Rich people are a true enigma. I wonder why they are so afraid of having a thriving middle-class group as a part of our social stratum. Since they are not openly doing anything to encourage and support its revitalization, it seems that they are determined to do their part to totally eradicate it.
Based on research by Emmanuel Saez cited in “Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States,” the middleclass has been slowly losing ground over the past 30 years while the rich have continued to get richer. He said that the top 1% received 95% of the income gains between 2009-2012. The report is due to be updated this month, January 2015. Further, according to an article in The Washington Post by Michael A. Fletcher, those who remain in the middleclass have been steadily losing wealth.
Certainly rich people must know that a thriving middleclass is an intricate element in the foundation of their wealth and, over the long haul, they are sure to be impacted negatively if they persist in their blind march to eradicate them. Who will buy the products that the rich have an indirect role in producing? Who will be able to purchase the homes and automobiles that are a part of the prosperous communities that help to fuel a healthy and thriving economy? These things fuel rich people’s wealth!
Maybe they are not purposely trying to get rid of the middleclass. I wrote an article a while back that said that these millionaires and billionaires are blinded by their greed. Could it be that they are so focused on constantly trying to catch up with the rich people ahead of them while trying to prevent those rich folks that they are ahead of from catching up with them that there is simply no more cognitive room available for them to comprehend the magnitude of the damage that they are doing.
It certainly can’t be because they are afraid that too many middle-class folks through determination and hard work will make it into their exclusive ranks and therefore dilute their exclusiveness and privileged life. Under the circumstances, I am compelled to maintain my view that they are blinded by their greed.
One can only hope that, like the scale-like coverings that fell off of the eyes of the proverbial Saul, these virtual scales of greed obstructing their view will be removed before it is too late to avoid going over the cliff and destroying the middleclass. After that – because we are a resilient people, even though recovery will be inevitable it will be a very long and hard road to travel.
With the mentioning of ‘going over the cliff’, I cannot help but to be reminded of the potential problem created by the 2014 midterm elections that gave the Republicans control of both houses of congress. Republicans have always sided with big business and big money and have shown a propensity to take our country over what has become known as ‘the fiscal cliff’ if they are not given their way.
Many of them are threatening to use the ‘power of the purse’ to force President Obama to sign bills into law that are completely unacceptable to Democrats. If they do this, we could once again be faced with this so called fiscal cliff problem. If this actually occurs, it would exacerbate the problem that the struggling middleclass is already facing and accelerate their impending demise.
It would be wrong for me to paint all rich people with a broad brush because there are those who have spoken out in support of a more equitable sharing of the wealth. And the Republican Party deserves a break too, albeit small, because although there are factions in the Party who are demanding a confrontation with the president at all cost, there are those who prefer a more reasonable approach and are working to convince the members in those factions to reconsider their position.
There are many difficult problems that our country is faced with right now that constitute the phenomenon of social and economic trauma choking America. Many of the components of this phenomenon dovetail with the need to rescue and revitalize the middleclass; components like the loss of wealth by the middleclass while the top 1% have received 95% of the gain since the great recession, the deaths of Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Erick Garner and Trayvon Martin, the ever widening income gap between the rich and the middleclass, the ever widening income gap between white people and people of color, the ever widening high school graduation rate between white people and people of color, the ever widening rate between white people who attend college and people of color who attend college; all of these components need to be addressed if we are to bring about real and lasting change.
It is hard for many Americans to even accept that we have problems in some of these areas let alone take the courageous and bold step to actually address them. Some of those who refuse to accept this fact are naive. Some are in total denial and some are fearful of the impact that these changes to make things more fair and equitable for everyone might have on them.
The fact of the matter is that by making the rich pay their fair share, standing up for equal justice under the law, finding a way to fairly distribute the wealth more equally and working to insure that all Americans have an opportunity to receive a quality education would be like a healing ointment. It would not be a panacea but it would be a giant step in the right direction.
Middle-class Americans are not seeking to supplant the rich; that would be impossible. They are simply seeking a way to live the American Dream. To most that simply means a nice home, nice care, the ability to pay the bills and still take a vacation, the ability to send their children to college, and the ability to save for a rainy day. We can give them a chance to do that by addressing these problems.
There is no doubt that this would be a tough call for many politicians to make but they are elected to make decisions, not just the easy and popular ones, for the betterment of our country and the common good of all of its people. If they refuse to make them and instead choose to play politics, let’s force them to make them or replace them with someone who will.