The American Middle Class is in Mourning. Because it’s Dead
As our society becomes increasingly more authoritarian (both locally & globally) it is important to note what effects this has on the so called “middle class” in different societies & states. As America has so many different: cultures, societies, other states, languages spoken, races/ethnicities; it is important to remember to that applying the class system to each one is different depending on those factors. For the sake of brevity we’ll keep what is an “average American” strictly to monolinguals who are at least 3rd generations removed form any ancestors who arrived here.
I know indigenous Americans can trace their ancestry back much much farther, I want to honor their presence in all states in both the United States & in Latin America. We will use the term “American” to encompass anyone in both North & Latin America.
Admit-tingly, I probably came from the working poor: my father came from working in farm fields to trucking, and that was a social mobility for him; my mother is just happy to live in a country that affords her the opportunity to work outside of the home. They have choice of job here. It’s sometimes easy to remember what that actually means for so many immigrants who come here; It is a bit of a cultural shock for them if I’m being honest. I should know, they’re both immigrants to this country, initially undocumented too.
A lot of my peers who are first generation children of immigrants forget what choice of a job means to so many; Even outside of obtaining a degree. Yes, University degrees can open many doors for you but you have to go through those doors first. You have to see the opportunity to break out & take a chance, a risk; Some immigrants are primarily economics ones, and many aren’t. Many, MANY aren’t economic immigrants when you being to peel back layers of the conditions they lived in.
What middle class is to these men & women is vastly different than what most Americans think is middle class. Just owning certain things, like a video game console, could be considered middle class by many
A lot of people are desperately working in a variety of capacities in America to improve their living conditions. In the end this is what this measure of “class” is trying to convey to us all; What are the living conditions of people in the societies we are trying to serve. The term “class” used to be attributed to those who could mimic the rich effectively, but as American society evolves it increasingly becomes emulating what the perfect middle class life looks like.
And now and in the past that still mimics someone who is monolingual, who is comfortable, who is cisgender, who submits to a patriarchal structure in their homes and lives. It is not the working class, or even the working poor; Society in America attempts to hide the working poor for an image that they don’t exist, this ultimately is what shrinks the middle class.
More and more the divide between the “haves” and the “have nots” is increasing. Middle class society can be ENFORCED by an authoritarian state, but now that most Americans have lived in a less authoritarian state they won’t really go for that. My measure of an authoritarian type of community, is looking at how many private security guards or police they employ. The more wealthy communities can afford private security, and everyone else has police departments. Police departments that are increasingly becoming bigger & more militant in their tactics.
The more wealthy communities don’t want to have police departments, they more “gun enthusiasts” you tend to have in that area. And the more businesses are in both.
Guns used to be seen as a necessity in “taming the frontier”, it’s in our national constitution and many state constitutions in the United States of America. But personal guns (be they rifles or pistols/handguns) are no longer necessary for personal security, it’s computers. And computers are the new cheap commodity now.
The middle class no longer needs guns, and guns are now more expensive than ever. To where only the middle class need them for the illusion of safety, the poor use computers now; For entertainment, for their jobs, and for their safety.
Once you know the basics of computer hardware, finding a cheap one that you can use for basic computer needs isn’t hard. Even most retro video games can be emulated on computers with relative ease. It’s funny how something once deemed only for middle class boys is now traded and sold for high prices (this goes for comics, retro video games, as books are now).
You could use one computer today for literal decades if you know how to install Linux on it, and well…use Linux.
But the most important point I want to show, is that middle class is shrinking today because of the rich…not because of the poor. The poor become the working class if they take from other middle class people, it doesn’t grow the middle class but it also doesn’t reduce the influence of the rich today. As billionaires are now the norm of our society, we have to ask ourselves who exactly is shrinking the middle class?
Because it isn’t states who use welfare to keep poor people alive, and it isn’t the middle class who doesn’t like to give up their comforts. I personally blame billionaires who keep getting richer literally by the second.