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The hollowing of America’s middle class

July 25th, 2012
10:51 AM ET

The premise of the "American Dream" is that each generation of children will be more successful than their parents. It defines America and it's what has attracted so many immigrants from around the world. But the reality is that in recent years, the U.S. has become one of the world's most unequal countries, with a shrinking opportunity to move up the ladder.

To add to that, a new report due to be unveiled in September, shows poverty will be higher than it has been at any time since 1965 in the U.S.
Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz discussed his new book, “The Price of Inequality," with Christiane Amanpour Monday. Stiglitz says that America's shrinking middle class endangers the very future of the United States.

CNN’s Ken Olshansky produced this piece for television.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Tanveer Md masood

    The Great American dream is indeed not over yet but certainly going through a rough patch given the current economic and political scenario prevailing out there and its neighboring nations and allies. Economic slow down in Euro Zone has had direct impact on the American economy, disgruntled and unemployed American youths are up against it which has led to the enactment of American Jobs Act, collarado shooting reflects the disillusioned face of American youth,more and more Americans are losing their jobs ...Yes it cannot be denied that Due to offshoring and outsourcing more avenues have opened up for Indian educated class.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
  2. Tanveer Md masood

    Currently, Both Obama and Romney are slugging it out for this years presidential race with war of words being carried between the two.Obamas comment on Kashmir and foreign investment has been met by a little raised eye brow by The Indian Establishment, The Obama care program me was taken to task by Romney who said he would scrap this enactment if elected.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
  3. Gary Dee, Portland, Oregon

    Anyone interested in this topic should check out the Pew Social Mobility Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts.

    It has also received coverage on CNN Money and at NPR News.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply
  4. tomjx

    What Obama really said:

    Somebody helped to create *****this unbelievable American system***** that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business, you didn't build *****that*****. Somebody else made that happen

    July 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Reply
    • Wake Up

      "I'm always struck by people who say 'It must be because I'm just so smart'"..."Or people who say 'It must be because I work so hard...'" Consider the WHOLE context of his speech and you can't worm your way out of his Marxism. No matter how desperate you are to do so.

      August 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  5. Michelle Cabling

    Great interview and panel Stiglitz. Keep it up Christian! Great journalism

    July 25, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  6. Niederkrüchten 2020

    Amazing, the people in the U.S. are starting to think analytically (in systems) not only on sports, but also on social sciences and economics. Sad is it seems that u need a 100,000$ MBA to achieve this level of academic competency. Even more sad is that Germany, brainwashed by Hollywood "GordonGecko" and "Harvard MBA Super Top Elite Student Myth" followed most of these "Free Market ideas" . Lets hope tough regulations for the banks will come soon and the CEO salary debate will continue. As there must be lower boundaries for the poor, there must be also upper boundaries for the rich. The final reset button will come anyway.

    July 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  7. MilitaryAF

    Give it 10 years. 80% of the American population will be working minimum-wage jobs, with minimum wage not increasing during that time, and speaking in spanish.

    August 6, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  8. belinda

    Republicans would love to eliminate the Middle Class. Low income families, have to grovel for the little they get.The Middle Class pay for their own Health Care, but here's the catch, Most have Employee sponsored plans,where Employers contribute a certain amount.Republicans don't want that ( Corporations don't want to give you a penny) , they want for everyone to pay 10,000 a yr for their own Health Care. Even the Middle Class cannot realistically pay that. Only the rich can afford that.We paid 5,000 last yr. couldn't deduct a penny, because it has to be more than 5,000 before you can start deducting.Cadillac Plans for the Rich are deductible. Another Middle Class rip off.

    August 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Reply
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