The middle class is the traditional bedrock of American society. They are the rule followers, the volunteers, the middle managers, and small business owners. Being rule-oriented, they support the police and stability, as they have a stake in maintaining the status quo. Their values are defined by their economic and social position: self-sufficient, conscientious, and, lately, anxious.
The middle class is under pressure from numerous directions. Wages have been flat for 50 years, while prices have gone up, particularly for the traditional perquisites of middle-class existence: homes, healthcare, and education. Globalization and mass immigration increase the labor pool against which Americans must compete. Inflation and debt eat away at the ability of families to accrue wealth. And diversity and crime have made it so many families need to spend a small fortune (and a lot of time commuting) to recreate the lifestyle they enjoyed growing up.
Lately, riots and racial tension create additional anxieties for the middle class. The nihilism of these displays is alien to the middle class’s quest for security.Read More