Are we unraveling as a country?

New Geography ponders the declining resiliency, dynamism, and social cohesion in this country as well as the huge and growing gap between the upper and lower classes, saying this does not bode well for the future of the country.

Yet they seem curiously unconcerned about why such changes are happening. They say industriousness is a founding virtue of the country but the percentage of working class men working less than 40 hours a week has risen to 21%, implying such workers must be less industrious now. Well no, the real reason no doubt is because they can’t find full-time work. The entire article is riddled with this probably unconscious class bias, that we the upper middle classes and above are the able and worthy ones while Those Lazy People are falling into the abyss.

I think we may be separating into two economies, societies, and cultures into one that is highly productive and functional and one that is less so.

This classist and snobbish attitude speaks volumes. They seem unconcerned with why such a devastating split is happening. But the working class was the first to be gouged by predatory real estate loans (that’s how what became Citigroup got started) and first to be hurt by the recession, layoffs and rising costs of food and gas. But instead of exploring the root causes of why the working poor are increasingly unable to cope financially, New Geography simply writes them off as expendable and no doubt inferior.

I know families here in Cedar City where the husband and wife work multiple jobs at $8 an hour trying to keep afloat. But since they may not work full 40 hour weeks, by the standards of New Geography they are somehow less than industrious. Here’s a tip to the clueless in their protected citadels, such people want to work but the jobs simply aren’t there. This situation is not of their doing.

  • No, actually, I intended the opposite of what you are suggesting. The piece does express concern about the working class, and I do suggest a reason they cannot find work: the elite ruling class has choked off their opportunities with laws, taxes, regulations, requirements, skewed incentives and disincentives, etc.

  • Then I misinterpreted your piece, my apologies.

  • Though I prefer the term devolving, yes. And we need to be preparing ourselves not for the unraveling itself but for what is on the other side of the devolution.

    Oregon was a Republic, before it was a “state”.

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