The middle class is the hallmark of the American dream and the backbone of a free and strong society. That dream has been shattered in recent decades for many Americans. Most of the media and politicians define the middle class by income, which has been stagnant at best or declining at worst for the average American. However, it is the cost of living as well as higher taxes that are larger factors adversely impacting the middle class. Moreover, government policies have exacerbated the middle-class decline.
This book argues that the cost of education, healthcare, housing, and taxes have increased at a much higher rate than the income. One can look at the middle-class challenge as a glass half full or half empty. The premise of this book is that the glass is half full and that the middle class will come back despite all the doom and gloom about its demise.
Middle-class America is defined as a family of four including two school-aged children earning between $51,000 and $123,000 per year. They aspire to attain affordable healthcare, college education for their children, a home, and retirement security. This book focuses on the jobs and ever rising cost of healthcare, education, and taxes—most of which can be attributed to the government's counterproductive policies and dysfunctional political structure. This book highlights various components that will result in the middle class comeback instead of an in-depth analysis of each category in the interest of keeping the book short. Almost 400 citations are provided for further reading.
Yes, it is true that the middle class has suffered the most in recent history while most of the economic gains have been realized by the top one-percenters. The top 0.1 percenters are worth as much as the bottom 90 percent of the U.S. households. That disparity would serve as the impetus for the middle-class comeback by challenging the old way of doing business, both in private companies and government agencies.
One of the reasons for that optimism is women gaining ground with men in almost every segment of society, such as higher education, medicine, and business. Moreover, women control $11 trillion, or almost 40 percent, of the nation's investable assets. Women make up half of the population, yet they are still well under-represented in society when it comes to making decisions in private and public deliberations on the economy, education, healthcare, politics, and social issues. As women gain more parity with men, such as in the job market, they will contribute more money to the family income and will lead the way toward the middle-class comeback.
Millennials, who represent 25 percent of the adult population, will be the largest voting bloc over the next few decades. They are projected to inherit $30 trillion from their baby boomer parents. Millennials are transforming existing industries while creating new ones whether it is in communication, media, or goods and services. They are creating jobs, enhancing purchasing power, and improving the quality of life for the middle class.
The technology will force the existing private and public institutional structures to be efficient amid the digital age. Over the last thirty years, technology has made astounding changes. Smartphones and other technological products that are very complex yet very simple to use will continue to add productivity to the economy. Just as the auto industry had a major impact on the growth of the middle class in the early twentieth-century, technology will do the same in the twenty-first century. This will result in the transformation of education, healthcare, the political system, and the tax structure. As a result, their costs will decrease, which will increase the purchasing power of the lower and middle class.
This book takes a look at how the middle class will come back despite some of the depressing headlines in the news about its demise.
© 2016 The Middle Class Comeback and its affiliates
Munir Moon *** The Beltway Beast