For those who have long sensed that the middle class in America is on the critical list, your suspicions have now been even further confirmed.
According to the New York Times, Canada now holds the distinction for having the world's most prosperous middle class, along with Norway, the Netherlands, and Denmark.
Figures compiled since 1980 clearly spell out the truth; America's economic standard has not kept up with that of other progressive nations. America's poor are poorer that their foreign counterparts; this is revealed in studies compiled by LIS, which maintains the Luxembourg Study Income Database. The figures are further analyzed by The New York Times website, “the Upshot,” resulting in cumulative averages of global household incomes.
The reasons for Canada's emergence as the world's middle-class frontrunner seems to be fourfold. First, housing. Canada is experiencing a housing boom not unlike that which preceded the housing/mortgage catastrophe in the U.S. Second, Canada's progress in quality education has kept pace with other world leaders in learning standards. Thirdly, wages. Middle-class market wages in the U.S. have not maintained equality with our economic growth in comparison to Canada and that of other nations. Finally, it is documented that the distribution of income to lower income families in other nations is considered far more important and is more effectively undertaken, particularly in Canada, and western and northern Europe.
Many would ask the question, is it any wonder...when it seems as if American values and priorities have been compromised on every level, from moral standards in music and entertainment, to funding for quality education and up to date schooling and textbooks, to the corporate outsourcing of American jobs to overseas interests, the list goes on and on.
The fundamental explanation seems to point clearly in one direction: an American governing process which has shifted gradually “under the radar” so to speak over the past several decades. Shifted in the sense that instead being “for the people” perhaps “for the few” might be more in keeping with what reality dictates has become an almost accepted “status quo” by an American public largely discouraged if not disenfranchised with the failure of the U.S. governing process to return a state of equality and equilibrium to a severely unbalanced economy.
We hear over and over again that our government seems to be at an all too frequent standstill, gridlocked in indecision... until a major crisis or emergency either looms in front of us, or is already taking place.
We may have to accept the fact that a extinct American middle-class is an inevitable reality, unless and until major changes are either forced, or simply come into play, major changes in the values, thinking, and priorities of those whom we have entrusted into roles of leadership in the U.S.