The Excluded Middle

What’s happening to the middle?

Source: Middle Way Society

In all sorts of situations, the middle is struggling. Take retail: high-end (Tiffany) and low-end (Wal-Mart) sellers are doing fine, but the middle (Sears, JC Penny) is troubled. In electronics, Apple at the top and Huawei at the bottom are okay, but the middle—Samsung—is having difficulty. Among manufacturing economies, high-cost and low-cost—the US and China—are growing, but the middle—Europe—is facing challenges. Why is this?

Economically, it’s been asserted that the middle class is being hollowed out. Highly skilled managers and technicians are in-demand; low-skilled jobs like food-prep and personal services are needed. But middle-skill occupations such as sales or repairs are contracting.

Source: Center for American Progress

Much of life consists in finding a balance between extremes, but that doesn’t seem to be working right now. Technology and trade are making it tough. There’s either a high road or a low one.


Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
Phone: 603-224-1350
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