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Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

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September 21, 2023

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Reestablishment of American middle class not plausible in today’s society

Most would agree that a strong middle class is the backbone and a major economic stabilization factor of the American economy, as well as the ultimate goal of those who believe in the “American dream” and upward mobility.

Most would also agree on the desirability of making it accessible to the greatest number of people.

The term itself has many definitions. One popular definition covers households whose annual incomes fall between $40,000 and $95,000, and whose members possess advanced education.

Beginning in January 1914 with Henry Ford’s $5-day, continuing through the establishment of manufacturing unionism in the 1930s and into the 1950s and 60s, the middle class continued to grow and become more established.

Things have radically changed since those days. Beginning in the early 1970s, the middle class began to contract, due to a number of factors, notably outsourcing of jobs overseas and globalization.

There’s a lack of consensus on how to reverse the middle class contraction.

Some call for the revival of unions, pointing to a correlation between the decline of union membership and the decline in the middle class. But correlation doesn’t always imply causation.

The rise of the middle class was partly due to increased productivity in manufacturing.

Many union leaders now equate “productivity” with a loss of union jobs and a consequent loss of power.

And manufacturing is no longer the sole driver of the American economy.

Some view the problem as a zero-sum dilemma.

They note that the wealthy already earn a disproportionate share of total income in the U.S. In 2009, the top 1 percent of income earners earned 23.5 percent of all the income in the United States, a percentage only exceeded by the 23.9 percent earned in 1928.

Their solution would be tax increases on the wealthy, perhaps up to the 90 percent levels of the 1950s.

Some call for a hike in the minimum wage, to assist the lowest-paid on their path to middle class status.

Opponents raise two objections.

First, inflation will increase because businesses that employ minimum wage earners will be forced to raise prices.

Second, raising the minimum wage would motivate employers to lay off some employees in an effort to control costs. Unemployment would then increase.

Still others call for increased public spending on infrastructure to increase employment in well-paying jobs, thus repopulating the middle class.

This additional spending would require increased borrowing by governmental entities and/or increased taxation. With ever-increasing government deficits and the prospect of new taxes, these proposals would probably not appeal to most voters.

Is there a “magic bullet,” an easy solution to restore and reinvigorate the middle class? Probably not. No single solution exists.

But it’s important for voters to understand the different proposals and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

More importantly, it’s essential for us to understand that there are usually no simple solutions to complex problems.

Respond to Phil at

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