Mr. Tom Gregg, just because the middle class still exists doesn’t mean it isn’t shrinking. My husband can truthfully say he still has hair but it covers much less of his head than it used to. The middle class is similar to my husband’s decrease in hair follicles.

A little reading to enlighten you:

A quick Google search will unearth more articles about the problem of the shrinking middle class.

I am certainly not implying that all days prior to now were good old days. I am saying that the ability for the newest middle-class generation to reach the levels of prosperity of their parents’ generation or even their grandparents’ is decreasing — rapidly.

Advances in medicine and technology do not represent the buying power of the middle class and even indicate that as the middle class becomes smaller or its buying power shrinks, the average American can’t afford to partake of the advances being made. In fact, medical bills are the reason for more bankruptcies than any other type of debt:

When I began working in the early 70’s, I was making 15-cents over the minimum wage of that time plus a 20-cent shift differential. On that low income, I rented a decent mobile home, bought a new car, had two cats and a dog for pets, and visited my family 500 miles away each year. I could not live extravagantly but with a little common sense, I was able to live a comfortable life. I dare you to find me anyone today who makes 35-cents over minimum wage who lives the quality of life I had at that time. My job also provided me with company-paid health and life insurance, 10 days paid annual sick leave, and 2 weeks paid vacation. You’d be hard-pressed to find a job today that pays a little more than minimum wage and offers those sorts of benefits.

The minimum wage has not increased since 2009 but the cost of living has:

To throw Jim Crow laws of the South in the 1900s into the discussion is ludicrous. I was not writing about civil rights. My article was about the way employers cheat their employees. Apples and oranges.

“As for your diatribe against supposedly evil employers, well, with that kind of attitude no employee is going to go very far in any line of work.”

I am no longer an employee and haven’t been for more than two decades. I started my own business and work as an independent contractor because I knew what was happening behind closed doors and on spreadsheets and financial statements. I set my pay now. I also continue to see the inequalities I saw as an employee, but they get worse with each passing year.

To say you didn’t care to know what others were paid when you were in the military is irrelevant to the private sector. Military pay is set by payscales and is public record as are the wages of most federal and state employees. That is exactly what I advocate for the private sector.

And, finally, as a white male in a society run by white males, you cannot possibly understand the disparity in wages for everyone who is not a white male. Perhaps if you were the one making 20 or 30 percent less than your counterparts for no logical or calculable reason, you would feel differently. Ignoring the fact that there is gross discrimination and unfair wage practices in the workplace does not change the reality that they exist in most businesses.

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I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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