‘Does this bother anybody?’ American middle class no longer the richest in the world

The American middle class is no longer the most affluent in the world. On Tuesday, The New York Times published the findings of 35 years worth of survey data that “offer some of the most detailed publicly available comparisons for different income groups in different countries over time.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Times concluded “most American families are paying a steep price for high and rising income inequality.”

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“The American middle-class no longer the most affluent in the world. Let me say that again: The American middle-class no longer the most affluent in the world,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “Does that bother anybody?”

The Times reports:

Although economic growth in the United States continues to be as strong as in many other countries, or stronger, a small percentage of American households is fully benefiting from it. Median income in Canada pulled into a tie with median United States income in 2010 and has most likely surpassed it since then. Median incomes in Western European countries still trail those in the United States, but the gap in several — including Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden — is much smaller than it was a decade ago.

“You know what made this country was middle class, the fact that you could actually get out of the lower class and you could then move into the middle class,” Glenn said. “But we’re destroying the middle class.”

The Times also published a “simple table” that illustrates how, since 1980, the incomes of the American middle class and poor have been growing more slowly than anywhere else in the world. The Times cites the American education system and a lack of focus on the creation of well-paying jobs and workers’ skills as some of the main culprits. But Glenn had some other ideas.

“Inflation is one way of destroying the middle class. You won’t be able to afford your groceries. You won’t be able to afford anything. And so then you’ll start to listen to people who say, ‘You know what? We need is a minimum wage’… instead of looking at the policies that are destroying our middle class,” Glenn explained. “The poor in much of Europe earn more than the poor Americans. You know why? We have shipped out all of our jobs. We don’t create anything.”

The American people and the American economy have proven their resilience time and time again. But Glenn fears too many people are now blindly accepting the status quo without taking the time to understand the root of the problem.

“I cannot believe how resilient this nation is, how resilient this economy is, and, at the same time, how many people are just accepting it without examining the way they vote, without examining their own parties,” Glenn concluded. “It’s not just the Democrats that have done this. It is the Republicans as well. And for a long time, they answered to us. They don’t anymore.”

Read the entire report from The New York Times HERE.

  • Bonnie Somer

    Glenn Glenn Glenn how can u b so surprised w/obama as pres holder and the o/left wing marxists IN our govt now, w/the govt agencies trampling on our rights being used to end coal and grab all water rights that is the EPA, the others just as bad. OPERATION AMERICAN SPRING COMING TO DC IN MAY IS GNG TO END THAT CLIVEN BUNDY BEGAN IT AND WE ARE GNG TO FINISH IT PEACEFULLY W/THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF PATRIOTS OR AS H REID SAYS DOMESTIC TERRORISTS WE R COMING IT IS NOT TOO LATE

  • landofaahs

    Not when evil/stupid people think that 175K a year is rich.

  • Anonymous

    Just about every incumbent up for election in the 2014 midterms need shown the door never to hold public office again. Then on to 2016 finish the job. Many of these inbred, delusional, arrogant, corrupt, incompetent, traitorous seat warmers need prosecuted for dereliction of duty and treason for failure to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. Time for a complete housecleaning, top to bottom and to hold these people accountable for their relentless attempts to destroy our country from within. Strip them of their lifetime cushy benefits and put some of them in jail.

  • http://truthofg.blogspot.com/ Connor Davenport

    Thanks Obama and the liberals who claimed to be warriors for the middle class. You really screwed us over with your caring and compassion. Please take that type of thinking to Russia where it might actually do some good and collapsed their economy. I bet the people of Ukraine would thank you for taking your bad ideas and actully doing some good.

  • landofaahs

    If people did not have to have taxes and all the other deductions taken out of their pay, just think how much they would be able to buy and invest and save.

  • Anonymous

    What bothers me is the fact we let him get away with it !

  • Pamela Smith

    The article is spot on. My family and I are the middle class. We have been hit hard with tax increases, government mandated healthcare increases, cost of living decreases. My husband turned 60 and he has a good job with the same company fr over 25 years. I am 57 and still unemployed (one of those who have given up on looking). We have one daughter who is a recent college graduate and we have school loans due. When we secured her loans from a private lender the rate was 3-4%. In 2009 we received a letter from William Ford Foundation saying they were ordered by the Obama administration to service all student loans and the interest rate would be mandatory 7.9%!!! We had no choices here. We were told the interest from the loans would pay back stimulus funds. We would have NEVER taken out student loans from our private vendor had we known that such a thing would happen. We truly are oppressed financially by this administration and lack of leadership in DC. BUT, this we know our faith keeps us strong. We keep trusting in the Lord to provide and hoping for a financial miracle. We know Gods Word promises that the righteous will never be forsaken or begging bread. We just thank the Lord for His goodness and ask for strength to do what we need to do on a daily basis. Our daughter was blessed with a part-time/temporary job in February for which she is grateful for.
    Thanks for listening.

  • BlueMN
  • BlueMN

    The middle class has been disappearing and getting poorer and the rich getting richer since Reagan decided that tinkle-down economics was the way to go, and Beck is just figuring this out now? LOL

  • landofaahs

    Living in NYC that would not make you rich especially when over half would go to taxes and then after rent and transportation. What about that genius. I can understand why you are blue mn. You are right about once in a blue moon and today is not that day.

  • hfr49

    How long was $85B/month pumped into the money supply? Now it’s$75B/month. How much do you think your dollars are worth?
    The government doesn’t count fuel (doubled since Obama took office) and food (prices increased 40-50% since Obama took office) into the calculation of inflation and says, ” Look, there’s only 1% or 2% inflation.” If inflation was calculated like it was in the 1980′s, we would probably be experiencing double digit inflation.

  • Lorraine

    Another feather in the president’s cap! wink,wink.

  • Mike Nelson

    Come now, I’m sure we could go back just a *little* farther to LBJ’s “Great” Society, or FDR’s Welfare program(s)…

    This site at times utterly lacks a competent adversarial perspective, and I would love to see you fill that gaping hole, but when you prove yourself incompetent or propagandize history, you fail to accomplish that goal, and your posts become so… self-servicing.

    Would not you, also, like to reach a broader audience, a “bigger tent” as it were, by being a legit authority on such matters?

    The bait-and-troll game is so passe…

  • http://www.absoluteintensity.com dennis reilly

    the media let’s the politicians get away with such

  • Darral

    Based on your Reagan statement : ii am wondering why history shows that Reagan turned around an Economic crises very much like the one PinocchiObama inherited; and in so doing History shows that the American people Middle class and other wise America had over 25 years of the Most prosperous years in American history; Then The Dimcrats took control again; and today the Rich are getting richer Historical Fact; the poor are only as poor as this government allows them to be; the middle class are moving into the poor class; Historical Facts

  • BlueMN

    Say, you’re right! I’ll bet it’s even considered poverty level in Beverly Hills too, right? LOL Look how blue that moon is!

  • BlueMN

    Nope 1981, when the Reaganistas seized control the rich prospered, every one else got by with 2 income families, worked more, and got less. Hysterical Facts.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah it bothers me. Obama promised he wouldn’t tax the middle class, does everybody remember that? That’s because he knew there would be no middle class to tax. He has still repeatedly taxed the middle class with higher food prices, high gas prices and let’s not forget Obamacare (the unaffordable healthcare act).
    He claims to have brought down he unemployment number, but accomplished that by not counting the millions of people who have been unemployed so long that they’ve fallen off the unemployment roles. All of these folks fall into the category of having stopped looking for work. Sure thing Barry…..
    Throw in Benghazi, Fast & Furious, Lois Lerner and the IRS targeting scandal – where there’s not even a smidgen of wrongdoing, the NSA spying on every American and $17+ trillion in debt – $9 Trillion of which belongs entirely to Barry in just 6 years, and yeah, it bothers me.
    And there are many Republicans who share in the blame for not Impeaching Barry. Fortunately, many of them aren’t running for reelection. Unfortunately, even though they didn’t do their jobs, they will still be receiving their government pension which includes 100% of their pay, plus the best benefits on earth. “We the people” need to eliminate these obscene retirement benefits for people that never balanced the budget, didn’t hold the most corrupt administration in history accountable for breaking the law and overspent by $17+ Trillion.

  • BlueMN

    No Mike, see my charts in reply to Darral, 1981, not under FDR or LBJ, tinkle-down economics was just a bad theory then.

    Sorry my comments don’t meet up to your high standards, but then again I’m dealing with people who think only the propertied upper classes should vote and the more money you have, the more votes you should have. How do you fight logic like that?

  • Watch it

    The middle class would be getting richer too but they have been negatively impacted by Obama’s policies.

  • Watch it

    “Hysterical Facts” is right. The top 1% have a different source of income than the others. They can’t be compared.

  • texastruthtweet

    I know the middle class is declining. The combined incomes of me and my husband has decreased about $8,000 since 2012. We have gone from middle class to nearly in poverty! Thanks for the great recovery, Obozo!

  • Deckard426

    We could always go back to the supply-side, Reaganomics, trickle-down theory of economics. That’s where the Fed supplied Nelson Rockefeller with a trillion dollars, and it trickled down to David Rockefeller.

  • texastruthtweet

    Amen!

  • BlueMN

    “Income isn’t income if it’s top income.” Got it.

  • BlueMN

    You mean, “…negatively impacted by Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush/Obama’s policies.”

  • Watch it

    No, I meant Obama.

  • Watch it

    Try again. You cannot compare apples and oranges. The source of the income produces it differently and it is affected differently by certain economic factors and policies. Example: people getting their income from investments and continue to get return on those investments is different than people in middle income who lose their jobs (income) due to Obamacare, or job outsourcing. What do you propose, that the people who get income from investments not be allowed to invest? give away their ROI?

  • http://suzeraining.wordpress.com/ suz

    yes. it bothered me when i read it. we know why this is happening. we have a marxist president who has capitalized on previous presidents’ progressive policies — that’s bothersome and moreover, troubling.

  • Petemer

    Glen is right it is not a democrat or republican problem they both do the
    same thing, he is also right about shipping out jobs, what he failed to mention
    is that we import over a million workers per year to compete for non existing
    jobs driving down wages, hours and benefits. Both parties are pushing amnesty
    and reform that will double the number of workers coming adding at least 33
    million new workers in the next ten years competing for those same non existing
    jobs, that will according to the CBO and all economic indicators cause higher
    job loss and bigger pay cuts all ending all hope for anyone to achieve the
    American Dream and to pass a better America to our children and
    grandchildren.

  • BlueMN

    Looks like I was right the first time. Income from investments is still income even if it’s not a wage.

  • BlueMN

    Then his policies must have been retroactive to 1981. Good logic.

  • Mike Nelson

    I don’t understand the new forum filters or what offensive language I have used that has caused my post to hang; I’ve proofed it twice and attempted to post it, but both are “waiting for approval”.

    Perhaps it will appear eventually, but not knowing why it is hung is extremely frustrating.

    My apologies for the delay.

    @ BLAZE ADMINS – I’ve asked more than once: give us a list of what words will cause the filter to hang? I do not post in acrimony, and I have been a paying subscriber since week 1… the least you could do is tell us the rules.

    Alternatively, please respond to me (you have my direct email and contact info already because Disqus requires it via login) and tell me why several of my posts have not been approved.

  • Watch it

    I see reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit. What is it about the difference that you can’t understand?

    Even your own chart shows the general trend for all income levels was on the up swing prior to Obama. The reason for the very erratic changes in the income for the top level is the source of that income. But that is probably wasted on you as you obviously can’t comprehend it. Your second chart doesn’t look so good for Obama. Everybody loses with Obama.

  • Watch it

    No, his policies started when he became POTUS. I am talking about people who have been affected since 2008. It is all on him now.

  • Fresh Mountain Air

    Patriots: Arm yourself with liberty’s longbow and pierce the illusions of today’s liberals and progressives: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0094KY878

  • Mike Nelson

    Hi Blue, sorry response took so long in this issue.

    First of all you have to reconcile that things take time to proliferate, which is what Reagan was talking about in naming economic policy “trickle-down economics,” which is reasonable, in its course. Whatever the governing policy is, that is what the People will use and be subject to, and what will determine the course of their behavior.

    But before I get into this, I would like to point out that in the use of these charts and the content of your post, you appear to support the idea of ‘one man, one vote’ and agree with my position that more money should NOT beget more voice, and you do so by citation in those charts of a percentage gain/loss of income. As such, may I surmise that you would support a flat tax, with no exemptions, and no minimum below which people do not pay? In my opinion, it is “fair” (and I hate that word) to say that paying 10% (for example, to pull a number from the air) enables one to vote. Thus, if you’re Zuck or a street walker who made $100 all year long, your 10% buys ONE vote… literally the difference between hundreds of millions, and $10, based on a percentage scale. What could be more fair to the “underclasses”?

    Everything trickles down, from money, to tech, to information… people who want things from others who have them – and by that I mean anything – it starts somewhere. Only Henry Ford had a car at one time, and only the Wright Brothers a functional aircraft (as the history instructs). With Marxist theory, for example, the “top” was Marx and Engels, who were able to trickle their theory of dialectical materialism into the minds of millions of people. Now that the ideas are legion and become mainstream, the people who believe in this theory want more than a trickle, and the easy road of “gimme!” is more attractive to a person of lacking morals and work ethic, than earning one’s own way, which requires investment of labor and time. We could go around and around on that point all day, but the basic statement is true: if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for his whole life – but if you give him a fish, he’ll be back until the gravy train stops, and let’s be honest, fish gravy is… not appetizing ;)

    The chart you posted is interesting to me in that it compares nothing in regard to, nor cites references of, the increase in welfare society provision for people at the lower end of the charted data; in essence, there is no control group of an economy that would have continued without Great Society programs, and no way to KNOW for sure… but there is a history that indicates a pattern you appear to approve in your comparative posture.

    For the record, I haven’t looked for additional charts or timeline, but I do know some history, and based on those charts (the bottom one in particular) you can see that ~1964 was the year when the lines began to diverge in a significant pattern that led to a change which has become, as the charts show, more favorably slanted toward the wealthy. There is no coincidence in the fact that this year was the legislative beginning of the War on Poverty, and particularly the EOA, which focused on giving things to lower income people. This is also the time when public schools began a long and depressing slide toward the “excellence” and “equality” we today experience, thus perpetuating the cycle.

    Since 1964, our gov’t has focused more and more on waging war on poverty, and with every (mis-)step the gap has widened. This is because you can give people money, or stuff, but when this is policy on a governmental level it breeds more of the “I want more stuff” trickle-down mentality, which is why I say we can go back further than Reagan to find origins. Reagan was not simply making up new phrases when he said that, he was saying what was already happening: that when you encourage poverty by making it comfortable for those so impoverished, that you perpetuate that status by causing them to have the resources to raise young who will learn the values of accepting largess rather than venture forth and achieve, and live up to the JFK standard of “Ask not what your country can do for you… Ask what YOU can do for your country!”

    Under FDR and LBJ the trickle was simply an unknown toxic substance, such as trans-fats or BPA, sold to us as temporary relief, but the functional effect it has had on the fabric of society has resulted in more broken homes (and therefore more poverty), more men thrown away as unneeded and unnecessary (and therefore more single mothers), and more acrimony in society in general, since the gifting of others’ resources unearned creates righteous angst amongst those from whom it has been taken.

    Now, if you want to go still further to what I see as true roots of the problem… we could discuss copyright and patent law, and the rapacious malice of allowing technologies to be shelved for decades because of a desire to rake in cash rather than advancing the ability of the individual/country/world at large (“…what YOU can do for your country…”) and people in general, but that is a further discussion still.