You Want To Be In The Middle Class? Think Again by Inquisitr

You Want To Be In The Middle Class? Think Again by Inquisitr

We’ve been told middle-class people have enough money to pay the bills and live a comfortable life. Most politicians speak directly to the middle class at some point in any campaign speech. Middle-class families can enjoy tax breaks higher income families can’t such as lower capital gains tax, child care credits, and even credits for furthering their education. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of the middle class?

The recent report by the Federal Reserve of St. Louis sheds light on why being part of the middle class may not be such a great thing. The first priority of the report was to determine just what is the demographic of the middle class. Economists and sociologists have differed on this opinion. After marrying the two viewpoints, Senior Economic Advisor William Emmons and Lead Policy Analyst Brian Noeth painted a grim picture.

“Our version of the demographically defined middle class reveals that families that are neither rich nor poor may be under more downward economic and financial pressure than common but simplistic rank-based measures of income or wealth would suggest.”

In the past, economists have defined middle income as it relates to the median income across the country. A popular idea is to take 50 percent above the median income and 50 percent below the median income to determine the citizens who fit the middle class. For example, the median income for families in 2013 according to the American Community Surveys was $52,250. This would put middle class family incomes between $26,125 and $78,375.

Sociologists have determined middle class to not so much be based on income earned but cultural status. Attributes they use to define one’s place in society might include occupation, marital status, education, and even race. In fact, the report indicates one of the fastest growing attributes has to do with age. More Baby Boomers are retiring today than ever.

Emmons and Noeth’s conclusion was to combine the economist and sociologists viewpoints and come up with three distinct categories of people.

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