America’s Middle Class And Economic Inequality

Pew Research Center recently published two documents that I found notable.

The first is dated January 27, 2014 and is titled “Despite recovery, fewer Americans identify as middle class.”  A couple of excerpts include:

Despite a slowly recovering economy, the proportion of Americans who identify themselves as middle class has dropped sharply in recent years. Today, about as many Americans identify themselves as lower or lower-middle class (40%) as say they are in the middle class (44%), according to a recent Pew Research Center/USA TODAY survey.


At the same time, the share of the public who says they are in the lower or lower-middle classes rose by 15 percentage points, from 25% in 2008 to 40% today.

Here is an accompanying chart:

Pew 1-27-14 - Factank - Despite recovery fewer Americans identify as middle class

Another Pew Research document that I found notable is that dated January 23, 2014, and is titled “Most See Inequality Growing, but Partisans Differ over Solutions.” (pdf)  In this document, a variety of issues with regard to various facets of (economic) inequality are discussed.  Among the topics and poll findings discussed are:

  • the level of inequality
  • how best to reduce poverty
  • whether the minimum wage should be raised
  • “why are some people poor and others rich?”
  • “does hard work lead to success?”
  • the government’s role in reducing poverty and inequality
  • fairness of the economic system

Additional information and graphical trends can be seen in the two Pew Research documents mentioned above.


The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 1820.44 as this post is written