The disappearing middle class wonders if the US is moving towards a Brazil-type situation where there is no middle class, and thus grocery stores will increasingly need to to market to “have-nots” because the middle class will disappear.

Middle-income neighborhoods in large cities are disappearing as the wealthy live in enclaves and the poor in their areas too, with the formerly middle-income areas ‘tipping’ one way or the other.

In South L.A., large grocery chains are closing stores, making it harder for residents to buy healthy food and easier (and less healthy) to eat fast food instead. So it becomes a health problem too.

In New York City, the definition of middle class has conveniently shifted to mean those in the top few percentages of income.

“Middle class has changed from being teachers and policemen to being white-collar sales and managerial junior-partner-type jobs,” he said.

“If you’re making $200,000 a year in New York — and nowadays that’s middle class — you can well afford to be paying $4,500 in [monthly] housing expense.”

From a PBS article in 2002 how rising rents are squeezing the middle class.

From 1979 to 1997, the after-tax income of the top 1% of families rose 157%, while the gain for families near the middle was only 10%. And within the top one percent, most of the gains went to the top 1/100th of a percent.

Sounds like a war on the middle class, doesn’t it?

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