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Article published October 16, 2012
Steps can help ‘middle’
Gary Neely Connoquenessing Township
The subject of the middle class has, as it should, become a major topic of the presidential election. The rise of the middle class and the lifestyle we’ve come to enjoy in this country was a direct result of manufacturing jobs and the sale and transportation of manufactured goods. For many of those jobs, very little education was required. A high school kid could walk into a steel mill, land a good-paying job, and could hold that job until retirement. In some cases, poor management decisions or union greed resulted in a plant shutdown, but there were plenty of other jobs available for those who sought them. Labor always was the highest factor in manufacturing. With the advent of the North American Free Trade Agreement and other trade accords, the door opened for manufacturers to move their operations outside of this country. Along with that went many American jobs. Since then, we have been living on the residue of those golden years. Middle-class people have watched their savings and buying power evaporate. Good jobs today require higher levels of education than ever before. Tax cuts help, but are just a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound. To rebuild the middle class in this country, we need to establish fair trade with our trading partners, establish incentives for businesses to grow and thrive in the U.S., and allow more states to become right-to-work states. In today’s world, most jobs are created by small businesses. But the government over-regulates and over-taxes these companies, hindering their expansion. Another factor that hinders growth is the poison of class envy. Once the view of disgruntled union workers, it has become a rallying cry of Democrats like Butler County Democratic Committeeman David Kerr of Lancaster Township. Kerr’s favorite target seems to be Congressman Mike Kelly. The fact that Kelly owns a successful business makes him a target for liberals. Never mind that he has created hundreds of jobs, directly and indirectly, and pumped millions of dollars into our local economy. Kelly’s efforts have helped maintain the middle class in our area through his own job-creation and regarding other small businesses. Kerr’s class-envy message plays well to couch potatoes and the dependency class, but most people realize it doesn’t put bread on the table.