The Downward Mobility of America's Black Middle Class

Friday, November 18, 2011

For many Americans, keeping a foothold in the middle class is very difficult. A recent report by the Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts finds that a third of Americans who are born in the middle class lose their middle class status as adults. Another Pew study notes that African Americans experience the most downward mobility — almost half of children born to middle income African American families fall to the bottom of the income ladder as adults.

Ellis Cose is a journalist and author of "The End of Anger." Writing about the experiences of black Americans on, he said, "Many of us instead were convinced that the deck was stacked against us, that no matter how hard we worked, we would never get a fair shake."

University of Maryland assistant professor of sociology Kris Marsh, however, is cautiously optimistic.

Comments [4]


Every hint of racism is stoked (except for African-American conservatives) yet does the OWS supporting hosts recognize that the great enemy according to the left were the "neo-cons" and now the "bankers" and "moneylenders".
Is that code language and why is that other evidence of anti-semitism being ignored?

The mortgage bubble was caused by government interference in the lending industry which was supported by leftist politicians which is completely ignored in this discussion.

Divide, distract and deceive seem to be the goal of the media into the election year.

Nov. 18 2011 10:56 AM
Kris Marsh from College Park MD

My comment regarding education was more so related to the report by the Economic Mobility Project and the need to look at those with a college degree and beyond to see if this notion of downward mobility is still as pronounced. With a changing labor market, income and wage inequalities, and wealth disparities, I would suggest that there are no mechanisms in place to prevent downward mobility.

Nov. 18 2011 09:58 AM
Rick Evans from 10473

Matis Prof. Marsh lives on the planet Collegistan where the solution to every socioeconomic problem is more school just like to the handyman who only owns a hammer sees every problem as a nail.

One does not need a B.S. degree to drive a taxi, truck or bus, to own a store, to fix plumbing or paint houses. But one can earn a middle class income doing so.

Nov. 18 2011 09:37 AM

Excuse me but what planet does Prof. Marsh live on?
Pushing bachelor degrees as the solution is ridiculous when so many people with Master and professional degrees cannot find work. Education, although important for many reasons, isn't a panacea.

Nov. 18 2011 08:40 AM

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