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Amid Slow Economic Recovery, More Americans Identify As 'lower Class'

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http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-lower-class-20130916,0,5616335.story

Chris Roquemore once thought of himself as working class. But it's hard to keep thinking that, he said, when you're not working.

The 28-year-old father said he sparred with his supervisors at a retail chain about taking time off after his mother died — and ended up unemployed. Since then, Roquemore has worked odd jobs and started studying nursing at Long Beach City College, trying to get "a career, not a job." All those changes, in turn, changed the way he thought of himself.

Roquemore is among the small but surging share of Americans who identify themselves as "lower class." Last year, a record 8.4% of Americans put themselves in that category — more than at any other time in the four decades that the question has been asked on the General Social Survey, a project of the independent research organization Norc at the University of Chicago.

..

For many, "the feeling is that things are not likely to get better any time soon," said Michael Zweig, director of the Center for Study of Working Class Life at Stony Brook University.

Last year, less than 55% of Americans agreed that "people like me and my family have a good chance of improving our standard of living," the lowest level since the General Social Survey first asked the question in 1987. An unusually high share of the unemployed — more than 4 million Americans as of August — have been out of work for six months or longer.

Jobless people have long been more likely than other Americans to call themselves lower class, but in recent years people who work at least part time have been increasingly likely to do so too. Activists say workers are frustrated as jobs with fewer hours and less pay have proliferated, a hallmark of the sluggish recovery.

US Rich get richer

Still at least the rich are getting richer and they are the powerhouse that will drive the economy!

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It's pretty significant that ordinary Americans are starting to face the reality of their situation.

For years, everyone there swallowed the BS of the 'American Dream' and kidded themselves that they were middle class or about to be, or were just one lucky break away from being filty rich. In fact, the USA is one of the worst countries in the developed World for social mobility and a large part of the population work long hours in mulitple jobs to achieve a pretty low standard of living.

Maybe this will cascade into pressure for change? Or maybe the elite there will simply carry on looting the national wealth to enrich their vested interests and starting wars around the World to make themselves and their cronies richer, as they have being doing since pretty much day one of the foundation of their state....

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It's pretty significant that ordinary Americans are starting to face the reality of their situation.

For years, everyone there swallowed the BS of the 'American Dream' and kidded themselves that they were middle class or about to be, or were just one lucky break away from being filty rich. In fact, the USA is one of the worst countries in the developed World for social mobility and a large part of the population work long hours in mulitple jobs to achieve a pretty low standard of living.

Maybe this will cascade into pressure for change? Or maybe the elite there will simply carry on looting the national wealth to enrich their vested interests and starting wars around the World to make themselves and their cronies richer, as they have being doing since pretty much day one of the foundation of their state....

Thing is it was not so bad during the 1960's and 1970's.

It was when Reagan got in that everything changed. After that the neo-lib consensus took over, and the masses were conned into believing that the changes being wrought were for their benefit. Either that or those who did not believe were just ignored.

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