Educational Accomplishment

The Collapse Of The Middle Class: Threat To American Stability

Growing income inequality is turning many middle class neighborhoods into slums or ghettos, as poverty spreads rapidly, accelerated by the Great Recession, which began in 2008.

A Stanford University study demonstrates this reality: In 2007, only 44 percent of families lived in middle class neighborhoods, down from 65 percent in 1970. And one third of families lived in neighborhoods of affluence or poverty, up from just 15 percent in 1970.

The affluent are being segregated from the declining middle class, and becoming less willing to support broad based schools, parks, and public transportation projects that benefit the general public. Fourteen percent of families now live in affluent neighborhoods, compared to seven percent in 1970.

The effects of the growth of poverty is that children from poverty backgrounds have less access to quality education and support networks to encourage accomplishment and work goals.

This reality is showing up in educational accomplishments, as the standardized test scores now show a gap of 40 percent, a bigger gap than four decades ago. And college completion of children from high income families is more than half the population, up about one third from twenty years ago, and less than ten percent among low income families, up from five percent.

As everyone should know, education is the bridge to success and social mobility, so this Stanford study is extremely troubling for the long run of social stability in America.

This is one of the major reasons for the Occupy Wall Street movement, as it is manifesting itself, not only in New York City but all across the nation.