Read About and Speak Out for the Middle Class

Chuck Sheketoff

Read About and Speak Out for the Middle Class

Oregon’s middle class is fraying, with well-paying jobs in short supply and the cost of raising a family dramatically increasing.

As Bob Herbert, former New York Times columnist and now a distinguished senior fellow at Demos, notes “The American Dream is vanishing before our eyes. Sadly, Oregonians who work hard and play by the rules can no longer expect to provide a decent life for their families.”

The recession upped the pressure on Oregon’s middle class, but the stress had been building over several decades The problem is set out in The Fraying of Oregon’s Middle Class (PDF), a new report released today by the Oregon Center for Public Policy (OCPP) and Demos.

The report examines three developments that have seriously strained Oregon’s middle class: the scarcity of well-paying jobs, the rising costs of raising a family and the economic hardships faced by young workers, such as student debt levels and stagnant or declining wages.

This report should be a wake-up call for Oregon lawmakers and our congressional delegation to rebuild the middle class, the backbone of the state’s economy.

That’s why we released it on the eve of “jobs not cuts” rallies throughout Oregon this week heading into Labor Day.

Here’s the schedule for the rallies. Read The Fraying of Oregon’s Middle Class (PDF) and make your voice heard at a rally.

Help stop the fraying of the middle class.


Oregon Center for Public PolicyChuck Sheketoff is the executive director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy. You can sign up to receive email notification of OCPP materials at www.ocpp.org.

Comments

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    "This report should be a wake-up call for Oregon lawmakers and our congressional delegation to rebuild the middle class, the backbone of the state’s economy."

    How?

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      I have to agree. Too often thousands of people show up in support of a cause and then nothing happens.

      You have a pre-screened crowd. Let's start getting petitions in their hands. Let's comb them for potential candidates. Let's get them to commit to volunteer to do work for a party. Gathering everyone in the street is not a bad thing, but you have to move it past that step.

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    I find the report an excellent collection of statistics and charts on the economic trends hitting today’s middle class. While the report makes no clear prescriptions, it seems to suggests that stronger and more unions (or workers fighting for their fair share) could restore the middle class. Well, yes, but only if such workers are smart and fighting for the right changes. Trying to bring back the past, IMHO, will not do it. I posted on it on my own blog here.

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    There is such a huge disconnect between the federal Republican House just as there is with Oregon's Republican House---NOTHING--is getting done of any consequence to the 98% of Americans so needy of healthcare access, jobs, housing, heating, --ALL safety net provisions which literally keep Americans alive. At the same time we have millionaires/billionaires soi filthy rich they wallow in it! My neighbor could not purchase enoiugh Christmas gifts this past year--I believe we counted well over 20 casrloads packed with gifts for just 5 people--he's CEO for Citicorp. Then I go into Hillsboro's ghetto and wonder if that CEO neighbor ever drives past the poor and those whose homes the banks have stolen?

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