"Why the middle class is being destroyed"
That's the title of an article at American Greatness. I don't necessarily agree with all the author's arguments, but he makes an intriguing case that deserves our attention. Here's an excerpt.
The emergence of a cognitive elite, and, for the first time in history, the almost total convergence of intellectuals with the financial elite explains the coming extinction of the middle class.
. . .
The elitist argument for destroying the middle class is simple. If everyone on earth used as much energy as Americans use, global energy production would have to more than quadruple. That fact roughly applies to all natural resources. We might argue—and we should argue—that innovation can deliver a middle-class lifestyle to 8 billion people without catastrophically depleting critical natural resources or causing unacceptable harm to the earth’s biosphere, but apparently that’s not a choice the elites want to make. And they don’t have to.
Explaining this refers to another development ... which is how artificial intelligence and other technological innovations will make the existence of a middle class unnecessary.
In their book, Herrnstein and Murray ask, “what is the minimum level of cognitive resources necessary to sustain a community at any given level of social and economic complexity?” By implication, they suggest that if the average IQ of a population is low or in decline, that jeopardizes the potential of the population to advance or even maintain their standard of living. But the consensus among today’s elites is that broadly distributed intelligence in a population is no longer necessary.
The logic for this is sound, even though it dismisses the aspirations of billions of people. People in jobs of moderate responsibility, or less, won’t need to know as much or think as much as they once did. Even doctors and airline pilots will rely increasingly on algorithms to make their diagnoses and fly their planes. If the plane crashes, as we saw a few years ago with two grisly 737 incidents, that is an inevitable byproduct of working out the bugs in the software. If a cyber attack systematically crashes the entire civilization, the elites will be in their bunkers, sandboxed away from the ensuing mayhem.
What is coming is a ruthless meritocracy that will admit only those individuals with the skills to do work that can’t be replaced by algorithms and robots. There won’t be many openings. In most professions and trades, to the extent human involvement is still necessary, competence will be secondary to affirmative action because automated procedures and artificial intelligence prompts will tell workers what to do.
By blending and flattening the population of the world’s cognitively normal, the cognitive elite will be able to pacify and manage them, distance themselves, and have exclusive access to whatever property and privileges they consider not sustainable or desirable for everyone to enjoy.
. . .
The controversy over one chapter in Herrnstein and Murray’s book should not diminish the fact that, way back in 1994, their work anticipated two of the most decisive trends in the world today: The emergence of a cognitive elite, and, for the first time in history, the almost total convergence of intellectuals with the financial elite. The consequence, an apparent consensus among the two groups to destroy the middle class to protect their own interests while claiming they’re saving the planet and promoting “equity,” should surprise nobody.
There's more at the link, and it's well worth reading.
There's plenty of supporting evidence for the author's argument. To take just one example, a few weeks ago we discussed "A deliberate plan to cull the human population?". We've also mentioned the ideas of Israeli technocrat Yuval Noah Harari, who's on record as saying:
"... we just don’t need the vast majority of the population, because the future is about developing more and more sophisticated technology, like artificial intelligence [and] bioengineering, Most people don’t contribute anything to that, except perhaps for their data, and whatever people are still doing which is useful, these technologies increasingly will make redundant and will make it possible to replace the people."
I'm sure that makes you feel just as comfortable as it does me . . .
I daresay I won't live long enough to see how this works itself out. However, those of you with children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren have a personal stake in seeing to it that their lives are not circumscribed and neutered by such elitist grandiloquence. I can only suggest that you read the article above in full, and then conduct wider research . . . and then act on it, in whatever way you can.
Throw some sand and grit in the progressive gearbox. It's fun!