Rebuilding the Middle Class
The middle class does not exist without fair wages. We must raise them.
The middle class is the American Dream. We must reclaim it.
Bad tax policy has shrunk the middle class and crippled the chase for the American Dream. Home prices have risen across the country 150% faster than inflation has risen the price of consumer goods since 1960. The average Boomer turned 30 in 1985, when the average home was priced at 3.5 times the median income. The average Millenial turned 30 in 2019, when the median sale price of a home was 4.6 times the median income, and while a Millenial was making an average of $68,700 a year, they needed to be making $120,400 to afford a home.
The modern American young adult isn’t just facing an affordability in crisis home, but also in the affordability of a college education, where college tuition fees have spiked more than 143% since 1963.
The combination of housing affordability and educational costs dramatically outpacing inflation has led to some disturbing trends between the consumer price index and housing prices. $20,000 worth of consumer goods in 1970 would cost you $148,800 today, while a $20,000 home in 1970 would now cost you an average of $341,600 today.
Median household income has not kept pace with inflation, and has left the middle class further and further behind. While top earning families continue to experience astronomical growth, the middle class in America is shrinking, and only an estimated 51% of Americans come from a middle class household as of 2019. From 1970 to 2018, middle class incomes have increased 49% (adjusted for inflation) while upper income households have seen an increase of 64% during the same time period (adjusted for inflation).
We must protect the middle class, and rebuild unions, because unions have built and protected the middle class. In 1970, 39.9% of Hoosiers were protected by a union. Today that number is about 10%. The destruction of unions through disastrous right-to-work laws have driven corporate greed, raised CEO salaries, and left the middle class behind.