The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


August 23, 2013

Potential to fall down the economic ladder

Those who preach the gospel of free market capitalism like to point out what a rich country the United States has become, but that much of the wealth is going to so few is never mentioned in their sermons. Over the last 40 years, more and more of the wealth of this country has moved from the middle and lower classes to those who sit on top the economic pile. At this time nearly one-third of our fellow citizens are poor or live in poverty. More of those in the middle are sinking towards the bottom. The increasing gap in wealth and income between the top and the bottom means we are approaching the status of a third world country.

What I find most disingenuous in the acolytes of extreme capitalism is their constant blaming the poor for being poor. They even like to blame the poor for our problems. Who would make such a conscious choice? These promoters never recognize that they have exported good-paying jobs so that the poor throughout the world can be exploited. They fail to mention that there a millions of working poor who work full-time jobs and even more, but live in poverty because they aren't paid a living wage. They fail to recognize that our for-profit health care system is one of the major reasons that middle class citizens are falling down the economic ladder. We must recognize that many can't find a job and in times of less than full employment many more will be exploited with low pay and long hours.

Missing from their praise of capitalism and the worship of greed it sanctifies is the serious economic blow the crooks on Wall Street caused to so many in our country. It is interesting to note that when the economy is good they praise their blessed economic system and when the economy is bad they blame the government. While the cause of our economic woes is not government, government inaction may allow a crisis to exist and magnify its severity. Government deregulation was a major factor in the economic collapse of 2008.

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