Posted by: Middleclass Search | August 9, 2016

Bread and Circuses

Since ancient Rome politicians have used bread and circuses to influence the electret.  The concept has continued to today’s elections. Is there any hope that American citizens will realize they have been duped for 40 years and demand that the middle class wage be addressed in this election? In a forth coming book titled Middleclass Capitalism – Keeping the American Dream and the American Middleclass Alive it is argued that the Golden age for the middle class ended in the early 70s. Since that time, 44 years ago and 11 presidential election cycles, the wages of the middle class have declined. In these elections, while the economy and middle-class jobs were being moved to other countries have been discussed by the candidates, with little change, no candidate has addressed the continuous erosion of the middle class wage.  Instead of meeting the wage issue, an issue that affects every citizens, politicians and lobbyists have argued issues that have divided citizens such as tax laws, abortion, gay marriage, racial inequality, immigration and many more all important issues to various constituencies but the one that every voter is concerned about, wages, has rarely been brought up.

For the last 40 years American workers have been in a non-declared labor dispute – at least from the workers point of view. Corporations have been reducing compensation using the scare tactics of globalization. One of the results of the long suppression is that the wage issue has bubbled up in our current election cycle via jobs being exported, immigrants taking jobs and the falling expectations of the middle class. We see a candidate getting support of a large number of citizens by promising to change the current system. There is an opportunity to bring the wage issue out in the open in this election. Change can be made without destroying the current government as in Britain’s opting out of the European Union or by Americans electing an unqualified candidate.

If we consider the erosion of the middle class wage as a simple labor issue the solutions are that of a labor dispute. While in the long run change in government policy will help correct the erosion of the middle class wage but in the short range individuals with all the existing social tools can take action to begin to correct the wage erosion. So instead of supporting yet another “bread and circus” election cycle individuals may want to opt for action.

The key to a sound middle-class capitalistic system wage is that all the cost of a product/service should be passed to the consumer in the price of that product or service. The cost should include material, equipment and labor. If the wage paid is less than the cost of a worker to support her/his self you do not have a capitalistic system you have some form of a socialist or corporate socialist system. In America if the wage paid is less than the living wage in an area the difference is provided by the taxpayers via various social programs.

Doing the current election cycle considerations should be for Senate and House candidates that support the Middleclass. The candidates should support; a minimum or a living wage; reviewing existing taxes to determine if they are too high or too low; actions to keep jobs in America; corporations that move their Headquarters out of America; and should question companies that make excess use of H1B Visa to replace American workers. Many current legislators will fail the above simple test. To have a strong middle-class capitalistic system that pays a middle-class wage these legislators should be replaced this election cycle.

If you are interested in a long-term approach a simple Google search will identify a number of a corporations that do not have long-term interest of America let alone the middle-class in their approach to business. These corporations do not pay minimum/living wage; they have gender pay discrepancy; their journeyman wage is lower than the average middle-class wage; they use H1B visas to replace American workers. These are some of the indications that a corporation does not have America’s interest as part of their business plan. Select a company and using your social media contacts organize some type a boycott. (There’s and app for this) Traditionally boycotts may have little impact on a global corporation’s bottom line unless participated in by many nations. But boycotts sometimes arouse factions of stockholders to become more active in addressing American issues in a global corporation. One small step at a time.

Voters need to do something about wages in America.  Another election cycle should not pass without getting the wage issue in to the conversation. No matter of your age if you’re 18 or 80 research the wage issue in America for the last 40 years and I’m convinced you will do what you can to get the subject of an American wage to be a part of the 2016 political campaign.

Enough Bread and Circuses more responsible legislators!




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