This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

Annihilation of Middle Class

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Having made a point of closely monitoring mainstream economic propaganda, a number of obvious tactics are used repeatedly. One of the most popular of these tools of deception is to lie by "redefining" terms.

In this case, the propagandists at Reuters are endeavouring to hide the annihilation of the U.S. middle-class through their very clumsy effort at redefining the word "affluent." The context of the article was an attempt by Reuters to continue to portray the U.S. as the world's "most affluent" nation. However, any realistic examination of their data must lead to a nearly opposite conclusion.

How does Reuters choose to define "affluent?" It considers any household with a net worth of merely $100,000 to be "affluent." In order to avoid being guilty of the same offense as Reuters, let me be more careful in my own efforts at definition.

To begin with, note that Reuters uses the term "household," rather than "family" or "individual." On the one hand, this means that the "net worth" figure it quoted is not a per capita statistic. On the other hand, it also does not apply to the stereotypical family of four. Some "households" consist of single individuals, some being childless couples, and some being actual families, while a "household" would normally be thought of as (approximately) a two-person unit.

This requires a brief caveat. Since the onslaught of the U.S.'s Greater Depression, families and households have become "extended" -- as millions of Americans impoverished by job losses are forced by economic necessity to move in with other family members. Thus considering a household to be a two-person unit is a very conservative figure, and becoming more so by the day.

So when Reuters is talking about "U.S. affluence," it is basing that label on a paltry, per capita net-worth of only approximately $50,000. Personally, when I consider the "affluent" people whom I know, I would estimate that the vast majority of these individuals have $50,000 worth of "stuff" alone -- i.e. their basic personal possessions (including cars), but not including home-equity, retirement savings, and other savings/investments. All the "affluent" people whom I know would have a net worth of several (many) multiples of that $50,000 figure.

1 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $124.43 0.00%
FB $82.22 0.00%
GOOG $548.00 0.00%
TSLA $188.77 0.00%
YHOO $44.44 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,776.12 -200.19 -1.11%
S&P 500 2,067.89 -18.35 -0.88%
NASDAQ 4,900.8850 -46.5560 -0.94%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs