Where did the middle class go?

March 21, 2019

Let’s delve into one of the least spoken about threats to society, which in my opinion has the most significant impact — the wealth and income inequality, which in simpler terms means: the rich are getting richer, and the poor are already poorer and a middle class that is shrinking at an alarming pace.

The next 10 years

The next ten years are not going to be like the decade before it. We’re in for a very rough ride and the question we need to answer is this. “In the next ten years are we going to be richer or poorer?”

Around the world, the working class is pissed off. How else do you see a world stage where Brexit happened, and Trump is the president of the United States of America. People are tired of what’s happening around the globe economically, and the result of it is the modern political, economic and social landscape we have today.

While reading ahead, keep two questions in mind;

  1. Why are the rich are getting richer and how?
  2. In the next ten years, will we be more productive or more miserable?

I hinted earlier that in the next ten years, we are going to be faced with challenges the likes of which we have yet to see. Physics tells us that every reaction has an equal and opposite reaction, and similarly the next 10 years will unearth opportunities of a scale and quality not seen before.

Have you ever wondered why the middle class in today’s day and age keep shrinking? Where have they gone? 

Having thought about this a lot, I have concluded it’s because the economy and the world today is entirely different. What worked in the past doesn’t apply to the current day and age.

In the past, going to school, getting a job, saving money, buying a house, best set one up for success. This was a tried and tested formula that worked, yet this same formula applied today is why the middle class is disappearing because we live in a completely different socio-economic landscape.

Look beyond the classes

Let’s stop looking at things from a poor and middle-class point of view because in my opinion, we are following obsolete advice and it was the main reason it took me forever to achieve any forward momentum in life. I want to share with you how to see things from the rich standpoint.

Since the beginning of 2000, we have faced three major financial crashes. There was the infamous dot-com crash in 2000, followed by the real estate crash in 2005 and then came the banking and stock market crash in 2008.

These crashes had real repercussions and wiped out millions of people’s life. To add salt to injury the federal reserve bank started to print money, the biggest money printing spree in history which saw the interest rate drop to below zero.

How did this affect all the people who were saving money? Their money is being eaten up by inflation. 

To this day some people still put their money in the bank, trying to earn interest while inflation is far greater than what the bank is going ever to offer them. I cannot fathom why; do they not realize the pittance they are getting, and you are still saving money and chasing after the bonus interest rates they may be getting.

We detail the exact way that ‘saving money’ actually costs you more in a separate article.

As a Muslim, I don’t believe in making money via interest, but I want to ask the general public, what the heck are we doing? 

For people who are still saving money, I want to be brutally honest with you. You may disagree with me but I’m going to share it with you regardless. In today’s day and age, you cannot save your way into safety, security and wealth anymore.

We have way more educated people today than say, ten years ago. If that is the case have you ever wondered why we see a shrinking middle class? This is a problem, and I want everyone who has earned a degree, masters, bachelors or are still in college to think about today because we’re all in genuine trouble.

Were comfortable in our jobs and knowledge, ignorant about financial matters and this is our biggest downfall because we do not try and see a different perspective. 

I was one of those comfortable people, and till I lost my job, I didn’t understand how blind I was.

I went to a 9-5 job. 

I was earning a very comfortable salary, and I was paying tax. 

I owned the house I was living in and had money set aside in savings and was investing regularly. 

It wasn’t until I lost my job and had no income coming in that I realized how quickly money leaves your pocket.

97% of all university graduates including me, don’t know much about taxes. 

We don’t know how to pay fewer taxes to make the maximum benefit out of them. We have no idea and are afraid of tax. We don’t even realize the incentives that we may have available for us. 

There is a real need for workshops on how to use taxes to our benefits and if any of you out there know something about this feel free to reach out to us.

One of the most significant problems I had after finishing my bachelor’s and masters was how my education made me a little arrogant and cocky while being ignorant of the foundations of financial basics. 

I didn’t even know where to get started and what questions to ask. I was a highly educated poor person, who cared about what I knew and not about what I didn’t know.

I learned the hard way that the sign of good intelligence was asking the right questions. The reason I believe the middle class is going to disappear is that they went to school and got educated and learned nothing about money. 

That would be all bad news, but on the bright side if you were proactive and fill the gaps in your knowledge you will come out of it as a better person always. 

You will know the right questions to ask and what you might be able to do, to better your situation rather than sit there and rest on your Higher Education laurels.

The problem with individuals who have Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. is that they believe that they are going to be successful purely because of their education.

While I am not taking away from them the credit for the work done to achieve that, depending on a piece of paper alone to achieve financial success is tantamount to suicide.

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