Just about everyone likes to say they are part of the vast “middle class” in America, whether they are really poor, working class, struggling middle class, upper middle class, or wealthy, as it is the “in” thing to be!
The vast middle class concept developed in the years after World War II, when millions of Americans moved to the suburbs, more Americans went to college, and the idea of “conspicuous consumption” became part of the “American dream.”
That dream has vanished for tens of millions, including many who live in the suburbs, many of which are deteriorating, and with property values often down, and many in bankruptcy or near bankruptcy.
Many college graduates now are working in minimum wage or near such income jobs, far removed from their earlier expectations, and tens of millions live paycheck to paycheck and have no savings for retirement; do not have adequate or any health care; cannot afford to take vacations that educate and enlighten them and their children; have very few benefits of any kind at work since labor unions, which created the middle class to a great extent, have declined rapidly since the time of Ronald Reagan; and have no expectation that life will get better anytime soon.
This rapidly declining middle class includes millions of minority population, both African American and Latino; but also untold many millions more who are white and thought that by their race alone, they had an advantage, but no longer the case.
Banks and corporations have caused a great deal of this growing poverty in the former middle class, both from their abuse of their work force, but also from encouraging materialism and greed on the part of people who cannot pay for what they desire, but get suckered into signing on the dotted line of their credit cards and mortgages, automobiles and boats, second homes, and more personal acquisitions than they ever need, but are seen as essential to leave the image to others that they are “well to do,” when that is precisely what they are not.
Capitalism is looked at as the promoter of wealth, when for most Americans, it has made them slaves for the truly wealthy, the billionaires, and the super multimillionaires!