The Dec. 10 article about the Pew Research Center, which found the middle class is declining, illustrates the “carving out of the middle class.” Those with entrepreneurial or newer technical skills are climbing the economic ladder, while others with older or limited skills are falling back. Many climb down the ladder to exit the workforce.
Economic inequality is a political issue not only now but one from ancient times. The Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle wrote that it could cause social unrest. Plato predicted that class warfare would lead to dictatorships by elite philosophers who would force increased virtue through governments owning everything and controlling everybody.
Gov. Brown came close to this approach in his Dec. 7 comment extolling “the coercive power of the central state in the service of good.”
Aristotle’s solution favored democracy, where people are free to make choices. Coercive governments have never eliminated widespread poverty, but the dynamism of economic freedom has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty.
The choice between coercive governments that stunt economic dynamism and governments that encourage the dynamism flowing from entrepreneurs and the obtaining of new skills is both current and ancient.
Mark J. Zoeller, Coarsegold