Press TV
August 21, 2010

The middle class, circa the 1950s. The U.S. Census Bureau says the median income in the U.S. is about $51,000 a year and according to a 2008 Pew Research Center survey, half of Americans self-identify as middle class.

According to an article appearing in the German newspaper, Der Spiegel, the negative consequences of the global financial crisis include a widened social class rift and the elimination of the middle class in the US.

The article states that many Americans are beginning to realize that the American Dream has now become a nightmare as people are having to face the bitter reality of a shrinking job market along with decades of stagnating wages and dramatic increases in inequality.

More than a year after the official end of the recession, the overall unemployment rate remains consistently above 9.5 percent. But this is just the official figure. When adjusted to include the people who have already given up looking for work — or are barely surviving on the few hundred dollars they earn with a part-time job and having to use their savings to supplement their income — the real unemployment figure jumps to more than 17 percent.

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In its current annual report, the US Department of Agriculture notes that “food insecurity” is on the rise, and that 50 million Americans were unable to buy enough food to remain healthy at some point last year. One out of every eight American adults and one out of four children now survive on government food stamps. These are unbelievable numbers for the world’s richest nation

Last week, leading online columnist Arianna Huffington issued the almost apocalyptic warning that “America is in danger of becoming a Third World country.”

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In a recent cover story titled “So Long, Middle Class,” the New York Post presented its readers with “25 statistics that prove that the middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence in America.”

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