The Incredible Shrinking Middle Class
America’s middle class neighborhoods are shrinking. Rich and poor neighborhoods are expanding.
In 1970, middle-income neighborhoods comprised 58% of America’s 100 largest cities. By 2000 that figure had shrunk to 41%.
Is this what we want?
We’re getting closer and closer to a two-tier society (the “Two Americas” that Jon Edwards kept warning us about). I don’t think most Americans want this, other than the nutcases on the Far Right.
The Right Wing has been drooling, wetdreaming about a two-tier society, and their twisted vision is getting closer. The Right has always envied the military juntas we used to prop up all over Latin America. Two percent of the population lived in splendor that would make Marie Antoinette look like a peasant, and the other 98% were struggling to survive.
America’s robber barons have dreamed of bringing these third world conditions to this country. We don’t have debtors’ prisons yet, but last year’s bankruptcy “reform” law comes close. The minimum wage hasn’t gone up in over nine years.
The Paris Hilton Protection Act (repealing the estate tax) hasn’t happened yet, but it will probably be passed any day now. The lost revenue will drain trillions from our treasury. It will also create a permanent aristocracy in America — something that’s always separated the United States from most other countries. Most Americans believe in a meritocracy — payment on performance — not a class of idle rich whose only accomplishment was choosing the “right” parents.