Op-Ed: How to talk to your disagreeable uncle at Thanksgiving
As an immigrant, I have learned three things about the immigrant experience, all of which are true. Number one: the more difficult the journey, the greater our sense of belonging. Number two: the more generous the welcome, the more likely we will succeed. Number three: the more we love our people, the more we will suffer.
But this might be the first time since the Great Recession that more citizens have felt that way about their economic condition.
As we prepare to spend Thanksgiving in a state of relative prosperity, many of us are feeling a bit nervous. And some of us are feeling a bit guilty.
The truth? We shouldn’t be. We should all be feeling hopeful.
As you read the various stories below, pause to consider the following (I admit it’s not all good news: it’s my personal view; there are always bad things that follow in the wake of our successes).
As the U.S. begins to put people to work again, you won’t hear much about the nation of immigrants, with their “tears and hunger.” As a matter of fact, the numbers of immigrants have dropped, to just over 40 million as of 2016.
Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate for those under 25 ages continues to reach historic highs, with more than one in four working age people employed in jobs for which they are qualified. And as a recent report from the Economic Policy Institute shows, the growth of “high-tech, highly-educated, and union jobs” has not kept up with the growth of low-wage work.
But you don’t hear much about that. We’re all just going to be immigrants again.
So why complain?
The answer, of course, is that Trump’s presidency has been so destructive to the middle class. The fact that we’re seeing an upswing in wages and incomes has been a good thing, and that’s been a good thing for those of us who are still here.
We’ve heard for some time now that the middle class is disappearing, and the trend has accelerated