I wonder if increasing incidents of violence by and against police are another symptom of emerging class struggle in American society, brought on by dramatically increasing economic bipolarity, which itself is inculcated by lack of family values and education and reduced middle class opportunity on the one hand, and increasing economic and political leverage and social insularity by the highly educated and wealthy on the other?
Have things really changed for the have-nots? The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the median age of front-line fast food workers, earning just above the minimum wage, is now more than 29, unlike the teenagers employed in such low level jobs in the 1950s through 90s. And 50% of those workers are now on public assistance, vs. 25% in the general population, indicating the inadequacy of such low wages. We see police increasingly armed to the teeth. The numbers of the underemployed and those not even seeking employment is soaring.
Meanwhile, we see the dissolution of conventional political parties on the right and left, as so-called representative government seeks solid bases of social support among a fractured and politically disillusioned populace. Five percent of the population controls 95 percent of the wealth generated, and for the common man and woman, the costs of education for youth and retirement for the aged soar, with diminished resources to pay for the empowerment of education and dignity in old age.
All of this social stress is further exacerbated by the costs of funding unending military adventures, while American domestic infrastructure grows old and unreliable.
The solidarity and survival of the American experiment in democratic government, “of and by the people,” is imperiled, as evidenced by such growing symptoms and consequences of class struggle, and further unwinding of our culture is in store, unless the people awaken to the values of a society with mutual respect, common purpose and honor among its citizenry.