Hmmm... My take is that the US middle class is shrinking because people in the US really don't know how to do much of anything anymore. And moreso than that, they don't want to know how to do much of anything anymore. I entered the job market - with an actual "career", in 1993 after graduating with a degree in textile design/textile technology. The first thing I noticed when I started getting jobs at "reputable" companies was that not many of the people working there actually knew a whole lot about how to design, manufacture, and sell textiles. That was right about the time the textile industry started opening plants in Mexico...(when Mexico got too expensive they turned to India and China, then they stopped opening plants overseas and just started importing...) Fact is, US universities are graduating fewer and fewer people who know how to do things - how to design things, how to make things, how to market things and how to sell more things. The only way that can be fixed is by people taking an active interest in participating in their own lives, their own economy, their own destiny. I now work for a small, but extremely successful, manufacturing facility that has always and only operated in the US and will continue to do so for as long as can be foreseen at the moment. The reason for this has nothing to do with taxes or outsourcing or immigration or anything else. It exists and thrives solely because the owner and employees derive a great deal of satisfaction from being able to do something - to design something, to make something, to market something, to sell something. A thing - a tagible object that we create through our creativity and ingenuity that is useful and beautiful and other people are willing to pay for, even though it is a bit more expensive than the crap improted from China and India. For 20 years I have held a a variety of jobs in a "dying" US manufacturing industry (only unemployed once for 3 months) - currently holding the best position at the best company I could have ever hoped to work for. And all it takes is just a few people who know how to do something. And actually, there is an answer - profit simply is't everything. Quality of life, quality of the workplace, quality of education, quality product and quality people matter. You pay a higher price for better labour to obtain a better product that creates better consumer relations which provide steady and reliable profit margins consistently without having to resort to getting the most profit for the least cost to compensate for lost sales due to poor product performance or customer relations. The middle class is the middle class for a reason - because the middle class is A-OK. We all don't have to be the owner, it is plenty good to be a top-notch worker at a top-notch company, making top-notch wages to make a top-notch product. It's plenty good to know that after 20 years of that, I'll have my house paid off, enough money to live comfortably through my retirement and be able to do most of the things I want to do with my life. Will I ever own a yacht and a mansion and a mink coat? Nope, but, I never really wanted to anyway, so what does that matter?