9/26/17 – Middle Class

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The middle class is back.  According to the people.

Here’s what’s happening behind the headlines.

For years, Gallup has polled Americans asking if they’re upper, upper-middle, middle, working, or lower class.  The public grades their own financial status.  For the longest time, 6 in 10 Americans identified themselves as either upper-middle or middle class.  About a third as working or lower class.

Then came the 2008 recession.

The percentage of people who considered themselves as working or lower class began climbing in 2009. It peaked at nearly one of every two Americans.

Washington bureaucrats said the recession ended in June 2009.  Someone forgot to tell the public. There was a record number of people not working for one reason or another.  Families on food stamps hit record levels.

But the nation may have turned a corner.  Consumer confidence hit a 9-year high last December.  Public optimism in the economy has jumped 16 points since 2014.

The GDP grew at a 3% annualized rate for the last quarter.  If 2017 ends at 3% or better it will be the first year since the Bush Administration the GDP growth rate wasn’t stuck in the ones or twos.

In July’s Gallup poll, 62% Americans now see themselves as upper-middle or middle class.

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