Census data confirm that the middle class is in dire trouble

  • Article by: EDITORIAL , St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Updated: September 20, 2012 - 3:09 PM

But you'll be surprised by what politicians regard as middle income.

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comment229Sep. 19, 12 9:04 PM

I buy into the fact that $50,000 is middle class. I don't buy into the $200,000 being middle class. And I guess I just got some bad news. I never made $50,000 when I was working two jobs. And now that I have retired from one job, but still work a second job, I come no wheres close to the $50,000 mark. I have just been downgraded to lower middle class, or am I poor? Please let me know. PS. On a post yesterday, someone said I was not entitled to my social security. How awful of me to think that I deserve this when I have worked two jobs most of my life. I humbly apologize for thinking I deserved any social security.

hobie2Sep. 19, 12 9:09 PM

All those facts can't be correct, because we have been giving the top 10-15% earners tax breaks for ten years just so we can have good paying jobs in the US to build the middle class. Is this article saying we wasted all that tax break money? Say it ain't so, Joe... ok, say it is so, and then we can get rid of them and actually fix the problem.

pumiceSep. 19, 12 9:39 PM

From the article: "This nation cannot prosper without a vital, vibrant middle class. The first place to start rebuilding is to define it correctly. And it's not $250,000 a year." So then, St. Louis Post-Dispatch editors, in your concern for the hollowed-out middle class, are you suggesting that tax increases start "at true middle income, where half earn more and half earn less" -- which in inflation-adjusted dollars would be $50,054? What a reward that would be for workers whose income is "down $780 in inflation-adjusted dollars from 2010"! How will the 1200 workers at the GM plant in Wentzville, Mo. who "will be paid about $10 less per hour than the people who used to work on the line" be affected? Will lowering the income threshold remove these 1200 workers from the 47% of Americans who are "dependent," "entitled," "irresponsible" "victims" who don't pay federal income tax and thus gain them Romney/Ryan's approval? How will voters respond when gubernatorial candidates urge them that Missouri needs a "Right to Work (for even less)" Act?

LakeliverSep. 19, 12 9:46 PM

Yeah, that trickle down bologna has really come through for the middle class and poor in this country. It never has and never will. There is a greed in this country right now that's almost unprecedented and it hides behind platitudes about gay marriages and bogus voter fraud. We have people like Romney yipping about "our dependence" upon the government when 80% of Jack Abramoff's pet politicians were republicans. Some of the posters on these sites have been completely fooled by the attempts of Carl Rove to turn elements of the middle and actual working class in this country against each other by appealing to petty and often stupid envy. The stats in this article show conclusively that more unions are needed in this country, just as they exist in countries like the Nordics where there is no obscene disparity in income and wealth. It's the worst in America since the Great Depression when it also drove the country into economic failure. The difference is this time the richest have immunized themselves from the pain by putting it all on the rest of us with lousy wages that have been going backwards for two decades. But you believers in Romney's twisted fairy tale about trickle down fairies keep up your bootlicking and you'll see less and less reward for more and more of your hard work. It's time that you start to value yourselves and quit the fawning and a-- kissing.

LakeliverSep. 19, 12 9:49 PM

Yes, that Right to Work stuff really means you're going to work harder and harder and more and more for less and less. That's what the Koch Brothers are counting on and some of you most affected have been conditioned to hate unions that would stand up for you for a change and give you at least a little of the power you so obviously lack according to all of the critical facts in this article.

alansonSep. 19, 1210:02 PM

I would hate to be the politician who proposes increasing the taxes for the "rich": everyone above $50,000 a year. I guess when we want to raise taxes the middle class goes to $250,000 a year. But when we want to beat up on Mr. Romney, the middle class is $50,000.

hawkeye56379Sep. 19, 1210:17 PM

I don't know of any politician who has proposed raising taxes on incomes down to $50,000 or who has defined that as being rich. The only one who has defined the middle class as going up to $250,000 is Romney.

oimmigrationSep. 20, 12 2:34 AM

Who is responsible for this?? The republicons.

roscoe2511Sep. 20, 12 6:11 AM

So to sum up, we've had wealth redistribution where all the wealth is redistributed to those who are already wealthy.

comment229Sep. 20, 12 6:13 AM

hawkeye56379: I'll go one step further. I darn near fell off my chair the day I heard Romney say he knows people who make $250,000 and "they aren't rich." Right then and there, I knew this candidate was sooooo out of touch with the middle class and poor. OK, don't increase the taxes on the rich. Fine with me, but if you want to fix this economy, and get it moving again, give a HUGE tax break to everyone making less than $100,000. That money will enter the system and the products bought mean "demand" which creates jobs. Skipping this process and giving the money directly to the "job creators" in the form of tax breaks, well.... did it work when Bush was president? Trickle down has never worked, and will never work. I know and talk to enough "rich" people to hear their attitude (and arrogance) about taxes. None of them, hired more people. All of them, increased their bank accounts and one smirked as he showed me his new Lexus SUV as he told me how bad Obama was for the economy. I walked away.


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