by John Oliver Mason (Philadelphia), The Mason Missile, 12/26/15
Greetings, and best wishes for the New Year!
It has happened-According to a report from the Pew Research Center, the American middle class, once the backbone of the economy, is now in the minority. Persons identifying as “middle class” are finding it more difficult to make ends meet; the numbers of “middle class” has shrunk from 53 percent to 44 percent. According to the Pew survey, the number of people who identify as “lower middle” or “lower’ class has risen to 40 percent, as opposed to 25 percent in February 2008.
Here is the “free market” working its magic – the idea that if we just let the capitalists do their thing, without the government intervening – except to grant tax breaks and repress dissidents, like workers organizing – we would all prosper, and not just stockbrokers and hedge-fund managers. We are returning to the period just after the Civil War, the “Gilded Age,” when capitalists dominated the government and all public discussion, when workers – including the women and children – worked from before sunrise to after sunset, in mines loaded with poisonous gasses and ready to collapse, working for close to nothing and having to pay for the equipment to use for the bosses’ prosperity, watched over by supervisors who had no respect for workers and could shoot them if they got out of line – these are the days we’re returning to. Continue reading