Rich and poor vs. the middle

If nothing else, the Occupy Wall Street movement has turned the national spotlight onto the issue of class and the divide between the wealthy and poor. For years, a popular  notion has held that the middle class is shrinking and the extreme ends of the economic scale are growing. In today’s NY Times, an interesting graphic and related article demonstrating the truth of that popular notion: the middle class is shrinking.

What do we know about changes in the North Country? Can you point us to comparable demographic information for the counties north of Albany? Or for northwestern Vermont? Does our region show the same changes in economic class as urban American?

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5 Responses to “Rich and poor vs. the middle”

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  1. Paul says:

    What a confusing way to show the data. Why pool the rich and the poor? Is it so hard to just put three lines on the graph?

    I am sure it is not the case that all the motion is in the upward direction? But you could interpret that from the graph.

    One thing is clear this trend is not a recent development.

  2. Martha Foley says:

    The mapping is confusing, too. Can I assume that the affluent folks are taking up proportionally much more real estate as their numbers expand, while the growing lower income group is jamming in?

  3. Pete Klein says:

    The graph makes you wonder what the purpose was. It might have made more sense to not lump the poor and the middle classes together.
    I think Martha is correct about the mapping. It would appear the uppers are fleeing the cities but this has been going on in many cities except, perhaps, for NYC where the uppers do love Manhattan.

  4. Ellen Rocco says:

    I thought it was interesting precisely because it does present the information differently than we ordinarily see it, i.e., showing that both poor and affluent sectors are growing while middle class is shrinking in comparison. The article is about that shrinkage.

  5. tootightmike says:

    I’m willing to bet that during this extended recession, far more are moving down than up. It would be interesting to see this graph properly displayed, and even more interesting to compare the same sort of factors on a global scale.