Economics — society

Why the Collapse of the Middle Class Will Get Worse

The growing wealth gap and the myth of the American dream

Martin Knapp
5 min readSep 3, 2023


image provided by new politics

It’s not in your head. Your lifestyle is becoming more of a struggle every day.

The average national salary in the United States is $59,428 in 2023. Of course you can hedge this by moving to another state where there might be better opportunities available. But even so, the cost of assets continues to rise, while wages remain static.

To be specific though… it’s just your lifestyle that is effected… the middle class, and those already struggling more than you. I’m using America as an example, but the same is being seen across many countries around the world.

data provided by the Economic Policy Institute

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, most of us know this.

In the pursuit of the sound bite, what seems to be forgotten is that this generation is not unique in this struggle. America has been fighting to protect the idea of upward mobility since it’s inception.

The following was probably left out of your High School Social Studies class, as it was in mine:

They [society] ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. ~ James Madison at the Constitutional Convention 1787

That’s James Madison, sometimes known as the ‘Father of the Constitution’, who became the fourth President of the United States, talking about the need to protect the wealthy. He was a complicated guy. He fought for separation of powers in the framework of the Constitution, but against a Bill Of Rights being required. Madison goes on to say, “the advantages of Government cannot be extended equally to all”. He was staunchly against the return of the British Monarchy, but also seemed to be pressing for the protection of “America’s Business Elite”.

President Madison is a great example of how complex the argument of the future of the Middle Class is…



Martin Knapp

I write about economics, geopolitics, and conflict. Short posts on X @GeoPoliticaMK