By Vicki Needham - 03/16/10 02:05 PM EDT
ABC News is broadcasting this week a series on the economic issues facing the middle class, the responsibilities that major financial institutions have to American families and what needs to be done to foster the resurgence of a sustainable middle class.
The American middle class, long the backbone of this country and the envy of the rest of the world, is dispirited. It is feeling financially threatened and may be in danger of losing its sense of upward mobility, the mojo that underpins the U.S. economy and America's famously optimistic attitude, according to the ABC News story.
A new ABC News poll shows that while nearly 50 percent of Americans see themselves as middle class, four in 10 say they're struggling to hold on. See the poll here.
The numbers give a sense of Americans feeling stalled. Only 6 percent of those in the middle class see themselves moving up beyond their current status, according to the poll results.
In the last 20 years, family income has increased by only 20 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, compared to almost 100 percent growth in the 30 years prior. Meanwhile the cost of basic needs like housing and health insurance have continued to rise.
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