The Haves and the Have Nots

by Russ Roberts on February 23, 2006

in The Hollow Middle

I wrote recently about the people who like to complain that America is being hollowed out, that we’re becoming a two-tiered society of haves and have nots, an hourglass economy where the rich get all the gains and the poor stand in place or fall further behind.

Here’s a slightly older example of the genre from Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, which is celebrating its 100th birthday:

"All over the world two classes were forming," wrote Sinclair in "The
Jungle." "The capitalist class, with its enormous fortunes, and the
proletariat, bound into slavery by unseen chains."

There is nothing new under the sun.

The quote is from a nice piece in today’s WSJ ($) by John Miller. According to Miller, Sinclair wanted The Jungle to spur a revolution, not meat inspections.  Ah, the law of unintended consequences.


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