[quote="MugenOne, post:1, topic:206472"]
83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
Since when is stock ownership a feature of being middle class?
• 61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
There is a recession, and people can have quite high incomes and still live paycheck to paycheck. It reflects over-spending, not income.
• 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
But if some of it went to the $25,000 to $75,000 demographic, then it doesn't show the middle class declined in absolute terms.
• 36 percent of Americans say that they don't contribute anything to retirement savings.
We spend too much. This doesn't reflect imcome.
• A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
All Americans of all ages?
• 24 percent of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.
• Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
As happens in recessions.
• Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
Wages haven't matched the housing bubble.
• For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
What does this have to do with being middle class?
• In 1950, the ratio of the average executive's paycheck to the average worker's paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
Again, zero to do with the topic.
• As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.
Again, owning stock hasn't been a traditional indicator of middle class status.
• The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
It's been that way for decades, at least.
• Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.
This has nothing to do with being middle class.
• In the United States, the average federal worker now earns 60% MORE than the average worker in the private sector.
Because the government hasn't taken over Walmart or McDonalds.
Ok, this is getting a little tiresome.
There is an easy way to prove the middle class is shrinking: compare the percentage of the population that is earning between $25,000 and $75,000 today to earlier comparable periods (that is, accounting for the current recession).
There isn't any other way to prove that proposition. It would seem pretty easy to do, don't you think, if someone were serious about knowing the facts.