Declining Middle Class Income In AnyTown USA

sprint stores closing - pleasecountme projectHouston, we have a problem. In fact, much of America has a problem. We are all in this together.

Most people are not immune forever from a continuing economic scourge that has left many people unemployed, under-employed, fully employed but disengaged, or super-employed but on the verge of burn out. If one has any reasonable sized network of family and friends, then they know somebody in each of those categories. While unemployment or underemployment is not a condition that is contagious, those with “good” jobs for now could also join the ranks of the unemployed.

Hallmark store closing - pleasecountme projectEconomic Reality is All Around Us

It doesn’t really matter what the latest JOBS report says, or what the media or politicians believe to be true. What matters is people’s own economic reality. When a physicist with an advanced degree or trained pharmacy technician can’t find a job or a graduate student cannot repay her student loans and mom and dad (both laid off from their corporate jobs) are living off of what would have someday been retirement, then we all have a problem. That is the human side of the story. Guess what – those humans are also (in a better economy) consumers that buy goods and services in their local communities.

Smith and Hawken stores closing - pleasecountme projectShredded Confidence

But, declining middle class income is shredding confidence and diminishing the real ability to purchase goods and services in local communities. Practically speaking this means that cars are driven longer, shoes are replaced later, even holey socks and longer hair persist. That is continuing bad news for main street America since the upper income folks are not likely to make up for the shortage of buying and consuming activity. Even Jay Leno doesn’t have 10,000 cars. This means that if companies cannot make up for the shortfall in foreign markets then they are likely to close stores, shutter plants and shed even more jobs. If this downward spiral seems familiar then you’ve been paying attention to the headlines and reality between those headlines. If this doesn’t resonate with you then you probably need to take off your rose-colored glasses, read more, have more conversations, and look at signs in your own community.

Human Centered Project Gives People a Voice

The Please Count Me project is a human centered non-partisan project that aims to shift public perception and provide a fact based reality that can help policy makers create policy that gets more Americans working in order to create an America that works for all Americans. No matter your employment status, your voice is important. If you want to report your employment status and make your voice count please get counted.

Gregory Olson

Gregory Olson is the Author of The Experience Design BLUEPRINT: Recipes for Creating Happier Customers and Healthier Organizations. Find the book or author page on Amazon. Reach Gregory on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. See a complete profile on About Me.

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