The new poor are always the most dangerous element to maintaining a stable society because they still remember the good times. White males, especially those above sixty, remember when unions were strong, production lines hummed and good wages could be had with nothing more than a high school education. I know because I worked during the heart of that fantasyland period. But it was an aberration caused by circumstances coming out of WWII, when American manufacturing held a brief monopoly on world production. Those days are long gone but not forgotten.

Indeed, 1945 to around 1980 was an anomaly that producted a great middle class bubble that’s all but completely defalted. Since the average Joe possess at maximum a 30 year time frame, most folks who thrived during the 50s, 60s and 70s naturally assumed that things in American would go on improving generation after generation.

Now these folks are all bummed out looking for something or someone to blame for the collapse of the good old days. There is no villain here, though Trump tries hard to make folks believe otherwise. Just like there are boom and bust towns there are boom and bust segments of society, a reality that human egos can’t abide. Those who have lived well once expect to live well forever.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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