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Leonid Bershidsky

Germany's Middle Class Is Endangered, Too

The post-industrial revolution is taking a toll far beyond the U.S.
Manufacturing jobs.

Manufacturing jobs.

Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The plight of the middle class is one of the hottest topics in the U.S. presidential campaign. Candidates compete to offer plans for the revival of the dependable middle, the foundation of society. The polarization isn't only occurring in the U.S., though. In Germany, with its far more socialist income redistribution model, the middle class also is endangered. 

In both countries, the middle class is shrinking as a share of the general population, and so is the share of income that accrues to it. But the reasons for the contraction tell a lot about the different priorities of the two societies.