The politics of downward mobility and racial diversity have eroded the center, pushing Democrats to the left and Republicans toward an authoritarian right.By Harold Meyerson
Two years ago, a pollster for Democratic candidates told me he’d begun advising his clients to cease emphasizing “the middle class” when speaking of those Americans whose interests they were defending. Many Americans who once thought of themselves as middle-class, he argued, no longer did.
Last year, a Pew Research Center survey confirmed those Americans’ assessment. The share of income going to middle-class Americans declined from 62 percent in 1970 to 43 percent in 2014, while the share going to upper-income households rose from 29 percent to 49 percent.