Supreme Soviet of 43rd Street Commands: Raise Middle-Class Consumption

At first I thought I might have stumbled across a document of some historical interest - an internal memo from the central planning committee of the Soviet Union ordering the apparatchiks to find a way to increase spending in a certain sector of the economy.

Turns out it was just an editorial from today's New York Times. Consumption by the middle-class isn't high enough to suit the Gray Lady's taste, or as it puts it: "There is no question that spending by the middle class has been weaker in the current economic expansion than in previous recoveries."

What really has the Times exercised is this: "In 2005, the top 20 percent of households made 39 percent of all consumer expenditures." Oh, the horror! How dare the most productive members of society, the ones who are creating most of the jobs for the other 80%, spend the most?

And so the Times issues its diktat: "It’s time for policy makers to acknowledge that such inequality is an economic and social ill — and to start finding cures." Like killing all the golden-egg laying geese, no doubt.

I won't be putting the editorial on Ebay. But you have to admire the masterpiece of antiquated thinking, of the kind that drove the old Bolshies into the ground, that the Times has fashioned.

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.