A middle class is a vital characteristic of any Republic. History is replete with rulers and those ruled. But an independent class of free people with the means to live a life without being dependent on others is unique. How can we expect people to truly exercise their rights if they are dependent on others for their income, food, shelter, health-care? We cannot be Roman plebes bought off with bread and circuses. A free people must have meaningful resources to live and thus exercise their constitutionally protected rights, or they are slaves.
Likewise, we must confront the irrefutable fact that so many people in the world have a level of income that barely allows them to survive, much less gives them an opportunity to develop meaningful democratic institutions. If we believe that all men are endowed with those self-evident rights, would it not be our obligation to improve the condition of the desperate? Besides, much of the poverty found in third world countries is related to the constant conflict brought about by differing countries, corporations, and ideologies, seeking to access the resources of these poor countries. If these countries are to have a fighting chance, with us as their champion, then the backbone of this country, the middle class, must control America’s destiny.
Common cause against the global oligarchs is natural. The inherent decency of a truly, free people who control their destiny, who seek to live in peace, and who desire a world where all God’s children are cared for, would be a beacon of hope for those left behind. If the global robber barons complete the destruction of the American middle class, then what hope is there for these impoverished souls who need our practical support and our democratic inspiration?
In a state which is desirous of being saved from the greatest of all plagues…there should exist among the citizens neither extreme poverty nor, again, excessive wealth, for both are productive of great evil…
We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.
We have been dreading all along the time when the combined power of high finance would be greater that the power of the government. Have we come to a time when the President of the United States or any man who wishes to be President, must doff his cap in the presence of this high finance, and say ‘you are our inevitable master, but we will see how we can make the best of it’?
There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.
Amongst the novel objects that attracted my attention during my stay in the United States, nothing struck me more forcibly than the general equality of conditions.
A theory of the middle class: that it is not to be determined by its financial situation but rather by its relation to government. That is, one could shade down from an actual ruling or governing class to a class hopelessly out of relation to government, thinking of government as beyond its control, of itself as wholly controlled by government. Somewhere in between and in gradations is the group that has the sense that gov’t exists for it, and shapes its consciousness accordingly.
The greatest country, the richest country, is not that which has the most capitalists, monopolists, immense grabbings, vast fortunes, with its sad, sad soil of extreme, degrading, damning poverty, but the land in which there are the most homesteads, freeholds-where wealth does not show such contrasts high and low, where all men have enough-a modest living-and no man is made possessor beyond the sane and beautiful necessities.