vanishing middle class

Slide This series examines the decline of rural communities that has occurred in many parts of the United States. Many economists, sociologists, political scientists have long suggested the existence of a second America, and a recent book by MIT economist Peter Temin (The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy) argues that the middle class is vanishing and America is becoming more of a developing country instead of a developed country.

Using images taken in the state of New Mexico, this series of images suggest narratives of change, decline, and abandonment. Looking at this phenomenon at a higher level, somewhat akin to a windshield survey, these images are depictive and observational, and do not attempt to answer why this transformation of the American middle class into two groups has taken place.

Instead, these images document place and provide a glimpse into the surface of an emerging second world where workers earn lower wages, are saddled with debt, and if they are employed, work in industries that offer little of the job security afforded workers in the financial and high technology sectors that account for an increasing share of the benefits of economic growth in an increasingly globalized and technology-driven world.
Slide Brick House, Mosquero, New Mexico, March 18, 2017 New Layer Electric Power Lines and Farm Structures, Wagon Mound,
New Mexico, March 10, 2018
Slide Swing Set, Santa Rosa, New Mexico, April 16, 2016 Slide Trailer Home, Anton Chico, New Mexico, April 23, 2016 Slide Pink Adobe House, Tres Piedras, New Mexico, April 11, 2015 Slide Café, Vaughan, New Mexico, April 15, 2017 Slide White Van, San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico, February 12, 2015
Slide Vet’s Garage, Ojo Caliente, New Mexico, November 12, 2016 Slide School Bus, Encino, New Mexico, April 15, 2017 Slide Café, Vaughan, New Mexico, April 15, 2017 Slide Abandoned Motel, Gallup, New Mexico, December 5, 2015