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Middle Class Destroyed: 50 Percent Of All American Workers Make Less Than $30,533 A Year

Michael Snyder
October 22nd, 2018
The Economic Collapse
Comments (39) Read by 2,271 people

This report was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse

The middle class in America has been declining for decades, and we continue to get even more evidence of the catastrophic damage that has already been done. According to the Social Security Administration, the median yearly wage in the United States is just $30,533 at this point. That means 50 percent of all American workers make at least that much per year, but that also means that 50 percent of all American workers make that much or less per year.  When you divide $30,533 by 12, you get a median monthly wage of just over $2,500. But of course nobody can provide a middle class standard of living for a family of four for just $2,500 a month, and we will discuss this further below. So in most households at least two people are working, and in many cases multiple jobs are being taken on by a single individual in a desperate attempt to make ends meet. The American people are working harder than ever, and yet the middle class just continues to erode.

The deeper we dig into the numbers provided by the Social Security Administration, the more depressing they become. Here are just a few examples from their official website

-34 percent of all American workers made less than $20,000 last year.

-48 percent of all American workers made less than $30,000 last year.

-59 percent of all American workers made less than $40,000 last year.

-68 percent of all American workers made less than $50,000 last year.

At this moment, the federal poverty level for a family of five is $29,420, and yet about half the workers in the entire country don’t even make that much on a yearly basis.

So can someone please explain to me again why people are saying that the economy is “doing well”?

Many will point to how well the stock market has been doing, but the stock market has not been an accurate barometer for the overall economy in a very, very long time.

And the stock market has already fallen nearly 1,500 points since the beginning of the month. The bull market appears to be over and the bears are licking their chops.

No matter who has been in the White House, and no matter which political party has controlled Congress, the U.S. middle class has been systematically eviscerated year after year. Many that used to be thriving may still even call themselves “middle class”, but that doesn’t make it true.

You would think that someone making “the median income” in a country as wealthy as the United States would be doing quite well. But the truth is that $2,500 a month won’t get you very far these days.

First of all, your family is going to need somewhere to live. Especially on the east and west coasts, it is really hard to find something habitable for under $1,000 a month in 2018. If you live in the middle of the country or in a rural area, housing prices are significantly cheaper. But for the vast majority of us, let’s assume a minimum of $1,000 a month for housing costs.

Secondly, you will also need to pay your utility bills and other home-related expenses. These costs include power, water, phone, television, Internet, etc. I will be extremely conservative and estimate that this total will be about $300 a month.

Thirdly, each income earner will need a vehicle in order to get to work. In this example we will assume one income earner and a car payment of just $200 a month.

So now we are already up to $1,500 a month. The money is running out fast.

Next, insurance bills will have to be paid. Health insurance premiums have gotten ridiculously expensive in recent years, and many family plans are now well over $1,000 a month. But for this example let’s assume a health insurance payment of just $450 a month and a car insurance payment of just $50 a month.

Of course your family will have to eat, and I don’t know anyone that can feed a family of four for just $500 a month, but let’s go with that number.

So now we have already spent the entire $2,500, and we don’t have a single penny left over for anything else.

But wait, we didn’t even account for taxes yet. When you deduct taxes, our fictional family of four is well into the red every month and will need plenty of government assistance.

This is life in America today, and it isn’t pretty.

In his most recent article, Charles Hugh Smith estimated that an income of at least $106,000 is required to maintain a middle class lifestyle in America today. That estimate may be a bit high, but not by too much.

Yes, there is a very limited sliver of the population that has been doing well in recent years, but most of the country continues to barely scrape by from month to month. Out in California, Silicon Valley has generated quite a few millionaires, but the state also has the highest poverty in the entire nation. For every Silicon Valley millionaire, there are thousands upon thousands of poor people living in towns such as Huron, California

Nearly 40 percent of Huron residents — and almost half of all children — live below the poverty line, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s more than double the statewide rate of 19 percent reported last month, which is the highest in the U.S. The national average is 12.3 percent.

“We’re in the Appalachians of the West,” Mayor Rey Leon said. “I don’t think enough urgency is being taken to resolve a problem that has existed for way too long.”

Multiple families and boarders pack rundown homes, only about a quarter of residents have high school diplomas and most lack adequate health care in an area plagued with diabetes and high asthma rates in one the nation’s most polluted air basins.

One recent study found that the gap between the wealthy and the poor is the largest that it has been since the 1920s, and America’s once thriving middle class is evaporating right in front of our eyes.

We could have made much different choices as a society, but we didn’t, and now we are going to have a great price to pay for our foolishness…

***

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium-members only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

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Author: Michael Snyder
Views: Read by 2,271 people
Date: October 22nd, 2018
Website: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/

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39 Comments...

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  1. Kevin2 says:

    Comparative Advantage on an international scale is a tough sell considering its proven aftermath.

    “We’re living here in Allentown and their closing all the factories down”.

    For the umpteenth time.

    “Protection of our own labor against the cheaper, ill-paid, half-fed, and pauper labor of Europe, is … a duty which the country owes to its own citizens.”
    Daniel Webster

    “The wealth … independence, and security of a Country, appear to be materially connected with the prosperity of manufactures. Every nation … ought to endeavor to possess within itself all the essentials of national supply. These compromise the means of subsistence, habitation, clothing, and defence.”
    Alexander Hamilton

    “Free trade results in our giving our money … our manufactures and our markets to other nations. … It will bring widespread discontent. It will revolutionize our values.”
    William McKinley

    “Open competition between high-paid American labor and poorly paid European labor will either drive out of existence American industry or lower American wages.”
    William McKinley

    • Eisenkreutz says:

      Is there any connection between bringing millions of 80 IQ morons in from the third world and the sky high STD rates?

      Africa has abundant resources. The characteristic mating pattern of the African is to “spray and pray”. That is, to have a bunch of kids with multiple women and to not pay much attention to their upbringing.

      Europe has harsh winters and it requires high intelligence and stockpiled resources to survive. The mating pattern of the white man is to invest much time and energy into raising of children and to have only a few children with one lifetime woman partner.

      A “racist” is someone who notices what is plainly obvious.

      That in 300000 years of human evolution the races evolved to be different. No amount of baby boomer hysterical shrieking will change scientific fact.

      I dont want the Andrew Gillums of the world to be in charge. I want the apes sent back to Africa.

      THE MUD PEOPLE WILL NEVER CHANGE NO MATTER HOW MUCH WE DO FOR THEM AND THEY WILL ONLY DRAG US DOWN

      FACE REALITY

    • Eisenkreutz says:

      Every single one of the mud people in the caravan will become a US citizen.

      Watch and see.

      Every. Single. One.

      Christ you boomers are pussies.

    • Genius says:

      People who cannot devise a source of income free from corporate control are doomed to be slaves. Relying on others to provide employment, they will be at the mercy of their masters.

      Genius

    • durangokidd says:

      “But of course nobody can provide a middle class standard of living for a family of four for just $2,500 a month.”

      Exactly, which is why the LSM is now identifying the family unit as three persons, not the famous “family of four”. BTW, the Globalists do not want everyone to have a car. That’s too much FREEDOM.

      They want US to live in cracker boxes along the Light Rail. No Light Rail in your town ??? No problem !!! Move out of the country and into the cities !!! 🙁

  2. The Deplorable Renegade says:

    Kevin2, those are some interesting quotes you found. Very interesting article by Snyder. It should kill the myth of the economy improving under Trump.

    • Eisenkreutz says:

      THE ECONOMY HAS IMPROVED VASTLY UNDER TRUMP COMPARED TO OBAMA

      SHOULD YOU SELL YOUR PREPS? NO

      IS IT BETTER THAN IT WAS? YES

    • Kevin2 says:

      The Deplorable Renegade

      I’m still undecided upon Trump although I certainly believe he is far more preferable than Hillary. Rand Paul was my choice. Regarding employment its like college. All jobs aren’t equal as all degrees aren’t either. The jobs being “created” don’t come close to being the quality of those lost from “Free Trade”. I knew in the mid 1970s that relatively shortly I, like most of my classmates, would land a job at DuPont, Mobil, BP, Monsanto, Hercules, Texaco, BF Goodrich or Shell. All paid in todays money $35 – $45 / Hr + benefits. That was then, this is now.

      • Yahooie says:

        Back in the 70s, I lived in Michigan. Across the street from my mother-in-law’s house were some average GM factory workers. Their house was an average 3 BR ranch type. They paid it off quickly; they had new cars in the driveway every year; they were always dressed in new clothing; and every other year they tossed out their furniture and bought new. The power of the unions made sure all their workers were well paid.

        No one I know (here in VA) can live like that even in wealthy neighborhoods.

  3. Menzoberranzan says:

    Way too many scum illegals in the workforce pushing down wages and more filth on the way. They need to leave or we need to kill them all.

  4. john stiner says:

    Soneone’s got to be on the bottom rung….

  5. aljamo says:

    They cleaned the Mexican illegals out of the local pizza buffet, they held all of the jobs there, now it’s all black working there. Minimum wage still stuck at $7.25, working 40 hours should net you $200 a week. Is that a laugh or what?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Keep letting in all the South American illegals to drive the wage down

  7. the blame-e says:

    At the rate the American Middle Class is being killed off the Progressive Socialist Democrats won’t need to revoke the 2ND Amendment. The death of the American Middle Class will result in the complete impoverishment of a whole people. Americans will eagerly surrender their guns at government run pawn shops for food.

  8. NorseMan says:

    A family of 4 earning $30,000 a year will get their $2500 a month, PLUS most will get subsidized housing, free healthcare, free cell phones, earned income and other tax credits so that they pay no income tax on the whole $30,000, food stamps, free school lunches, home heating assistance, free college for the kids, etc, etc.

    I saw a number somewhere that you have to earn $67,000 BEFORE taxes in order to equal the same life style as someone living at the poverty line ($29,000) if you add in all the FREE stuff they get!

  9. Beaumont says:

    Remuneration happens, only after the worker has covered all social obligations, free of debt.

    If the employer seems disoriented, treat him like the catlady he is.

    If you were rowing some Roman galley, a Medieval peasant, or antebellum slave, there would be life support, for so long as you were needed. This works like a math problem. Can your employer do math.

  10. rellik says:

    I think that the Middle class was a result of the second world war and that our idea of what is a middle class is unsustainable, regardless of whether free trade, globalism, or Progress politics killed it, it was going to die. The gulf between the haves and have nots is historically very wide.
    Farms are going to be automated. Factories are going to be highly automated. Many white collar jobs are going to be automated. Automation will put a lot of people out of work or be underemployed and these people will vote to rob(tax)
    the producers.
    Politics the single biggest threat to the middle class.

    • bb in GA says:

      “The state — or, to make matters more concrete, the government — consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.

      Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get, and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time it is made good by looting ‘A’ to satisfy ‘B’.

      In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advanced auction on stolen goods.”

      H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

      <bb

    • Beaumont says:

      Take (usually, worthless) people off credit and corporate welfare. Then, let’s see what’s attainable, in the real world.

      I bet, alot less plastic in the ocean, and automobile exhaust, in the nature reserve, the second it is earned by sweat or IQ.

  11. steve says:

    Requires a bit more research. My first google search for median income shows the average is $59,000. Perhaps this is referring to all workers in household?

    • bb in GA says:

      Your median figure is for the household.

      The Author is clearly referring to individuals (which is stated several times directly)

      He is also notes:

      “So in most households at least two people are working, and in many cases multiple jobs are being taken on by a single individual in a desperate attempt to make ends meet.”

      Also take his median figure of about $30,500 per individual and if you double it for 2 people working in a household you get about $61K which is about 3% different from the median household number you show.

      <bb

  12. Yahooie says:

    Michael’s article is assuming costs from some backwater area. Much as I enjoy–and wished I lived in–those kinds of places, I live in the metro Washington DC area (until I get some things sorted out).

    You can’t even rent a room for $1,000 around here; average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is around $2500 unless you are out of the area by at least 75 miles. House utilities for me–and I have a small house (1200sf) run around $450 per month so it would be more for a family. A $200 car payment must be for an old clunker (which can only be financed for 2-3 years) so you’d better either take public transportation if you don’t have car repair costs figured in plus car insurance. If not, that amount won’t cover bus fare for a month so you’re down to walking, biking, or hitching a ride.

    Clothing is important around here also in the business sphere. Each piece averages between $10-20 just guessing from Walmart prices and thrift shops are little better for clothes and shoes.

    Groceries seem to be about the same as other areas so your guess is as good as mine.

    So, no one can live around here on the median US annual wage. Those who are making that don’t have family or have joined forces with another to get by. And, yes, overcrowded houses are a problem in this area. It happened in my neighborhood and someone called the health department; suddenly the dozen people found other places to live (and we could park in our own spot again).

    Yep, the ‘new’ middle class is in a bad way.

    • rellik says:

      I keep a very detailed budget.
      That man better stay away from Hawaii.
      $28,500, budgeted for fixed costs, taxes, utilities,
      food, Medical, home, and cars insurance, fees, et al,
      I have no debt and I own my house and land.
      We don’t eat out but we eat very well.
      There are just the two of us wife and I.
      I’m not including our “allowance” for personal
      stuff, things that break, and our 10% monthly savings.
      which covers the rest of the monthly fixed income.

  13. Bert says:

    The top 1,400 taxpayers pay more in taxes than the bottom 175,000,000 people.

    I’m all for equal taxation, everyone pay the same, per person!! All “men” created equal… let each person pay an equal amount. Fair share!!

    Perhaps then the annual budget can be reduced to a few million, and no one gets a free ride!! Eliminate entitlements for people, corporations and foreign nations!

  14. Dave says:

    50 years ago a middle class household was a working father, and an at home mother taking care of the house and kids. Early gen x know this. Since then middle class is both parents working and unsupervised latch key kids.

    • the blame-e says:

      Or “grandmother” and “grandfather” babysitting. At least they got the kids out of the house. Now, if they can just figure out a way to get the kids of their kids out, too.

  15. Bigbluedrew says:

    “When the government robs Peter to pay Paul they can always count on the support of Paul”—— George Bernard Shaw. This is what has happened to America in a nutshell. Over 50% of our population rcieves some sort of government assistance our Republic is OVER. It’s simple math now, I reread Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire this weekend. The similarities between Ancient Rome and modern America are striking. A seething dependant mob ruled by an unber wealthy elite, desperately trying to distract said mob with bread and circuses, perpetual wars of conquest to bring in outside wealth that the Republic no longer produces. A dwindling army overextended to guard a far flung dwindling empire which increasingly is challenged by rising powers on all sides. Is this familiar to anyone. The only real difference I can see is the weapons at the disposal of both us and our enemies. When the American Empire finally falls, I think we will not fare nearly as well as the ancient Romans.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Statistics need careful examination of how they have been derived to make any real sense.

    For example, I’m an American worker who earns less than $30,000 a year but I live quite well on it.

    I should probably mention I’m also retired and work very little now, but that income is what SS will be looking at as my wages.

    FWIW. a $30,000 a year income is quite adequate to live well in many parts of the country, particularly if two people in the household are making that much (something not reflected in those SS stats which only consider the income that SS is paid on individual payers, not the household income or work status of the ones paying it)