The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Equally Hammered: Everybody Winning the Race To The Bottom

The march of equality though the last century and into this one is an unequivocally good thing. But there’s another, more troubling sense of the word “equality” that we would just as soon not see make much headway. According to a new Pew report (h/t Forbes), since 2008 the number of whites and Hispanics who rate themselves as “lower class” has shot up to 31 and 40 percent, respectively, while the corresponding percentage for blacks has held steady at 33 percent. In other words, we’re all on the way to being equally broke.

Worse than this, however, is that these new poor are disproportionately young. Nearly 40 percent of adults under 30 define themselves as “lower class”—14 points more than at the beginning of the Obama administration. Unsurprisingly, college graduates were less likely than those with some or no college education to put themselves in the “lower class,” but the number of them who did still grew from 12 to 17 percent. Obama’s war on the young appears to be taking its toll.

Somehow, one believes that the administration’s war on economic inequality was not aimed at getting a result like this.

Published on September 12, 2012 7:00 pm