From Walmart to Hershey to Campbell's Soup, America's biggest retailers and manufacturers are warning their shareholders that flat growth is a fact of life because of "consumer bifurcation," which is plutocrat-speak for "everyone is broke except the one percent." The companies' plan for rescuing themselves is to turn themselves into luxury brands targeted at the wealthy.
The share of households in the middle tier of income earners has fallen to 43% from 55% since the 1970s, according to The New York Times.
And those households in the middle tier haven't gotten a raise since 1999.
After adjusting for inflation, US median household income, at $53,657 in 2014, is still 6.5% lower than pre-recession levels in 2007, and 7.2% lower than its peak in 1999, according to the US Census Bureau.
The disappearing middle class is threatening American mega brands
[Hayley Peterson/Business Insider]