Posts Tagged ‘middle class’

Banks Rebuilding Positive Image

Posted on October 10, 2017 by Laura Lam

The banking industry’s image with the American public has climbed to its highest point since the 2008 financial meltdown, with 43% now viewing it positively and 30% negatively. But Americans still view banking less positively than they did in the years leading up to the crisis, when it ranked above the average for other industries Gallup measures. The public’s net positive rating of banking — the percentage with a positive view minus the percentage with a negative view of it — slid from +32 in 2007 to -23 in 2009, and bottomed out at -28 in 2010 and 2012. This year’s…

The Middle-Class Housing Crisis

Posted on August 23, 2016 by Laura Lam

Deepening income inequality across the U.S. is dividing the housing market into winners and losers among renters and owners, the middle class and wealthy, and racial groups.  An annual report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the State of the Nation’s Housing, reveals that even while the housing market begins to recover and regain solid footing, large parts of the country are being left behind. The number of American households paying more than 30% of their incomes on housing – a number that economists consider sustainable – ticked up to nearly 40 million in 2014.  That is particularly concerning because that number had been trending down for 3…

Presidential Candidates Should Focus on Housing

Posted on June 22, 2016 by Laura Lam

Nearly two-thirds of Americans think that something can be done to address problems related to housing affordability – and they want the presidential candidates to talk about it.  According to the 4th annual How Housing Matters survey from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, 63% of adults believe that candidates for president have not spent enough time discussing housing affordability.  The survey also found that 81% of adults believe that housing affordability is a problem in America today. Results from the survey suggest that Americans’ optimism toward the economy’s recovery from the financial crisis is waning. This year,…

Middle Class Squeeze: 7 Things That Are No Longer Affordable

Posted on October 27, 2014 by Saldutti

During debates and speeches, politicians often bring up the financial burden that’s placed on the middle class. So who, exactly is the “middle class?”  In its discussion of historical middle class societies, The Economist reports, “Their members are neither rich nor poor but somewhere in-between…’Middle-class’ describes an income category but also a set of attitudes…An essential characteristic is the possession of a reasonable amount of discretionary income.” Some argue that the most sensible income amount to attach to the middle class would be the median household income, of around $54,000. Perhaps, anyone who earns between the 25th percentile and 75th…

How America Spends Money on Food

Posted on May 30, 2013 by Saldutti

Thirty years ago, the average household spent about 17% of its income on food. Today it spends about 11%. It’s a global trend: Food is getting cheaper relative to incomes everywhere with rising incomes. But there’s also a distinctly American thing going on here. We spend less of our cash on food than any other country – half as much as households in France and one-fourth of those in India, according to Bloomberg Business Week. In fact, if you consider “cheap eats at home” the most important measure of social welfare, the United States is the greatest country on earth….