The American middle class — of which some 80 percent of Americans claim to be a part — is getting anxious. While there is no carved-in-stone edict about what it means to be middle class, it’s the term that Americans hang their dreams on.
It suggests earning enough to get by without struggling; being able to afford health care, college costs and the occasional trip to Disney World. The middle-class ideal is tied to earning power, and it’s there that confidence is eroding. Over the last five years, while most workers’ incomes have increased slowly or not at all, costs have reached record levels. Housing costs are up 23 percent, college costs up 44 percent and health insurance costs up 71 percent.
And while the traditional economic outlook is bleak, the green economy is taking shape, bringing with it the promise of well-paying manufacturing jobs; of management and sales opportunities with huge growth potential and lots of niche positions for enterprising students and job seekers looking for alternative careers. On the upper tiers of the economic ladder, many CEOs and CFOs are already jumping into green jobs, and online green job directories are heavy with listings for those with established business experience.
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