America's Crumbling Foundation
Every builder knows, everyone who reads the New Testament knows, everyone with even a fraction of common sense knows: When a building's foundation is weak the entire structure is threatened, and if a building's foundation is destroyed the entire structure comes tumbling down. That's a truth that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. It's also a truth that common sense tells us can be applied to any kind of structure or construct, from a shack to a pyramid, from a small business to a nation. Anything that is or can be built (physically, ideologically, economically, or any other "ly"), must be constructed on a solid foundation; and once constructed, that solid foundation must be protected and maintained. It must be defended from anything - or anyone - that seeks to undermine it.
And yet, during the past thirty-plus years, here in the United States of America, very little has been done to protect, maintain, and defend the foundation of our nation. Between unjust taxation, top-1%-favoring-legislation, middle-class-wage-stagnation, and necessities-of-life-inflation, the working men and women of America have been driven ever further down the economic scale. Factor in billion or trillion dollar get-rich(er)-quick schemes (Wall Street, anyone?), wars funded by tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans (wha? how's that make sense?), and short- sighted political power plays, and you've got an America whose foundation is crumbling. And if something isn't done to protect, maintain, and defend that foundation - the foundation that is the middle class of America - our nation, too, will come tumbling down; or, be built on a new kind of foundation, one that makes of our nation something less than it is meant to be, maybe an America we wouldn't even recognize.
So, what do we do about it?
I think that we, as a nation, need to change our mindset and our focus and therefore our policies. Since 1979, the wealthiest Americans have enjoyed an economic boom, with income soaring by 257%; during those same years, the income of the middle class has risen by a paltry 40% and that of the poor by only 18%. Those numbers are nothing less than obscene! And they undeniably prove exactly which class of Americans the policies of our nation have favored for the past 30+ years: the rich, the very rich, and the obscenely rich! Those are the Americans our nation's policies have been reshaped to prosper. And that HAS to change! Politicians, from the President to congressmen and senators to state governors and legislators, have got to be forced to change the class of Americans they focus on prospering. Taxes and legislation have to be tailored to benefit, primarily, the middle class. Short -term, long-term, any-term, it is the middle class that must be given the opportunity to prosper and grow. That opportunity, during the past 30+ years has been undermined; it must be restored.
As Americans who care about the future of our nation and still believe in its potential, we must act to ensure this change in focus takes place. We can vote for and support politicians who focus on the middle class. We can review the voting records of our representatives and let them know when they've made decisions we like and decisions we don't like. We can join or support groups that advocate for the middle class. We can take part in movements such as Occupy Wallstreet. We can, each and every one of us, do something.
And we must. If we want an America (and an America we can still recognize) for our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, then we must.
-Greg, November 2011