Flemming: Benefits of a shrinking middle class

By David Flemming

The middle class is dying as high-income earners take more of the wealth, turning middle-income earners into low income earners. At least that’s what’s been repeated by many on the left.

According to the American Enterprise Institute’s research, the middle-income class is indeed shrinking. But so too is the relative number of low-income earning households.

In 1967, only 9.7% of households earned $100,000 or more in constant 2019 dollars. 53.8% earned $35,000 to $100,000, while more than 1-in-3 Americans- 36.4% earned $35,000 or less.

Fast forward 52 years later to 2019, and low-income class households making $35,000 or less have shrunk to 25.4%. Those making $35,000 to $100,000  also shrank to just 40.5% of households. But that just means upper-income households are becoming far more plentiful.

So, to review: the middle-income class and low-income class have both shrunk by more than 11% since 1967, while high-income earners have gone from being 1-in-10 American households to 1-in-3 American households.

50 years from now in 2020, it isn’t all that difficult to see 2-of-3 American households making at least $100,000. Pretty amazing.

David Flemming is a policy analyst for the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Flickr/401kcalculator.org
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