When I was growing up, it was assumed that America’s shared prosperity was the natural endpoint of our economy’s development, that capitalism had produced the workers paradise to which Communism unsuccessfully aspired. Now, with the perspective of 40 years, it’s obvious that the nonstop economic expansion that lasted from the end of World War II to the Arab oil embargo of 1973 was a historical fluke, made possible by the fact that the United States was the only country to emerge from that war with its industrialMore at the link.
Capitalism has been doing exactly what it was designed to do: concentrating wealth in the ownership class, while providing the mass of workers with just enough wages to feed, house and clothe themselves.
The United States will never again be as wealthy as it was in the 1950s and ’60s. Never again will 18-year-olds graduate directly from high school to jobs that pay well enough to buy a house and support a family.
20 September 2013
The disappearing "middle class"
Excerpts from an essay at Salon: