"Middle Class Needs to Wake Up" Says One Marin Resident
From the Letters-to-the-Editor in today's Marin IJ:
Middle class needs to wake up
Marie Antoinette is reputed to have said, "Let them eat cake" as the people starved. Two hundred years later, the cry from the present indifferent rich is, "Let them eat crumbs."
The latest obscenity is the golden parachute given to the retiring president of AT&T. He will receive$161.6 million and he will make $1 million a year as a consultant plus other benefits.
However, there was some good news for his less fortunate retirees of AT&T. In the spirit of brotherly love, his board granted a 6.2 percent increase in monthly benefits - but only to those oldest and poorest retirees who have a pension of $1,200 or less per month. How can anyone fault such generosity? What a class act! And they say the rich have no heart.
The line between the rich and the poor is rapidly growing wider as the middle class gradually sinks into genteel poverty. Gas prices go up, food prices go up, housing prices go up, but "hosanna" the 6.2 pension increase has delivered the poorest of the poor. In gratitude for the crumbs they receive, they should bow and touch their forelocks as they thank the benevolent rich for their good fortune.
When will the middle class rise up in protest? Illegal immigrants protest, gay/lesbians protest, bikers protest but the middle class goes dumbly down the ladder to poverty. Gas companies report record profits every quarter, food stores modernize and raise the prices, jobs move overseas, legislators are bought and sold, young people die overseas and the middle class goes dumbly down the ladder to poverty.
It is the middle class that built this country, it is the middle class that earns the money for the rich and it is the middle class that can once again assert its strength but only by taking back its government.
Harry Schriebman, Corte Madera