Our Poor Middle Class

More of the Same?

What might get us to really pay attention to the growing gap between the rich and the poor? Occupy Wall Street was a flash in the pan though it give us the memorable slogan “We are the 99 percent”. The continuing news about income disparity and escalating CEO salaries seems just too repetitive and familiar. As news, it’s as exciting as global warming.

This week, we find out that the historic supremacy of our middle class has been eclipsed. “After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States.” Will that mobilize our attention?

Not likely. It’s like the story of frogs in a pot of boiling water. If the temperature is increased gradually, they don’t notice until it’s too late. (See, “The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest.”)

The Times notes: “both opinion surveys and interviews suggest that the public mood in Canada and Northern Europe is less sour than in the United States today.”

Yes, we are sour, but what would it take to jolt us into awareness?