Middle Class in Major U.S. Cities is Shrinking, Pew Study Says

  • metta

    Posts: 39104

    May 14, 2016 4:46 AM GMT
    Middle Class in Major U.S. Cities is Shrinking, Pew Study Says


    http://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/middle-class-major-u-s-cities-shrinking-pew-study-says-n572721

  • May 14, 2016 2:02 PM GMT
    This is the reality for my generation, and no words can properly be said for looking at your working life for the next 35-40 years and knowing that unless you win the lottery or start a multimillion dollar company, you won't be wealthier than your parents. It just won't happen. And instead of pushing for a $15 minimum wage (which will only be a temporary fix and will only make this problem more pervasive in years to come), why not focus on making cities sustainable at lower wages? Minneapolis is having this problem right now where the folks who want to live there can't afford it, and more young people are leaving the cities than moving to them.

    The huge economic boom this country had post-WWII that gave rise to the majority middle-class was likely a one-time phenomenon, and the Baby Boomers (and their parents/grandparents too) completely blew any chance of putting that money away for us to live a comfortable life.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14348

    May 14, 2016 4:26 PM GMT
    YoungCollegeTry saidThis is the reality for my generation, and no words can properly be said for looking at your working life for the next 35-40 years and knowing that unless you win the lottery or start a multimillion dollar company, you won't be wealthier than your parents. It just won't happen. And instead of pushing for a $15 minimum wage (which will only be a temporary fix and will only make this problem more pervasive in years to come), why not focus on making cities sustainable at lower wages? Minneapolis is having this problem right now where the folks who want to live there can't afford it, and more young people are leaving the cities than moving to them.

    The huge economic boom this country had post-WWII that gave rise to the majority middle-class was likely a one-time phenomenon, and the Baby Boomers (and their parents/grandparents too) completely blew any chance of putting that money away for us to live a comfortable life.
    Not all baby boomers are doing well. The ones born between 1956 and 1964 for the most part are struggling along with the younger generations and most of us are thoroughly disgusted with this whole situation. It is the older boomers born between 1946 and 1955 that are the major culprits because it was all about them and let everyone else struggle and suffer. The grandparents and parents of these baby boomers were nowhere near as careless with their personal finances and they saved a lot of their hard earned money because the older generations were no strangers to struggling and suffering. They grew up during the Great Depression of the 1930s. It is the older boomers that have been the most indulgent and the most selfish. Don't blame all us older guys for your problems because a lot of us are in the same exact boat as you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 14, 2016 6:43 PM GMT
    And it goes well beyond just income. The middle class has parents and relatives who are living longer with chronic, expensive diseases that they are taking care of. AND while the upper class has regained wealth lost during the recession AND THEN SOME, the middle class had not yet caught up to them... with the wealth gap now being the widest its ever been.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14348

    May 14, 2016 7:20 PM GMT
    woodfordr saidAnd it goes well beyond just income. The middle class has parents and relatives who are living longer with chronic, expensive diseases that they are taking care of. AND while the upper class has regained wealth lost during the recession AND THEN SOME, the middle class had not yet caught up to them... with the wealth gap now being the widest its ever been.
    Good, valid points. Unfortunately, the situation is only going to get worse for the mass majority of Americans especially for those born after 1956. There is not going to be any middle class if we don't get rid of the horrendously failed supply side trickle down economic theory.
  • NerdLifter

    Posts: 1509

    May 14, 2016 8:03 PM GMT
    woodfordr saidAnd it goes well beyond just income. [...]

    You echo'd my words exactly. The median income today is about the same as it was in 1989, after adjusting for inflation. However, at the same time, the average cost of living today is roughly $10,000 higher than it was in 1989, again after adjusting for inflation.

    To put it succinctly, people have a lot less purchasing power due to higher expenses, stagnant incomes, and less opportunity due to out-sourcing.

    Both my parents are truly dismayed at the state of the economy and lack of opportunity for the younger generation. My generation has no where near as many opportunities as they had when they entered the job market. There is no way any of my siblings or myself will make as much money as my mother, for example, who joined IBM during a time where companies would invest by training their employees (while paying them a salary) for months or even years. Such a notion is completely foreign in today's economy where most employees are mostly considered a dime a dozen, even if you come from a technical background. She quickly rose in IBM because opportunities for advancement were abundant at the time. Today, the vast majority of people are just fighting to hold onto their job, working very long hours, same goes for my mother, who now has to work 80 hours a week. IBM today is nothing like when she joined the company.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 14, 2016 8:25 PM GMT
    Agree with much of what has been stated here, factors such as:

    *Increased Taxes that are wasted by corruption and bad fiscal mgt. by Congress and US Senators.
    *Increased Immigration with H1-B Visas that has unequally disproportioned the US worker in the job market.
    *Increased in Health Care & Costs, Food, Gas, and Pricing…the other day even a Target just for a 12ounce bag of coffee was $11.00,icon_eek.gif the cheapest I could find even with my Target Card and Cartwheel App -was Seattle Best @$5.79.
    *Global Trade that is disproportionate to US Trade and Exports.

    As a small business owner consultant, I am now being asked in some of my projects to charge what I was making in 2000, but yet everything has gone up.

    Although, I have the technical background, education, and analytical skills that are valued, and yet I am competing with foreign workers that are charging less, but not living in my area.

    Interesting enough, some of the companies are realizing that by outsourcing they are getting: No analytical skills, only line production mentality - they do not go beyond looking at a problem or solution since they are not trained for this, but then they come back to me with a project and want me to charge the lowest rate possible…I say please call 1-800-MUMBAI-WORKER and do not waste my time. We need to start pushing back that this is unacceptable this conglomerates and corporate america can no longer do this to the US Workforce.
  • Apparition

    Posts: 3521

    May 14, 2016 10:23 PM GMT
    and on top of all that there are 3-4 times as many people, yet all the jobs are in the same locations--downtown. so now everyone is commuting 1-2 hours a day just to get to the jobs, whereas you used to be able to go home at lunch because it was nearby.

    I just cant fathom WHY there is so much real estate taken up by office and industrial space yet they are NOT using the AIR above it for RESIDENTIAL space. Such a waste of capital.

    Why on earth is say Walmart wasting this valuable resource. You could put a 30 story building for 1000 apartments above the average walmart, with convenient parking and a captured sales base that would net them a million a month and they are not using that space. Seems really silly. They wouldnt even have to PAY most of their workers if they provided living quarters and walmart gift cards to them.
  • Fireworkz

    Posts: 606

    May 14, 2016 10:36 PM GMT
    Interesting.
    But why do we have an expectation that incomes should perpetually increase and we should be wealthier than the previous generation?

    Why do we expect a straight line graph with a gradual increase.

    Economies are more cyclical so future generations will be worse off.


    I actually think cities and economies need longer term planning but corporate america (which is now corporate global) only thinks ahead to the next quarter.

    China is a great example of what long term economic planning can do to the fortunes of a country. They have become the manufacturing capital of the world and are slowly upskilling themselves as a country where they will be producing more valuable goods and services on a global scale.

    Perhaps less shor term profiteering and more longer term planning is in order
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 15, 2016 3:50 AM GMT
    It isn't necessarily a matter of having more than the previous generation, particularly if the previous generation did very well. The presumption of doing better probably more so applies to 2nd generation Americans who are the children of immigrants who came here with nothing.

    The problem in the USA, as noted in a post above, is that income hasn't kept up with inflation. That before the 1% started stealing all the wealth as it did leading up to the Great Depression, the middle classes thrived but at about 1970, right about when woman had to start working where before just the one spouse was working, all the new income went to the 1% with the middle classes losing financial ground each year.

    WEALTH DISTRIBUTION

    Leading up to the Great Depression
    1917-1929.jpg

    The Great Depression through Circa 1969
    1929-1969.jpg

    Circa 1969 through the Great Recession
    1969-2008.jpg

    On top of all that, what's coming might be more disconcerting because as the so-called "third world" comes online, there will be less pie to go around. There's a good youtube on that. Lemme see if I can find...

    got it...

  • Looking9

    Posts: 31

    May 15, 2016 8:04 AM GMT
    I've read all responses, familiarized myself with the link at the top of this article so I'll share what I did/do.

    Life in the 21 century is different and challenging, the old way of living is obsolete, the more clever and innovative among us will understand, most will mock and their eyes will glaze over.

    As gay men, we should embrace flexibility, keep up to date on "all" trends that will benefit our lives, make money while keeping up to date on tech etc. Yes, wages for the average person/family is stagnant. The two main objectives are save money and cut expenses.

    ..... Spend less time working on your body and looks temporarily, spend this new time investigating how to invest (long term).

    ...... Move away from almost ALL social media.

    ..... Stop blowing money going to Clubs, buying expensive drinks and expensive dinners, ( use Groupon). You don't need the newest iPhone or Apple device, become a cord cutter, you'll save hundreds monthly.

    My initial investment of $3,000 in the Stock Market, that money came from my tax refund. After 18 years along with a 15% payroll deduction has grown tremendously. How much are you saving?

    I'll happily share specifics if anyone is interested.....
  • Looking9

    Posts: 31

    May 15, 2016 8:15 AM GMT

    It's not how much you make, it's how much you keep!
  • Fireworkz

    Posts: 606

    May 15, 2016 9:48 AM GMT
    That's very true and I like your thinking. I might ask for some tips.
    We are living in a new age and there are more billionaires than ever.
    Entrepreneurs are making more money which is great.#


    I'm interested in how can we have wealth on a broader scale?
    I'd rather not go back to a Dickensian society where there are more people in poverty.

    I think we definitely need more education on money and debt. And there probably needs to be a shift towards more technology in our education system.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 15, 2016 2:35 PM GMT
    metta saidMiddle Class in Major U.S. Cities is Shrinking, Pew Study Says


    http://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/middle-class-major-u-s-cities-shrinking-pew-study-says-n572721


    Wow. Newsflash there.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    May 15, 2016 3:26 PM GMT
    With the dearth of middle class building unions and the rise of the GOP party, this is hardly unexpected.




    icon_cry.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 15, 2016 4:25 PM GMT
    i see the younger peeps priced out of the college education that will get them that Google job. Engineering careers fade, lawyers age well. The third world has excellent colleges and a work force that is satisfied with less.

    Today; the W2 work force will want to dump your ass in your late 50's. as you grow older you will find your self laid off more often. There will be a recession every 15 years and that is when you will feel W2 job pressures.



    i suggest while you peruse a standard W2 career you also look at starting a small business LLC income. Either way pick something not already run over by the internet. People will always have to eat, do drugs, drink, need a place to live, repair things...

    Saving money is always a good thing but look for opportunity. For example a good time to invest in real estate was 2008 -> 2010. Success is being in the right time and place, skill is somewhat optional.

    A major key to retirement is to totally pay off your house and have no debt. Buy a duplex, avoid HOA situations. You will not be able to afford the ever increasing HOA fees. Buy a house that is only durable so you can later rent it out.


    gay men do have a time line of sorts. Unless you really know what your dong struggling up the bath house steps in your 40's is not a good sign. Your relationships are just as important as the one your parents had have. Look for a partner that has skills you need.
  • Looking9

    Posts: 31

    May 15, 2016 4:59 PM GMT

    When Mr. Donald Trump and others have made money in the new, changing, world economy many mock, ridicule and hate. The traditional ways our parents made money may not work in the 21 century.

    As fast food and other low-skilled workers march and demand $15 per hour wages... Automation is here and many, many will be displaced.

    Blaming the rise of the GOP is not the answer!

    How about managing personal debt better, saving more, explore and develop new resourceful ways to improve the quality of our lives, while making money.

    This is not easy, one will make mistakes, align yourself with successful people and learn from them.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14348

    May 16, 2016 9:50 PM GMT
    Looking9 said
    It's not how much you make, it's how much you keep!
    How can you keep anything when bills keep piling up and your stagnant income just keeps you locked in permanent debt. Do everything right in life and still end up in poverty. It is literally impossible to save anything these days.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 17, 2016 3:23 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    Looking9 said
    It's not how much you make, it's how much you keep!
    How can you keep anything when bills keep piling up and your stagnant income just keeps you locked in permanent debt. Do everything right in life and still end up in poverty. It is literally impossible to save anything these days.


    Obama said a few days ago your success in life has more to do with luck than hard work.

  • Fireworkz

    Posts: 606

    May 17, 2016 5:18 PM GMT
    desertmuscl said
    roadbikeRob said
    Looking9 said
    It's not how much you make, it's how much you keep!
    How can you keep anything when bills keep piling up and your stagnant income just keeps you locked in permanent debt. Do everything right in life and still end up in poverty. It is literally impossible to save anything these days.


    Obama said a few days ago your success in life has more to do with luck than hard work.



    Well there is a link between luck and hard work. But yes luck depending on where you were born and your upbringing.

    It's easier to make it if you were born into a wealthy family than a poor one so luck of the draw there.

  • lajos1

    Posts: 7

    Oct 21, 2016 8:23 PM GMT
    NerdLifter said
    woodfordr saidAnd it goes well beyond just income. [...]

    You echo'd my words exactly. The median income today is about the same as it was in 1989, after adjusting for inflation. However, at the same time, the average cost of living today is roughly $10,000 higher than it was in 1989, again after adjusting for inflation.

    To put it succinctly, people have a lot less purchasing power due to higher expenses, stagnant incomes, and less opportunity due to out-sourcing.

    Both my parents are truly dismayed at the state of the economy and lack of opportunity for the younger generation. My generation has no where near as many opportunities as they had when they entered the job market. There is no way any of my siblings or myself will make as much money as my mother, for example, who joined IBM during a time where companies would invest by training their employees (while paying them a salary) for months or even years. Such a notion is completely foreign in today's economy where most employees are mostly considered a dime a dozen, even if you come from a technical background. She quickly rose in IBM because opportunities for advancement were abundant at the time. Today, the vast majority of people are just fighting to hold onto their job, working very long hours, same goes for my mother, who now has to work 80 hours a week. IBM today is nothing like when she joined the company.


    Why is happening this? , By the way it's mentioned, it seems a growing population issue.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 21, 2016 11:28 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    Looking9 said
    It's not how much you make, it's how much you keep!
    How can you keep anything when bills keep piling up and your stagnant income just keeps you locked in permanent debt. Do everything right in life and still end up in poverty. It is literally impossible to save anything these days.


    Exactly right. I made at least $50k/yr. the late 80's to early 90's selling cars....and I was a rookie. My rent was $350/mo for a new luxury apt. I saved money...paid $14,500 cash for a 3yr old luxury car. Reagan 28% top tax rate.

    Compre with today: experienced car salesman is lucky to make $50k, which is devalued.....apt is $1,200/mo....3yr old luxury car is $30,000. Obama 39.6% top tax rate....and FICA takes another 5% of income....and the deficit grows faster. But the Chinese and Mexicans are making money hand over first.....buying up our country too.

  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14348

    Oct 22, 2016 6:05 PM GMT
    S2Ki said
    roadbikeRob said
    Looking9 said
    It's not how much you make, it's how much you keep!
    How can you keep anything when bills keep piling up and your stagnant income just keeps you locked in permanent debt. Do everything right in life and still end up in poverty. It is literally impossible to save anything these days.


    Exactly right. I made at least $50k/yr. the late 80's to early 90's selling cars....and I was a rookie. My rent was $350/mo for a new luxury apt. I saved money...paid $14,500 cash for a 3yr old luxury car. Reagan 28% top tax rate.

    Compre with today: experienced car salesman is lucky to make $50k, which is devalued.....apt is $1,200/mo....3yr old luxury car is $30,000. Obama 39.6% top tax rate....and FICA takes another 5% of income....and the deficit grows faster. But the Chinese and Mexicans are making money hand over first.....buying up our country too.

    Along with the Europeans, Canadians, Japanese, and the Koreans they are all buying up US real estate and taking over virtually everything. The days of majority American ownership in our own country are long gone.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 24, 2016 2:34 AM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    S2Ki said
    roadbikeRob said
    Looking9 said
    It's not how much you make, it's how much you keep!
    How can you keep anything when bills keep piling up and your stagnant income just keeps you locked in permanent debt. Do everything right in life and still end up in poverty. It is literally impossible to save anything these days.


    Exactly right. I made at least $50k/yr. the late 80's to early 90's selling cars....and I was a rookie. My rent was $350/mo for a new luxury apt. I saved money...paid $14,500 cash for a 3yr old luxury car. Reagan 28% top tax rate.

    Compre with today: experienced car salesman is lucky to make $50k, which is devalued.....apt is $1,200/mo....3yr old luxury car is $30,000. Obama 39.6% top tax rate....and FICA takes another 5% of income....and the deficit grows faster. But the Chinese and Mexicans are making money hand over first.....buying up our country too.

    Along with the Europeans, Canadians, Japanese, and the Koreans they are all buying up US real estate and taking over virtually everything. The days of majority American ownership in our own country are long gone.


    Countries that give us massive trade deficits. Democrats are very stupid....Bill Clinton exported jobs with NAFTA...gave us "education" with crushing student loan debt, and low paying jobs.

    And we wonder why they're called useful idiots.