Saving the Middle Class

This was filmed AFTER I wrote this. Fitting

Saving the Middle Class.

It is all about us!

It is "Not" about you!

It is "Not" about me!

When we look at the global economic state, it is clearly in a bit of a mess. ( Is Aug. 2: the day of debt reckoning? ) It is also clear that there is little, if any, difference between big business and big government. The same people call the shots in both. Unfortunately they don't call the shots in favor of the majority.

The system we have on a global basis has the true priorities mixed up. Those in power politically and economically, falsely believe that they are the ones of greatest importance to the whole. They believe that money and political power are the ways to make change for the better happen.

(Middle class as I define them are families that can afford two good vehicles, help their children through education, help their children get their first home and also take a holiday a year while saving for their own retirement. To place an income level to the term middle class is impossible because the cost of living varies too greatly from one location to the next.)

In reality, it is the middle class that supplies the bulk of the work force and the bulk of the money. It is not those in power politically, nor is it those in power economically that creates change for the good. It is not even union leaders who make a difference. It is the skilled and or educated middle class. It is the worker! Remember, it is not about me, nor about you. It is about “us.”

Foolishly we in the middle class invest in stocks in companies that use our money as if it is theirs. They spend foolishly and move our money away from the countries and neighborhoods where we live. Think about it, when investing in those stocks and companies we are informed that our own life style and net worth will improve. How can that be true if they take our hard earned money and move it away from our neighborhood and even away from our country?

We need change from the bottom up not the top down. We need to re-ignite a community spirit of cooperation and hope like the pioneers had. This is not a change in government policy; rather it is a change in grass roots attitude. We need an attitude that will help us fight to maintain a middle class. Is that not what the two world wars were really about? Providing a place where one could have a life of freedom, with the ability to pursue happiness. That to me is what “Middle Class” really is about.

We need to invest both time and money in our own neighborhoods to maintain the quality of life we have (had). Let’s face it, “it is our own sweat and money that is responsible for creating the middle class in the first place.” It is not the actions of the financial wizards, nor is it the policies of government leaders who have created the life style of the middle class. It is the skilled and or educated workers who toil, save and therefore make things happen.

In following the principles found in a book by Malcom Gladwell called "The Tipping Point" an epidemic of positive change can be created. (If you have not read the book, I encourage you to do so.)

In the book, one of the many examples of the "Tipping point" of change took place in a crime filled neighborhood. Graffiti was everywhere so they went in to a program of cleaning it up. Everything was washed and painted even the streetcars. Every day crews went out and cleaned up all that was written the night before. Then all of a sudden there was a tipping point and no more new graffiti was written while at the same instant, crime dropped and the neighborhood became happy and clean.

The global economic situation will change for the positive when we develop a change in attitude and take responsibility more personal. We can do this by developing an attitude similar to the attitude the Pioneers had. We need a fresh attitude of working together and cooperation. The work bees of the early North American settlers can be done today, albeit in a modern or different fashion.

As I said in my hub Middle Class To Zero - "We need to stop making such a huge deal about manufacturing "things" and we have to start making a big deal about building character. Build a new man from the inside out. No longer running from who we are inside."

I wrote an article that gives one example of how a work bee for today’s world can be created. It will take a team approach to understanding the long term and deep effect a simple idea can have, then sharing it with others to create the "Tipping Point" to make it happen.

I need your help, please read my article “Pioneering The Next Economy.” Try to understand the underlying value it could bring. First, an attitude change backed up with some action that will better one community. Then spreading from community to community to cover the globe. Eventually creating more and more people, globally, living the middle class life style.

If you agree, after you read these articles, share them with everyone you know. Upload the article link to your Facebook page, Linked In, Twitter or any online community or safe list you belong to. Pass them around in a spirit of group cooperation.

Together we can create a global "Tipping Point."

Now read, “Pioneering the next economy.” In that article I share one small example of how the Pioneer spirit of working together can create a work bee that fits today’s world. Create a work bee for today’s world, with people working together to make a difference.

Neil Sperling

Home Office: 519-583-2721

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Comments 60 comments

Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

It Really is "All about us!"


Karen Banes profile image

Karen Banes 6 years ago from Canada

Interesting that I should find this hub today. I just finished reading 'Outliers' by Malcolm Gladwell, and was so fascinated by his ideas and analysis of taken for granted concepts that 'The Tipping Point' is next on my reading list. A little less 'me, me, me' and a bit more 'us' is what we all need. Bring on the pioneer spirit!


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

Karen - thanks for being the first to comment. You will enjoy the tipping point.

Love - Light - Laughter

Neil


maven101 profile image

maven101 6 years ago from Northern Arizona

Neil...Excellent ideas that deserve wide readership...I agree with your premise of a domino effect once the ideas of attitude change take root...

However, knowing human nature after being exposed to it for 71 years, I fear a form of fascism more likely to result...Fascism in the form of political and social behavior that arises when the middle class, finding its hopes frustrated by economic instability, coupled with political polarization and deadlock, abandons traditional ideologies and turns, with the approbation of police and military forces, to a poorly-defined but emotionally appealing salubrity of national unity, immediate and direct resolution of problems, and intolerance for dissent. I'm not sure I would want to live in this kind of world...Larry


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

We may see some of this beginning in the U.S. with a very strong third party movement. These are conservatives, these are grass roots, these are hard working Americans. Capitalism is certainly not bad. Globalization is certainly not bad. Conservative ideals and big business are not bad. What IS bad is when any one of thse things serves only one group of people, and places the others in a position to need the top more than the top needs the bottom.

Capitalism is good when everyone can be a part of the successful ventures. If the company does well, then investors, workers, and communities should do well also.

Globalization is good when we can extend and expand our business to other developing countries, improve their standard of living, and create new markets to sell the goods we make HERE as well as buy goods they make there.

Conservatives founded the country (in the U.S.), and conservative ideals are good because it allows more freedom to the people to choose and to succeed. Conservativism needs no large government to keep the people on their feet.

Big business is also good when it provides jobs and opportunities for a better standard of living for everyone.

I don't necessarily agree with Neil that the human race will remain complacent or quiet in this. We've seen a very disturbing time come about with this last economic crisis, and the impact it is going to have as Americans (and Canadians, or anybody else affected by it) begin to realize that corporate America IS them, will be greater than in the past.

There's that old saying that every dollar we spend casts a vote for the kind of world we live in. If we demand Made in America or Made in Canada, if we keep more of our money in our wallets, SOMEBODY at the top will finally have to start listening and allow the free market to dictate that JOBS are as much a part of the schematic of profits as are the cost of producing goods.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

Maven - if a society allows itself to give up on hope, like you say "finding its hopes frustrated by economic instability, and political deadlock" then a sad result will surely take place. That's why the pioneer spirit of cooperation and working together must be fostered.

Springboard - I never said that "we will remain complacent and quiet on this." Not sure - but I think you meant Maven instead of Neil. .... anyway I appreciate your comments and your words on capitalism.

Thank you both for coming and participating in this thread of ideas.

Neil


SOBF profile image

SOBF 6 years ago from New York, NY

Awesome hub - It will take those who unknowingly control this country to fix this country. We spend far too much time looking to politicians and large corporations to fix out problems when they are focused solely on themselves. This country was not built by IBM, Bank of America, or the federal government, it was built by hard working men and women with vision. The middle class has turned its wealth over to a few and watched them squander it away. Then they are asked to clean up the mess they left behind.

We are like a mother with a drug addict for a child. We keep supporting the habit until we ourselves are in financial ruin.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

SOBF - Love your quote "The middle class has turned its wealth over to a few and watched them squander it " Exactly my way of thinking too. We need to take back control.

Thanks for reading and sharing!

Neil


Hxprof 6 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

I agree Neil that a change in attitudes creates a change in people-that's a sound principle, but real, lasting attitude change is impossible without a change in our beliefs-a deep and genuine change coming from within, a convictioin of what is right and true along with the ability to act upon it. It is that kind of change that alters our belief systems to allow for lasting changes in our attitudes.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

Hxprof - True words you speak. It is true also that our beliefs are influenced by our surroundings. Thus a program to change our surroundings, a simple work bee team effect, can mushroom and thereby make a change to inner beliefs. Are not both sociology and psychology accurate studies in their own right. There are both deductive and inductive reasoning, sociology and psychology, a yin and a yang. My friend, we are both correct.


Hxprof 6 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

I agree with you Neil. Psychology and sociology both have their place at the table. What neither can address is the spiritual realm, from which belief systems and character structures arise. Our environment, including our interaction with parents, siblings and relatives comprises the weight of our environment in our earliest years. From our earliest moments in life, we are unconsciously reacting to our surroundings, thus laying the foundation for our beliefs and our character structure. The ways we react to early stimuli are key to what we become as young adults.

We do agree on some details of the importance of our surroundings. However, what inhibits people from making lasting changes in attitude is the difficulty in changing the highly developed, deeply held beliefs that are often locked away in the 'hidden heart' refered to in Psalm 51:6,"You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part you will make me to know wisdom".

Though we disagree on some details, we certainly DO agree on the basics: There must be change from within, and our environment has an impact upon our deepest beliefs.


cheaptrick profile image

cheaptrick 6 years ago from the bridge of sighs

Hello Neil.We agree on supporting our local economy.

You have many more readers than I so please read my Hub on indoor farming and help spread the word,its a fantastic idea my partner stumbled on and it works!

Thanks.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

Hxprof - Again I say we agree and to be truthful not on any point. I never brought to this article the spiritual as too much of that could lead to less readership. Spiritual is implied behind all I wrote and is there for hose who think deeper than most, like yourself.

- When an understanding of both sociology and psychology take place in one individual, combined they create a wisdom that leads to a spiritual understanding.

- That said "Lets keep further spiritual discussion to hubs where they are intended."

Thanks again for your thoughts.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

Cheap trick - Thanks for your support - I shall return the favor.


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

My friend Cathy is always bugging me about this whole thing about "classes" and being some kind of "social class". She thinks it is discriminatory. I understand her view. I have lived in 4 countries, and they all have class systems. If people pretend they're not in a class system, it makes no difference. It is still there. The Brits got a lot of stick for that annoying class thing, but blame us at your leisure. The Middle class is there , and it's probably most of the people who read these pages. They are the ones who pay the most taxes and the biggest group hit by our governments for most things, because they are the ones who are most likely able to pay in the first place. They work. And they earn money or else they are retired or not working and have either a pension or some small money or whatever. They also use more than anyone. (The system, the utilities, customers all!) Without that group, society as we know it doesn't work. Government won't work. Simple.

(And in a financial recession, lost of middle class people lose jobs, just like the lower class. They need more protecting!)


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

Cheeky girl - good comments/observations. Trouble is the government and all their hand outs are what is causing the whole mess in the first place. I don't agree that we need protection - we just need to be able to keep more of the money we earn. The government wastes 80% what they bring in... way to many people on the publicly funded pay rolls and on top of that the rich have to much control over what governments do as far as policies. It is the small business and the working middle class that need the tax brakes. Protection from the governments regulations and controls is the only protection the middle class needs.

Banning together as the pioneers did is (as far as I can see) one of the best solutions.

Thanks for your comment my valued friend!


Chris 6 years ago

Hello, old friend. Nice to see you again. Very enlightening article. Too bad too many people are waiting for government bail outs. One person can make a difference.

The middle class (us) really do need to do our part.

Nice article.


Teresa Laurente profile image

Teresa Laurente 6 years ago from San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.

It is only right for this to be in a government agenda. For the middle class really make up the economy in general. In the sense that it occupies the ledger of not only commerce but also taxation of governments. Great hubs! More power.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

Chris - good to see you too - thanks!

Tersa - I agree it should be on the governments agenda - but most importantly it has to be on ours and in our actions!

Love - Light - Laughter

Neil


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

We need to re-ignite a community spirit of cooperation and hope like the pioneers had. This is not a change in government policy; rather it is a change in grass roots attitude.


Dale Mazurek profile image

Dale Mazurek 6 years ago from Canada

I shouldnt even be allowed to comment on this hub.

You have a great mind and a great way of writing whats on it.

Your hub most defiantaly belongs on my blog and now it is there.

Find the link to my blog on my profile page

Cheers

Dale


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

Thanks Dale -- what an awesome compliment.

Been to your blog - lots of good stuff there.

Thanks so much for the link.

Neil


stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

like it. your hub is very good.


zzron profile image

zzron 6 years ago from Houston, TX.

I like your style on this hub, I agree with you that the middle class is the backbone of any economy in any nation.


Property-Invest profile image

Property-Invest 6 years ago from London

Hi Neil. Great hub. It's also the middle class that stabilises countries, you only have to look around the world for proof of that!

But don't you think that what is happening to our communities, in terms of fragmentation and alienation is just a sign of the money making machine and political machine gone out of control?


lxxy profile image

lxxy 6 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

I love this.

"It is all about us!"

That is correct. Those who have found themselves at the top--be it corporate or political, have foolishly believed themselves to be the majority. This can be seen even today with the city of Los Angeles wanting to boycott the state of Arizona because of some obvious law that's always been a law.

The policy makers are pushing it forward, although most of the citizens of Los Angeles are supportive of Arizona's stance.

And internet policy is being shaped by entertainment conglomerates and technology advocate groups.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

The bottom line is that without our country and businesses devoted to keeping the Golden Rule we are uncivilized! Thank you!


GNelson profile image

GNelson 6 years ago from Florida

You are absolutly right. If we focus locally, we we change the world, especially ours.


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

The middle class is in peril - world wide. Sadly here in the US, the only "unaffected" housing is those homes over $2 million. The jobs, the housing, the loss of hope makes many complacent - this is not a time for inactivity - this is the time that action is needed. Keep pushing - we need your energy - worldwide.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

stars449, zzron, property-invest, lexxy, Micky, Gnelson and Gmagoldie - I thank you all for taking the time to read and comment. All good stuff!


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

The dominoes need to be stacked or lined up so we can experience some good chain reaction... Waiting for and watching the little victories in each day and pressing on. :)


scriber1 5 years ago

Neil, in my hub Pogo Was Right -- Or Left, and the hub you have commented upon, I was attempting to cause a greater understanding of the trigger for the problem.......and having now read your solution to “saving the middle class” that solution is essentially what libertarians have been saying since that archetypal libertarian John Locke in the 17th century. So thus we either have no large government because it ends up being for sale. Or we end up with no United (the operative word being United) States, and instead seek only the government that by definition must be small and "local"....as was argued by Plato who thought that cities of more than 10,000 persons were no longer manageable. And while a simplistic view of libertarians will choose to ignore the following reality, the remedy of libertarianism is the enemy of capitalism because small, by definition is not what capitalism seeks; to the contrary, capitalism can only survive and thrive through growth. There is room for both capitalistic and libertarians views in the saving of the middle class......but let me leave you with this: A high tide floats all boats........


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

katiem2 - thanks for your comment

scriober1 - great comment. I actually agree with Plato LOL.

I'm more a capitalist than a liberal thinker, but a capitalist society must be governed to "check" greed and power. Capitalism unchecked becomes a government and a business world controlled by a few wealthy.... which is what I see we have today. Liberalism in my view "gives" too many hand outs and management of those government programs alone cause a top heavy government forced to tax in excess. Also Capitalism checked creates a field of entrepreneurs all supplying a need.... Capitalism unchecked you have corporate giants controlling all goods and services.

There is no simple solution to the global mess we now face. Pioneering type attitudes where people ban together to improve "their" area by fund raising or work bees, working to improve "their" area alone, will end up improving the globe... area by area. Maybe in truth, Plato really was right. That said I believe "the small banned together are larger than any giant at the top."

There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the fore leads to victory and fortune.


scriber1 5 years ago

Thanks Neil.......spoken like a true Canadian...lol. And having lived in Canada, that's an observation of respect, not derision. I appreciate your comments,and I'm going to become a follower.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

Thanks Sciber1 - I'm following you too! Cheers.


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 5 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

I like your ''can do" attitude, Neil! Thanks for a thought-provoking Hub!


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

Doc - thanks for taking time to read and comment


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 5 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

I agree with Springboard.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

thanks granny


magnoliazz profile image

magnoliazz 5 years ago from Wisconsin

Excellent and interesting hub, thank you!

I think we need to get our factories back, and make them employee owned. A few people at the top, pulling all the strings, and making all the money too, needs to end. Its not working, the little guys need a chance. Its the "little people" who produce all the wealth.

As for stocks, I hope people have learned their lessons. If you want to invest, invest in land, there is only so much of it, and its value always goes up. Why would you want to invest your money with no guarantee at all that you will actually make a dime, and with the real possiblity that you may lose everything? I never could understand it, buying stocks is the last thing I would do with my hard earned money.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

magnoliazz - you certainly think a lot like I do. I agree, real estate makes more sense to me too.

Thanks again for your time and comments.


DRG Da Real Grinc profile image

DRG Da Real Grinc 5 years ago from All over the USA

Very good insight. Made me think about many things differently.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

DRG - Cool! Glad you liked it and found it stimulating. Thanks for commenting.


cindi h profile image

cindi h 5 years ago

Neil I couldn't agree more! We are all puppets and it is way past the time to cut the strings!!


dablufox profile image

dablufox 5 years ago from Australia

I also think we are at a tipping point, things really have to change and I mean fundamentally. You can see that change right now in the middle east. But for western democracies I think governments have become more sophisticated at preventing change.

There are too many people dimensionally thinking that hoarding wealth is the best way to happiness and security, we shall all see how this concept pans out?

Loved your hub!


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

dablufox - that is a great observation and comment - much appreciated

Cindi - we should be puppet masters not puppets. Great comment


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south

another excellent article. I like your writing style and your ideas. much like mine, but your have a bit more charisma than i do, and hopefully your (our)ideas will resonate around the globe, and get everyone in that state of mind for the beginning of that "age of enlightenment" that will surely occur in 2012. I look forward to reading the rest of your hubs. dw


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

d.william - Hey thanks again for dropping in. The shift is happening now mate - happening now!


vrajavala profile image

vrajavala 5 years ago from Port St. Lucie

too much regulation south of the border. Unfortunately, Our dear leader does not like America.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

vrajavala - thanks for the comment -- trouble is the leaders of the world are never found in Governments.. the actual leaders are the multi-Billionaires.... the "Global" politicians (democratic societies) are their puppets.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

I firmly believe that if tomorrow labor unions both public and private were completely disbanded and prohibited for the Marxist idea they are, that America would be as strong as it was in the 1950s economically within five years and it would improve immediately. Unemployment? There would be no such thing. Inflation? Non existant.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

James - I lean to the right as you do, that said there is too much wealth in the hands of too few..... and most government tax incentives simply make the rich richer and the poor poorer and the middle class disappears.... Personally I do not see the 50's and 60's even remotely possible to return - the world is too messed up for that to happen..... a whole new mode of living has to be adapted and that includes a whole new mode of economics.

No easy task ahead - but if we get back to learning to enjoy life and living and develop man from the inside out... we will thrive!


Derdriu 4 years ago

Neil Sperling: What a logical but nonetheless moving tribute to the power of individual will and community action!

Thank you for emphasizing the happy, positive, powerful and successful in life.

Voted up, and every category too,

Derdriu

P.S. Thank you for the video!


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 4 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

derdiu - yip - personal power along with happy, positive power = it is all good - thanks for your votes


one2recognize2 profile image

one2recognize2 4 years ago from New York

Boy how I've missed visiting and reading your hubs Neil. Excellent and definitely a must share. Voted up... ;)

"It is all about us."


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 4 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

one2recognize2 - Awe.. :-) .... Thanks so much for the kind words... Hugs


grinnin1 profile image

grinnin1 4 years ago from st louis,mo

Love the writing and the thinking behind the writing. You are absolutely right on now more than ever before. I will be reading more! Excellent hub!


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 4 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

grinnin -- I think you kindly for your strong words. Full Speed Ahead - One inch at a time!


dwachira profile image

dwachira 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

Hi Neil Sperling,

It is sad how the gap between the well to do and the poor keeps on widening. The trend of richer getting more richer and the poor getting more poorer. When will governments recognize low and middle class people that drive the economy, may be one day but it doesn't look so soon. Great article, voted up and useful.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 4 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada Author

dwachira - thanks for dropping by and commenting. I believe there is a movement that will surprise humanity We are about to throw away the building blocks of kindergarten and advance.... more on that in my hub "Shrinking Middle Class To Zero - a positive approach to necessary change"

thanks again for commenting

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