Last Friday we began a short series entitled How Do We Drive Long-Term Change in America?
Today we need to focus on the very significant changes in the attitudes of the middle class and working class. As we wrote a week ago, polling shows that 60% of the middle class no longer expects or even hopes that they or their children will advance into the ranks of the wealthy. The middle class is no longer an aspirational class, but now an anxious class. And 70% of those who identify themselves as members of the lower middle class fear falling into the ranks of poverty.
Those of us who’ve long been in the struggle for social change and social justice have been frustrated by folks who wanted or expected to get to the ranks of the wealthy. Of course it has always been a mirage, a charade. But now the truth is getting through. Those of us without wealth acting on our own are threatened by the tender mercies of the wealthy and the free market, which has never been free.
We need to understand that times have changed and we must change.
It is time for us to be more bold in what we demand, the policies we push, the change we expect. It is time for us to demand policies that can help secure the lives and futures of workers and their families, policies such as:
- Real national healthcare, single payer, that can relieve one of Americans’ biggest fears, devastating health issues.
- Stronger Social Security that cannot be taken away or weakened.
- A domestic war against poverty and for jobs.
- Infrastructure development and sustainable energy development.
- Guaranteed prevention of hunger.
- Expansion of safe and free childcare for working families.
- A minimum wage that is a liveable wage.
- The absolute, unmitigated right to organize unions and bargain collectively.
*** News! For those in or around Washington, DC, great poet Ingrid Anders and I are having a book and poetry reading at the Ethiopian coffee house, Kefa Cafe 6:30-7:30 p.m. on May 24.
Kefa Cafe is a wonderful Ethiopian coffee house and art gallery that is a jewel in our neighborhood.
Address: 963 Bonifant St, Silver Spring, MD 20910