Since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some?but by no means all?of its characteristic faith in the future.Three Lost Decades!
These stark assessments are based on findings from a new nationally representative Pew Research Center survey that includes 1,287 adults who describe themselves as middle class, supplemented by the Center?s analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
Median Net Worth
Fully 85% of self-described middle-class adults say it is more difficult now than it was a decade ago for middle-class people to maintain their standard of living. Of those who feel this way, 62% say ?a lot? of the blame lies with Congress, while 54% say the same about banks and financial institutions, 47% about large corporations, 44% about the Bush administration, 39% about foreign competition and 34% about the Obama administration. Just 8% blame the middle class itself a lot.
Who Is To Blame?
Median net worth is back to a level first seen in the 1980s. By that measure, the US has had three lost decades. Wow.
62% Blame Politicians, Only 8% Blame Themselves
Note that 62% blame politicians and 54% blame financial institutions, but only 8% blame themselves.
- Did banks force people to take out loans they could not pay back, or did people do so voluntarily?
- Who elects congress?
- Do people make enough effort to understand interest rates, debt, the economic policies of politicians, exponential math and its implications, the untenable nature of public union pension plans and promises?
- Do a significant number of people (if not the majority) get their economic views (assuming they have any economic views) from The View, Oprah, The Talk, or CNBC?
- Why did PEW leave off the Fed and Fractional Reserve Lending from the list of answers?
Two Bonus Questions
- Would the majority of respondents know anything at all about the Fed and Fractional Reserve lending had the PEW listed those options?
- Who is really to blame for what is happening?
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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