As the rich have gotten richer, America, once the “Land of Opportunity” is seeing its middle class shrinking smaller.
Long before the COVID Panic pumped trillions more wealth into the bank accounts of the wealthiest, income growth for Americans in their prime working years has narrowed from 27 percent to 8 percent from 2002 to 2016, compared with the period from 1967 to 1982, according to research from the George Washington Institute of Public Policy.
Partly as a result, the number of people able to earn their way out of poverty has declined from 43 percent during the earlier period to 35 percent more recently.
Comparing the two periods, the proportion of the workforce falling out of the middle class into poverty has risen from 5 percent to 11 percent.
The number, however, of earners in the upper middle class – people making more than $108,000 a year – has grown significantly, especially among African-Americans, who rose from 1 percent of the category in the early period to 14 percent in the second.
The top economic tier, defined as households earning more than $380,000 a year, has seen their incomes grow by 48 percent, almost twice as much as the 26-percent growth at the U.S. median income level.
In recent years, education has become increasingly tied to income. From 1967 to 1982, 37 percent of earners with a bachelor’s degree or higher were in the upper middle class; in the more recent period, 59 percent were.
The middle class is shrinking because more people are earning their way into the upper middle class and more are slipping into poverty.
Some points “are worth drawing out,” said labor economist Stephen Rose, the study’s author.
“The main reason for the shrinking of the middle class is the increase in the number of people with higher incomes; there has been a significant increase in the number of Americans experiencing downward mobility; [and] the growth of median incomes for working-age adults over a fifteen-year period has declined sharply.”
TREND FORECAST: The “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS 2.0” trend we had forecast will accelerate as income disparities widen. There will be will increased labor strikes, union membership, socialist movements, and new political parties. 

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