See honey, this small figurine represents our diminishing purchasing power
Life is worse than it was five years ago for the 53 percent of American adults who call themselves members of the middle class, according to a new Pew Research Center poll. Incomes of the middle-class respondents ranged from $40,000 to over $100,000; Americans of all incomes were sampled in the study.
While upbeat about their long-term prosperity, 56 percent of Americans said their economic situation is either stagnant or getting worse, the highest level since 1964. Also reflecting the growing gap between high and low income-earners, the study noted that the median wealthy household grew over four times the rate that the median middle-class household did from 1983 to 2004.
Senators Clinton, Obama and McCain might pay attention to these next numbers: When asked what was to blame for their economic stagnancy, respondents ranked government first among the sources at 26 percent. The rising price of oil was blamed by 11 percent, while others cited outsourcing and corporations as the source of their woes (a lot less, your writer notes, than is made out to be in the debate over NAFTA this election cycle).