The bankruptcy bill passed on April20,2005 by the Bush administration merely strengthens the idea that the American middle class is made up of greedy, irresponsible people, who prefer to file for bankruptcy in stead of repaying their debts, and who think bankrupts lead a carefree life. The press too adds to this note of gloom saying that people spend more on luxury goods and on bigger and fancier houses and cars that they can ill afford. The critics also say that there is more competition among neighbors to own the best branded goods, while at the same time the altruistic instinct of supporting education or culture has diminished.
Economic data of present times show that families now have more money to spend as more members are earning. The typical two income family of the present where both the husband and wife are earning make75 percent more than what a typical family of the last generation
earned. Although they have more to spend, their savings have drastically fallen. They are the educated class, having decent jobs, but they find it difficult to pay their medical bills. Filing for bankruptcy has increased drastically among this class.
Warren and Tyagi argue that the reason for the financial crisis among the middle class is not their spendthrift habits, but that they have to spend much more for basic necessities, like housing, school for the children, healthcare and basic expenses. Families who face the calamity of foreclosure, are isolated, instead of being supported. The authors put up a strong case against the credit industry which is at the bottom of the myth of overspending by the middle class. They conclude by giving a number of suggestions for improving the situation.
America is an affluent society, considering the global situation. The middle class, which is the backbone of the American society has never been so prosperous as it is now. .But it is becoming harder and harder for them to have a comfortable life. They are working harder now just to pay for the basics, but still they are blamed for their inability to meet their financial obligations .Unjust accusations are leveled at them as squanderers of money and irresponsible borrowers. A little reflection will convince us that the middle class, far from being irresponsible, is a hard working, decent set of people which only wants to live comfortably and bring up its children as good citizens. Improvement of schools, improving the public transport, making healthcare free and strict regulations to control the credit card industry are some of the remedies which can be implemented to help ease their burden of debt.
An average American now owns a car, a color television, a home, many gadgets which make life easy, whereas an average Indian or Chinese would think of all these as prerogatives of the high income group. It s not uncommon for an American elementary school teacher to own two cars ,but a similar school teacher from an African country can only dream of it. Even considering the situation in the times of our grandparents, the present day bourgeoisie have a better deal. 'Thrift' was the operating word in the times of our grandparents, and 'spend' seems to be the operating word now. Our grandparents usually had their meals at home, going to the restaurant once in a while, as a treat. The present generation eats most of its meals