In a time when the one percenters seem to have it all, author Munir Moon builds a case for the average Joe in his eye-opening new book, The Middle Class Comeback. So take heart and take control of your fears with Moon’s informative–and ultimately inspiring–look at the middle class.
Moon, a former financial-industry executive and current business owner, uses his years of expertise to paint a portrait of the middle class that is not nearly as grim as the media would have you believe.
While it is true that the middle class has been consistently squeezed while facing higher costs in health care, housing, education, and taxes, there are many positive developments that spell hope for those making a moderate income.
With clarity and insight, Moon details the ways in which the middle class is setting itself up for a comeback. This includes the increasingly strong presence of women in society; the rise of technology that will both create high-paying jobs and inspire different ways of approaching basic societal pillars; and the imminent takeover of the millennials, a generation that is poised to tackle our nation’s problems in a whole new way.
The Middle Class Comeback counters the negativity of the dominant narrative surrounding the past, present, and most importantly the future of the American middle class. Despite the doom and gloom making headlines, there are major forces working together: the rising power of women and millennials combined with rapid technological advances will prove that the middle class is ripe for a comeback.
The Middle Class Comeback asks a basic question (is the American dream of entering the middle class truly achievable?) and gathers evidence that entering the middle class is no longer an attainable goal - but the crux of the matter doesn't stop here.
Munir Moon then focuses on government and the dysfunctional political processes that have lead to this decline and how these may be fixed, reviewing many solid strategies and approaches that create the optimistic hope that the middle class can come back strong. Several factors play into this idea that while the middle class may be under siege, it is not dead, yet.
One is the rising power of women in all segments of society, from business to politics. The second is the rise of technological innovations that demand better efficiency and different approaches to the digital world.
Having laid the framework for possible salvation, The Middle Class Comeback proceeds to define "middle class", considers new models for reform (from the decentralization of educational process to the rise of political entrepreneurs and the interests of millennials in redefining values systems), and shows how the nation is ripe for sweeping changes that could even reach into political processes and the possibility of an active, viable third party in the election process.
This book argues that not only has the income for the middle-class fallen, but that the cost of education, healthcare, housing, and taxes have increased at a much higher rate, which makes it impossible for an average American family to attain a middle-class lifestyle. For middle class Americans (nearly half of the population) and politically independent citizens (more than 40 percent of Americans), The Middle Class Comeback gives concrete reason for hope and a path forward through continued innovation and political engagement.
As he provides a sweeping history of how social and political processes have traditionally been addressed across the board, Moon notes: "The nation needs a new definition of engagement." Although in this reference he's speaking of the military establishment, his entire book reflects that new definition and will prove a refreshing breath of hope to any who question whether the American middle class is truly viable now, or will have a presence in and influence on the future.
The book does an admirable job of focusing on the three key factors that could lead to the resurgence of the middle class.Munir Moon’s perceptive book, The Middle Class Comeback, offers a realistic but decidedly optimistic view of the future of America’s middle class.
The plight of the middle class is invoked time and again in political speeches and economic reports, though without producing a broad solution to the situations facing such Americans, including falling incomes and higher costs. Moon’s clear, concise, and well-researched work defies common pronouncements, suggesting that the middle class may be troubled, but it will make a comeback because of three specific factors: women, millennials, and technology.
Each of these three areas is explored in a fair amount of detail, though the book devotes the most time to addressing the specific impact of women. Shared statistics demonstrate the rising power of women, who now account for almost half of the labor force and outnumber men two-to-one in earning four-year college degrees. The text includes appropriate discussions of women’s roles in American society, citing numerous prominent women in business, technology, and politics. The impact of millennials is shown to be no less significant, especially with regard to “transforming existing industries while creating new ones.” Politically, “about half describe themselves as politically independent,” which Moon suggests could have fairly dramatic implications in future elections.
The book includes numerous sage observations about the changing economy, with particular focus given to the “sharing economy” and the “flexible workforce.” It also offers a sweeping overview of aspects of America’s health- care, education, and tax systems. While the book’s broad brush approach is more conceptual in nature, it provides specific recommendations for modifications that could contribute to middle class salvation. In the area of taxes, for example, it suggests significant revisions to the tax code to reduce personal taxes and eliminate corporate loopholes.
It is Moon’s coverage of the political environment that probably stands to resonate most strongly, especially during a presidential election year. Referring to Washington, he writes, “The Beltway is the biggest impediment to economic growth and the main obstacle to the middle class comeback.” He explores some of the reasons for political gridlock and proposes “a platform for ‘Rebuilding the American Middle Class’” that includes setting term limits on representatives and senators and reforming the tax system.
The Middle Class Comeback is smart, succinct, and easy to read, yet it proactively addresses some of this country’s most pressing problems. In a relatively short work, Munir Moon has done an admirable job of focusing on the three key factors that he believes will lead to the resurgence of the middle class. One can only hope he is right.
A diagnosis of American middle-class woes and a hopeful blueprint for its revival.
The embattlement of the middle class has, more than ever, become a recurrent theme in political discourse, especiallysince the catastrophic housing crisis of 2008. Moon (The Beltway Beast, 2014), a businessman and formerfinancial-industry executive, attributes the group’s distress to a combination of stagnant wages and aggressively climbing costs, including those of health care, education, and an endless litany of taxes. Not content to gloomily dwell on badnews, the author finds promising reasons for hope, as well. For example, he notes that although women continue to lagbehind their male counterparts in wages, that gap is steadily closing; their participation in the labor force continues toincrease, and they constitute a bigger share of college graduates than ever before. And although it’s becomecommonplace to pillory millennials for their immaturity, Moon instead sees a savvy class of political entrepreneurs, ready and able to challenge the status quo. Finally, he asserts that the breakneck pace of technological progress is notonly going to usher in new opportunity and a dramatic lowering of costs across the board, but also has the potential totransform the very structure of the economy, especially regarding health care: “A new paradigm shift is underway wheredecentralized and sharing models with emphasis on personal accountability is [sic] evolving that will make healthcareaccessible and affordable for all.” The author plots out some sensible, if less-than-detailed, reforms, some of themeconomic, such as tax reform, and some of them political, such as revised term limits for politicians. It’s a thoughtful,lucid study, and it’s refreshing to see an unflinching discussion of the middle-class difficulties that doesn’t surrender tofatalistic despair. Sometimes Moon even seems too optimistic; for instance, he doesn’t address the ways in whichincreased technological sophistication could hurt the middle class, as whole professions get replaced by machines.Ultimately, the discussion of possible future reforms is simply too broad, and the book ambitiously covers too muchground for such a relatively slim volume. However, as a brief primer on the state of the middle class, this is a valuablecontribution to public debate.
A sensible, bipartisan analysis of the future of a major segment of American society.
The Middle Class Comeback has been selected as a #Politicalscience finalist in Foreword Reviews' prestigious 2016 #ForewordINDIES Book of the Year Awards! In a competition with over 2200 other entrants, it's pretty great to have made it this far. Stay tuned for the winner announcements at the end of June. Feeling the #indielove! https://awards.forewordreviews.com/books/the-middle-class-comeback/