The Changing U.S. Economic Story

Hourglass

A story, be it of an individual or a society, is not just an interesting tale. It is supported and directed by an underlying set of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors—the moral of the story, if you will—that directs that story from the inside out.

And in America, that underlying infrastructure is changing.

On May 11, the Pew Research Center (Pew) published a report that concluded that the American middle class is shrinking and income inequality is on the rise.

Indeed, the social skeleton is being reshaped from the wide girth of a stout “middle class” man, put in place with FDR and social programs, to the oppressive hourglass outline of a Renaissance lady, thanks to the plutocracy, who is the only one who will benefit from this underlying model.

Thom Hartmann, in The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy American—and What We Can Do to Stop It, writes that the role of government is to regulate the tension between a free market economy and its people. Without that regulation, you see what is happening today—booms and busts, environmental ”sacrifice zones,” and legal trickery.

What can you do?

First, remove any self-blame for where you sit in the class wars. (And if you’re not sure where you fall, take the Pew assessment here.)

Second, act within your own circle of influence to impact that underlying shape. Shop locally. Support co-operatives. Barter. Be engaged in your community’s government. Step outside the current story if you can.

Mostly, be an activist in your own way, your own style, with your own gifts.

Photo credit: Hourglass by Bill Brooks is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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