We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
What has become of the American middle class? George Will provides some insight.
Economist Stephen Rose, defining the middle class as households with annual incomes between $30,000 and $100,000, says a smaller percentage of Americans are in that category than in 1979 -- because the percentage of Americans earning more than $100,000 has doubled, from 12 to 24, while the percentage earning less than $30,000 is unchanged. "So," Rose says, "the entire 'decline' of the middle class came from people moving up the income ladder." Even as housing values declined in 2007, the net worth of households increased.
Apparently, the disappearing middle class is disappearing because they are getting richer. Or perhaps I should say, we are getting richer.
The rich get richer, and the poor get...better stuff. Better cars, better phones, better food, better TV's...
I don't want to appear unmoved by those who truly need. I make my living working with them, in fact - folks on mental illness disability making less than $700/month (plus health care, food stamps, and Section 8, sure; but still not much). It is my contention that if we were not giving out so many middle-class benefits, we could do more for my people, who have greater need.
Above this minimum level, it is feelings of resentment against those who are "unworthily" wealthy that drives the impression of poverty. A sad commentary on our national pettiness.
Assistant Village Idiot