Data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the middle class has continued to shrink in the Garden State. As Governor Christie puts the finishing touches on tomorrow’s State of the State Address and works to complete his budget plans he must take seriously the need for strengthening and increasing our middle class. Discontent among the middle class is rising. There are steps he and the legislature can take.
Middle class is defined variously, but as a positional term it’s above lower class and below upper class. There has been attention recently on the lower class with the resulting increase in the minimum wage, concern over the safety net, higher ACA Medicaid enrollment, and an effort to restore NJ’s full Earned Income Tax Credit. There has also been a fixation and anger over the increasing wealth of the upper class. There has been less attention to the largest single group – the middle class.
One possible definition of the middle class is that it’s between 75% and 250% of the median household income of the area. In New Jersey the median household income is $71,629, so the range for a middle class household would be $54,000 to $179,000. Over 50% of NJ households fit into this range.
Below the fold are recommended solutions.