September 2011

Shelby Solomon

September 2011



In September, I attended the lecture regarding the disappearing middle class in America. Though this discussion delved into economics and other topics I am not familiar with, I was able to understand the country’s current financial situation. For instance, the lecturers discussed the idea of a ‘new’ poor consisting of individuals affected by the recession. These individuals have lost income, savings, and assets due to the economy’s decline. Therefore, in a country where the consumer is sovereign, rather than the worker, it is hard to estimate what the middle class encompasses. Though the middle class can be established based on wage or income, as one of the panelists stated, ‘[the middle class] is a normal curve that is being flattened. The next generation is slipping down the tail.’ However, one thing is for certain, the super-rich keep getting richer. More power is being invested in large corporations rather than community organizations. As one panelist described, ‘It’s like a financial Marshal Law’ since every state is experiencing cutbacks to some of the most beneficial and proactive programs, like schools.

Having taken a course in Child Psychology, it is extremely disturbing to know that 46 million men, women, and children are now living below the poverty line in California; this is the highest the poverty rate has been since the 1950’s. Additionally, middle class families, who are slowly being pulled under the poverty line, now have to worry about healthcare and education, which used to not be typical concerns of the middle class. However, nearly 50 million Americans have run out of employer healthcare. As such, more children are growing up in poverty, which is detrimental to their physical and mental wellbeing. How can we ever expect to exceed as a country while our youngest generation is being oppressed financially?

In order to fix the economy, or at least work with it as best as we are able, we need to invest in the younger generation so their bright minds and progressive attitudes can figure out these problems. Honestly, we need ‘fresh blood’ in Congress and other areas of politics. Foreign counties have been noted of raising their young in a responsible manner, by investing in their future and teaching them the importance of accountability. We have a moral obligation to correct the imbalance of the middle class and to instill the values of responsibility in our younger generations since it obviously seems to have dissipated from the generations before us. If we do not do something, poverty will continue rising and the middle class will dissolve permanently.


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