The Long Death of America’s Middle Class
The Long Death of America’s Middle Class by Nick Giambruno – International Man
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The American middle class is dying.
In 2015, it dipped below 50% of the population for the first time since data collection started on the issue. It’s now an official minority group.
Meanwhile, nearly half of Americans don’t have enough money to cover a surprise $400 expense. Many are living paycheck to paycheck, with little to no cushion. And US homes are less affordable than they’ve been in decades—possibly ever.
I’ll tell you why this is happening and how to secure your spot among the “haves” in a moment. But first, let’s take a look at the America that was.
The Largest Middle Class in World History
The late 1950s was the golden age of America’s middle class.
This isn’t nostalgia talking. The US really did have robust Main Streets and thriving small businesses.
Back then, the US produced three-quarters of the world’s cars and airplanes. Americans produced most of the world’s steel and built the majority of the world’s skyscrapers.
Plus, the US stock market held the bulk of the world’s total stock market capitalization.
All this productivity gave the average American an unusually high standard of living.
Around then, a husband could support his family on an average income. He and his wife likely owned their own home, as well as their car. They had multiple children—and didn’t think much of the cost of having more. Plus, they had money to save.
The Bleak Situation Today
Compare that to the average family today. Both spouses likely have to work—whether they want to or not—just to afford the same basic lifestyle.
Plus, it now costs well over $200,000 to raise a child, on average. And that doesn’t even include college costs. Back in 1960, it cost roughly $25,000.
This hefty price tag is one of the main reasons middle-class families are having fewer children… or none at all.
In short, the average American’s standard of living has taken a huge hit over the past generation or so.
For example, consider a typical high school teacher’s financial situation.
In 1959, the median annual salary for a US high school teacher was $5,276, according to the Department of Labor. Meanwhile, the median US home value was $9,627, according to the US Census Bureau.