posted on Aug, 27 2010 @ 09:58 AM
You know I hate to put it this way but perhaps it is a good thing that the American middle class has finally figured out how to do more with less!
When in lived in the United States one of the things that surprised me the most was how absolutely entitled to luxury items the middle class felt. In
the Madison and Milwaukee metro areas of Wisconsin, which by far are not even nearly what would be called lavish areas of the US, there were
McMansions popping up like weeds throughout the suburbs, almost every family had multiple cars, a television for every person or more and went
shopping every chance they got.
Now my wife and I are quite well off, far above the median income. I am a research journalist for a major media outlet and she is in brand management
for an aristocratic fashion house. However, we live in a 2-bedroom apartment, own one car which is a two-door hatchback, have one television and
budget our shopping money as a percentage of our income.
The bottom line: we make more than we spend and do not have any substantial debt.
This is called living within our means and if the American middle class had done the same, many of the economic problems from the sub-prime crisis to
spiraling credit-card debt would never have happened.
Now the government and corporations are not at all innocent in this. Real wages have stagnated or fallen and business has involved their employee's
retirement funds in investments with the associated risks instead of pensions, but it's also time for the American middle class to admit that they
too are also largely responsible for their own situation.