Since the 1970s the American middle-class has been under assault from above. Despite the right’s rejection of a class-war taking place there is evidence aplenty that such is the reality. For decades the focus market for American manufacturers and retailers was the giant middle-class. An article in the New York Times reports a fundamental shift in that age-old truth. The focus market today is the upper-class because that’s where the disposable income is.
The Times reports that restaurant chains such as Olive Garden and Red Lobster “are struggling” while upscale restaurants are doing big business. The same holds true in the motel/hotel business. Upscale chains like Four Seasons are seeing nice increases in average revenues while the Super 8s and Best Westerns are experiencing stagnation. The middle-class is making far fewer trips to Disney World these days.
Even in manufacturing the shift is occurring. General Electric is making fewer appliances for the mid-market buyer and increasing its output of high-end equipment. I just wonder if those upper-class buyers of near commercial quality kitchens even cook.
So once again supportive information of a dying middle-class avails itself and this time the info comes from the business community itself. The financial reports of many companies support the reality that middle America is suffering. The reasons are complex but much of it lies in the political influence the wealthy have purchased for themselves. For the better part of half a century they have been able to increasingly stack the deck in their favor. Both parties are guilty with the only difference between the two being the Republican fat cats are richer than the Democratic fat cats and can buy more lobbyists.