Las Vegas Sun

January 23, 2018

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Letter to the editor:

Future looks bleak for middle class

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What neither candidate dares say is that the future of the mythic middle class is dismal.

In 1940, we had an unemployment rate of more than 14 percent. Our prosperity thereafter was founded on our World War II quantitative power, the destruction of Axis industry and huge deficit spending, not superior weaponry.

This prosperity remained intact only until the former Axis regained its strength. In 1964, the JFK-LBJ tax cut restored growth and LBJ greatly upgraded the social net and the military for Vietnam, but deficits increased.

All this in the belief, real or pretended, that economic growth would produce more tax revenue and cover the costs. Meanwhile, foreign competition meant jobs lost and stagnating wages.

This, however, did not prevent Americans from buying bigger, fancier houses and cars, with small monthly payments hiding the true cost found only in the greater number of payments, a truth readily ignored.

In sum, we, individually and collectively, have borrowed for many years, acting on the belief that economic growth and more revenue would solve our problems.

But they have not and will not, and most Americans will pay dearly.

The mythic middle class is splintering into a talented, ambitious and, at times, thieving, powerful upper class able to buy large homes and luxury cars while a much larger working class is or soon will be toiling in a manner it thought long past.

This is a fact that unfortunately we shall not get from any politician seeking success at the polls. If memory serves, we never have.

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