Honestly the first thing that popped into my head was “Was I reincarnated into the second Gilded Age?” The politics of it are interesting as well…why do less affluent people keep voting against their own interests? The wealthy do not.
Rather, there are some very serious long-term economic trends that are absolutely ripping apart the U.S. middle class. For example, did you know that even though our population has been growing at a brisk pace we have lost about ten percent of our middle class jobs over the past decade? The vast majority of jobs that have been created have been low paying service jobs.
Every time a factory gets closed down in America and gets set up in some other country instead, it means that the U.S. middle class is shrinking just a little bit more. The new “global economy” has been good for the bottom line of the largest U.S. corporations, it has been great for countries like China and India, but it is absolutely wiping out the U.S. middle class.
Meanwhile, the price of everything is going up. Have you been to the supermarket lately? The price of food is going up substantially. Many analysts are already talking about $5 a gallon gasoline in 2010. Utility bills are going through the roof. Health care premiums are soaring. Many state and local governments are seriously hiking up taxes and fees.
Unfortunately, 2011 isn’t going to be any easier for those families. As a nation we continue to pursue the exact same economic policies that have allowed these horrible long-term economic trends to develop. Things are not going to change until our country starts moving in a fundamentally different direction.