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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Middle class in economic peril

According to the latest Gallup poll, inflation is now Americans' top concern ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two-thirds of respondents in one poll said they are concerned about rising prices and 28% reported that they fear it will affect them within 12 months. The current administration has attempted to combat this problem by lowering taxes on corporations and individuals in general, which could lead to increased consumer spending as people have more disposable income after tax cuts due to lower rates on things like property taxes, state income tax, interest paid when borrowing money from banks, etc.

The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The near-poor are being pushed into poverty, widening the income gap between classes of people in the United States. With high consumer prices for basic necessities, such as healthy food and housing, driving up costs for middle-income people, such as families with two working parents trying to make ends meet on their salary alone, not to mention those living paycheck to paycheck due to medical problems or lack of education that would allow them better job opportunities at higher wages, such as college graduates with degrees but low incomes; these factors create an insurmountable obstacle course that many find themselves constantly fighting against just to stay afloat while desperately trying to maintain some sense of normalcy in their lives by living day in and day out without giving in completely under all this stress.

Therefore, Ethnic Media Services organized a briefing to discuss this phenomenon affecting U.S. society.

Alissa Quart, Executive Director of the Economic Hardship Information Project noted that middle-class people find it "harder to maintain their position," as they stagnate or decline. With goods and services costing so much, low-income people "have a hard time balancing the books and paying for necessities on top of that."

When prices rise sharply, Quart said, even those who once considered themselves prosperous, "find themselves struggling to keep up with expenses while trying not to go into debt above what is necessary to survive" at this point in life these things can include housing payments and rent; transportation costs; food purchases - with inflation affecting fresh produce as well; utilities such as heating or natural gas fuel costs that fluctuate greatly depending on where you live.

All of this puts pressure on an individual's budget when paychecks don't always keep pace with rising living expenses.

Penny Wang, deputy special projects editor for resources at Consumer Reports noted that the prices of food, gasoline and other staples have increased at a rate that is causing severe financial stress for members of the middle class.

This has the effect of subjecting people from middle income levels to lower income levels. Middle-class people fall back into poverty because they cannot pay bills or rent on current wages. "The gap between rich and poor is widening every day as employers take advantage of workers' desperation by demanding unaffordable things and paying little themselves."

Josh Bivens, Director of Research at the Economic Policy Institute said, "As the income gap widens, many families are left with less money to spend on food and other necessities."

This, Bivens said, creates a vicious cycle of poverty, as they have fewer opportunities for upward mobility due to their inability to afford things that would otherwise afford them more opportunities in life.

"The population has responded by cutting back on spending or looking for ways to avoid these price increases," such as buying from foreign vendors who offer cheaper prices because their products are not subject to U.S. taxes and duties, driving some people into financial ruin.

Peninsula 360 Press
Peninsula 360 Presshttps://peninsula360press.com
Study of cross-cultural digital communication


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