I’m sorry to bring bad news to you on this gorgeous Saturday morning, but I take comfort in the fact that you’re probably already aware of both sides of this title: there is an attack on the middle class, and it is succeeding.
A burgeoning and healthy middle class has historically been the bulwark of freedom in America. With hope and aspiration of a better day coming, they represent the strongest part of society interested in maintaining and strengthening its freedom. Not just economically, but in all other ways as well. That’s why the welfare statists have targeted the family with interventions and promises designed to make them more dependent upon the state. The War on Poverty has successfully managed to all but destroy black families.
And now the numbers are showing up on America’s white middle class as well. This article references a study done by New York University economics professor Edward Wolff which proves it. Writes Wolff in his abstract,
In this study, I look at wealth trends from 1962 to 2010. The most telling finding is that median wealth plummeted over the years 2007 to 2010, and by 2010 was at its lowest level since 1969.
He places the blame squarely where it belongs: on the government’s attempt to get everyone who wanted a home to get one, whether they could afford it, or not:
The sharp fall in median net worth and the rise in its inequality in the late 2000s are traceable to the high leverage of middle class families in 2007 and the high share of homes in their portfolio…
Hispanics, in particular, got hammered by the Great Recession in terms of net worth and net equity in their homes.
Finally, young households (under age 45) also got pummeled by the Great Recession, as their relative and absolute wealth declined sharply from 2007 to 2010.
The original article notes that the middle class is bewildered about what is happening to them, and consequently they are blaming everybody:
An August Pew Research Center study found that many in the middle-class are divided on how they believe his gap widened.
Fully 85 percent of self-described middle-class adults say it is more difficult now than it was a decade ago for middle-class people to maintain their standard of living. Of those who feel this way, 62 percent say “a lot” of the blame lies with Congress, while 54 percent say the same about banks and financial institutions, 47 percent about large corporations, 44 percent about the Bush administration, 39 percent about foreign competition and 34 percent about the Obama administration.
They are blaming everybody except for the welfare-state mindset that was firmly cemented into place during the Great Depression.