FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The middle class in this country isn't what it used to be.
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Since the end of World War II, middle class America has always meant a certain kind of security. If you got a good education and worked hard, there was the promise of success - being able to provide for your family, buy a home, educate your children; and enjoy a comfortable retirement. There was also the belief that each new generation would have it better than their parents' generation did.
Well - that's not the case anymore... and it might never be again.
Since the start of the economic downturn, it's estimated that more than seven million Americans have lost their jobs - and a lot of those jobs went overseas never to return.
The national unemployment rate is 10-percent, but jumps to a whopping 17-percent when you include those who are underemployed. The nation's jobless rate is expected to remain higher than normal for a long time.
As for the great American dream of owning a home... in the wake of the housing crisis, More than two million families have lost their homes to foreclosure in the past few years.
Consumer spending is down; and the new reality might be that it stays that way. Americans are paying more and more for the basics - food, health care and education. It's becoming increasingly difficult for many who used to consider themselves "middle class" just to make ends meet.
Here’s my question to you: How has the definition of "middle class American" changed?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Chad from California writes:
The middle class has turned into the "peasant class." We have been taken over by a few wealthy people who control our politicians and government. We have become an aristocracy. Except the ones in control are not royalty, they are businessmen hiding behind a cloak of deception that is Corporate America.
Ralph from Chicago writes:
We only have two classes in America: the ones who do not know how many homes they own, like John McCain, and the ones who are raises by a single parent, like President Obama. How many members of Congress are millionaires? A lot, but they feel our pain? Right.
Bernie from Massachusetts writes:
There is no 'middle class'. It’s vanished just like the label 'moderate'.
The biggest change I have seen is that it now takes both the husband and wife to achieve the land of middle class. The government has made it too hard for most to achieve it without two incomes.
The definition of middle class is choosing between whether to feed your family or make your house payment, praying that you don’t get sick (because you have no insurance), and hoping to find a job after being laid off for months on end. Honestly there is no middle class anymore.
Matt from Marshfield, Massachusetts writes:
It depends on where you live. Why doesn't the federal government take that into account with regards to taxes? If you live in the Northeast, or in Coastal California, you tend to have a much higher cost of living than most parts of the country, which leads to less discretionary income. $100,000 in New York City is not much, $100,000 in Indianapolis is a lot.
The definition of the middle class hasn’t changed. They are just being eliminated.