Tag Archives: shrinking middle class

US Wealth Distribution Perception vs. Reality > ConnectTheDotsUSA.com

19 Jun

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The Middle Class Loses a Generation’s Worth of Wealth | Connecting the Dots, What Matters Today | BillMoyers.com

16 Jun

A new survey released Monday by the Federal Reserve shows that middle class American families lost almost 20 years of accumulated wealth from 2007 to 2010. The median American family lost 39 percent of their net worth — from $126,400 to $77,300 — putting them roughly on par with their worth in 1992. The crash of housing prices directly accounted for three-quarters of the loss. The Washington Post reported that “Homeownership, once heralded as a pathway to wealth, became an albatross.” Continue reading

Full Show: Dark Money in Politics | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com

16 Jun

“Let’s face it,” the founder of a super PAC recently told Mother Jones magazine. “Politics in this country is coin-operated.” True enough, as evidenced by the billions projected to be spent in this year’s elections — untold amounts of it unleashed by the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision. Even with all that money being cashed in, the busy check-writers and the influence they purchase remain largely hidden, including those who helped Republican Governor Scott Walker dramatically out-fundraise his Democratic challenger to win last week’s recall election.

While much of the mainstream media looks the other way, some are working hard to identify the fingerprints super PACs and their benefactors leave on our victimized democracy.

On this week’s Moyers & Company, Bill talks with historian Thomas Frank, author of the bestseller What’s the Matter With Kansas?, about the power of concentrated money to subvert democracy. How does a society built on democratic ideals allow them to become so corrupted? Frank’s most recent book is Pity the Billionaire.

Bill also talks to Mother Jones editors Clara Jeffery and Monika Bauerlein, who continue to throw light on what they call “dark money” — the conspiracy of cash that allows the rich to influence our most fundamental political freedoms. On the show, Bill calls out some of the biggest super PAC donors, revealing how easy it is for the wealthy one percent to sway an election.

Finally, as his grandson graduates from high school, Bill reflects on what we’re leaving the next generation of Americans: a country mired in debt and inequality, and controlled in large part by Wall Street insiders and Washington hucksters.

via Full Show: Dark Money in Politics | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com.

NEA – Letter to Senator Harkin Supporting his Middle Class Bill

30 Mar

March 29, 2012

Dear Senator Harkin:

On behalf of the more than three million members of the National Education Association, we would like to offer our support for your proposals to help strengthen the middle class. We thank you for your leadership in introducing this legislation and in particular for your focus on investments in education.

Today’s middle class is struggling and many previously financially secure families are finding themselves falling into poverty. The faltering economy, the housing crisis, rising food and gas prices, and attacks on workers’ rights have combined to undermine and destabilize the middle class.

Public education is the greatest tool we have to maintaining, increasing and strengthening the middle class. Every day in schools across the country, hard working educators give children the skills they need to become successful learners, agile problem solvers, and creative thinkers, preparing them not only to enter the workforce but to think and act as citizens. Continue reading

As Americans Get Poorer, Members of Congress Get Richer – ABC News

27 Dec

While millions of Americans saw their incomes decrease, their job opportunities dissipate and their home values drop as the economy dipped, the 535 men and women they elected to represent them in the U.S. Congress were not only shielded from the economic downturn but gained during it.

The average American’s net worth has dropped 8 percent during the past six years, while members of Congress got, on average, 15 percent richer, according to a New York Times analysis of financial disclosure. The median net worth of members of Congress is about $913,000, compared with about $100,000 for the country at large, the Times’ analysis found. Continue reading

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