What will the United States be like if there is no middle class?
October 26th, 2011
03:55 PM ET

What will the United States be like if there is no middle class?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's called the middle class squeeze, and if it keeps up, the U.S. might not have a middle class one day soon.

A USA Today analysis of Census data finds there are 150 areas nationwide where the share of income going to the middle class shrank from 2006 to 2010.

Middle class households generally means those making between $21,000 and $100,000 a year. It includes the three-fifths of households sandwiched between the rich and the poor.

Experts say this trend dates back to the 1970s. Back then, 53% of the nation's income went to the middle class. In 2010, it was about 46%.

The recent recession has only made things worse as employers cut jobs and hours, furloughed workers and froze salaries. All the while the value of family assets - like homes and investments - went down.

The scariest part is there doesn't seem to be any relief in sight.

Take, for example, my hometown of Reno, Nevada:

Unemployment is at 14% - up from 4% in 2006; and median income has dropped 10% in the same time. Foreclosures are among the highest in the country.

In order to make ends meet, many middle class Americans are cutting back:

Selling off their possessions like cars or furniture, moving in with roommates or family members, cutting cell phones or cable service, shopping at consignment stores, bringing their lunch to work, doing their own household repairs, and cutting back on their 401K contributions.

A sad statement on the middle class that helped build this great country.

Here’s my question to you: What will the United States be like if there is no middle class?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

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Filed under: United States
soundoff (242 Responses)
  1. Sam McKinney

    Be a lot like a lot of places overseas...Mansions and penthouses in one area...slum house in garbage dumps on the other

    October 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  2. Larry -Denver

    Jack, you must have missed the latest news reports- "there is no middleclass". While we talk about the what if's, its already happened. YOu are either very very rich, or can't get by (thats poor). It means the middle just became poor. You should ask the question "what will happen if the middleclass cant return in the next generation"? Its just around the corner.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  3. Scott from Indianapolis

    Jack, I am so happy to see all these job makers creating all those jobs Republicans claim that they will and HAVENT since 2001 with them in charge. This is a complete disgrace and typical of the unethical GOP leadership favoring the rich getting richer and the rest of us getting poorer. Are the rest of us 99% that complacent and ok with this? Sounds like the industrial revolution again with Rockefellers, Morgans, and other barons that consequently created the unionization revolt. Apparently no one heeded Churchills advice that those who fail to learn from history are bound to repeat it.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  4. Name*Mick OBRIEN

    Easy one, it will look like France before the Revolution, China before the Revolution, Cuba before the revolution, and Russia before there revolution. We k ow how those instances worked out, jack. Time for the wealthy to wake up and adjust if they want their neighbors to allow them to remain neighbors.

    Mick in Buffalo, NY

    October 26, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
  5. Russ in PA

    Perhaps it will look more like Cuba or Russia before the Berlin Wall came down. Until Americans wake up and demand the end to the Federal Reserve and demand competing currencies, as outlined in the Bill put forth by Congressman Ron Paul, we will see continued shrinking of the middle class, and more wealth collecting in the hands of those that benefit from the current crony capitalism policy of the Republicans and Democrats. We can either have liberty and free markets. Or central government planning and continued loss of wealth by the average person.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    October 26, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  6. Paul From Austin Texas

    All we need to do is look at Mexico today. It has very little if any middle class and we can also expect the same problems they are having with hudge gangs in control of entire states and lawless thugs in control of almost everything. If we lose the middle class the backbone of the USA will be gone.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  7. Pete in Georgia

    Good question, Jack.
    It will be a Socialist State with government controlling everything from the size of toilet paper tissue to the number of bicycles you can own. Automobiles will be a thing of the past.
    Big Government will rule..........................from cradle to grave.
    What a wonderful concept to pass on to our children.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
  8. Marilyn

    If there is no middle class there will be no need to "keep up with the Joneses!"

    October 26, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  9. phil

    I dont know what this country would be like with out a middle class but I think we are about to find out.
    May be like France a few hundred years ago, you may see Trumps head in a baskit.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  10. pat, Idaho

    There willl always be a middle class, the United States cannot operate without a middle class to carry the load. Even the rich have a class lower than the really rich, they call that middle class.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  11. BILL, WI

    You only would have to look as far as Mexico. Over 65% of the population lives below the poverty level that the Mexican government has established. This in a country where the bottom level of the upper 10% of the population earns
    $44K a year.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  12. Noel Sivertson Roswell New Mexico.

    We would become a lord-serf society. Read any history book about the age of the robber barons in the late 19th century and the rise of unions and Samuel Gompers and put yourself in the shoes of a steel mill worker or coal miner. Or if you would rather see the movie try 'How Green Was My Valley.'

    October 26, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  13. Roy Birdzell

    Simple Jack. Catch a flight to Havana. You'll see and experience what its like first hand.

    Roy Birdzell, Jacksonville FL

    October 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  14. David in Tampa

    No place I would want to live in. It would be a cross between a Banana Republic and European society during the Dark and Middle Ages. An entrenched, inherited social and economic elite and the rest of us with nowhere to go. The middle class has been and will always be the vibrant life blood of this country. Like the web of life, take out a supporting pillar and things change, generally for the worse.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  15. Loren

    Greece, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Argentina, take your pick, without a middle class, the United States is just a second world country.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  16. Greg in Arkansas

    Medieval England, complete with a few Kings and Queens in their castles, a hand-full of Lords, Dukes and Ladies living in mansions while the rest of us commoners (the 99%ers) try to scrape by day-to-day to keep from starving, losing our homes or watching our loved ones die because we can't afford health care or medicine.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  17. lou new jersey

    I hate to give Mexico a bad name but Mexico #2.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  18. Jk from Minnesota

    Like any other Autocratic or Theocratic or Third World country where the power and wealth resides with a small group of people. You, know, a lot like Mexico.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  19. kim smith, Dodge City, Ks.

    Pick any Easten Bloc country, or Arab nation, or communist state (i.e. China), and you will have the blueprint for the new America as Republicans and their corporate masters have envisioned. We are alot closer to that than anyone wants to admit, and that is the scariest thing.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  20. John from Alabama

    Jack: It means a class warfare type scenario between the haves and the have nots. The rich against the poor, and the rich will win, but not before their is bloddshed on both sides. When governments do nothing to create jobs, and does nothing to protect the lower and middle classes from hunger and poverty then violence will happen. We are along way from this scenario, but the Republicans have spend 3 years doing one thing and only one thing only to beat President Obama. They have not governed the way they should have been doing. The Republicans doing nothing for you or me. Sad!!

    October 26, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  21. Ken Victoria BC

    Well Jack, if there is no middle class that means there is only the other two classes. Of course, one class will vastly out number the other. Therefore, their political votes will bring new policies in order the reestablish a middle class. There will be a new party referred to as the People`s Party. The GOP will disappear. Hopeful, USA voters will return to politicians that will support a middle class.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  22. mary, va

    if the republicans get in the White House we will find out!! it is plain that they are for the 1% not the 99%. the canidates running for the WH scares the hell out of me!! my vision is LONG soup kitchen lines, more unemployed and homeless people. lets hope that the 99% stand up and let their voices be heard!!

    October 26, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  23. David of Alexandria VA

    In a word, Jack - Greece. What happens when you find that you have over-entitled, over-taxed and over borrowed? You undermine the integrity of the middle class.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  24. Pat in Michigan

    A lot like the 1800's.the upper class and the slaves .
    I find it funny that as the middle class disappears and we spiral down to poverty level incomes that now magically the Republicans are embracing the flat tax . This little scam will effectively bleed the last drop of blood from the poor. Remember there will be no exemptions for the poor . You can be sure the (job creators ) will however get their exemptions.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  25. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    ....the place will have no "class" only arrogance.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  26. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Without a U. S Middle Class we will look like Russia

    October 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  27. James in Springfield, VA

    A third world country. that is as simple as i can put it.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  28. Lou In Canada

    If the middle class were eliminated, there would be an economic war called "Taking Back America" between the rich and the poor. People would boycott and retaliate against the wealthiest people and companies. The Arab Spring we are witnessing today against repression and dictators will begin in our own backyard against the 1% that are rich.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  29. Rick McDaniel

    Like every other dictatorship in the world.......where there is the educated wealthy class, and the serfs, and nothing else.

    That is precisely where we are headed.........with the Democrats welfare party, trying its best to establish a dictatorial regime in America, through sheer numbers of voters, that can prevent any opposition from gaining power. While many think that's good for the country, I would suggest, that is totally foreign to the founding fathers, who believed in the "earn your own way" in the world, philosophy. The Democrats would have only the wealthy, and the serfs.......nothing in the middle.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:19 pm |

    tampa, fl pretty much like it will be around next election time. a lot of career politicians are then going to end up holding will work for food signs like the rest of us.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  31. MNResident

    It will be very fertile ground for "community organizers". In other words, it ill be "Obama Nirvana".......

    October 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  32. .Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    George HW Bush included in his New World Order plan a move to increase service industry employment as manufacturing jobs were being outsourced. The current Middle Class with $100,000 incomes will become managers at fast food resturants and the Middle Class with $21,000 incomes will become hamburger flippers. In this case pizza can be substituted for hamburger.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  33. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York


    The Supreme Court with its' calculated and dull-witted decisions equating free speech with campaign contributions has effectively ended the Middle Classes participation in its own government. The conversion from Democracy to Plutocracy is almost complete.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  34. John B.

    Without a middle class the U.S. will become another middle east. Then we can elect a dictator to steal money from the rich and keep it for himself while the poor people starve to death.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  35. Brad, Portland, OR

    The Republican ideal is a feudal society, where the rich people are the nobility, and the rest of us are poor serfs who work for room and board. You'll notice that most Republicans are against the minimum wage, because they want to be able to pay people less than that. Minimum wage is "too much" in their minds, and "not competitive with wages in China."

    Paying people in food is probably as low as they can go, if they want to keep their slaves alive.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  36. Tom (Atlanta)

    Jack, I believe it will result in the only America that our President understands, good guys – the poor and the bad guys – the millionaires, billionaires, people on Wall Street, Energy and Pharma executives. Us and them. Allen Bloom's Closing of the American Mind and Value Relativism personified.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  37. Kenneth in California

    The middle class is the barrier that separates the poor masses from the rich. The next step for the poor up the economic latter is into the middle class. Without that barrier, there will be no appreciable consumption the wealthy depend on. Who would want to be rich in a country where the massive poor are restless anyway? It may be time for those of wealth to start thinking about economically re-energizing the middle class, or tell their Republican supporters in Congress, let the government do it, again.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  38. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    When there is nothing but Wall Street patrons and the peasants, there will no longer be a United states, only the land on which it stood.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  39. Doug

    Spend a week at any non-resort Town in Mexico. You will see what a Rich Man, Poor Man, society looks like. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  40. Dan in Albuquerque

    Jack, we are heading there quickly. That's why a lot of people support the Occupy movement except for extremists who are riding the wave for narrow or extreme causes. They are a small minority of a serious movement to head off an even worse crisis in this country. History has always shown that it is a wide and growing gulf between the rich and the poor in a country that results in a revolution against the greed of the rich. We are seeing it happen right now.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  41. Richard35 Canfield, Ohio

    A Country with limited opportunities for its citizens! No longer would the American Dream be possible!

    October 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  42. Kent - Iowa City, Iowa

    Ever hear of the French Revolution?

    October 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  43. Ed from California

    Homelessness, despair, blighted towns and cities, vast unemployment, cheap labor, uneducated citizens, pan handlers, increased violence, two classes of citizenry..land barons and surfs (very rich and very poor), Expensive food, gas, electricity and medical services.......... You know Jack....a step up from where we are right now. There's still more room for the "patriotic/flag waving' rich to pilfer from. W/out the middle-class....us rich folks will have more ex-middle-classer's to have polish the family silverware, mow the lawn, drive the car, clean up after the dog!! Oh ya.....and light my cigar and be my foot warmer, how I pine for the good old days!!! Wake up America, and vote in your best interest.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  44. Marc in Canada

    Your already there Jack. As long as your politicians are paid for by Wall Street and Republicans continue to favor the rich and Dems the poor there is no obvious solution in sight. You need a 3rd political party but Wall Steet will never allow that to happen. Before long Mexico will look peaceful by comparison.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  45. Rob in NC

    It will be a third world country but I try to see the postive in every situation...we will be able to get jobs back here when the people will work for cheap and the politicians will leave when the trough is dry. Rob in NC

    October 26, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  46. Rich McKinney, Texas

    There will always be a middle class Jack. Just as their will always be the wealthy and the poor. The reason why middle class is disappearing is because pay has gone up and a married couple with two bread winners is no longer considered middle class.

    What is sad is that people let themselves get to a point where they can no longer afford the way they live. We did not use to have a cell phone family. We had one phone in the house and that was it. If you wanted to know what your friend was doing you walked down to his house and knocked on the door. You didn't email him or text message him.

    The world is changing and all of this internet and cell phone and high-speed this and dish that gets expensive. Instead of spending money like we use to we throw it away on electronic gizmos. We have abandoned face to face contact and replaced it with blogs, logs, tweets and IM's. We no longer know our neighbors and depend on the internet for our information with no way of knowing if what we read is real or a lie. There are no internet police to remove the lies so your left to sift through the data for hours trying to glean one shred of truth out of the endless torrent of BS.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  47. Rex in Portland, Oregon

    Who needs 'em? The only function of the middle class is to make the rich richer, and by now the rich are already rich enough. All the rich need now are a bunch of peons to sweep the streets and empty the honeybuckets.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  48. Jim


    Yes it is a very sad statement. It's also sad that these millions of innocent people end up paying the price for unforgivably irresponsible behavior on the part of those financial executives and investors who invented and then gambled on derivatives with the nation's wealth. As long as those clowns continue to be protected by Republicans in Congress, they will never be the ones who pay for their disgusting behavior. When the middle class disappears, the country will consist of the well-off 10%, living in their gated, guarded communities, and the other 90% struggling just to survive. The U.S. economy will eventually descend to third-world status. Perhaps the musical Camelot will then be revived with its title changed to America.

    Reno, Nevada

    October 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  49. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    I really don't believe there is a middle class anymore. There are the haves and have nots and the rest of us try to help each other to make it through the month or the day. How many times per month do the wealthy go to the food pantry and take food? How many jobs, other than treatment centers have the wealthy created? None! Thanks again Republican Partry.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  50. lou

    It's going to suck the fun out of life. My oldest son is looking at colleges. He is a beautiful writer, but we're gently pushing him towards a major where he'll have a better chance to make a living. I think, as a society, we'll all regret the 'what could have beens' we're going to miss out on, even more than the loss in monetary value the middle class will be subjected to.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  51. David from Herndon, VA

    There will be a very small "upper" class, and everyone else will be fighting over the table scraps. That's the consequence of Capitalism and free trade - equalization of economic condition among the world's poor.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  52. Sylvia from San Diego

    Not too dificult to figure this out... Just simply go to Mexico, Pakistan or India to see it first hand. Poverty and lawlessness will be rampid. Not something we want to see here....

    October 26, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  53. Ed Scheiner New Freedom Pa

    A Perfect Society constructed by the Two Parties. After all if the Middle Class could survie they would be in the cities marching and protesting. Oh the politicians cannot afford this. Tei We the People may just ask for Term Limits not just a "Just Tax System" and no lobbies and pacs. This would be too much for the politicians to deal with. After all Reresenting the We the People is not in the New Political Constitution. You know ignore the one the founding father gave us.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  54. Chris, Big Pine Key, Florida

    A middle class keeps a society stable, providing a group which the poor can reasonably aspire to become. Meanwhile middle class people can reasonably aspire to become upper class. This gives everyone a stake in the structure of society. Remove that rung, destroy that hope, divide society into either rich or poor and you really will have class warfare.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  55. Bert from L.A.

    Hi Jack, America will be what King George III dreamed it to be; peasants and serfs serving untaxed and deregulated global corporate lords. Ike warned us about it; “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence,…, by the Military-industrial complex.” It’s not just about tea and arms anymore, it’s all goods sold by global corporate lords which have acquired unwarranted free speech rights to influence Congress.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  56. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    It will be like living in a modern day version of the mid evil days where all you have is the rich and powerful and the peasants catering to their needs. This is normally followed by chaos in the streets along with a revolutionary war. We already have people mad as hell because they lost their middle class life from no fault of their own protesting. Add to that a well armed public thanks to the NRA and you have all the ingredients you need for a big explosion.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  57. Susan UP of MI

    We'll probably go back to being a type of feudalistic society like there was in the 11th & 12th centuries where the rich controlled and extorted every aspect of a poor person's life.
    It wouldn't surprise me if the rich and powerful brought back laws reinstating poor houses & laws against being idle, while
    forcing the most work for the lowest wages possible out of the people.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  58. RickFromDetroit

    The US will look like countries who have 10% millionaires, 10% servants for the millionaires, and 80% poverty. Haiti and many African Nations have adopted governments that operate to this scenario. This is called the unequal distribution of wealth and the lack of consumer spending that is generated by this type of economy has a "domino" effect on the overall economy whereas it drags the rest of the economy down until there is nothing left.

    The U.S. economy is well on its way to this type economic disaster. Our problem is that we have two pools of money circulating through the economy.
    POOL 1: This pool of money is the Wall Street crowd. About 90% of the money circulates through 10% of the population in Tax Deferred Investment Accounts.
    POOL 2: This pool of money is the 90% of the people who split the 10% of the money that falls out the Wall Street crowds change pocket.
    This is why consumer spending is anemic in many parts of the country, and with 46% of the Country living below poverty and over 1/2 of the wage earners in this Country earning less than $26,000 a year, it is very easy to see what is ailing our economy. CONSUMER SPENDING IS 70% OF THE ECONOMY, BUT THE WALL STREET CROWD HAS ALL OF THE CONSUMER SPENDING TIED UP IN TAX DEFERRED ACCOUNTS, while the government continues to borrow to fund the millionaires while the anemic areas of the country attempt to survive on the bare minimums that entitlements provide them.

    There is an old saying that says, you have to spend money to make money, but we are spending all of the money in the wrong places.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  59. Loretta from Litchfield, Maine

    We could end up like the Roman Empire, and we all know they tipped and fell over. "Do we still have a middle class?" The middle class is now at the upper end of the lower class. The only difference now is those who used to be in the middle class were lucky enough to have been able to afford an education at one time. Other than that, the majority of us are all on the same side of the boat... on the other side are the richest 1% (Wall Street, and/or big billion $ corporations and their CEOs, etc.), whom, of course, are ALL well taken care of by Washington. (Compliments of the GOP, but many Dems are just as guilty of catering to the lobbyists who fund their campaigns. Everyone is forced to play the game to some degree or they are o-u-t!)

    So, the boat is tipping sideways, the lower & middle class are sinking, but on the other side the 1% isn't worried because Bush told them they are "too big to fail" and they believed it. Problem is, who's going to row the life boats that are reserved for them? What good is all that tax free money when you have no one to push around?

    October 26, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  60. Jenna Roseville CA

    What will the United States be like if there is no middle class?

    Just look at India, Jack. They are a perfect example.

    Roseville CA

    October 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  61. bud rupert

    Go back to 1900-1920's – there you have it. Top 1% controlled more wealth then the bottom 50% combined. There was no middle class.The middle class as we know it started right after WW II. War vets returning home, going to college, getting married buying homes and having babies. The subburbs were created and demand was huge. With a cold war economy and the baby booners driving demand we were in high cotton through the 70's. That's over. Question: Now what?

    October 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  62. Bill in PA

    I dont know ,but we will soon see. There is class warfare and the rich are winning by a landslide. Lets face it in most places $45,000 just gets you by. I think it will only be a year or 2 and our once beloved country will be very different from today,if it even survives. God help us because the inmates are running the asylum, and they dont care about you and me. Only how they can get rich.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  63. Tom in Desoto, TX

    That's an easy question. Just look around at any 3rd world country. We can look forward to living on $2 a day, no plumbing facilities, having electricity occasionally, water points miles apart and roads nothing more than dirt, cross bridges at your own risk. Oh, make sure you have a shovel to dig the next pit for the outhouse. On the up side, Congress will have lowered the tax of anyone making $200,000 to 1% and there will be calls to slash that.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  64. Eric Platt

    A bad third world country.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  65. Loretta from Litchfield, Maine

    PS. There's nothing wrong with being rich. It's the American dream, but when you attain your wealth on the backs of underpaid, overworked people... keep all of the profits (the average big corp CEO pays himself and top directors over 300% more than his average worker!), and you don't pay taxes then you've passed the greedy mark. Also, as economist Richard Wolff points out, most large corporations were, or are, in the lending business either directly (think GMAC) or indirectly thru the back door by investing their profits in financial companies. Workers are putting in more time and not being paid enough so they end up borrowing money from their own corp (directly or indirectly) just to pay the bills. If big corporations would pay their fair share of taxes, pay fair wages to the workers, and quit buying up the competition and creating monopolies, then we might have a chance at getting this economy back on track.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  66. Terri from Blountville, TN

    We will look like a Third World country. The mansions on the hills will overlook the slums and the worker bees who make sure those mansion look fabulous for their wealthy owners.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  67. John Blythe

    This country will look like a third world country if there is no middle class. Over the past several decades, we've seen what happened to working citizens in countries like the former Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Romania and North Korea. Do we really need that here in America? Unfortunately it seems to be the case. Here in California, people are stealing the expensive copper wiring out of street lights because they're desperate for money and they're doing the same thing in Detroit; the homeless rate in LA has doubled since 2009 and crime and unemployment is apparently becoming a reality in cities across the country. But don't worry, the fake Democrats and Republicans at the circus capitol of the world will make you believe everything will be okay... yeah right!

    John in Los Angeles

    October 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  68. Mr. D

    Ever hear of anarchy? We could be seeing the early signs of it with the public demonstrations that are currently going on in this country.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  69. Kenny Carcaterra

    It will be like any other third world country.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  70. Annie, Atlanta

    It will be the land of serfs and indentured servants. Is this the future people like the billionaire Koch brothers and their GOP enablers and frontmen like Herman Cain are fantasizing about?

    October 26, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  71. Gordon NJ

    Like France before their revolution. The wealthy will party-on like there is no tomorrow, while the rest of us will work until we die for an ever-shrinking slice of the pie. I hear that business leaders are now grumbling that the public doesn't consume enough. Don't they understand that they've spent the past 20 years impoverishing their customer base while sending jobs overseas to fatten the wallets of their executives and stockholders.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  72. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    Mexico, Jack. a country where 10% have all the money and political power and 90% are living hand to mouth. Oh WAIT!!! we have that here ALREADY!!!

    we will know we are in REAL trouble in this country when the Mexicans BUILD a FENCE to keep the poor Americans OUT.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  73. bonnie from NJ

    Elect a Republican in 2012 and we will find out pretty quick!

    October 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  74. pierre glenn

    Jack tht has already happen they are nt concern abt middle class or low income. Our bank account is nt big enough, an our politican are catering to rich wthout any concern of middle class.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  75. Dennis north carolina

    will have two groups of people. the rich, who will have all the wealth and power. Then you will have the slaves(poor) , who will provide all the services that the rich will demand. the rich will be a small group of the total population may be 10%,with the 90% being the slaves with a low standard of living. this is the republican idea of life in American or the American dream!!!!

    October 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  76. calaurore9

    Choose any third world country. And, see your earlier question about gun control. Uglier and scarier than Halloween.

    Carol in Northampton, Ma

    October 26, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  77. Bill of New Mexico

    A) The 1% with everything will shrink to 0.01%.

    B) America will be in extreme transition, and you have to take a snapshot to describe a moving target:

    -1) After one generation of no middle class, the 99% will be complaining malcontents.

    -2) After three generations, the 99% will be raving socialists.

    -3) In the fifth generation, the 99% will be doing something about it.

    C) Therefore, all power will be steadily removed from the 99%. Really, who would trust them with any power!

    D) Starvation will require a volume to describe. It will be great enough to reduce the population.

    E) There will be no future, –no hope, –but only the basic of motivations–the desire for life sustaining food.

    -1) Daily motive will be food to survive

    -2) Parents' wish will be:

    -a) get sons into the military or the police

    -b) marry their daughters into the military or the police

    F) Mexico will build the fence that America never got around to.

    G) The intelligent will learn Spanish and escape to Argentina.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  78. Ray in Knoxville

    We'll be a banana republic, Jack. For all your younger viewers, I'm talking about a Central American country dominated by big corporations and a very small number of wealthy individuals, not the retail chain.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  79. Ruth from Indianapolis

    I am 75 years old, worked hard all my life, paid into social security for 46 years, and tried to maintain my health with good food, exercise, and judicious use of supplements. So far I've succeeded. But the future is bleak. More and more freedoms will be taken from us. Those of us who are not wealthy will be seen the same as factory farm animals. Our reason for existence will be to comsume products from big pharma, big food, and big corporations. We will cease to have an identity as humans. It's already happening and will continue unless the occupy movement can re-establish the idea that we are individuals deserving of being considers people.

    October 26, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  80. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    The poor will be the new class of slavery, the rich will have to have people doing their work for them since they will be above doing any physical work. We're getting pretty damn close to that now especially with the Republicans selling their votes to scum bags like Grover Norquist . Our form of government as we knew it in the 60's and 70's no longer exist, the Republicans with their rich lobbyist are obligated to do the bidding of the rich and powerful

    October 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  81. Riley, Seattle

    It'll be like most everyplace else in the world, I guess, which is a shame considering we were founded to be ANYTHING BUT. But look on the bright side ... Maybe it's the last 235 years, and not the entire course of human history before it or after it, that's the anomoly. Very rich and very poor, and nothing in between, has always been the human paradigm. We sure had a helluva run though, didn't we? ... too bad dreams must end, even American ones.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  82. Randy

    There won't be an America if there is no middle class. If the rich and corporations think that millions upon millions of well armed white Americans are going to stand by and watch them take off with the loot...they're crazy! The world is realizing that the filthy rich only serve themselves and have no purpose other than destroying economies and controlling governments.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  83. Ken - Kingsport, TN

    It is simple, Mr. Cafferty. We will become Mexico-North. Of course, I believe that Americans will rebel before that happens. This counrty's forefathers went to war once for taxation without representation, wrote the second amendment for just such a reason, and it appears that the sheep are finally awakening to the reality that their government no longer represents the vast majority of them.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  84. david-seattle wa

    Like a Bunch of low class Americans cheating and stealilng like the innercity of 3rd worlld.We wont have safe water to drink, thanks to 2 party capitulation to oil and gas and mining,We wont have sustainable fruits and herbs Becuz u.s. govt forces us to take what the consolidators of farmland dictate..We wont have trade boats to get herbs insouthamerica cuz china will destroy it and the pharmacuetical company will copyright trademark a side effect drug instead of telling us what in nature that is medicinal,even after our tax dollars paid all there research that then they charge us inflated rates that give them tax breaks while leaving us dosed with immoral drugs as replacement for mother natures gifts undermined by moneyworshippers who pay off all govt's.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  85. Kirk (Apple Valley)

    Who will pay taxes?

    October 26, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  86. Larry in Houston

    Jack – That would be like asking "What will the United States be like if there was 315 million Donald Trumps" ? or Mayor Bloombergs ?

    October 26, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  87. Jesse from DFW

    No middle class ... no government.
    It appears to be the choice of the extreme right! They want to take control!
    This nation was built on slave labor ... the extreme right is mad and want to return to the good old days!

    The Vision for our nation is being challenged by people who would be dictators in other countries. As long as we keep our nation uninformed and uneducated, fools will do anything.

    We have the ideal government structure, we fools making decision for our nation and Jack they don't care about the middle class!

    October 26, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  88. Jeff In Minnesota

    I do not think that the middle class will disappear, it will just change. Change is always disruptive and that is what we are going through right now, the disruptive part of change. And this disruption will only get worse before it gets better. We just have to hang in there and ride it out.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  89. hooverguide, Riverside, CA

    Dear Jack – There are so many sides to this story – where to begin? We are already a nation of The Have and The Have Not. From 2001 – 2007 66% of income growth went to the top 1%; 43 million Americans turn to food stamps to feed families; 21% of all children in this land of penty live below the poverty level; the 1960's boom time increased middle class income by 33% – the boom of the 2000's was 1.6% and then the banking and housing scandals wiped out more than $5TRILLION in pensions and savings and left millions of middle class homeowners owing more on their homes than they are worth; 120,000+ families file for bankruptcy every month! It is NOTabout the rich getting richer – it is about the greed that fuels disparity. While I am a member of the 53%, I am also a member of the 99%. In this global economy Americans cannot compete with workers who toil 10-12 hours a day for less than $1.00 an hour. This translates into fewer American home owners, fewer college educated children and a growing poverty level. And when the majority of the 99% feel there is no hope at all, peaceful entrities will cease.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  90. Dave in St. Augustine

    Exactly like it is right now....THERE IS NO LONGER A MIDDLE CLASS!!

    October 26, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  91. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    Jack, if you've seen any of the post-apocalyptic movies like "Escape From L.A." then you'll probably be able to envision what America would look like. Any Feudalism or Plutonomy neccesitates a large group of serfs to do menial tasks, a well trained group of armed guards and the gated communities that are removed from the serfs and exist to allow the wealthy to live above it all. The idea is that the poor will be so fixated on day to day subsistence, that they would never revolt nor remove the ruling class. It's a sad possibility, isn't it.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  92. Paul P.

    When you compare this question with your previous one today, I think the picture is frightening indeed. A majority class of people in near perpetual poverty armed to the teeth eventually brings to mind thoughts of widespread gangs, a rash of petty crime and an overwhelmed law system. Not totally unlike London a few months ago, only in perpetuity, we'd risk cannibalizing ourselves.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  93. David Doherty

    I imagine that there be far fewer people willing to join the military to defend the country that has dumped all over them. I know that when I joined, it was in great part out of a sense of pride, feeling a need to serve the country that takes care of it's own. I guess there will be the ones that do it for the pay check, but money only buys you so much loyalty, just ask mommar.
    Dave from NH.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:26 pm |

    There are more middle class people than rich people and when the middle class joins the poor, thats a lot of guns. You figure it out. Everyone one remmembers the civil war.
    All those rich people with dish pan hands will find out what it's like to be a survivor, "the hard way".

    October 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  95. Gary H. Boyd

    Without a "Middle Class" America will be a waste land of "Haves" and "Have nots" as is true of most countries of the world. The middle class is the "benchmark" most Americans strive to achieve as it provides a measure of respect, resources, security and hope. It has been a responsible and achieveable middle ground between poverty and riches. Without it, America becomes just another member of the family of nations. No longer a beacon.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona .

    October 26, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  96. Christina

    without a middle class, the USA will revert back to a feudal caste system, where all the land barons own everything and we all work for them, just like the turn of the 20th century. You know, before worker's rights.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  97. Don, Toledo, Ohio

    The struggle for the so-called “Middle Class” will get even harder. It will be harder to get a job and keep it because the boss will want a larger bonus this year. It will be more difficult to make ends meet due to rising cost and lower wages. Owning a home will next to imposable, not because interest rates will be too high, but due to no one being able to save enough money for a down payment. The middle class of today will be the poor of tomorrow.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  98. Ed from MD

    It will look like China because then they'll sell the Americans homes to China, granting them citizenship for buying their home here, thereby returning the current American citizens to the huddled masses from which they came.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  99. Gigi Oregon

    Maybe we would get back some of our Godly values. Neighbor helping neighbor, trusting in God, asking to be blessed instead of demanding to be blessed. Giving up pigging out, for a cup of soup with neighbors and a good story...hard times are not all bad ask your parents and grandparents. And be prepared to learn some history ask, your parents and grandparents who bailed them out of the last depression. I can tell you this much it wasn't the Tea Party, they want to take away everything your grandparents won for you. They voted for a president that cared about the people not corporate America. Read the "Peoples rights" listed by Franklin D. Roosevelt that he wanted for every American. He gave my grandparents and parents the American Dream that we cannot guarantee our children. Because of the greed of the past ten years. We are being held hostage by a small group of people tickling your ears with promises that will only fatten their purse not yours.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  100. Ros.....Illinois

    It will be more like it was in the 50's when we got married. It started getting better in the mid 60's. Then along came Reagen and everything started falling apart. It got better for the 8 years that Clinton was in, them boom it all fell apart the 8 years that Bush was playing president. He is to blame for all of this mess but "some people" just won't admit it. There are also some that live too high on the hog instead of economising in the first place. You won't have to worry about being one of the crushed middle class though. Laugh @ the rest of us.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  101. AB

    Jack, the United States would be another third world country without the middle class. In fact, we are moving towards that type of economy now with 99% of Most Americans seeing their standard of living declining, their incomes remain stagnant and 1% of Americans controlling 75% of the nation's wealth and doing well economically. Things are getting worse. The average American can no longer afford a home; Most homeowners, including myself are seeing our home values decline and out property and assessment taxes increase. The flat tax proposals of the Republican Presidential candidates are notthing more than a smoke screen for a redistribution of income from the poor, working class people to the wealthy and corporations.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  102. Michael Bindner, Alexandria VA

    It could not happen, because workers would begin organizing and radicalizing, as they did in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They might even occupy Wall Street.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  103. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Isn't it strange how we are looking more like our cold war rival the Soviet Union who also had only two classes of people and how they are beginning to look like we used to.

    The Labor Unions were the primary cause of the development of the middle class thanks to the automotive industry, today as Unions dwindle because of untruths believed by many and created by American bourgeoisie, the middle class is fading.

    We have no one to blame but ourselves in believing the lies we have all been fed, beginning in the Reagan years and even more pronounced today. To our bourgeoisie friends, you might be careful next time in what you wish for.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  104. jeff in hawaii

    It will just be a further extension of what life is like now. 10% unemployment will be the norm, wages will continue to decrease, most of us will work in the service industry or for big box stores with no guarantee of a regular schedule, a steady income, or healthcare. The 7% of Americans who work in unions will be the envy of thier neighbors. Buying a home will be a pipe dream and a great many people will be in need of help that will never come.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  105. Jack Dempsey

    Jack, It will be armed and dangerous. Jack From Nice, Ca.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  106. thom richer

    Jack, I think we are already without a middle class and or getting close. The "Middle Class" today is really a Lower Middle Class, not the Middle Class of pre-Bush, Regan, Old man Bush eras. The working class is under constant attack with the intent of making it a subservient instrument of the wealthy, corporate and government fat cats. To actually convince working America that unions are the cause of our economic woes and are un-Amercan and that employers will take care of their workers is just unbelievable. Unions built and supported this country, its economy and American workers rights for decades and since the bashing and breaking of unions by corporate America and Congress, our economy began its failing and continues its downward spiral. Contrived wars and phony claims that Social Security, retirement plans and health care benefits are the causes of our problems continue to be the mantra of corporate America and the Righteous Wingers for the sole purpose of placing blame on the working class and those who have given their working years for their country. Greed and those that are the greedy, corporate America and Congress, are to blame for what is happening in our economy and for decades to follow along with G.W. Bush and Cheney. Why is this so hard to understand and admit? If we had not been at contrived wars for the past ten years, we would not be in the position we are in. Face it. It is the factual reality that cannot be disputed but only spun.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    October 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  107. Adam

    "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government"
    - Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

    October 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  108. curtis in philadelphia

    Jack there will always be a middle class in the US; the new middle class will be made up of the servants who serve the Rich and the security forces who protect the Rich from everyone else. Don't be such a big bag of downers.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  109. Mike in Brooklyn

    The US will be like Europe was as far back as the writing of the Magna Carta! The few, the 1%, who control the money and the land, rule. The rest of us will be virtual Serfs.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  110. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    It will be like 18th century France before the revolution, where there were only the haves and the have-nots. Our strong middle class has always served as a buffer for outright class warfare. When the middle class in this country becomes scarce, the resultant hourglass economy will be a recipe for large poor riotous mobs to attack a select few that are well to do. Imagine the Occupy Wall Street movement on a grand scale...there won't be enough law enforcement to stop the overwhelming masses rioting over mere loaves of bread. America as we know it will fail to exist.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  111. Rich McKinney, Texas

    What do you mean what will it be like? There is no longer a middle class. There is the haves and the have not's. Look Jack. When you have to worry about buying gas or paying your grocery bill your a have not. When you have to worry about how much it is going to cost you to pay your financial adviser to pay less in taxes then you’re a have.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  112. Mark

    Well if the Democratic Plantation Party of America continues down this road of "trickle up poverty" from their Messiah, sure, you can kiss the middle-class good bye! If you belong to this party, you are a LOSER! Grow a spine, grow some hair on that nutsack, and believe in yourself, not the government!

    October 26, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  113. Ed in California

    Like a Central or South American country with all the disease, hopeless poverty, rampant crime, and fat cat dictators.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  114. PiedType

    Detroit, Jack. A U.S. with no middle class will look like Detroit.


    October 26, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  115. Mark Zimmerman

    What middle class?

    October 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  116. Mel

    There is going to be a revolt like the US has ever seen before..Aa starting point would be to get rid of all the politicians in Wwashington and replace them all with officials that work for the people. There is a huge revolutionary coming Jack and it is coming soon.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  117. josh

    Such a terrible question. There will always be a middle class in America, the middle class is indeed hurting right now, however things will get better. They always do.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  118. Michael Caveney

    Medieval Europe, when kings ruled by divine right and people were domesticated animals

    October 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  119. Jim

    Without a middle class the USA becomes a Third World Country, plain and simple!

    October 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  120. Tobin Threadgill

    I'm not sure as I will have left the United States and moved to another country.....A corporatist plutocracy is not where I want to live and was not the vision our founding father had for our nation.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  121. Arjay McKellar

    What will America be like with no ,middle class? Why, it'll be just like those third-world countries that America's been exploiting for decades, so that only the mega-rich and dirt-poor are left. Such countries need a strong fascist-like police state to keep the poor in line, and that's what you'll have if you're foolish enough to vote the Republicans in again.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  122. Jason

    Jack, we'll look just like Mexico. A joke for a government run by those who have the money and vast swaths of poor who have no chance to improve life.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  123. mark

    When the middle class are gone, America will be exactly what liberals have always dreamed of; a Marxist secular gulag.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  124. Leslie

    Being one of the what was "middle class", I believe this country of ours is headed down hill, and fast. What was, is no more. We're in CA and in 9 years when it's retirement time, who knows where we'll go, but it won't be to stay where we are! I never thought when I got to be this age, life would be so darn difficult!! Ever!!

    October 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  125. Matt Rutland concord, NC

    Jack, I see it like the 1930s, there would a rich or well-off class, and lower-middle class, where getting by would be a daily or weekly deal. The country runs on the middle class, for spending, for most labor and skilled labor jobs. Have and have nots, plain and simple.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  126. Khoa in Atlanta

    Unless there is term limits with congress, nothing will change. The Republican will not approve any job's bill because they don't want Obama to get re-elected. They will continue to make Americans suffer because they want to be re-elected instead of doing what's best for this country...

    October 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  127. William Moses

    It will make Occupy Wall Street a fond memory. Hope it is not as bad as the French Revolution!

    October 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  128. Joe Stafford, Elko, NV

    Jack, the US will look like a cut from the movie Escape from New York. where the Elite Fat Cats live outside in freedom, and the other 99% live inside the fenced zone living like Animals!

    October 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  129. William

    Caff, if the American Middle class dissapears, it will be another Mexico, a nation of filthy rich 1 percenters & dirt poor 99 percenters.. We need to take a good hard look at our southern neighbor and hopefully learn from it.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  130. J. Smith

    This whole situation sounds suspiciously like medieval Europe. The aristocracy grew rich on the labor of the peasantry, and occasionally threw them kitchen scraps to prevent revolts. The main difference here is that divine right has been replaced with business rights. It's small wonder that protests are growing.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  131. Dave - Indiana

    If the GOP has anything to do with it, America will go back to the stone age.
    Instead of the upper class, the middle class or lower class; it will simply be the upper class & those on poverty, or lower class.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  132. Gman

    With no middle class in the future. Everyone will work at WallMart and Mcdonalds, the GOP will be happy
    and America will become a "third world country". Is that not the plan????

    October 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  133. Toledo, Ohio

    Three words–Third World Country.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  134. Rick in California

    Remember the tzars in Russia? Remember what happened to them? Violence and death will be the watchword as we the little people will have to battle for every scrap we get. Revolution will not be far off. High time too.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  135. Michael W (Nashville)

    It'll be great to see how the rich make money with no one there for them to bilk. If there are no middle class workers and no middle class buyers, the rich will certainly have a tough time, won’t they.
    How about this idea: instead of Occupy Wall Street, let's do a "No Middle Class Day" once a month until we see change. Once a month, everyone in the US who makes between $30-100k should abstain from working – all on the same day. Then maybe the rich will get a sense of our value.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  136. alex

    Well what makes anyone think we have one now?
    Super Rich, Rich, and Poor.
    there is no middle class,
    There is no more American Dream.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  137. Jeff in Pa

    Jack, There will be a revolution. It's already starting. Why do you think they want to take your guns away!!!

    October 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  138. Steve D

    It would be large lawless metropolis's with jury's nullifying any crime against the rich. On the other hand the rich burbs would be loaded and living la vita dolce. If the crime spreads to the burbs the criminals will be shot on site and the shooter treated like the hero he is. Oh wait a minute that's the way it is now!!!!

    Steve D
    New Windsor, MD

    October 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  139. May in NY

    An inevitable battle between the rich and poor. Oligarchy, perhaps? Class warfare, for sure.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  140. craig

    I am middle class as defined by the numbers. I am doing perfectly fine and I think thd middle class is doing fine overall. It just seems the union workers are the ones who are upset and complain. Stop the complaining and get a life.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  141. Sharon in VA

    We would be just like the French just before the French Revolution. There were the rich and there were the poor. We all know what happened to the the Rich in that case especially to the Royal Family. I'm not abdicating "off with their heads" for the 1% but perhaps a reading or rereading of "A Tale of Two Cities" would refresh some minds.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  142. Dan, Orlando

    No middle class is not the concern. It is America without "class" at all that is the problem. It is the disappearance of our Judeo-Christian heritage that will be our undoing.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  143. Jason Or

    If the republicans continue to support corporatism, like the 6 of the gang of 12 are doing, we WILL get there. If only Democrats were ironing out the deal, The rich would get taxed for rebuilding and the people wouldn't have to take a cut in SS and Medicare. It's that simple. The right is nothing more than the people's ball & chain.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  144. George Punta Gorda, Fl.

    How about the way the thirteen colonies looked before 1776.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  145. Tony Boise

    Jack, the 1% say "Let them eat cake". You know what happened the last time they said that.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  146. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Isn't it strange how we are looking more like our cold war rival the Soviet Union who also had only two classes of people with a one sided absolute ideology as some of our political parties would have, and how they are beginning to look like we used to.

    The Labor Unions were the primary cause of the development of the middle class thanks to the automotive industry, today as Unions dwindle because of untruths believed by many and created by American bourgeoisie, the middle class is fading.

    We have no one to blame but ourselves in believing the lies we have all been fed, beginning in the Reagan years and even more pronounced today. To our bourgeoisie friends, you might be careful next time in what you wish for.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  147. Ray

    Just two classes will soon exist...the very rich and the very poor. Perhaps a new phrase should enter the dictionary. Let's call it: feual capitalism.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  148. PiedType

    Class warfare will become an ugly reality instead of a glib figure of speech tossed around by campaigning politicians.


    October 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  149. tony barcia

    Jack, it would be a land of hav's and hav Not's, and when you really think about it,it has been
    that way all along, it just became more political. Temple,Tx

    October 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  150. Dave Nichols

    We already have an elite ruling class. The middle will disappear into a poverty stricken class, like any other "democratic" people's republic. That is the goal of the ruling class. That is why SCOTUS ruled that money IS speech.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  151. Jean Maia

    We will be like Mexico, with the wealthy and the poor. Otherwise known as peons. No money, no homes, no healthcare.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  152. Angela Hernandez fUniversity Place Washington

    Simply without the middle class the old saying" the have's and the have not's will become reality rather than a saying once again...

    October 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  153. John F. Kelly

    I am a retired 69 year old man who lost my retirement savings when my company went bust. I am now living on Soocial Security. By the time I pay my medicare, remt,. car payment I have to live on $400 a month. Middle Class what Middle Class we need to help seniors I wonder howmany seniors are living like me.. I think many. With no way to get help. because me make just over the poverty line. aggggg

    October 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  154. Guy-Texas

    Sounds like the Obama plan is working. 99% living off 1%.

    The laziness created by welfare is a daunting trend we have to stop. Where does paying someone not to work make sense? Where is the age of accountability?

    It is no wonder our Congress is so screwed up. Their lack of ability to work mimics our own. The only difference is they get the cadilac pension and health care plans paid for them that even the top 1% have to pay for themselves! Go figure Jack!

    October 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  155. Jo-Anna

    Jo-Anna Lloyd, Austin, TX
    WHEN the middle class disappears? It's gone! Only the rich can afford college. Only the rich can afford health care. Only the rich can afford to pay their mortgages. Congress and Corporations have ruined and destroyed this country. They do not realize that when anarchy takes over and there is rioting in the streets – they will have no place to hide.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  156. Lea Pupatelli

    Well Jack, Thats when the REAL class warfare begins, remember at this point the middle and poor strongly outnumber the wealthy, We will take our country back, and we will fight to survive...

    October 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  157. peter greatrix

    If there is no middle class, only rich and poor, the country will no doubt see civil unrest. Considering the amount of guns that are out there, people will just take what they want. Survival will be the only reason (short of greed). Its becoming apparent there are some who will kill to get what they need. They do now and thats just when they are po'd at each other.
    Sad part is, I am a canadian and although we do have problems, we seem to get along fairly well in Canada and very few henious gun crimes. Strict gun control works here..Should work there
    Peter, London, ontario canadian

    October 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  158. Randall Cox

    No middle class is a result of socialism. If you want to see the best example in the world, go to Port Au Prince, or anywhere in Haiti for that matter. Have you ever been to Haiti, Jack?

    October 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  159. Kate Davis

    America will be reduced to a third-world nation as the middle class rapidly dissolves. We are hungry, displaced and very angry! Wealthy Republicans hide behind gated communities and spit on us when all we want is a home, a steady job, competent healthcare and affordable cable TV.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  160. Kj in MI

    If there's no middle class. Two classes are left. The rich and the poor. Nothing in between. Simple as that.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  161. Bruce S.

    When you have a society with only the wealthy at one end and the poor at the other, it's called a 3rd world country. That is where the U.S. is headed. A situation like this feeds upon itself. As the middle class disappears, domestic consumption of goods and services goes down, which leads to further unemployment and further erosion of the middle class. All you have to do is visit a country like the Philippines to see what is ahead for us.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  162. Karl in Flint

    Jobs are becoming minimum wage only and they want to lower that. Here in Flint, our reputation of the 4th most dangerous city is rooted in the North end of town. When that madness comes down here to the south end, and it is coming, I'm out of here.When I have to fortify my house to prison status and try to sleep hugging a shot gun, it is time top leave. Mexico won't be any worse and they have nicer weather.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  163. Dennis in Florida

    It seems obvious what will happen. The rich will either pay an enormous income tax each year or permanently leave the USA.

    The rest of us will have absolutely no hope of finding even a menial job. Most of the citizens will sit around drinking coffee and waiting for their monthly government check to arrive.

    As a leisure activity, everyone will learn to speak Greek.


    October 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  164. Baby generation

    What would the United states be like with no middle class? GEE LET ME THINK *Sarcastic face* THE NEWEST FORM OF SLAVERY!!!!

    October 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  165. james walker

    This country has been the greatest the world has seen that produced a large middle class full of hope and optimism. Now we are becoming just another society with a serfdom serving the rich. This will ruin our society and what our forefathers imagined.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  166. Neil in Salem, MA USA

    When there's no middle class in the United States, it will be just like France between 1789 – 1799, when the starving people of France attacked the Bastille and then dispatched Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette with the guillotine. – Neil, Salem, MA USA

    October 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  167. larry, Chicago

    We've had a look at this before, in the South, before the first Civil War, it's called slavery.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  168. Tom Loveland, CO

    The answer should scare most middle class Americans. Just look around the world. A two class society equals a third world country.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  169. Mark Merrill

    It'll be exactly what the Republicans want: a nation of powerless, knuckle dragging fools with "values" and "philosophical convictions" galore...courtesy of FOX News.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  170. Ray In Phoenix

    Well if the wealthy own all of the businesses....no one will have any money to purchase anything from them...So, I guess they are not all that smart after all....As soon as I retire I am moving to a country where I can afford to live....

    October 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  171. Reynaldo

    The USA would be like Haiti, few upper class and everyone else poor. The USA would also be void of trees within 5 years just like Haiti.

    McAllen, TX

    October 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  172. Lance

    Won't be a United States, Jack. Americans, the great majority of us, A.K.A. the 99%, will revolt. It may not be the same kind of revolt as we've seen in history, but they'll flip the switch one way or another. Conservatives love to bang the drum of our fore fathers but they seem to forget, those guys were the original uprising. We've got it in us. Perhaps the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement should find some common ground and flip this script sooner than later.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  173. Jim

    Jack, if I were that among the "one percent", I'd be investing in barbwire to be placed around those walls I just built around my home. I"d be making sure my motion sensors were working and the home security team was well fed for the night watch. Most of all, I'd make sure my attorney had my personal affairs in order and my name was removed from any annual report that had me listed as a board member and, oh, I'd change my name and purchase a one way ticket on one of those Richard Branson sub orbital space flights with a drop off in Figi.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  174. Luigi Allen

    With no middle class America will be no better than a 3rd world country. A place of lost dreams.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  175. Kathleen

    Can you say Feudalism?

    October 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  176. mark in arkansas

    When China first opened up to western ways, to travel there was eye opening. On one side of the street, you had lots of opulence, while on the other side of the street, it was lined with cardboard box shacks with families living in them, cooking dinner on open fires. You had those that had, and those that did not. That's what you'll have here.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  177. john

    i moved to mich. for work full-time year round my employer laid me off in 5 mths mich. changed there unemployment to where nobody can qualify. also i apllied for state assistance and they denied me because my 11 yr old car is worth too much they want me too sell that and my house then spend it and then theyll give me benefits when im on the streets. i will never stay or come to mich. again

    October 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  178. Ron from Central Florida

    NORTH MEXICO – it'a been the goal of the rich from the beginning of time! Just like that old saying "The rich get richer and the poor keep getting poorer!

    October 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  179. Ted

    Look at the worlds examples the haves and the have nots, we see this becoming a closer reality when you see the lower middle class pushed out of the middle. It would become worse than what we see now in Washington, the voice of the middle wouldn't count since we now see the only thing that speaks in D.C. is the all might dollar. People are not against the rich making it big what people are upset about is the way some get there off the backs of the middle class and the poor all in the name of capitolisim, greed is not the American way of the majority of America, the 99%.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  180. Tony

    Just look at India, our model for the 21st Century! A caste system with no social mobility. Hey but there's always a chance to get a job as a body collector or rat killer!

    October 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  181. Ed in Florida

    With no middle class there can not be a Democratic form of government. The poor outnumber the rich and would soon leave everyone poor as they 'take' their share.

    Our choices are a military dictatorship controlled by a wealthy few or anarchy where there is chaos. I would never have believed I would ever have said these things, but I no longer feel the USA is as Reagan once said 'the last best hope of freedom' given the new reality 15 Trillion debt and growing.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  182. Linda in Arizona

    There will be the very rich and the desperately poor, who will be nothing more than slaves. You know, just like the republicans have wanted it since the turn of the century (the 20th century, that is).

    October 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  183. Brian Samuels (Chicago)

    With no middle class......We'll look like the Middle East.......But we'll be the Middle West.....if that makes any since.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  184. Hank Corbett

    The size of a country's middle class can often be used to measure its stability. Those countries without a sizeable middle class are often plagued by civil strife and must be ruled by an authoritarian regime. I think the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement is a reaction to our diminishing middle class; and I predict that this movement will continue to grow and will eventually begin to be more assertive. I think politicians underestimate the critical importance of maintaining a large middle class.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  185. Larry Tetzloff

    As one who fought against the implementation of NAFTA because of the fears of the cost to the manufacturing sector of our once great nation, I am now shedding tears in mourning the death of our middle class. Manufacturing is on its death bed, service oriented, low paying and part time jobs have merged into the norm. We are rapidly devolving into a two class society consisting of the ruling rich and the mass of Americans serving them.

    The future appears bleak because only the rich and powerful are able to become our representatives and those representatives only listen to the rich and powerful.

    R.I.P. American Dream.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  186. david bidlack

    dave from michigan the republican answer is to give the wealthy " job exporters" even more tax breaks in a blind hope that they might change their job exporting habits they have followed for years into job creating habits! that kind of thinking has already turned this country into what it is now we are an "ARISTOCRACY"! we have become just what our founders fleed from in the old country. we are this new centuries first large country to become an " ARISTOCRACY" !

    October 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  187. Bruce

    Can you say/live Feudalism?

    October 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  188. John in L.A.

    The middle class isn't going anywhere, its just being redefined through Darwinism.
    The "poor me" gangs at the OWS campouts could be doing something productive
    for themselves, but there you have natural selection at work for all to see.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  189. Daniel in Florida

    I suppose it would look a lot like a place where its lowest wage-earners will pay the lions share of our nation's bills and where, comparitively, its mega-corporations and highest income citizens pay comparatively little or nothing. Perhaps a place where its disenfranchised and marginalized citizens are excluded from the process and benefit of government. Hey, wait a minute, isn't that what we have now?

    October 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  190. Jeff

    It will look like NYC between the first and second tower collapses: extravagant achievement surrounded by smoke, fire and panic, while no one even notices the bomb flying towards what is still standing, or know how many are already dead underneath.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  191. Lance from Los Angeles

    Won't be a United States, Jack. Americans, the great majority of us, A.K.A. the 99%, will revolt. It may not be the same kind of revolt as we've seen in history, but they'll flip the switch one way or another. Conservatives love to bang the drum of our fore fathers but they seem to forget, those guys were the original uprising. We've got it in us. Perhaps the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement should find some common ground and flip this script sooner than later..

    October 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  192. Bob from Chicago

    The country will have an educated and wealthy upper class with a kept-in-ignorance, poverty-stricken lower class which will be their financial rulers servants. A return to feaudalism combined with financial slavery. In short, a Republican Party Utopia.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  193. jw

    What do you mean Jack? I have been calling what USE to be the middle class the "upper lower class" for over a decade now... China is what we are looking like more and more. Sadly I believe you cannot repress a country so totally without a serious civil unrest down the road. I doubt in our life time, although it could surprise us, but it will come. Look it up all you top 1% who have no concerns but " I got mine, I'll buy mine". Historically it has ended badly for those who follow that lifestyle and mantra. However eventually those repressed will take back what is right, just and fair, is that not called America?

    October 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  194. Ron- Morganton, NC

    Jack, Jack, Jack... over the years I have enjoyed your quick witted, in your face, self indulging rants. As much as they r passionate, they seem short sited as well. Yeah, the ultra rich want their money back from the semi rich. The semi rich try to rally the troops, the middle class. I seen this before at Arizona State. The schools raised the tuition and told the professors we r going to give u raises. So professors were quiet when the students protested. The following years, when students accepted the hikes, professors were told, oh, your not getting a raise and we r letting professors go. The professors tried to rally the students, Guess what, they were quiet. Understand? The semi rich were not there for us when we were getting screwed, the middle class will not be there for them! Oh, the middle class is not going anywhere, just shifting.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  195. Todd from Bemidji, MN

    We’re going to be hungry, Jack. Now I’m not a farmer, but I’ve known and lived around farmers all my life, and I can tell you farmers are feeling the economic squeeze in rural America as much, if not more then main street. The rising costs of seed, fertilizer, and fuel have many of them thinking of down sizing or simply stopping. If this middle class disappears Mrs. Obama won’t have to worry about her anti-obesity crusade, she’ll need to try to figure out how to feed people.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  196. Eric Wilson

    Since lower taxes were enacted the growth rate of the GDP declined by 20%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average growth rate increased by 368%. This question should have been asked 15 years ago. Now the top 1% control 22% of all income in the united states compared to 9% in 1979. The middle class is already gone, only the remnants remain.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  197. Dave from Canada

    The Middle-Class is America's engine! It has outperformed the rest of the world for over 100 Years. BUT, your business elite and the GOP have had a history of treating the Middle Class like a mule. Using the Middle Class like hosts to their parasitic greed. Manipulating and now pulling your great country apart. It's sad to watch.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  198. Bill in PA

    We are now a nation with 2: Rich and Poor.
    The Rich can buy anything the wish.
    Our corporate persons own all levels of government, the judiciary, and use our vast security/police to enforce their full control.
    Corporations are brimming with cash and record profits and are expanding in India, China and Africa while closing US operations and firing American workers.
    Our media is corporate owned and are cheer leaders for their owners. Notice how the Occupy Wall Streeters are depicted.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  199. Ed from Philadelphia PA

    Unfortunately Jack we are very close to seeing that scenario happen – our elites have sent jobs off shore, both parties are bought and paid for by the major investors from big business yet the media avoids the truth and hides the reality that since the trickle down theory of supply chain that Reagan started has failed and failed terribly – we used to make products to demand not make products and then try to create demand – you can't purchase what you can't pay for – finally, the middle class has learned not to spend tomorrows money today....the elites can take their money to other countries where services are cheap....perfect example was Halliburton going to Dubai – great investment in our country

    October 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  200. Pete/Ark

    Don't you listen to the Republicans Jack?They constantly talk about "the founding Fathers".The country will be as the Founding Fathers knew it...a tiny wealthy elite controlling all wealth and social structure...and the rest of us.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  201. papasung39

    It will be like 1776, wealthy land owners and politicians. The only thing left to complete the puzzle is to pass a law to legalize slavery. I think the time is coming to think about starting over and implementing a system that is truly for the people and by the people!

    October 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  202. 9meals2anarchy

    Don't worry about the middle class Jack. We can grow/cook our own food, hunt and fix our own cars. Once we have had enough feel bad for the rich, who can't wipe their own behinds without us. Ever see a top 1%er pump their own gas? I think not. I can't wait for the day when one of them comes knocking on my door for a can of beens. I'll give it to them for about a hundred bucks.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  203. Lea in wallingford

    There are only 2 class of people the rich and the poor and the middle has done it's best to support one with money and the other with working to enrich their riches. So there is no middle class since they are then ones out of work and the middle class is what I say balances the two. And getting poorer every day!!!!

    Wallingford, CT

    October 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  204. Jim Green, Seguin,TX

    Jack, better yet, how did we get here–WHERE IS THE REPUBLICAN APOLOGY? When Saddam&Gadafi injured their people we demanded they be held accountable–“Supply-Side” injured tens of millions of Americans! It twice resulted in our economic meltdown [1987 & 2008] -–it resulted in the greatest income disparity in our history—and it ran America into a $14 trillion ditch including the mop up costs!

    October 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  205. Alesia Philips

    the USA will probably be in it's second Civil war the poor and middle class against those who have kept them down, or ruined their lives. Hence less gun control, because like the 1% waiting for the other shoe to fall, the 99% are also getting ready Wall street Protest and those around the USA are just a start I am a US citizen who moved to Costa Rica because I could barely afford to live in the USA with any sort of lively hood and because I believe that a civil war is just around the corner

    October 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  206. David P Vernon

    There will always be some middle class, because most learned professionals (doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc.) fall into it, being neither actually rich nor actually poor. However, a truly well-off country has a large middle class, of shopkeepers, master craftspeople, civil servants, and salespeople, and the bulk of a nation's wealth is always (as a matter of statistics) around the center, not at the top or bottom ends. The peculiarities of our tax code, the fact that it taxes incomes instead of expenditures, promotes foreign and discourages domestic investment, penalizes US goods in international trade, and exempts gains from financial speculation from taxes equivalent to those collected on wages, are responsible for the shrinkage of the middle and the pushing of incomes upward for a few and downward for most. In general, public discussion of the economy is both ignorant and pointless, because you cannot solve a problem you do not understand and you cannot solve a problem without attacking its root causes. The people need representatives who operate on a basis of truth, not fantasy, as most Republicans and even some Democrats do now. The distribution of tax burden must follow the distribution of incomes. The tax code must favor, not merely growing balance sheets, but growing actual business operations, ones that employ people and not just computing machines. Right now, the tax code (not tax rates per se) is the problem. Flatter taxes are not the solution.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  207. calvin

    Together we'll stand divided we will fall. All great empires have come to end, as will America if we do not turn from our
    greed and selfishness. THERE wont be an America without the middle class. Are the rich and wealthy so stupid to not realize that when the country falls it will be the whole country that falls. Their money will be worthless. A nation founded on Godly principles of love one for another, shareing and caring has completely turned away from the founding fathers intentions. Only turning back to godly principles wii save America

    October 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  208. Patrick W. Granada Hills, CA

    History already gave us the answer to your question, Jack. Go back to France and 1789. Marie Antoinette reportedly said "Let them eat cake," and soon after, she and Louis the XVI were headless.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  209. Name*chris

    I think you asked the question wrong Jack. You mean "what will happento america when there is no middle class. As a senior in college I didn't wanna be rich I just wanted and good job have kids and pay my bills on time but, instead what I must do I work dead end jobs and hope that the gop will get on board and work with the nation

    October 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  210. Craig

    If the news continues doing the same....we are in trouble. There are people out their that can make a difference, however they will never be on the news shows. All we see is politicians and contributors which are extensions of politicians. I have written a blog that proves that the news is the missing link to why nothing changes. Guess what....I have never had my comments posted .....wonder why?

    October 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  211. Rich H

    Very simple Jack. There would be just two classes of Americans. The "haves" and the "have nots". Of course the "have nots" would far out number the "haves".

    October 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  212. Hugh harper

    Unfortunately America's massive poor and unhappy middle and lower classes will turn to violence over their unfair station in life. I hope congress wakes up and does something before the violence. Could we be another Egypt?

    October 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  213. Alesia Philips

    like gadaffi the 1% has to go

    October 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  214. Kurt Melnechuk

    Have you ever been to Haiti before Jack? There are two classes, the very rich and the very poor. That's what happens when you remove the middle class from a country and this is exactly the direction the US is going. There will be only two classes sooner than anyone can envision and God help America when it does. I shudder at thought.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  215. Barry

    Much like the movie "V" with Natalie Portman. I would not want to be in national politics or a member of the 1% wealthy group that decides to flaunt their money.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  216. Steve Mace, Michigan

    What will it be like? Easy, it will be Canada. Canada has no middle-class. It hasn't for decades. It is a nation of "have's" and "have not's". A system of bigger and ever growing government, that will need more and more taxes to sustain the needs of the "have-nots". Universal healthcare, welfare, social services, subsidies of all kinds. A place where everyone is entitled to acquire a $60K MBA so they can graduate into the 2 part-time job career system. Renting for your entire life. Owning a vehicle? Please. Every Canadian dreams of the day they can pay off their post secondary education with their $7 an hour jobs at the book and shoe store. One day, perhaps even being able to afford to rent a cottage for a week. How am I qualified to hold this opinion? I came from Canada over a decade ago. I see Michigan (and the U.S. for that matter) heading in the exact same direction.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  217. V from Ohio

    Jack, we're turning into Russia. We'll never not have a middle class but it is definitely getting smaller because of republican values. The poor and middle class needs to get their vote out next election and get these republicans out of congress who want to protect the rich at the cost of the middle class and poor.

    The best political community is formed by citizens of the middle class. - Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC), Politics

    October 26, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  218. Jim, Denver CO


    The U.S. will regress back to what it was like in the mid-1800's. There will be the ultra rich and big companies controlling everything along with the politicians. The middle class will exist in a form of semi educated and low paid people who live day to day and will not survive past a few yours after retirement. The poor will become the ultra poor.

    This is what a small group of people in this country want. And we are stupid enough to let them get away with it.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  219. Larry in Pasadena, Ca.

    Well, Jack, what we're going to be is the largest, richest, and most advanced third-world country in the world, with pseudo-royalty owning and running virtually everything (if they don 't already), and the majority of the rest of us begging after whatever scraps of prosperity that may be left. Under this scenario, how long will it be before we see the Second American Revolution? The "Occupy" movement is only the beginning. Is anyone in our government paying attention to what the massive disparity in income and standard of living is generating in the Middle East, and other profoundly lopsided economies around the world?

    October 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  220. Kathy in Woodinville, WA

    A quote from Martin Luther King comes to my mind..."I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, other-centered men can build up". ...and as history clearly shows us: When the rich get richer and the poor get poorer that creates the perfect storm for a Revolution. If our leaders listen and act accordingly maybe we can avoid that.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  221. Michele (Snellville)

    We will become a nation of the very rich and the very poor. I am appalled at how many middle class and poor people continue to support the republican party which has, year after year, demonstrated their lack of concern for the average citizens' circumstances in favor of our wealthiest citizens. Not only that, but have thwarted every effort of our President to reverse the chaos they've created (another demonstration of their indifference to our suffering). I can't imagine that the middle class (the overwhelming majority of voters) would elect a republican in 2012, but if we do, we'll know the answer to your question sooner than we'd like.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  222. Ralph Nelson

    This question is easy: We well simply be returning to the way things were before the Great Depression, labor unions, and FDR. At that time the middle class was only 20% of the population and everyone else except for the "robber baron" rich were dirt poor. Since 1979 we have been practicing Supply-side (transfer wealth to the rich using the income tax system) and Liaz-a-Faire (no regulation of capital markets) Economics. We are simply repeating history from the 19th century. We well end up like Mexico (16 families run everything), pre-war Vietnam (where 10% owned everything)...we well become a "banana" republic were the rich own everything, including the government.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  223. Cee.La

    It will be the poor and the rich..... the rich will exploit the poor as usual.......mansions and slums......... seriously i really think we do not have a democracy anymore our politicians are totally bought by Corporate America.........we are still buying their bs, sad......I think there are other Democracy's in the world that are a better place to live and if I was'nt so old I would go there.....

    October 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  224. Susan - Laguna Hills


    Here are few things will happen:
    1. I won't exit any more...
    2. No one would listen to your Bla-Bla-Bla any more
    3. China goernment will come up with "Ilegal Immigration Law" to stop poor Americans taking over their farm works.
    4. Mexicans will become the best Shrimps for psychological analysis

    Oh, we will sing "It's a Wonderful World" for Christimas...No more thanks to Jeses Lord to bless the food on the table...

    October 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  225. Dale

    The answer is simple. No middle class equals no United States of America! It won't be class warfare anymore. It'll be a civil war all over again. Considering the fact that the military and all state law agencies are made up of people who are middle class or lower. They won't pick up guns against their own families who are suffering. I see flash backs of the French Revolution, in Americas future. The heads of the " Have's " will be rolling at the feet of the all those who don't have..

    October 26, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  226. Mike from NY

    Interesting question but I've never seen a clear definition of just who the middle class is. I'm sure that people who have household incomes that are half of what ours is think we're upper class, while those who make twice as much as we do think we're peons. We're just focused on keeping our jobs and trying to pay our bills. We make too much to qualify for any kind of assistance and don't make enough to keep us from living check to check. I suppose if the middle class is going to disappear I hope iwe're on the right side of the dividing line. Unfortunately, soon anyone with a job is going to be considered upper class.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  227. Corey Bowen

    Jack, although the prospect of there being no middle class entirely, there will most certainly be a major shift for people transcending into the lower class, the government is ruining this country and all of the hard work of generations past is going to waste; the politicians in Washington D.C should be ashamed of themselves. I am born and raised here but so that I can secure a better future for myself, plan to go to school and move to Canada. I don't want my children to ever live in poverty, and with the way this country is going, most of the population will be in poverty within twenty-five years.
    Corey from Harrisburg, PA

    October 26, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  228. Jerry in Alaska

    Looks like Revelation 13; with its promise of a One World Ruler & his single Union that everyone must belong to with its two class's of people, Rich or poor might be in the works to me Jack.

    With the Pope in Rome coming out the other day & declaring that the World needs a Single World Bank to manage all the Wealth of the World makes that Revelation 13; thingy more possible.
    NO, NO, NO, that would mean that God really knows the Future & is trying to tell us ALL to get ready.

    Ya know Revelation also talks of a False Prophet, religious leader thats leading the One World religion as a GR8 Big helper for this coming man & his FORCED UNION & One World Order of Socialism.

    2012 is almost here & Revelation 12:12 gives us a clue of what might be coming to all those societies that are looking too 2012 for their Ancient gods return.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  229. Nina Fox

    No middle class equates to 3rd world country. And we are definitely headed in that direction. Ever seen a super power without a strong middle class?

    October 26, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  230. Xavier, Bloomfield Hills MI

    The fact is that as soon as Obama was elected, Republicans were set on making him fail and making sure he would not be re-elected. They were extremely clear about it. And that's exactly what they've done – preventing him from implementing any of the substantial changes for which he had been elected by a very wide majority of Americans. By adopting this destructive (and totally un-patriotic) behavior, Republicans made the conscious decision to destroy the middle class – while continuing to defend and protect the outrageous advantages of wealthy individuals and the nauseating profits of corporate America. In effect, they have become the symbol of tyranny, by adopting anti-democratic measures that prevent the Obama administration to implement the will of the People.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  231. colon

    this was ones of the mission to make Bush president, deregulation of every thing, Power... Control the Supreme Court, they can manipulate congress with fraud even on elections. Making middle class limited powerless. There's an agenda start from Bush. the only security American have SOCIAL SECURITY, do sleep they coming for! They gonna do whatever wall Street want, so sad its sad day in America...

    October 26, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  232. John Gallup


    I guess when the middle class is gone the 1% will realize they have no one to teach there children, searve them food, build there houses, clean there houses and mow there lawns.

    John Gallup

    October 26, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  233. craig from south carolina

    Why does everyone make it democrat/republican problem. I am middle class and things are great. it seems the union workers are the ones complaining. They are the ones being fired. They are the ones that have hurt our country. They want tne goverment to control everything and take care of them. The rest of us middle class just want freedom and less goverment. We are also the ones who will elect a new president next year. If the middle class are the ones hurting so bad, why do they vote republican every time. Learn the real truth

    October 26, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  234. P A Nevers

    If there is no middle class, there will be no:

    1 Purchasing of new goods/services. (so, those jobs that have gone overseas, with products shipped back to the US will sit unbough)

    2. Housing costs – consolidation of parents and college grad children without jobs under one roof; back in the '30s and '40s, there were multi-generational households. Here we go again

    October 26, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  235. Carol - Kansas City

    Look to history. When France drove out their Huguenot middle-class, their society collasped !

    October 26, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  236. Hugh Sherry

    We will become an aristocracy. The wealthy will have an army of serfs at its beck and call to do its bidding. The things we took for granted during the post WW 2 boom will become unattainable luxuries.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  237. Mike from Indiana

    It will look like Dallas, Texas.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  238. colon

    wow... Friend my a conservative said, No MIDDLE CLASS no problem... The GOP plan for America is will be like Heaven no middle class, only angels and people... Wow

    October 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  239. Julene from Colorado

    No middle class. Wasn't the French Revolution the reason for the beheadings. Poor versus the Rich.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  240. Jim/Florida

    Just like during the Great Depression; the rich get richer, and the poor don't have anything, so they continue to live off the government!!!! The "lost" working middle-class continues to pay the rich to survive!!!!!

    October 26, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  241. Dan from WA

    Jack, if we look back in the history of the world many leaders have tried to “conqueror” the world with no avail. It appears to most all Americans I talk to that is exactly what the wealthy are trying to do to most all Americans and the rest of the world.

    I have been saying since 1986 that our government is going to make us into a Third World country. We have already shipped most of our jobs overseas to increase the profits of the wealthy. Our unemployment rate although very inaccurate reflects what that is done to America.

    Americans are the largest consumers in the world and eliminating the middle class is affecting not only our economy but the world economy. While America has an extremely high unemployment rate and most investments these people have made have been dramatically devalued due to the economy, those seem to be the only thing going down in this country.

    The decisions these politicians and the wealthy people have made and continue to demand will cut their own throats. There won't be anyone left to buy their products. Crime rates are already beginning to skyrocket and discontent of the “middle-class” are following suit. The more important question is; what is going to happen when the American people have nothing?

    October 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  242. Pete, NJ

    It would be like Russia in 1917. The better question is what will it be like after the revolution?

    October 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm |