Friday, November 23, 2007

The American Way of Life

Many people seem to believe that the American Way of Life is something that we've all enjoyed since the establishment of our country.
The ability to make a comfortable living at decent wages, and for eight hours a day, with weekends and holidays and some protections-this has only been around since about 1947, and mostly for white educated males who went along with the status quo. There was some opening up to women and minorities in the 70's, just in time for some people to establish enough security to weather the backlash against the working class unleashed by Reagan in the 1980s.
Most baby-boomers think of themselves as "middle class", because they were brought up in relative comfort, especially compared to their Depression era parents. But baby-boomers keep their standard of living by having more than one wage earner in the family, coupled with massive debt.
America's ruling class has always been willing to have it's working class dirt poor, ignorant and short-lived. They were pushed back by worker unrest in the 1930s, but they're coming back with a vengeance now. They want to dismantle what is left of the New Deal, the worker and environment protections of the 70s and, just for good measure, the rights established in the eighteenth century by the Bill of Rights.
We working class Americans won't get anywhere if we believe that our good life was bestowed upon us by benevolent bosses. It wasn't. Our ancestors fought for every scrap we have and we betray them by giving it up so easily.

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