The Rise, Fall, and Restoration Of The Middle Class

The Rise, Fall, and Restoration Of The Middle Class

Despite a spike in non-believers, the middle class was built by “movements” and can be rebuilt by movements. Since the “common man”, America’s middle class has been hailed as our beloved nation’s virtuous heart, soul, and backbone. How ironic, since it took 150 years to create a broad middle class. considering before 1930 most Americans were poor, or close to it. And yes, created is the correct term for how it came to be, pushed by two historic forces of social and economic transformation. 

First, the devastation of the Great Depression created a grassroots rebellion of labor, farmers, and others against the careless wealthy class that caused the 1929 crash. These forces produced FDR and his New eal of Union Rights, Social Security, and other tools that empowered ordinary Americans to stand tall and rise from the sting of poverty. 

Second, the government’s national mobilization for World War 11 created an explosion of new jobs and opportunities for millions, opening people’s eyes, boosting confidence, and raising expectations of hope for a peaceful and prosperous future. A postwar rise in unionism, the passage of the GI Bill, a housing program, and other progressive programs led to a doubling of the median family income in only 30 years, creating a middle class that included nearly 60 percent of Americans by the late 1970″s. 

Then –poof!- Washinton’s commitment to the middle class suddenly fizzled while in the 1980s, Reagan Republicans and many Democrats switched from supporting to backing the elitism of the corporate donors, while steadily disempowering workers to enthrone the rich, thus imposing today’s abominable American culture of inequality across our land. Just as progressives deliberately pushed public policies to create the middle class, so are today’s economic royalists deliberately pushing plutocratic policies to destroy it. That’s the momentous struggle that calls us to action in this polarized political situation.

The post-WW1 era of the 1920s was also a time of prosperity and opportunities. The middle class was enjoying a higher standard of living American women earned the right to vote giving many young women a new sense of empowerment. With industrialization and the expansion of the labor market, the middle class began to rise and make a lasting impact on society. The middle class, once the economic stratum of a clear majority of American adults, has steadily contracted in the past five decades. 

Now is the beginning of a social movement called “You And Me”, that will open doors of imperative discussion, that in time, will create a new generation of young people who will awaken to the urgency of connection, community, and involvement. A renewed “middle class” of Americans that will establish solidarity and a bright and meaningful future.


A bond of love and friendship

A unity of hearts and minds

A spirit of togetherness

A promise to stand together 

Through good times and bad

No matter what we have 

Courage to be brave

A Willingness to listen

A pledge to never give up

For a chance to make a difference

Blessings dear friends,

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Comments (2)

  • e

    Drake, your recent post regarding the middle class couldn't be more accurate!! It is our younger generation that needs to rise up and stand for us, the American people! The line in the sand between the wealthy and the poor of our society today needs to be erased. Keep writing, keep reading, and keep listening everyone!

  • Naomi

    It has taken me awhile to absorb this information!! The middle class is barely existent but has a history of being strong, vigilant and determined. A poem I wrote for a women’s group that I was president of for a few years, comes to mind.. I’ll share a portion of it: Together We Stand : So here we are, together again Another year we face,united we should be and God will give us grace, until we reach our goals Stand proud, stay true to our faith, and indeed our souls. Never should I expect of you something that I myself cannot do. May we all have a desire to make a difference!

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