Eli and the Vanishing Middle Class

Posted: September 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

In 1899, a man in upstate NY put his face in his hands and saw his life’s work fading away. The man’s name was Eli…he was a horse tack leatherman. He brought with him the master skills of the leather trade from Ireland. For decades, Eli worked the fires and the repulsive tanning pools to bring forth products of extreme quality and pride. Customers spread the word about Eli’s goods and business flourished.  The advent of the automobile and the industrialization of the factories made owning a car possible for his dwindling list of clients. The carefully crafted buggy-whips and leather horse apparel sat on his shelves with the occasional loyal customer buying what they could. Eli’s income dropped and his station in the community faded. By 1920 Eli was out of business and took a job at an auto factory making Oldsmobiles..a slave to those that ruined him.
Technology improved and shifted the focus from a farm and agricultural society and thrust upon it a do-or-die industrial alternative. We middle-class are facing similar issues today. As technology reinvents itself to provide faster, more efficient ways to do business, those workers displaced by this technology sit in the cross-hairs of a new Plutocratic rifle of destruction. We are told we must retrain and re-educate ourselves to survive. Yet, the great number of jobless middle-aged folks in America simply will not be able to educate fast enough in highly skilled careers to make the cut. That leaves all of us out here suffering 2 choices:

1: We either become slaves to the Plutocracy and live a life of meager means for the rest of our days.

2: Join together to create an army of talent and decades of skill, creating our own businesses for one another, BY one another and only transact business WITH one another.

There is strength, safety and power in numbers, friends.

Right here on this site we can begin a movement of recovery and rebuilding…together.

Oh, and BTW, …Eli was my great grandfather.

  1. Steven Cook says:

    I wonder why Eli didn’t make leather goods for uses other than horses. Very few people could afford cars or buggies until after WWII.

    • svp333 says:

      He did. Once employed by Oldsmobile, he worked on the upholstery. But, my great grandfather continued to provide leather goods to horse tack shops throughout his life. He only bottomed out for about 2 years before he had to make some hard decisions.

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