The Middle Class Is Poorer Than It Has Been in 43 Years — Dollars and Sense
The median net worth of working-class Americans is now lingering at a 43-year low of $57,000. According to New York University economics professor Edward N. Wolff, the American population is poorer and less stable than it was in 1969, with nearly 40 percent of all households having less than $10,000 in assets. This includes those households with what the financial world refers to as “negative assets”—or what the rest of us simply call debt.
So, what happened to all of the money? It was absorbed by the wealthiest 1 percent of American households, whose average wealth has increased by nearly 71 percent. Everyone else has grown poorer as a result, dragging down the median amount.
Unfortunately, this trend will not likely go away anytime in the near future. With the average CEO now making a staggering 380 times as much as his typical worker, those workers will be spending less and less, and requiring more and more from government social spending. If consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of GDP, continues to slow, the economy may be in for some long-term trouble.