22 Statistics That Prove The Middle Class Is Being Systematically Wiped Out Of Existence In America

By Michael Snyder |
The 22 statistics that you are about to read prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence in America.

The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer at a staggering rate.  Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now that is changing at a blinding pace.

So why are we witnessing such fundamental changes?  Well, the globalism and “free trade” that our politicians and business leaders insisted would be so good for us have had some rather nasty side effects.  It turns out that they didn’t tell us that the “global economy” would mean that middle class American workers would eventually have to directly compete for jobs with people on the other side of the world where there is no minimum wage and very few regulations.  The big global corporations have greatly benefited by exploiting third world labor pools over the last several decades, but middle class American workers have increasingly found things to be very tough.

The reality is that no matter how smart, how strong, how educated or how hard working American workers are, they just cannot compete with people who are desperate to put in 10 to 12 hour days at less than a dollar an hour on the other side of the world.  After all, what corporation in their right mind is going to pay an American worker ten times more (plus benefits) to do the same job?  The world is fundamentally changing.  Wealth and power are rapidly becoming concentrated at the top and the big global corporations are making massive amounts of money.  Meanwhile, the American middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence as U.S. workers are slowly being merged into the new “global” labor pool.

What do most Americans have to offer in the marketplace other than their labor?  Not much.  The truth is that most Americans are absolutely dependent on someone else giving them a job.  But today, U.S. workers are “less attractive” than ever.  Compared to the rest of the world, American workers are extremely expensive, and the government keeps passing more rules and regulations seemingly on a monthly basis that makes it even more difficult to conduct business in the United States.

So corporations are moving operations out of the U.S. at breathtaking speed.  Since the U.S. government does not penalize them for doing so, there really is no incentive for them to stay.

What has developed is a situation where the people at the top are doing quite well, while most Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to make it.  There are now about 6 unemployed Americans for every new job opening in the United States, and the number of “chronically unemployed” is absolutely soaring.  There simply are not nearly enough jobs for everyone.

Many of those who are able to get jobs are finding that they are making less money than they used to.  In fact, an increasingly large percentage of Americans are working at low wage retail and service jobs.

But you can’t raise a family on what you make flipping burgers at McDonald’s or on what you bring in from greeting customers down at the local Wal-Mart.

The truth is that the middle class in America is dying — and once it is gone it will be incredibly difficult to rebuild.

 

83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.

83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.

Source: ACS, Lending Report via Financemymoney.com 

61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.

61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.

Image: Flickr User orphanjones (www.flickr.com

Source: Careerbuilder.com poll via CNBC 


66% of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.

66% of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.

Image: Flickr User Itzafineday (www.flickr.com

Source: Harvard Magazine 

36 percent of Americans say that they don’t contribute anything to retirement savings.

36 percent of Americans say that they don't contribute anything to retirement savings.

Image: Flickr User Algo (www.flickr.com

Source: Careerbuilder.com poll via CNBC 

A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.

A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.

Image: Flickr User Alancleaver 2000 (www.flickr.com

Source: Employment Benefit Research Institute via CNN 

24% of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.

24% of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.

Image: Flickr User Thomas Hawk (www.flickr.com

Source: Employment Benefit Research Institute via CNN 

Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.

Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.

Source: mybudget360.com 

Note: 2005 spike preceded tougher bankruptcy filing laws

Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.

Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.

Image: Flickr User Smittenkittenorig (www.flickr.com

Source: Dailyfinance.com 

For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.

For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.

Source: Federal Reserve Board via endoftheamericandream.com 

In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.

In 1950, the ratio of the average executive's paycheck to the average worker's paycheck was about 30 to 1.  Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.

Image: Flickr User Zepfanman.com (www.flickr.com

Source: Smirkingchimp.com 

As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.

The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.

The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.

Source: UN via informationclearinghouse.info 

Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.

Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.

Image: Flickr User Tony The Misfit (www.flickr.com

Source: Washington Times 

In the United States, the average federal worker now earns 60% MORE than the average worker in the private sector.

In the United States, the average federal worker now earns 60% MORE than the average worker in the private sector.

Image: Flickr User Stuck in Customs (www.flickr.com

Source: USA Today 

[Author's statistic altered to provide valid source.]

The top 1% of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America’s corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.

The top 1% of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America's corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.

Image: Flickr User AMagill (www.flickr.com

Source: CBO via MSN 

In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.

In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.

Image: Flickr User deanmeyersnet (www.flickr.com

Source: Telegraph 

More than 40% of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying.

More than 40% of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying.

Image: Flickr User H Dragon (www.flickr.com

Source: CNN 

For the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.

For the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.

Image: Flickr User Clementine Gallot (www.flickr.com

Source: Boston Globe 

This is what American workers now must compete against: in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.

This is what American workers now must compete against: in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.

Image: Flickr User NeilsPhotography (www.flickr.com

Source: World Socialist Web Site via axisoflogic.com 

Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.

Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.

Image: Flickr User D’Arcy Norman (www.flickr.com

Source: Reuters 

Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 – the highest rate in 20 years.

Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 - the highest rate in 20 years.

Image: Flickr User cambodia4kidsorg (www.flickr.com

Source: Foundation for Child Development via CNN 

The top 10% of Americans now earn around 50% of our national income.

The top 10% of Americans now earn around 50% of our national income.

Image: Flickr User greggoconnell (www.flickr.com

Source: Professor Emmanuel Saez of the UC Berkeley

 

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