Destroying the middle class

A prosperous economy rests upon a middle class financially capable of consuming the goods and services produced by the wealthy, the owners and managers of the means of production. Consumption is primarily carried out by the middle class. The poor don’t have the ability to consume and the rich, after purchasing the limited amount of goods they need and a little that is mere extravagance, store the bulk of their wealth in savings.

A healthy middle class capable of making an economy prosper consists of lots of individuals working full time jobs that pay a living wage. America’s economy is sick because its middle lacks those good jobs and because all of the wealth is flowing to the wealthy. This is not left wing class warfare propaganda. It is economic fact.

I believe the principal cause of the weakness of the economy and the middle class is the demise of the union. In 1928, before unionism got rolling, 28 percent of the nation’s income went to the richest 1 percent. By the late 1960s, when unionism was at its peak and around 30 percent of all private sector jobs were union, the richest 1 percent took around 8 percent of national income. In those days average CEO compensation was 40 times average worker pay. Now, when unions only represent 6 percent of private sector jobs, the richest are back up to 28 percent of national income and the average CEO gets 400 times average worker pay.

Our national priority should be to restore the middle class by creating good jobs and reversing the flow of wealth. Right wingers decry income redistribution through government action as socialism. But, it is no worse in effect than the redistribution caused by capitalists and their government toadies crushing unions which sent all the money to the top in the first place. They also bemoan the national debt as the biggest problem, but the average American first has to put food on the table before he has the luxury of paying for unfunded, unwanted, never-ending wars, world-wide military aggression, a bloated military and technology used to spy on Americans.

Patrick Radcliff

Vienna