Tag Archives: Middle Class

The Experiment, by Robert Gore

How much longer will the middle class politely tolerate its own destruction?

A middle class that outnumbers the combined poor and aristocracy is a relatively new phenomenon, dating back to around 1900. The rise of the middle class was the result of Industrial Revolution capitalism. It has been one of the most significant and epochal developments in history, yet the intellectual reaction for the most part has been to either ignore it or treat it with disdain. Now the project to destroy the middle class is well under way, with unpredictable and uncontrollable consequences that promise to be just as epochal as its creation.

Intellectual condescension towards the middle class is so common it’s a cliché. What’s rare are attempts to go back in history and see things through the perspectives of that despised group and its progenitors, the poor.

In 1800, virtually everyone was poor, living under conditions of deprivation and grinding poverty. Even being wealthy was no picnic; present-day poverty-line Americans live better. Life expectancy was an estimated twenty-nine years. Farming, the occupation of most, was dangerous, backbreaking labor from dawn to dusk. Most of those so engaged eked out a tenuous subsistence. There was no electricity, no running water, primitive sanitation and health care, and none of the machinery, gadgets, and appliances we take for granted. Only a few wealthy poets who didn’t have to wrest a living from nature waxed euphoric about its “joys.”

As the nineteenth century progressed, primitive factories, mostly in cities, began producing goods of better quality, in more quantity, and at lower cost than had been possible by artisans handcrafting their wares. No doubt conditions in those factories were abysmal—long hours, pittance pay, child labor, dangerous and filthy conditions, and horrible accidents and injuries. All that has been well-chronicled and dramatized, but an important point gets overlooked. Bad as they were, the factories were a better option for those who worked in them than the farms from whence many of them came, or they would have stayed there.

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The War On Trump Is All About Keeping Liberals And Their Lackeys In Power, by Kurt Schlichter

The status quo will never forgive Donald Trump for upsetting it. From Kurt Schlichter at theburningplatform.com:

And this year ends with our loser ruling class shedding any pretense of legitimacy in its quest to reclaim the power we took back from it in 2016. The reaction to Donald Trump by our alleged betters – SPOILER: They are much, much worse than us – is instructive. They have abandoned all the principles they once claimed to support – democracy, civil rights, due process, and equality. None of those principles help them to keep or regain power anymore, so they are expendable. As are you.

Liberalism was always a lie and a scam, right from its sordid beginnings among the progressives with their creepy messianic fervor, their infatuation with “expertise” (and hence, their embrace of evils like eugenics), and their contempt for the Constitution. Liberals consider themselves the anointed, divinely entitled to rule over us lesser folk, and they aren’t going to let anything get in the way of retaking the throne.

And this time, they mean never to give it up again.

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The Long Death of America’s Middle Class, by Nick Giambruno

The rich get richer, the poor get poor, and the middle class is no longer the middle, if you define middle as the majority. From Nick Giambruno at caseyresearch.com:

Justin’s note: In America, what separates the “haves” and the “have nots” has never been wider. It’s a genuine crisis. And yet, few people know why this is happening.

Casey Report editor Nick Giambruno just shared all the details about this crisis in his latest issue. Read on to see what’s really dividing America… why this situation is only going to get worse… and finally, four time-tested ways to build lasting wealth as this trend play out.


By Nick Giambruno, editor, The Casey Report

The American middle class is dying.

In 2015, it dipped below 50% of the population for the first time since data collection started on the issue. It’s now an official minority group.

Meanwhile, nearly half of Americans don’t have enough money to cover a surprise $400 expense. Many are living paycheck to paycheck, with little to no cushion. And US homes are less affordable than they’ve been in decades—possibly ever.

I’ll tell you why this is happening and how to secure your spot among the “haves” in a moment. But first, let’s take a look at the America that was.

The Largest Middle Class in World History

The late 1950s was the golden age of America’s middle class.

This isn’t nostalgia talking. The US really did have robust Main Streets and thriving small businesses.

Back then, the US produced three-quarters of the world’s cars and airplanes. Americans produced most of the world’s steel and built the majority of the world’s skyscrapers.

Plus, the US stock market held the bulk of the world’s total stock market capitalization.

All this productivity gave the average American an unusually high standard of living.

Around then, a husband could support his family on an average income. He and his wife likely owned their own home, as well as their car. They had multiple children—and didn’t think much of the cost of having more. Plus, they had money to save.

To continue reading: The Long Death of America’s Middle Class

The Cultural Contradictions That Have Crippled the Great American Middle Class, by Charles Hugh Smith

From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The decline of middle class capital is partly self-inflicted.

Conventional explorations of why the middle class is shrinking focus on economic issues such as the decline of unions and manufacturing, the increasing premiums paid to the highest-paid workers and the rising costs of higher education and healthcare.

All of these factors have a role, but few comment on the non-economic factors, specifically the values that underpin the accumulation of capital that is the one essential project of middle class households.

Daniel Bell’s landmark 1976 book The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism held that”capitalism–and the culture it creates–harbors the seeds of its own downfall by creating a need among successful people for personal gratification–a need that corrodes the work ethic that led to their success in the first place.”

I would phrase this in the language of values and capital:

The primary cultural contradiction of the Great American Middle Class is the disconnect between the values needed to build capital and those of gratification via debt-based consumption.

To continue reading: The Cultural Contradictions That Have Crippled the Great American Middle Class