Middle-class households in America have to work harder than ever to maintain their standard of living, according to a report released Wednesday.Where is the family values crowd as parents are forced to work longer and longer hours just to maintain the lifestyle they currently enjoy? When will people finally realize that it is this unholy alliance between big business and the religious right called the modern Republican party that is destroying the middle class?
Sixty nine percent of middle-class households are at risk of losing their standard of living in the long term, says Demos, an advocacy group for lower and middle-class Americans.
And the rising costs of health care, housing, and education are forcing middle-class families to work harder to maintain that standard, said Jennifer Wheary, the report's co-author in an interview with CNNMoney.com.
"The way that they have stayed secure is by tightening belts," said Wheary. "People now have to work more hours to be at that same level."
The Demos report is designed to measure the financial health of the American middle class by measuring certain key variables.When you live paycheck to paycheck are you really middle class or are you actually the working poor? I would argue that the working poor is a much more accurate description.
If their main source of income dries up, only 13 percent of middle class households can live off their assets for nine months, after reducing basic living expenses by one quarter, estimates Demos.
52 percent have no net financial assets at all after debt (excluding home equity), and live paycheck to paycheck.
I remember my childhood when almost all the mothers on my middle class street in Yonkers, NY were stay at home moms. That is a pipe dream for the families of today. The question now becomes how do we fix this before the middle class is gone and we have a nation of just rich and poor. The answers to that question are complex but the first two solutions I think are absolutely necessary are the public financing of campaigns and universal health care. Unfortunately I think you will never get the second solution until you institute the first.
The political process in this nation has been completely corrupted by big money. Our Presidential race has become about fund raising not ideas and our media is owned by just a handful of big corporations whose main goal is profit not the truthful dissemination of information.
It will take a middle class movement to reverse this trend but who will have the time when work consumes more and more of your day. Maybe that's the goal. There is a reason that the poor do not vote in the same numbers as the rich. They are normally consumed with what they think are more important priorities. As the middle class is more and more consumed with the problems of making ends meet they too will find voting not as big a priority and the destruction of the middle class will be complete. It is time to fight back.