It is true – which is something of a first for electoral complaints – that America’s middle class is getting smaller. However, the problem isn’t that people are becoming poorer and thus dropping out of it. Rather, they’re becoming richer and moving on up out of the middle class.
Which isn’t, when you come to think of it, all that much of a problem:
As Mark Perry points out:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Yes, the “middle-class is disappearing” as we hear all the time, but it’s because middle-income households in the US are gradually moving up to higher income groups, and not down into lower-income groups. In 1967, only 9% of US households (only 1 in 11) earned $100,000 or more (in 2017 dollars). In 2017, more than 1 in 4 US households (29.2%) were in that high-income category, a new record high. In other words, over the last half-century, the share of US households earning incomes of $100,000 or more (in 2017 dollars) has more than tripled! At the same time, the share of middle-income households earning $35,000 to $100,000 (in 2017 dollars) has decreased over time, from more than half of US households in 1967 (53.8%) to less than half (only 41.3%) in 2017. Likewise, the share of low-income households earning $35,000 or less (in 2017 dollars) has decreased from more than one-third of households in 1967 (37.2%) to below one-third of US households last year (29.5%), a near-record low.[/perfectpullquote]
This isn’t a problem. Well, unless you happen to be a Democratic Party politician desperate to find something to complain about. But then, you know, you’ll complain about absolutely everything, won’t you. Even people getting rich enough not to need the tender mercies of a redistributionist Democratic Party politician.