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A lot of recent polls have reported on the grim view Americans have about the economy, and going hand in glove with those is a new Pew Research study that says fewer middle-class Americans now believe they’re moving forward in life than at any time in the last 50 years. A quarter of Americans say that in the past five years they haven’t improved their status and 31 percent say they have fallen backward, according to Pew which based its findings on its own polling plus analysis of data from the Census Bureau data and other sources. Fifty-three percent of Americans identify themselves as middle-class.

The Pew’s own survey, conducted Jan. 24 – Feb. 19, reports that 79 percent of adults say it is more difficult than it was 5 years ago for middle class people to maintain their standard of living, although on the brighter side, two-thirds say they have exceeded the standard-of-living that their parents had at the same age. Twenty-six percent blame the government, 15 percent blame the price of oil, 11 percent blame the people themselves, 8 percent blame foreign competition, and 5 percent blame private corporations. Among those, 35 percent of Democrats blame the government, while 17 percent of Republicans blame the people themselves, 16 percent blame government and 16 percent blame the price of oil.

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