Over the past generation, more than a million well-paying, middle-class jobs have been permanently lost in Canada and replaced by low-wage McJobs offering no real benefits and no job security.
And hundreds of thousands of other quality jobs will be permanently lost before the current global economic crisis is resolved.
During the past 35 years, the middle class in both Canada and the U.S. have been gradually shepherded away from a brief alliance with the least fortunate members of these wealthy societies.
Although the middle-class certainly deserves some disdain for its selfish abandonment of the poor, it is easy to understand how they have been led astray by the corporate mass media, by venal mainstream politicians, by the talking-head pseudo experts on cable news channels, by right-wing so-called Christian religions, by a public education system that also has become a foot servant of corporate capitalism, and by their own desperate and often failing efforts to maintain their middle-class lifestyles in a marketplace society that has become much more savage.
Fearful of the loss of their own very tiny pieces of the pie, the middle classes became more subservient and more willing to sing from the same prayerbook as their super-rich masters, hopeful that if they toed the line unquestioningly and looked the other way as the socioeconomic elite tore asunder the long-established social contract that they might be spared that terrifying descent into the ranks of socioeconomic outcasts that so many others were experiencing.
But the gradual downsizing and impoverishment of the middle class, now hastened by the global recession-cum-depression should by now be promoting many in the middle class to reconsider their stalwart loyalty to the captains and the catechism of corporate capitalism.
The masses – the poor and the middle class – are now peering into a future in which they are all reduced from the standard of living to which they had become accustomed.
Unless there is drastic change in the political, social and economic directions of both Canada and the U.S., the lot of the masses will only continue to decline as the mainstream political lackeys pull all stops in their efforts to bail out the super-rich from the inevitable depredations pursuant to their incompetent, corrupt and criminal marshalling of the economy.
But will the middle class wise up and rise up in concert with their less fortunate brethren or will they continue to cling to the illusion that they too can still someday grasp the brass ring – if only they don’t dare challenge the status quo?