Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A make or break moment for the middle class

I agree with President Obama when in today's economic speech in Kansas he said that "This is a make or break moment for the middle class..." It certainly is, but maybe not the way he wanted it to be. The middle class of our parents is plain and simply "over." Gone. Kaput. RIP. And, it is not coming back, at least in its old form.
We are in the process of recovering from the collapse of what I will call "The Middle Class Bubble" that dates back to the 1960's (if not earlier) as unions coerced or connived with corporate management and politicians to artificially boost so-called "middle class" incomes and benefits in a grossly unsustainable manner.
That bubble started to deflate/burst in the late 1970's and early 1980's and the recent housing bubble and debt/financial crisis was simply the final nail in the coffin of that old, unsustainable model of the "middle class" of the late 20th century.
So, to answer the President, yes, this is that defining moment, and we now need to formally acknowledge that the old middle class simply is no more, and is now being replaced with a newer and more sustainable middle class, with lower pay and benefits to be sure, but more sustainable, which is the important thing.
Also, we need to acknowledge that there really is still a separate "working class" and that past misguided economic policies improperly boosted members of the working class into the middle class bubble in an unsustainable manner and now many of those workers need to formally acknowledge that they really are "working class" and not "middle class."
In short, this is literally a "make or break" moment, or actually a "break and make" moment, where we break from the old, unsustainable economic model of a bloated middle class and make a new and much more sustainable economic model with a leaner middle class and a thriving working class.

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