U.S. Government Needs To Subsidize The Middle Class. Which Middle Class?

Modest middle class homes, long since gentrified. House prices are now stratospheric.

The housing development industry on both sides of the Atlantic has succeeded in an enormous propaganda campaign to redefine the middle class based on a need for more luxurious housing than they can afford.

Developers and builders are quite transparent about their own interests: due to rising land, material and labour costs, they can only afford to build housing that is at the luxury end of the scale. This housing is out of reach of the middle class, unless the government agrees (and so far the sales pitch has been successful because the government does agree) to in some way subsidize the housing.

In America, the term ‘workforce’ is now characterized as that deserving middle class that is the heart and soul of the engine which drives the country. The working poor have been edited out of this definition and are not, for the purposes of satisfying the development industry, part of the nation’s ‘workforce.’

But there is a whole other middle class out there, largely overlooked, older, not upwardly mobile, not marching hopefully to a gentrified future. That middle class, clinging to respectability in older suburbs, dependent on shrinking income or pension, might more deserving of support and subsidy than the so-called ‘workforce.’

Read more about the growing plight of the ‘other’ middle class in Governing: The Importance (and Neglect) of America’s ‘Middle Neighborhoods’

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