It seems like the administration and media these days are spending a lot of their energy complaining about the growing disparity between the haves- and have-nots. Many explanations are bandied about in an attempt to show that “devious policies” are causing the wide gulf between higher and lower income earners. These devious policies include special benefits for the wealthy, corporate welfare, and a tax system that favors those with higher incomes. But there are no special benefits for the wealthy; corporate welfare, though it exists only affects those few crony capitalist type industries and companies; and the tax system clearly favors those with lower incomes, not higher. Then why this imbalance?
The simple reason is that unlike people in the fastest growing countries, and unlike our own citizens in prior generations, the current middle and lower income lower classes have lost their inclination to invest in the future. I would argue that this is because the growing government welfare system is stripping individuals of their need to prepare and plan ahead. For the most part it is the upper middle and higher income individuals — those who are not the beneficiaries of government welfare and those with more entrepreneurial orientation — that are forcing themselves to save and put this money at risk into investments for their future.
Contrast this to the present state of affairs in our country. We have not been saving– we have been borrowing. Citizens have mortgaged their future by consuming continuously, while investing nothing. We are turning into a country where people will begin to wonder why they should invest, if it’s just going to be taken away from them in the long run by those who do not.
In order to get the middle class back on track, we must focus our efforts and rhetoric on reminding ourselves that this country was built upon those who were willing to invest their time and money to become great. It is the true source of upward mobility – and those that do not do their fair share will be left behind by those who do. Investment is what made our country thrive and it is the only thing that will properly sustain our country’s financial future.