Real Estate Woes Hemorrhaging Wealth from the Middle Class

An article on the Washington Post Wonkblog shows how deeply the real estate crash impacted the wealth of the Middle Class—now on the tail end of three lost decades.

"Nostalgia is just about the only thing the middle class can still afford," writes Matt O'Brien. "That's because median wealth is about 20 percent lower today, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than it was in 1984."

"It's all about stocks and houses. The middle class doesn't have much of the former, but it does have a lot of the latter. And that's bad news, because, even though the crash decimated both, real estate hasn't come back nearly as much as equities have." Moreover, "the housing bust was big enough to erase all the gains the middle class had made the past 30 years—and then some."

The problem is further exacerbated by stagnant real wages and increasing costs for things like healthcare, education, and housing.

Full Story: The middle class is 20 percent poorer than it was in 1984


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