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Resources for Defending the Middle Class


This page has links to articles and websites with information about major economic trends affecting middle and working class people in America.  The information is organized under general headers that provide an outline of the issues that working people currently face.  This page contains only a tiny sample of the resources available on-line.  We have placed talking points under many of the headers and above the linked sources.

If we are to defeat the escalating attempts to the defund education and social services, to continually lower tax rates for the wealthiest individuals and corporations, and to eliminate collective bargaining, we must be prepared to convince our friends, family and colleagues that free market agenda pushed by the Republicans is taking our country in the wrong direction.  We must also be prepared to contribute to the reforms necessary to move our country in a direction that benefits all Americans.

Please spend some time reading and researching these topics.

Concentration of Wealth in the United States

  • The state Franchise Tax Board reports that during the two decades between 1987 and 2008:
    Inflation-adjusted incomes of the top 10% of California taxpayers increased by 43%; the top 1% by 81%. Meanwhile, incomes of the lower 60% dropped by around 12%.
  • The income gap doubled between the top 1% and the average middle-class Californian.  In 2008, the top 1% enjoyed 39 times the income of the middle class. In 1987, it was about 19 times.

Jobless Recovery

A few articles on employment trends, unemployment, and the effects of joblessness on the unemployed.“jobless-recovery”/2834907/

US Uncut-  Corporate Tax Dodgers 

Progressive Tax Reform  Detailed Progressive Tax Primer  Quick Tri-fold brochure

Public Sector Worker's Total Compensation Less than Private Counterparts

• Heywood and Bender (2010) find that “• Wages and salaries of state and local employees are lower than those for private-sector workers with comparable earnings determinants (e.g., education). State employees typically earn 11% less; local workers earn 12% less.” Heywood and Bender also find that “State and local employees have lower total compensation than their private sector counterparts. On average, total compensation is 6.8% lower for state employees and 7.4% lower for local workers, compared with comparable private sector employees.”

• Keefe (2011) finds that “On average, full-time state and local employees are undercompensated by 3.7%, in comparison to otherwise similar private-sector workers. The public employee compensation penalty is smaller for local government employees (1.8%) than state government workers (7.6%).”

• Schmitt (2010) finds that “When state and local government employees are compared to private-sector workers with similar characteristics—particularly when workers are matched by age and education—state and local workers actually earn 4% less, on average, than their private-sector counterparts. For women workers, the publicsector penalty is about 2% of earnings; for men, it is about 6% of earnings.”

Public Sector Workers Take Layoffs, Paycuts, and Furloughs during Economic Downturn

The Truth About Pensions

Pensionomics-Fact Sheet on the Economics of California's Pensions

Inadequacy of 401(k) Plans

The Perfect Swindle- How 401(k)s Ruined Retirement Security and What We Can Do

Unions Improve Wages and Working Conditions For All Workers