Myth buster: The Shrinking Middle Class

June 14, 2007


(Warning: the no fun kind of bar charts are included in this post.)

More gold from Steve, The Skeptical Optimist.  This time he tackles the boogieman that you can’t help but hear about: how the middle class in America is fading into the sunset. He also points out (rightly so) that a politician’s definition of “middle class” is as slippery as politicians themselves.

From Steve:

In 2005, the latest year for which these numbers are available, there were 77.4 million families in total, 5 million than there were in 2000. The distribution of families within income ranges shifted towards higher incomes during that time: there were 1.1 million fewer families in the $0-50K ranges, and 6.2 million extra families in the ranges above $50K. And that’s “money income,” which doesn’t include the redistributive effects of taxation or government spending.

In short, the middle class appears to be moving up into higher income brackets, according to the US Census Bureau. Why would anyone think that’s a problem, and want to “fix” it? Why not propose growth-friendly policies designed to accelerate what’s happening?

Makes sense to me.

(and I found a picture with cat in it; a twofer!)

UPDATE:  Apparently, Steve got the numbers wrong and offered a correction in his next post. This is part of the reason I like reading his blog. Unlike some bloggers, when he makes a mistake, he owns up to it.


One Response to “Myth buster: The Shrinking Middle Class”

  1. QuakerJono Says:

    Hey. I never said I could spell. I just offered a blanket apology and moved on with my life.

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