Together, they made around $83,000 and had around $90,000 in assets which placed them solidly in the middle class. Twelve years later, Allison and David experienced setbacks but increased their income to about $125,000. Their financial assets quadrupled to a whopping $368,000 and saved up thousands of dollars for retirement. However, with the economy downsizing on the heels of the Great Recession and uneven job recovery heavily tilted toward low-wage jobs, David joined millions of other Americans in unemployment. Having spent half a year unemployed, David returned to work working at a significantly lower wage. Over the course of 12 years, David witnessed how work became less stable and more contingent for many Americans. The working experience illustrates a larger transformation in America’s employment landscape, away from middle-class jobs and jobs with significant benefits toward low-paying jobs with few benefits, accelerated by the Great Recession.
The middle class is vanishing from the social scale. The middle class is slowly vanishing in areas across the country affecting communities and cities from San Diego to New York . From 2000 to 2014 the share of middle-class households dropped. “Housing and cars are growing like wildfire, leaving home ownership to only the wealthy.”(Johnson 5). Areas examined in a new government data. We see that the middle class is shrinking because people are getting too rich to really be considered to be in the middle class any more. the upper middle class has expanded from about 12 percent of the population in 1979 to
In the article the “Vanishing Middle Class”, the author Elizabeth Warren explains why and how America’s middle class is facing many hardships today. These hardships are often linked to overconsumption of material items such as technology, home appliances and clothing.
Since the 1970’s there has been an ever growing gap between the wages of the working class and the capitalist class. As wages have been rising exponentially for those in the top 1%, the standard of living for the working class actually saw a decline (Zweig, 2012: 64). In the face of such disparity, one must wonder what keeps the working class going. The answer presented by Zweig is “the American dream of upward mobility.” Most workers hope that with enough hard work and determination, they will eventually rise in the ranks of social class. If not possible for themselves, parents work to create better conditions so that their children will be able to achieve this goal. Ehrenreich encounters coworkers whose drive to work are just for that reason,
He laments the loss of thousands of jobs and foretells of an economic collapse as jobs grow stagnant. Berman predicted, correctly, that low skilled jobs would never return in demand, and that the economic security of all low skilled workers was at risk. And that high skilled jobs would become the new standard. We are rapidly approaching a time in which an average worker is an unemployed worker. A vast array of skillsets and creativity will become the new base requirements for even the most minimalistic of
In Edward McClelland’s essay “RIP, the Middle Class: 1946-2013,” McClelland discusses to his audience that the middle class is slowly vanishing and soon enough we will only be left with the rich and the poor. Throughout the essay, McClelland uses various examples to demonstrate how the middle class will no longer exist. McClelland talks about how education is vital for pursuing a job at a reasonable pay that a person can live off of. Before, people were able to leave high school and go straight into a job with a pay that could support them. Nowadays, the same jobs that were supporting people before require a lot more education and still aren’t giving enough money that will allow them to live comfortably. Even though there are still jobs people can thrive at that will make more money without a serious education , the middle class is struggling to make it economically, because it is harder to find a job without education and financially it’s harder to make ends meet.
Nowadays, the middle class is shrinking, while majority of people are either moving into the lower or upper classes. This is due to the major economic and policy changes that have occurred throughout the past thirty years. Based on the Basic Economy Security Tables, one in four full-time working-age adults are not earning enough income to meet economic needs for themselves or their families. This is a serious problem in America today, the fact that the median income today is six hundred dollars less than it was in 1989 is proof of this epidemic. It is much harder now, than ever, to work your way into the middle class, much less stay there. The percentage income growth since 1967 for the top 5 percent of earners is 88%, top 20 percent of earners grew 70%, and middle-income households only grew 20%. (Camp) In simpler terms, the upper classes income has increased tremendously, while middle-income households have seen very little growth in their income. Since the middle class is not receiving any income growth, it is declining and moving towards the lower class. It is not nearly as easy as it was thirty years ago to get a decent job and make
“Making it in America”, by Adam Davidson, illustrates how technology and machinery are interchanging humans in the workforce. Machines are taking over factories and leaving more employees out of work. Davidson also points out that the wage-gap is considerably increasing between un-educated and educated laborers. Corporations and companies all over the world, including the Americans, Europeans, and Chinese, are purchasing machines over hiring workers to save money.
Publisher, Richard V. Reeves, in his online article, "The Dangerous Separation of the American Upper Middle Class," shares how income, education, and political power has caused a split in the upper middle class. Reeves 's purpose is to convey the idea that the upper middle class has shifted from being a sociological curiosity to an economic and political problem. Reeves outlines how the upper middle class that was once considered an accessible hope or American dream, is now a blockade and an obstacle for others. He adopts a rational and analytical tone to appeal to the reader 's sense of reason. Reeves cites convincing facts and
In this article, Jim Tankersley interviews Larry Summers, a Democratic economist and former Treasury Secretary, about the implications that technological advances, such as the use of robots in factories, have on income inequality and on middle-class jobs and wages. Because these new machines and robots can do the same work of low-skilled workers for lower costs, there has been a vast decrease in the amounts of jobs available for the middle-class. While some believe that the solution to this would be to obtain more education and learn skills that cannot be replaced by machines, Summers believes that this will not solve the problem because the income inequality caused by technology is due to the increase of wealth distribution to the top one
Specifically, mechanical workers are taking over the jobs that the middle class traditionally performed(Adam Davidson). The job brake down in America traditionally went upper, middle and lower class jobs. Highly educated and talented individuals normally perform the upper class jobs. Since they perform skilled jobs that most cannot do, they are paid the most. Next come the middle class jobs,
Deindustrialization, global outsourcing, and automation has significantly contributed to the rise of the underclass in the US in that it has taken jobs from individuals through replacement of tasks that were initially handled by humans with machines, outsourcing of productions lines in other countries where there are cheap labor or dysfunctional labor laws, leading to rise in underclass populations (Dau-Schmidt, 2016). Through deindustrialization, firms have been forced to transfer their production plants from the United States to other countries such as China, leading to massive reduction in the demand for manual labor and consequently contributing to the rise of underclass in the United States
At these times, in compound business environment and growing competition, to be able to compete on the job market you need to possess outstanding skills and be always a step ahead of others. Being a good learner and constantly developing one’s
Due to the shift in the structure of the Australian workforce over the last century, the class structure of the contemporary society has become more complicated than its traditional model. There is no longer a clear distinction between the middle and the working class (as cited in van Krieken et al. 2013, p. 227). In the past, people who work in intellectual occupation had higher income and status, where they received more social honour than people who had manual skills. Nowadays, many people whose job involves manual labour have a higher income than those in intellectual occupation (van Krieken et al. 2013, p. 227). For example, some small business owners are self-employed where they are required to provide manual labour. Since they are both the capitalist and the worker of their own, they can avoid being exploited and have full access to the wealth they produce. Their income and status are therefore high, even though they involve in manual labour.
In view of Thomas Friedman’s work “It’s a flat world, after all”, the entire planet is turning into a global village due to a rapid growth of information technology. There are 10 major contributors, which were also named “flateners” by Friedman, that made the playing field level. Undoubtedly, current sophistication in technology has provided us great access to internet, a virtual platform where people are capable of communicating, sharing knowledge, or performing online activities. Globalization appears to have collapsed the concerns of space and time by outsourcing cheap labor from another continent to undertake the same task but with equal or better performance. To some extent, Friedman has brought about an