Squeezing the middle E-mail
Written by Jess Lucio   
In a recent online article for the Guardian, a British newspaper, reporter Paul Harris notes that corporate America has a new advertising strategy. This new approach to selling is based on what Citibank has dubbed the "Consumer Hourglass Theory" or CHT for short. Simply put, Citibank, other major financial institutions and many of the largest U.S. and multi-national corporations in the world, are convinced that the "Great American Middle Class" or GAMC for short, is being squeezed out of existence.

So in line with that belief, they have started to restructure their advertising efforts to be two-pronged - one aimed at the rich and the other at the poor with little or no attention to what they believed used to be the GAMC - a group they see as disappearing.

As further support for the exitistence of the CHT, Paul Harris also writes about the rise of "two tier" pay systems. He cites the case of one U.S. automaker where new hires are doing the same work as more senior employees but only earning half the pay.

Harris notes that many jobs that used to provide wages that were sufficient enough to pay off the mortgage, put the children through college and provide a decent retirement, are rapidly disappearing. The rich are doing just fine, Harris notes, while the numbers of poor are growing.

Harris goes on to say that this alarming "divide" is unsustainable and as far as he can see, no politician anywhere seems to have an answer or solution as to how to fix it.

Now for my two cents.

Assuming the division is more than a theory, it has vast implications for our nation's future financially, socially, economically, and every other thing you can name.

Achieving membership in the middle class has been a goal for many upwardly mobile Americans for decades. For generations it has been the GAMC that has provided for a large part of the earning, spending and tax paying for our country.

Where will all that come from now? I have to believe that no matter what congress may do to change the tax code, the wealthy will have their lawyers find a way around most, if not any of the changes they find unpleasant.

So what do we do? Tax the poor more or learn to live without?

I hope I am wrong and that the Consumer Hourglass Theory does not bear out as some our predicting. If it does, it will impact all our lives, especially our wages and pensions, in ways its hard to imagine.

Jess Lucio is a police officer with the Dallas Police Dept.


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