The Shrinking Middle Class….

I am adding a new category starting with this post. It is entitled “The Shrinking Middle Class”.

Here is one of the reasons why I am doing that. It is well into the Fall season here in the Midwest and soon all the outside work will be over. That means about five months of pretty much staying in the “cabin”. To ward off cabin fever I usually try to take on a special project for each in-door season. The project this year will be to learn as much as I can about the history of the middle class and the possible causes of its recent decline. “

I have already loaded my Kindle with several books on the subject and of course I will be on the lookout for news of the day relative to this topic. Now that the political season is almost over I need a new less stressful thing to keep me occupied. I promise not to bore you with too many statistics or other mind dizzying things. I will try to keep my posts at a “people” level. Being a simple guy I know I will never have the knowledge on this topic as others do but I think I can contribute to the conversation at least at some level. Learning from my hero Will Rogers I will try to keep the posts light hearted as he most often did.

So, here are my first totally uneducated/uninformed thoughts about the middle class. You might call this my gut feelings on the topic.

I know the middle class has been around for centuries. The artisans of the middle ages were probably the first to be tagged as such. Before that time there was the aristocracy and the serfs and not much in between.   Sadly I see our country is receding back in that direction. The top 5% of the U.S. now controls about 90% of the wealth and that power grab has been increasing almost exponentially for a decade now. When the top control all the wealth the possibility of a middle class will be all but eliminated.

I believe the middle class as we know it today started with Henry Ford when he decided to give his workers in his new automobile factory a “living wage”. He purposely paid more than the prevailing wage so his worker could actually afford to buy the products they produced. That was the point when the middle class grew as a percentage of the overall population.

This is not much of a start but that just proves that I have a lot to learn in the coming months.

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