Snoofy, I often find that people who want to try to control the economy to fit some moral concepts they possess tend to have a poor grasp of the actual facts, and lend little effort to skeptical, objective analysis. This is true with not just economics, but the economic arena is an area that particularly affects everyone, so such people's perceptions, and the votes they cast in response, is relevant to us all. These perceptions, or misperceptions, are often blown out of proportion, overly inflated, or are completely counterfactual.
For instance, you said that the middle class was "slowly shrinking over time" and in fact expressed incredulity at anybody who failed to perceive what you clearly seem to think is an obvious trend.
Perhaps we should look at the facts instead of narratives, carry out simple, objective analysis, and tailor our views to the facts.
According to the Pew Research Center, as portions of adult US population, from 1971 to 2021:
...the "lower income" grew from 25% to 29%.
...the "middle income" shrank from 61% to 50%.
...the "upper income" grew from 14% to 21%.
(Source: "How the American middle class has changed in the past five decades". authors Kochhar, Sechopoulos).
I haven't looked for data about changes from 2021 to 2023. Maybe I will sometime, but for now let's just use this.
Now, is the kind of rhetoric you've clearly been listening to, and passing on, really warranted? Is there a crisis of "middle class shrinkage"? Is there an economic "problem" here?
Well, while it is true that the middle class shrank, you will notice that of the 11% of the population that shifted out of the middle class from 1971 to 2021, 7 of those 11 percentage points actually moved into the UPPER income echelon (hence the increase from 14% to 21% of upper income earners), and only 4 of those 11 percentage points moved into the "lower income" earners.
This is not a crisis. What we are in fact talking about is that over the course of FIFTY YEARS 4% of the population moved from "middle income" to "lower income" - 4%. The rest of the change (the majority in fact) has been POSITIVE - people either staying "middle income" or moving into the "upper income" brackets.
Your entire narrative rests substantively on a 4%-age point negative change that took place over FIFTY YEARS, and completely ignores the fact that the majority of the change that occurred was actually POSITIVE for more people! By a substantial margin! Can anybody even say with a straight face that a 4%-age point change over FIFTY years is something that random variation couldn't substantially impact?
Moreover, that same Pew article notes following:
Median Incomes, 2020 Dollars, Scaled to Reflect 3-person Household
Upper Income (1970 | 2020 | % change): 130,008 | 219,572 | 69%
Middle Income (1970 | 2020 | % change): 59,934 | 90,131 | 50%
Lower Income (1970 | 2020 | % change): 20,604 | 29,963 | 45%
You know, while I'm not happy that 4% of the population moved from making 60k in 1970 down to 30k in 2020, I am VERY happy for the 7% of people who moved from making 60k in 1970 to making 219k in 2020.
I've heard you say in other comments things akin to "we need an economic model that keeps incomes up with productivity" - as if you believe the government can - or should - just magically dictate what people's incomes should be. And your moral justification is...what? The 4% of the population that took a hit? The well-being of 4% of the population should dictate how the rest of us live our lives?
Much more could be said about this subject and subjects like this. But the facts should guide us - the relevant facts that actually paint a clear picture. Not rhetoric or narratives that fit someone's personal moral beliefs.