When a country has a strong and prosperous middle class, that country’s economy can be strong and growing. This is the opposite of what we’ve got these days, where new wealth rarely touches the hands of regular folks, but instead gets added to the mountains of underused money at the top. This winner-take-all economy punishes the middle class, and though harder to see, also punishes companies trying to employ and market to the middle class.
A hundred years ago, Henry Ford started paying his workers better, based on one simple truth:
When regular folks have more money they can buy more things. And that is what creates jobs and prosperity.
There is a growing understanding that this change is due, and is coming. Life and prosperity has always been about people working together and building on our combined successes and strengths. Every wealthy person owes much of their success to the underpinnings and contributions of our society – often behind the scenes and currently under-appreciated.
In their book, The Gardens of Democracy, Nick Hanauer and Eric Liu show how Middle Out Economics has always been the way for widespread prosperity.
Here’s to a new start on an old idea: treating people well and paying people well.
Wealthy people matter – just not more than anyone else. Let’s find ways that respect people, and bring dignity and fairness to our lives and our economy.