Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Very classy

The New York Times web site has a piece on the 75th anniversary of the federal minimum wage, which was initially opposed by business and now has fallen well behind inflation. More expansively, The Nation magazine has given over an entire issue to economic inequality -- what has been referred to lately as a second Gilded Age.

Though Americans often refrain from the subject as part of the public discourse, I have for a long time believed that class -- rather than gender, religion, ethnicity or even race -- is the great issue of our country and our world. "Blah, blah, blah...you're a communist," is bound to be the response from those more interested in superficialities and labels rather than ideas and discussion, and I can't change that.

The world's resources are finite and the development and consumption of those resources is a zero-sum enterprise. Here is one staggering statistic that The Nation points out: "The richest 1 percent of Americans currently hold wealth worth $16.8 trillion, nearly $2 trillion more than the bottom 90 percent." It is worth noting that the last time we had such inequality was just before the Great Depression.

1 comment:

Richard Jennings said...

Minimum wage? look at these high paying jobs posted-


Its like I hear one thing and see another.