DMI’s First Annual Survey on the Middle Class and Public Policy Finds Broad Policy Agreement Among Fearful Families

Source: DMI, August 19, 2008

DMI’s first annual survey on the Middle Class and Public Policy reveals that America’s middle-class households are fearful families – overwhelmingly pessimistic about the direction of the country, especially the economy and high gas prices. Most have little flexibility in their own economic situations and have little if anything left over each month after meeting basic expenses. The middle class is disgruntled with the direction of the country and politicians and see little coming out of Washington that would give them cause for optimism.

Middle-class Americans do know what policies they would like to see enacted. Despite media depictions of a sharp red and blue divide, the nation’s middle class displays broad consensus on a range of public policies aimed at easing their economic squeeze: they support a universal national health insurance plan, requiring employers to provide paid family and medical leave, making it easier for employees to join labor unions and allowing bankruptcy judges to change mortgage payments to keep homes out of foreclosure. A majority of middle-class adults – whether they are Democrats, Republicans, or independents and whether they are supporters of John McCain or Barack Obama for President – believe that these policies represent good ideas for the country. Regardless of party affiliation or presidential preference, these Fearful Families think largely alike.

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