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'Third World America': 11 Books Predicting The Collapse Of The Middle Class (PHOTOS)

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 08/09/10 07:45 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 06:15 PM ET

"Third World America": as Arianna says in her video about the book, it's a tough phrase to swallow when it comes to how we perceive America's powerful economy. But one of the characteristics of a third world country is that there is no middle class, and that's what's happening here. It's been a long time coming and probably began during the Reagan years. The 90s saw a steep decline--when we look at how many kids who went off to college only to return home to live with their parents because they couldn't find jobs, or their work didn't pay well enough for them to live on their own. Then came the precipitous decline of this decade, the credit crisis, the housing bubble, the extreme unemployment.

As usual, there were visionaries who saw this coming and wrote about it. Here are eleven books that predicted the situation we're in now.

Let us know what you think. Is a "Third World America" the new normal, or is there something we can do about it?

“Falling From Grace: The Experience of Downward Mobility in the American Middle Class” (1989) Katherine S. Newman
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Newman finds that the American concept of self-worth and success depends on growth and dominance. Observing that stagnant wages have made continual improvement in the middle class quality of life impossible, Newman warns that the new generation will find it difficult to live with less than their predecessors.
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