The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

The “Middle Class” Fantasy

Aug 22, 2011

UAW leaders used to pretend that auto workers had a “middle class” standard of living. In fact, workers, with a few isolated exceptions, have never had an income that would put them “in the middle class”–whatever that term means. Through their struggles, they did win for themselves a standard of living that kept them out of poverty: maybe take a vacation occasionally, maybe go out to eat from time to time, maybe give their kids some help with school costs. They might “own” their own home, which meant to be indebted to the bank for all their working lives, and “own” a car, which meant paying on a car note from one car almost up to the next one. But most were still living from paycheck to paycheck, putting only a tiny bit aside for retirement.

Today, as a result of the concessions, even this meager standard of living is rapidly being destroyed for every worker.