Tuesday, April 5, 2011

War Weary

How are you doing in the "War"?

I don't mean the Iraq War, or the War in Afghanistan or even the Nebulous Military Operation in Libya.  I mean the "War On The Middle Class" that is allegedly raging around us.  You don't hear much about this "war" in the national or local news.  The main source of "information" on the "battles" seems to be issue ads on TV, radio and the internet.  If you believe them, the "enemies" are the President, the Governor, Legislators, candidates for the State Supreme court and pretty much anyone else who makes more money than you do.  Easy people to blame--but not the real cause of any perceived decine of the middle class.

To quote the comic strip character Pogo, "We have met the enemy...and he is us."  The middle class has been "waging war"on itself for decades.  And the deadliest weapon has been our own wallets.  Our "lowest cost at any cost" shopping habits have eliminated millions of what used to be relatively stable domestic production jobs. 

When Wal-Mart strong-armed Rubbermaid by refusing to raise its in-store prices as requested by the plastics maker--did you take up picket signs and form blockades to keep shoppers out of the stores?  No, we happily bought the $2.00-cheaper, Chinese-produced garbage cans right next to the Rubbermaid units--driving the company into bankruptcy, a sale to another corporation, closure of the Ohio production plants and that work going to a new plant in China. 

Did you donate to an "action committee" to run ads urging your neighbors to buy an American car?  Or did you rave about the Toyota or Honda that you bought--swearing you would never buy from a Detroit automaker again? 

Did you send out postcards telling parents that letting their kids sit in front of the TV or the computer all day would negatively affect them in the classroom--forcing school districts to create positions like "reading specialist" and "behavioral counselor"?  Or did you demand that "somebody do something" so your child could learn?

Did you borrow just enough to buy a house that was just big enough to meet the needs of your family?  Or did you get the jumbo, balloon, no-money down mortgage to buy a McMansion so that every family member could have their own bathroom--and parking stall in the four-car garage?

Perhaps we wouldn't need to be waging this "War On The Middle Class" if so many of those fighting weren't firing upon themselves.  When my grandchildren ask me one day "Grandpa, what did you do during the War On The Middle Class?"  I'll proudly tell them "I was a concientious objector."


  1. Very true Jonathan. I see these signs around town - WALKER VS WORKERS. I read that and say WTF, I'm a "worker" and I support Walker. See I'm a WORKER in the private sector. I'm not some fatcat CEO, I'm just an average middleclass guy trying to support my family. I see my taxes increase and my wages frozen and I get angry that I have to pay more taxes so employees in the public sector can get even more than the gold plated benefit package they already have.
    We have 2 middle classes. The public sector and private sector. For too long the public sector has had the upper hand. Now with Walker and other Governors in other states, the tide is turning. We middleclass private sector folks are getting some support.

    So on my lawn you'll see a sign...Walker FOR Workers!

    And............btw, it's good to have you back!!

  2. Well put. It is good to have you back.