There’s been a lot of talk about the “working class” this political season. That title seems to have slowly become the politically acceptable way to refer to the lower socio-economic groups. “Working class” is becoming a term associated with poverty, economic stagnation, and lower social mobility. In short, the “working class” title is being used in a way very reminiscent of “serfdom.” Instead of being tied directly to the land, people are now being tied to a company, an industry, or a type of job. Specialization has served to marginalize whole classes of people whose livelihoods are dependent on increasingly narrowed job descriptions. Weighed down by dwindling access to higher education or training that might allow horizontal movements out of an industry, these people are slowly being turned into economic serfs in a system woefully unprepared for the consequences.
As these events unfold, some are all too eager to co-opt the ethos of the “working class” through flattery and lip-service in exchange for cheap votes. This is not say that the public can not see through these media rouses, but in an election year especially, it is very near impossible to decipher and evaluate all of the claims being made on all sides. If real progress comes from hard work and dedication, then shouldn’t those in government be the hardest working, most dedicated people in the country? Shouldn’t those given the highest responsibility have the highest expectations placed upon them?
Let me know what you think.