America has one of the highest poverty rates in the developed world, 1 of only 3 rich nations where more than 10% live in poverty even after transfers. This video gives the most disturbing but important facts about poverty in America.
Upper middle class, like middle class, is a term that is often used ambigously. Yet, there is a scientific definition - being an expert. In my experience it also means not being able to identify as ordinary and having to work very hard to keep one's status.
Conservatives have undermined economic security in the name of fostering prudence - yet, in doing so they have created insecurity that's far worse than the negative effects of more insurance.
I use the latest Census Stats to answer this question, which is actually more complex than one might think.
An employer (U.S. citizen) giving his most important and high level employee (the president) a job evaluation.
Over the past three decades insecurity has been on the rise and inequality has skyrocketed to record levels. While the average family works harder and longer with more earners, tens of millions are uninsured and at risk of economic calamity, the rich have made of with an ever increasing share of income. Brought to you courtesy of Bush, Reagan and the supply-side gospel.
There actually is a scientific definition - people who some extent or another are paid for the ideas, which give them considerable leverage in the labor market.
Three decades of stagnant wages; rising health and education cost have squeezed the American worker. Government in turn has done little thanks to conservative ideology.
If growth is important to you, vote Democrat. Over the past 60 years, Democrats have consistently presided over greater GDP per capita growth, personal income growth and lower unemployment. Why? Because spending on social services and infrastructure, and transfers to the poor, which liberals see as requirements for liberty, spur growth by increasing aggregate demand.
In a dynamic capitalism resources are constantly shifted to where they are of the most use - that's the strenght of the market system and reason for its global dominance. Yet, that causes unemployment and business to fail - thus creating insecurity that is best addressed through the after-market measures that constitute a social saftey system.