A report by the UK Daily Mail paints a picture of the diverse and dispersed definition of Middle Class America. Here is the takeaway: Policy makers try to make laws based on averages, but there a lot deviation from the average depending upon where you live.
If you live in a low-income part of the country you may benefit if your benefits are calculated at a higher average. If you live in a high income area, your benefits that are based on a lower average may not adequately address your needs.
The most important aspect in this report is that America’s political parties are grappling with defining what is a “good life” in America. How will the economy provide a good life in the absence of poverty? Can the economy be developed around a renewable energy paradigm before humanity collapses under the weight of oil?
“Are you middle class? Map reveals how you need to take home $67k in Maryland but just $39k in Mississippi
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
PUBLISHED: 15:29 EST, 16 February 2013 | UPDATED: 16:30 EST, 16 February 2013
Middle class in the U.S. can mean something very different depending on where you call your home state.
Census bureau numbers show a shocking disparity in the definition of 'middle income' - with Maryland boasting an average of $67,469 and Mississippi posting an appallingly low $39,078, a difference of $28,391.
Debate over the definition of middle class comes after President Obama's State of the Union address this week. He detailed his plan to get the middle class back on track, mentioning the term a total of 8 times in his speech on Tuesday.
'It is our generation's task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth: a rising, thriving middle class,' he told a joint-session of Congress but since the term is defined so differently by region, many are now wondering who would actually be helped.
Not equal: Average household income varies greatly across the U.S.
Gap: The highest average household income across the U.S. was in Maryland at $67,469. Mississippi had the lowest at $39,078 - a shocking difference of $28,391
The competition to court the middle class was felt this week, after the president's annual address called on increased attention to improve the status of middle income earners.
In particular, he called for an increase in the minimum wage by $1.75 to $9 an hour, tax reform
and investment in technology training.
Top 25 U.S. States for Average Median Household
1 Maryland $67,469
2 New Hampshire $67,287
3 Connecticut $67,165
4 New Jersey $65,072
5 Massachusetts $62,809
6 Virginia $62,776
7 Alaska $60,566
8 Colorado $59,803
9 Hawaii $59,605
10 Washington $59,370
11 Utah $58,438
12 Minnesota $56,869
13 District of Columbia $56,566
14 California $56,074
15 Delaware $55,421
16 Vermont $54,805
17 Wyoming $54,458
18 Nebraska $53,927
19 North Dakota $53,827
20 Illinois $52,801
21 Wisconsin $52,574
22 Rhode Island $52,142
23 Oregon $51,735
24 New York $51,547
25 Iowa $51,322
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2010 to 2012 Annual Social and Economic Supplements.
But Republicans shot back, blaming the Democrats for the lack of economic growth and slow job creation.
The GOP is earnest to reach these middle class voters as well, particularly after the party's embarrassing failure to appeal to the working class during the 2012 presidential election.
Though the Republican SOTU response by Senator Marco Rubio (Republican - Florida) got more attention for his hilarious water break than the substance of his remarks - he did mention the words 'middle class' and 'working class' a total of 17 times, The Wall Street Journal counted.