As in classic Russian literature, the American middle class is in perpetual winter, questioning the meaning of life while being flogged by czars. At least that is how the center of the social hierarchy is being portrayed by the Democrats and the 1984 mainstream press in the race to 2020. Taking a page out of the Republican playbook during the reign of former President Barack Obama, the Democrats attempt to appeal to working-class voters by informing them that they are on the cusp of extinction. But rumors of this economic bloc’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
So far, there have been only two debates, but already we have learned quite a lot from the 20-plus candidates. They think middle America was stupid for voting for President Donald Trump, they are bribing and pandering, and they are utilizing false data to advance a myth about the middle class.
Suffice it to say, the Democrats’ suppositions are as cringe-worthy as Rep. Eric Swalwell’s (D-CA) diaper jokes and as baffling as Marianne Williamson’s healing crystals.
Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
Similar to the gender pay gap or income inequality, the opportunists, particularly those on the left, like to either ignore statistics that do not fit the narrative or fudge the numbers to perpetuate propaganda.
Case in point, the middle class, an income group that has been misrepresented and lied about by all.
The rudimentary contention is that the middle class is shrinking. But where is it heading? Based on what the dinosaur media report ad nauseam, it would be easy to deduce that this income category is tumbling into an abyss of obscurity. But the official figures tell a completely different story, one that is straight out of a fairy tale, not Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich.
According to Census Bureau data, the percentage of households earning between $31,000 and $100,000 a year declined from 53.2% in 1967 to 42.1% in 2016, an 11% drop. But here is the kicker: The percentage of Americans earning $100,000 or more annually tripled from 8.1% to 27.7% in the same time period.
Put simply, more than a quarter of Americans are making six figures a year by climbing the ladder of income mobility. The middle class is fading away because millions are getting richer, dispelling the idea that only the wealthy are reaping the rewards of capitalism.
Of course, you cannot reveal this when you’re attempting to gain the keys to the kingdom. You must shriek to the audience in a crescendo that everyone in the room is on the brink of destitution without government intervention and only politicians can rescue them. Eh, Sen. Sanders?
So what is happening? Why does it not feel like there is a middle class anymore? That is because there is a new middle class forming, which is quite different from what we have become accustomed to after all these decades.
It comes down to one word: dynamism, a timeless economic principle that makes a society prosperous.
Years ago, we viewed the middle class as men heading to a nearby plant, operating heavy machinery for eight hours a day, and eating their lunch – a bottle of milk and a sandwich – out of a handled box. Now, the economy has changed for the better. Middle-class occupations have transitioned from the assembly line and coal mines to medical clinics and legal offices, positions that require more training and technical skills.
For the next couple of decades, middle-class jobs will consist of radiologic technicians, court stenographers, phlebotomists, restaurant managers, and crisis counselors. This will be the norm until the next economic change takes place.
This isn’t just textbook stuff; real-world trends support this idea. Economist Harry Holzer put together research that found that the old middle-wage occupations slipped 14% between 2003 and 2013, but the new middle-class occupations surged 5%.
One of the reasons why the United States has become one of the richest nations in the world is that the economy is dynamic. It does not stand on a treadmill and stagnate. Entrepreneurs in their garages and multinational corporations continually invent and innovate, bringing products and services to market that improve our lives and make everyone wealthier.
Factually Correct or Morally Right?
The strategy for Democrats at the national level is to veer left, appealing to voters who watch only The Young Turks or read Paul Krugman’s New York Times blog. Right now, the Democrats are not interested in Americans who prefer facts over feelings. They are luring folks who mistake crying for authenticity, vulgarity for “real talk,” and orating in a boisterous tone as public policy. It isn’t just morning in America for the middle class; it is the summer sun continuously smiling on millions of X-ray technicians, sales supervisors, and software developers. Trumponomics or Reaganomics or Obamanomics – the middle class will survive and thrive, unless they are the target of higher taxation a la Sen. Sanders.
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