Since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some—but by no means all—of its characteristic faith in the future.
Asked to compare their financial situation now with what it was 10 years ago, the evaluations of the middle class are more evenly divided. Some 44% say they are more financially secure than they had been, and 42% say less. (An additional 12% volunteered that it’s about the same.)
Over the longer term, the evaluations grow more positive. Six-in-ten (60%) say their standard of living is better than that of their parents at the same age, 24% say it is the same and just 13% say it is worse. However, these evaluations were even rosier four years ago, when 67% said they were doing better than their parents at the same age.
Why do I say this is good news for liberals? It means that thirty years of lying about tax cuts and trickle-down economics and creating bugbears of unions can no longer push back the inherent dread that things are decaying around the middle classes. The rich are doing even better in this recession than the middle class or poor, and the middle class is scratching its collective head.
The time has come, my fellow liberals, to start pushing our agenda.