How America’s Middle Class Dug Its Own Grave

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Source: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Source: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

One  important lesson about life — that many of us never quite seem to grasp — is that when it comes to assigning blame, we should always look to ourselves first to see if our own actions had any part. Chances are, no matter what has happened to you, there is at least a portion of the blame that can be redirected back at your actions. True, some things are completely out of control, but there are always lines that can be traced back to either action or inaction that could have prevented a unwelcomed outcome.

For example, the vast majority of people in the United States sit idly by while our government and defense industry casually wage war across the world. This leads to all kinds of resentment aimed at everyday, average Americans who had absolutely nothing to do with it. In turn, we might see oil prices spike, or perhaps an attack on an American military base or embassy. Tax money, and sometimes the lives of American soldiers, are then spent to right the wrong.

Now, most Americans are not responsible in any way for this. But if we can look at what we did — or what we did not do, in this case — it’s clear there was an opportunity to speak up against the actions being taken out in our names. War is a tricky example. There are definitely a million different situations that can affect geo-political relations, and sometimes even speaking up against those actions won’t have any real consequence.

But the economy is a different story. The fact is it’s easy to point the finger and blame others for things, especially economic woes. Since there are so many complex factors that go into making society and the economy run, there is almost always a big business or individual policymaker that blame can be tossed at. While there may be a nugget of truth to such accusations, individuals need to first take a look at themselves and their own behavior and ask what kind of effect they are having on the system at large.

Yes, we are all just individuals with very little influence on the larger picture. But by believing that everything was outside of its control — and therefore a problem somebody else would fix — the American middle class has effectively dug its own grave.

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