Being middle class once meant working hard, getting ahead, achieving financial and retirement security and expecting one's children to do as well or better. Now, after three decades of flat or falling real wages for most Americans, more than 60% of us (correctly) think things will be worse for our children and grandchildren.
The hard facts leading to such conclusions
Average hourly wages and salaries of production and non-supervisory workers have steadily fallen since the 1970s and continue to fall. Adjusted for inflation, the earnings of most Americans -- assuming they have a job -- are lower than they were in 1973. At the same time, the top fifth of American households received the great bulk of the nation's income last year, with the lion's share concentrated in the top five percent who essentially own our politicians.
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