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Patrick Thibault letter: Decline of the middle class is the problem

Without social capital, the glue that binds one to another, we see the ugly consequences: an insurrection, mass murder, deaths of despair of young people through opioids, a decay in law and order, increase in racism, failing schools, rotting infrastructure, bankrupt cities and a declining lifespan.

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Reader Opinion letter
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Often, things break down more often from the inside than the outside. For example, cars wear out more often through wear and tear than through demolition by an accident.

Similarly, governments break down from within rather than from being ransacked by an invading horde. Today, the United States is experiencing a breakdown, which has evolved over decades.

There have been an assortment of misdirected explanations for this decline: immigration, atheism, homosexuality, abortion, greed, high taxes, addiction, racism, politicians, and a host of other hot-button issues.

However, the most obvious yet most trenchant explanation is that the middle class has been dismantled over the last 40 years. The middle class was the engine and glue that grew our economy while promoting social capital, meaning, caring for each other through strong social institutions.

Without social capital, the glue that binds one to another, we see the ugly consequences: an insurrection, mass murder, deaths of despair of young people through opioids, a decay in law and order, increase in racism, failing schools, rotting infrastructure, bankrupt cities and a declining lifespan.

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How is this possible in one of the wealthiest nations?

Patrick Thibault
Willmar

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