Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Diminishing Middle-Class

By: Chérie Simpson



At one time, middle-class folks were those who lead a respectable lifestyle. They weren’t the lavishly rich, nor were they the poor. They were people who had steady jobs, decent paychecks and humble homes to house their families. They were Americans and they were proud to stand their ground as middle-class citizens. As time has progressed and our economy has plummeted, the middle-class has taken a great hit and is ceasing to exist as the larger presence they once were.

The humble earnings which once took care of most middle-class families, has dwindled even more during our current economic struggle. With layoffs plentiful and jobs scarce, people are being forced to dip into long-term savings and take lower paying jobs which once belonged to lower-class citizens. This reality isn’t true for all of the middle-class however, as some have been able to maintain their income and lifestyle despite the recession. However, those individuals are still few and far between.



America’s job market is dividing itself off into high-paying jobs and low-paying jobs. Jobs which were once partnered with the middle-class such as administrative, clerical and sales opportunities are diminishing greatly. Higher education and advanced skills are allowing qualified individuals to obtain these high-paying jobs, while the low-paying jobs are mainly comprised of maintenance and food service opportunities for those with low-education. But where are the jobs that were once upheld by the middle-class escaping to?

Ladies and Gentlemen, say hello to technology! Technology has become one of the biggest culprits in the demise of the middle-class. Machines, robots, computers and other digital outlets are now replacing the jobs that man once executed himself. This can be seen in retail and grocery store checkouts, assembly-line production and agriculture, just to list a few. Positions are also being outsourced to other countries where labor comes cheaper and quicker.



So where do we go from here? As technology advances, jobs begin to look scarcer than they already are. It’s only a matter of time before future advancements begin to creep into more prestigious jobs, as well as those at the bottom of the barrel. We’ve got to figure out a way to reap the benefits of the great technological age and keep our livelihood standing strong.

3 comments:

  1. I agree that we have to find a way to balance technological advancements with the value of a human worker. It's scary to think of what we once saw in science fiction movies might well come to true. We need to start placing more value on human interaction versus technological.Pretty soon we wont have to talk to a human again for any service. Have to get back to some old-fashioned values and implement into our lifestyles. Even just saying hello to people on the street. Gotta start somewhere. Thats just my opinion.

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  2. This is a problem that tends to happen in a recession. The middle class tends to be hit the hardest, as the rich get tax breaks and the poor collect services, the middle class are left footing the bill. I agree that technology is a major problem. So many jobs, from receptionist to turnpike toll collectors are being eradicated. The government should take a serious look at the problems faced by the middle class, since they are the largest group in the United States.

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  3. Daniel DickensonJune 13, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    This is a problem that tends to happen in a recession. The middle class tends to be hit the hardest, as the rich get tax breaks and the poor collect services, the middle class are left footing the bill. I agree that technology is a major problem. So many jobs, from receptionist to turnpike toll collectors are being eradicated. The government should take a serious look at the problems faced by the middle class, since they are the largest group in the United States.

    ReplyDelete