Sunday, October 13, 2013
Are We Going to Stand By as Our Kids' Future is Stolen?
Jimmy Carter recently observed that today's American middle class is coming to resemble America's poor back in the pre-Reagan era. That's the bad news. The worse news is that Americans aren't alone.
Last week the International Red Cross warned that Europeans face decades of poverty, mass unemployment, widening inequality, social exclusion and collective despair from austerity measures inflicted on them by their own governments.
Like much of Europe, Britain's middle class is also being ravaged by chronic unemployment and mounting inequality.
The social mobility and child poverty commission, established by David Cameron, is expected to warn that government initiatives have all too often been aimed at the poorest 10%. Yet the inability to get on in life is now a major and growing problenm for middle-class children and this group is in dire need of attention, it is expected to report.
A Whitehall source said: "This will be controversial, but for the first time in over a century there is a real risk that the next generation of adults ends up worse off than today's generation. This is a problem for the children of parents with above-average incomes, not just a problem for those at the bottom. Many, many children face the prospect of having lower living standards than their parents.
With nihilistic corporatism firmly entrenched in the ranks of Canada's Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats, our kids and theirs face the same future. It's only a question of degree that will distinguish them from their American or European counterparts. And it's not a matter of whether they'll be able to afford a McMansion either. They're already being herded into the Precariat Corral. As their economic strength is sapped, their political power will also be siphoned off. That's the way the slide works. Our failure to look out for them today means our kids and theirs will face an awful fight tomorrow.