The middle class in America is feeling a lot of pain. It’s one of the many reasons so many people are embracing Donald Trump here in the U.S. but it turns out the woes of the middle class are a global problem.
The Death of the Middle Class Is Worse Than You Think
From Brexit to Donald Trump, if there’s anything that current events tell us, it’s that the man on the street is angry and wants change.
A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute, with the chilling title “Poorer than their Parents: Flat or Falling Incomes in Advanced Economies,” shows just why this is the case. According to the paper, the trend in stagnating or declining incomes for middle class workers is not just confined to the United States, but is a global phenomenon hurting workers across the wealthy world.
The report found that as much as 70% of the households in 25 advanced economies saw their earnings drop in the past decade. The study tracked income brackets, not individual households, from 2005 to 2014. That compares to just 2% of households that saw declining incomes in the previous 12 years.
The authors estimate that this means that “while fewer than ten million people were affected [by flat or falling incomes] in the 1993-2005 period, that figure exploded to between 540 million and 580 million people in 2005-2014.”
To put it bluntly: A huge swath of the world’s population, one that had been taught to expect their material wealth to grow through their lifetimes and across generations, has learned that this promise was a lie. No wonder voters in the rich world are being seduced by radical politics and specious solutions to their economic problems.
Keep all this in mind the next time Obama, Hillary and other Democrats claim they’re fighting for the middle class.