Summary: The American Middle Class

1671 Words7 Pages
A stable and strong middle class is important to any society, but particularly Democratic countries, since the majority of the voter base is made up of the educated middle classes. The fortunes of the middle class are tied to economic policy and the current market system, however effecting a change in economics, and therefore the middle class through policy, is a very complex process, often taking years to be fully realized. It is not simply a question of passing a new policy bill and having a change overnight. This is even truer today in an era of mass globalization where national markets are tied together by the American dollar, and the fortunes of one affects the fortunes of all, to a greater or lesser degree. Therefore to examine the policy…show more content…
Inheriting an unenviable situation with the burst housing bubble and the banking crisis, President Obama’s response was a government stimulus package to try and stimulate growth in the economy. Additionally he raised taxes on the wealthy and increased spending for government programs, such as the Affordable Care Act. While this broad strokes are an attempt to fix the economy as a whole, and have met with some measure of success (Hartung, 2014) the larger issues are still unresolved. The American middle class hasn’t grown, it continues to stagnate in terms of employment and wages not rising to meet rising costs. (Mishel, et al) To use an example of a current policy that is potentially hurting small business owners, The Affordable Care act requires employers to offer insurance packages to their employees. For some small business owners, this is simply not economically practicable so the opt to fire employees rather than mount the extra cost of offering insurance. Obviously this results in unemployment, and it turn hurts the economy and the middle class. As Americans, the people are always afraid of what they term “socialism” they worry that their freedom will be taken away and they will lose what it is that makes them American. Obama’s polices have often been criticized as being “socialist” or against the American way, but really at this point perhaps we should look to our neighbors, the Democratic Socialist countries of Europe and examine what they are doing, since our system has obviously failed to provide for the middle class. Perhaps it is time for what Richard Florida calls “A Great Reset” a radical restructuring of the economy based on the current needs and economic resources available. (Florida, 2010, p.
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