If the center does not hold, everything collapses.

 The United States desperately needs to do something about its shrinking middle class. The last decade has been dreadful and the future does not look promising. There are plenty of reasons why the middle class is in this predicament. One of the most obvious is wage stagnation. On an inflation adjusted level average salaries are at levels seen in the 1970’s!!  Employers are replacing people with machines and productivity will continue to take many jobs to extinction status. Companies who cut thousands of jobs are often cheered by Wall Street analysts who in turn upgrade the stock. While the nation must have productivity to maintain our standard of living, something must be done to help the displaced. The idea that capitalism is 100% about pleasing shareholders has distorted things quite a bit. To add insult to injury, Health care, College, and Real Estate have grown above the inflation rate over the past several years. Average wages have not even kept up with inflation. It does not take a genius to figure how this is destroying the middle class and forcing them to take on more and more debt. Combine this with the horrific state of financial literacy in this country and you have the recipe for a ginormous disaster. We should all heed the wise words of Aristotle when he said ” Societies where the middle class dominates are the most likely to be stable and decent. The wealthy tend to be arrogant and heedless. The economically insecure resentful and destructive. By contrast, the middle class have moderate desires. They are more open to persuasion and are more likely to be linked to one and other by ties of civil affection.” While markets continue to rise and the rich get richer, corporations should think about investing in people instead of cutting them. It is essential that their customers keep returning to the registers. They cannot come back if they are dead.

Anthony Isola

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