Do you think that 2011 will be a good year for America’s middle class? Well, you might not be so optimistic after you read the 30 statistics posted below. The truth is that 2011 is going to be another crappy year for America’s middle class, and there is not a whole lot that you or I can do about it. Sadly, what we are facing as a nation is not just a short-term economic downturn. Rather, there are some very serious long-term economic trends that are absolutely ripping apart the U.S. middle class. For example, did you know that even though our population has been growing at a brisk pace we have lost about ten percent of our middle class jobs over the past decade? The vast majority of jobs that have been created have been low paying service jobs. We now have hordes of highly educated young people that are waiting tables and that are welcoming customers to Wal-Mart. Without good paying jobs there is no middle class, but today American corporations are actually creating more jobs overseas than they are inside the United States. This has helped pad the profits of the big corporate fatcats, but it has been devastating for middle class communities across the United States. Every time a factory gets closed down in America and gets set up in some other country instead, it means that the U.S. middle class is shrinking just a little bit more. The new “global economy” has been good for the bottom line of the largest U.S. corporations, it has been great for countries like China and India, but it is absolutely wiping out the U.S. middle class.
If you still have a good paying middle class job you should be very thankful. The total number of those jobs is rapidly decreasing. Millions of those that have lost their jobs over the last several years have been forced to take lower paying jobs or even part-time jobs in an attempt to fill the void. Millions of others have not been able to find a job at all.
Meanwhile, the price of everything is going up. Have you been to the supermarket lately? The price of food is going up substantially. Many analysts are already talking about $5 a gallon gasoline in 2010. Utility bills are going through the roof. Health care premiums are soaring. Many state and local governments are seriously hiking up taxes and fees.
Tens of millions of American families are going to be forced to make what they do have stretch even farther in 2011. But for many American families the breaking point has already been reached. An all-time record number of Americans is on food stamps. An all-time record number of Americans is living below the poverty line. Personal bankruptcies and mortgage defaults continue to hover around record levels.
The U.S. economy is shaking like a leaf, and the people that are feeling it the most are the hard working American families that just want to make an honest living, pay the mortgage and feed their families.
Unfortunately, 2011 isn’t going to be any easier for those families. As a nation we continue to pursue the exact same economic policies that have allowed these horrible long-term economic trends to develop. Things are not going to change until our country starts moving in a fundamentally different direction.
The following are 30 reasons why 2011 is going to be another crappy year for America’s middle class….