Dear Editor: In response to Martha Call’s letter, there’s nothing normal about having a middle class.
Having a middle class is a choice that a society has to make, and it’s a choice we need to make again in this generation if we want to stop the destruction of the remnants of the last generation’s middle class.
Despite what you might read in the Wall Street Journal or see on Fox News, capitalism is not an economic system that produces a middle class. In fact, if left to its own devices, capitalism tends towards vast levels of inequality and monopoly. The natural and most stable state of capitalism actually looks a lot like the Victorian England depicted in Charles Dickens’ novels.
At the top there is a very small class of superrich. Below them, there is a slightly larger, but still very small “middle class” of professionals and mercantilists – doctor, lawyers, shop owners – who help keep things running for the superrich and supply the working poor with their needs. And at the very bottom there is the great mass of people – typically over 90 percent of the population who make up the working poor. They have no wealth – in fact they are typically in debt most of their lives – and can barely survive on what little money they make.
So, for average working people, there is no such thing as a middle class in “normal” capitalism. Wealth accumulates at the very top among the elites, not among everyday working people.
Inequality is the default option.
Published: April 24, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 02