed on welfare because of government ignorance and finally 9) greed on the part of politicians, business owners and other well off people who really do not care about Americans. There is neither one political party nor individual group of, so called, experts, that is to blame for poverty in America. An excellent start is to clean out the Congress from top to bottom and for the President to select people to fill important vacancies to be knowledgeable of the programs and not select based on friendship and/or favors owed. America can be great once again, but only if we, the people, administer a good dose of X-LAX to the government people that we elect to serve us (not for us to serve them. Remember, the President only signs what the Congress approves; his Executive powers are not as broad as one might think.
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A basic income policy can actually ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.
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