- Americans doubt that they live in a land of equal economic opportunity, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center. It reports that Americans are nearly twice as likely as they were 20 years ago to describe the country as divided between haves and have-nots. This change is particularly significant, the authors argue, since Americans have traditionally “turned a deaf ear” to narratives of class warfare, seeing individuals— not society—as responsible for their economic fate.
It used to be that middle class meant comfortable. In 1988, 68 percent of middle class Americans counted themselves among the haves. Today, that number has dipped to less than half, resting at 43 percent. But as the article points out, it's a poll on self-perception. The middle class hasn't shrunk as much as their ego has. What is more interesting to me is to ask why the categorical shift?
- You can read the Pew report here.