(Michael Snyder) Do you remember the days when it seemed like almost everyone in America was middle class? Unfortunately, those days are long gone and the grinding down of the middle class in the United States appears to be accelerating. According to a brand new study that was just released by Pew Charitable Trusts, household spending increased by 14 percent between 2004 and 2014, but median household income decreased by 13 percent during that same time period. Both of those figures were adjusted for inflation.

What this means is that the cost of living has steadily gone up, but our incomes have gone down. In fact, as you will see below approximately one-third of all Americans don’t even make enough money to pay for the basic necessities at this point. The middle class is being squeezed like never before, and very few of our leaders seem to care. It isn’t because we are buying a lot of luxuries that our expenses are going up. According to Pew, U.S. families are now spending a larger percentage of their budgets on the basics such as housing, food, health care and transportation than they were a decade ago. READ MORE