Is the middle class now just a myth?
Dawn Bennett, host of the nationally-syndicated radio talk show, “Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett,” recently spoke with Wayne Allen Root, author of “The Murder of the Middle Class: How to Save Yourself from the Criminal Conspiracy of the Century” to answer exactly this question. Root’s new book points out that though many in power may hold firm to the belief that a strong, American middle class has successfully bounced back from the country’s 2008 financial crisis, the reality is that our middle class is still very much struggling. In fact, its stability and voice in society are perhaps the most vulnerable they’ve been in the past century. The middle class continues to face a host of challenges, from job loss to increased regulations to higher taxes, while decreasing median incomes have left middle-class Americans will less purchasing power and leverage for upward mobility than ever before.
Why has the middle class struggled so much in recent years?
This is a question that continues to plague those of the middle class, as they watch their homes be foreclosed upon and their husbands or wives forced into early retirement. The answer, according to Root in his discussion with Dawn, doesn’t just stem from the financial crisis of 2008, it’s perhaps more deeply rooted in the political decisions made in recent years, decisions that even encompass policies concerning national security. The President’s arguably weak approach to border security and mild stance on alarming threats to national health threats, like Ebola, are viewed by Root as weakening the confidence of the American people in such a way as to not only affect the country’s morale, but negatively impact the business that so many middle-class Americans depend upon. According to Root, an economy that will truly help the middle class regain its prominence is one that benefits from a protected border and firm security policies that will allow the economy to flourish.
Root and Bennett’s conversation also touched upon the fact that both Root and President Obama graduated from Columbia University in the same year. Root draws connections between the popular political theories running rampant on campus during his time there, and the state of the country under the President. According to Root, one of the most popular political philosophies at Columbia during this era was the idea that government attains and sustains power through crises. Essentially, this idea purported that the more turmoil present in a nation, the more reason people would have to support its government. Given the unprecedented debt, immigration, security and entitlement crises that have played out under the Obama administration, Root states that he does wonder about the influence this philosophy had on the President—though he does stop short of insinuating that President Obama is purposefully inciting crises. “It’s either that, or incompetence,” Root stated.
Root adds that it isn’t just the President who’s had a hand in undermining the financial stability of the middle class in recent years. The Federal Reserve, unions, lobbyists, lawyers and even the judicial system have all made decisions that work against supporting a thriving middle class; the overall de-emphasis on capitalism and increase in government regulation in general is one of the major reasons the middle class continues to struggle.
So how can the middle class reclaim its voice?
Rather than simply waiting for the Obama Administration to take leave of office, or hoping that things will turn around, Root advises that middle-class Americans take their financial success into their own hands today. This can be accomplished by investing more money into a personal gold standard and investing less in the stock market, as well as seeking ways to establish an independent income via a personal business. Root warns against the vulnerabilities of working for a business or large corporation, and instead applauds the practicality of adopting a self-reliant approach to not only personal finance, but education. Root states that given the deplorable state of many public schools with inadequate funding and high percentages of students who drop-out, private schools and home schooling should be viewed as more practical, beneficial alternatives for parents and their children seeking quality education.
In all, both Bennett and Root agree that while the middle class may not be obsolete, the notion that it exists as a successful sector of the American public is most certainly a myth. Given that the government lies at the root of the middle class’s limitations, the middle class will need to regain their financial stability through initiatives that prioritize independence and self-reliance.
Bennett Group Financial Services LLC, based in Washington, D.C., is a comprehensive financial services firm committed to providing opportunities to clients’ as they seek long-term financial success. Its customized programs are designed with the potential to help grow, lower overall risk and conserve client assets by delivering a high level of personalized service and skill.
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About Dawn Bennett
Dawn Bennett is CEO and Founder of Bennett Group Financial Services. She hosts a national radio program called Financial Myth Busting http://www.financialmythbusting.com
She discusses educational topics and events in the financial news, along with her thoughts on the economy, financial markets, investments, and more with her live guests, who have included rock legend Ted Nugent, as well as Steve Forbes and Grover Norquist. Listeners can call 855-884-DAWN a as well as take podcasts on the road and forums for interaction.
She can be reached on Twitter @DawnBennettFMB or on Facebook Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett or firstname.lastname@example.org