When I was a kid back in the 1950’s, you were either a ‘worker’ or a ‘manager.’ That was it. If your father was a worker, he worked in a big building called a factory on an assembly line using his hands.
In my New York City neighborhood there were two big factories where all the guys went to work: a Proctor & Gamble plant which made Ivory Snow soap and an American Gypsum plant which made gypsum before anyone knew that this product could kill you.
The Gypsum plant is now an empty space with a farmer’s market across the street. The P&G factory is rubble.
As of 2023, manufacturing accounted for slightly less than 11% of the GDP. In 1947, the first year that data covering how different economic sectors contributed to the GDP, manufacturing was 26%. As of 2020, manufacturing employment was 12 million, a decline from 20 million in 1979.
What’s happening is a shift in the world’s economy in which manufacturing is increasingly taking place in what used to be called the ‘underdeveloped’ countries, whereas service employment, particularly ties to consumerism and data transfer, is what drives the economies of advanced countries like the United States.
Think things have changed all that much? In England, where manufacturing contributed 25% to the country’s GDP in 1980, the manufacturing percentage of the U.K.’s GDP is now down to less than 9%.
So, the United States is no longer a center of manufacturing, which means we have to redefine the term ‘working class.’ And the way both political parties have redefined the term is to simply drop the word ‘working’ from their verbal baedekers.
Last week, Trump gave a speech to a small group of people who were hired to show up at a non-union plant to listen as Trump told them that they needed to be striking against how the globalists were pushing the idea of electric cars. Joe showed up in Detroit, grabbed a megaphone and told some real UAW members on a picket line that he supported their demands for a big increase in their hourly wage, but most of the time he and other Democrat(ic) politicians sit around trying to craft a new message to recapture support from the middle class.
Actually, the Democrats try to have it both ways, because in their discussions for how they will once again become the party of the alienated middle class, they refer to their efforts to regain their strength amongst the ‘working middle class.’
But maybe it doesn’t really matter what the Democrat(ic) Party refers to people who get up in the morning and go to work or stay home and work (which now accounts for more than 25% of the total working hours on payrolls each week) because the employment numbers that have just been announced are so strong that who really cares what workers are called?
In September, the economy added 336,000 jobs, far above what had been predicted and the largest monthly gain since the beginning of the year. Remember that ‘ruinous’ inflation which Donald Trump keeps saying is driving the economy down the drain? The hourly wage rose 4.2% and the inflation rate which was 3.7%, and the average hourly wage was – ready? - $33.88, which pushes the average annual salary above 70 grand.
Could things slow down? Sure they could because the economy always has its ups and downs. But if the average worker who walks into his or her workplace walks out at the end of the day with $272 more than he had in their pocket at the beginning of the day, we might as well stop using a term like ‘working class,’ because the guys in my neighborhood who worked at the Proctor & Gamble plant were making $2.75 an hour and it was a union wage.
I don’t think it matters whether people call themselves whatever they want to call themselves as long as they can get paid what we used to call an honest day’s salary for an honest day’s work.
Which is exactly what’s happening right now under the Administration of ‘crooked’ Joe.