The Collapse of the Middle Class

The middle class, though often thought of as a certain income, is actually defined by education, social status, income, and occupation; the defining lines are vague. A two-person middle-class income falls between $50,117. to $149,604, with about 51% of Americans falling into this category, but 70% of Americans identifying as middle class.

However, as the top 10% makes more and more money and receives tax breaks at the drop of a hat; the middle class’ pay stagnates. Because the middle class is the source of economic growth; its survival is vital. Without the middle class, there would be a bigger divide between people in poverty and the rich—increased status difference— a decrease in educational investments, declining production investments, and increased national debt.

The collapse is caused by a plethora of things, including but not limited to increased costs of education, healthcare, and housing, the COVID economic recession, and, most importantly, an economic theory we have in place called Trickle-Down.

Trickle-Down Economics is a theory that states: providing tax cuts to the rich will be in the interest of everyone as the benefits will “trickle” down; this obviously does not work or benefit any group other than the upper class.

So, is there a solution to this problematic economic effect? Yes; Rise-Up Economics.

Rise-Up Economics entails taxing the rich and big corporations to invest in the people and their education, health, and public transportation, ultimately investing in the local and federal economy. Investing in the middle/ working class will benefit America because the American economy depends on their productivity. On paper, the only issue with Rise-Up is the reputation that comes with it. Rise-Up Economics is strongly associated with socialism.

Socialism has had a negative connotation in the media since the 19th century and is commonly used as a scare tactic, a more recent example being when Donald Trump said “we believe in the American Dream, not a socialist nightmare,” socialism has such the history as a scare tactic that most people can’t look past the reputation and see all the benefits it would have on America and its people.