October 27, 2012 |
Saving the middle class has become a battle cry in the 2012 presidential campaign — and it's no wonder. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, the percentage of Americans considered middle class has dwindled to 51 percent from 61 percent in 1971. But the Pew report does not explain the political and economic forces behind this decline. That's a task Hedrick Smith sets for himself in his new book, "Who Stole the American Dream?" Long before most reporters and social scientists took note, Smith had established...
April 28, 2013 |
We are passing through something more than a period of disappointing economic growth and increasing political polarization. What's happening is more powerful: the collapse of "entitlement. " By this, I do not mean primarily cuts in specific government benefits, most prominently Social Security, but the demise of a broader mind-set — attitudes and beliefs — that, in one form or another, has gripped Americans since the 1960s. The breakdown of these ideas has rattled us psychologically as well as politically and economically.
September 12, 2012 |
The vise on the middle class tightened last year, driving down its share of the income pie as the number of Americans in poverty leveled off and the most affluent households saw their portion grow, new census data released Wednesday showed. Income inequality increased by 1.6 percent, the Census Bureau said in its annual report on poverty, income and health insurance. This was the biggest one-year increase in almost two decades and suggested that a trend in place since the late 1970s was picking up...
May 22, 2008 |
We middle-class Americans are in a funk. "The overarching economic narrative of the 2008 campaign is the idea that life for the middle class has grown more difficult," writes Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center, which recently published a massive report on middle-class anxieties. By its survey, more than half of Americans believe they either have not moved ahead in the past five years (25 percent) or have fallen behind (31 percent). Pew pronounces this "the most downbeat short-term assessment of personal progress in nearly half a century.
March 17, 2012 |
QUERETARO, Mexico — A wary but tenacious middle class is fast becoming the majority in Mexico, breaking down the rich-poor divide in a profound demographic transformation that has far-reaching implications here and in the United States. Although many Mexicans and their neighbors to the north still imagine a country of downtrodden masses dominated by a wealthy elite, the swelling ranks of the middle class are crowding new Wal-Marts, driving Nissan sedans and maxing out their Banamex credit cards.
January 11, 2013 |
MUMBAI — As thousands of young Indians thronged New Delhi's streets to protest a brutal gang rape last month, 25-year-old Pooja Patil said, many of her friends in this seaside metropolis held candlelight marches instead of new year's parties. Others replaced their Facebook profile pictures with a single black dot as a symbol of mourning. They were part of what news media reports heralded as an Indian middle class jolted into action by the shocking assault that led to the young woman's death.