This week an amazing report on the shrinking middle class in the United States hit the streets via The New York Times. The report was based on analysis done, not by social scientists or liberal political talking heads, but by business leaders and marketing strategists.
These two paragraphs set the tone for the article:
As politicians and pundits in Washington continue to spar over whether economic inequality is in fact deepening, in corporate America there really is no debate at all. The post-recession reality is that the customer base for businesses that appeal to the middle class is shrinking as the top tier pulls even further away.
If there is any doubt, the speed at which companies are adapting to the new consumer landscape serves as very convincing evidence. Within top consulting firms and among Wall Street analysts, the shift is being described with a frankness more often associated with left-wing academics than business experts.
Read the entire report here.
Clearly, this sort of trend alerts us to the growing numbers of people who stare poverty in the face on a daily basis. We must work smarter. We must become bolder. We turn away from systemic, collective strategies to our own and our society's peril.
Are we simply asleep?