America Seems to Be Moving towards a Two Class System Instead of the Traditional Three Class System

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Fine dining restaurants, upscale stores, and discount stores are prospering. Meanwhile, more casual restaurants and stores are suffering. This can be described as the byproduct of the lower and upper classes taking over our economy, as the middle class slowly diminishes right before our eyes. John G. Maxwell, head of the global retail and consumer practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers stated this, “As a retailer or restaurant chain, if you’re not at the really high level or the low level, that’s a tough place to be. You don’t want to be stuck in the middle.” Middle class jobs are continuing to decline and before we know it America could be looking at a two class system rather than the three class system.
The middle class began in 1914, 100 years ago, when Henry Ford started offering five dollars a day to work in his Ford factory. This set the bar because that was equal to about 120 dollars a day in their time. Ford had a problem with finding reliable employees. He came to the conclusion that if he offered his employees better pay, he would have employees that cared about their job. The five dollars a day ended up having some major positive impacts on Ford's company. Daily absenteeism dropped from 10% to under 1%. Replacement hiring dropped from 53,000 in 1913 to just 2,000 by 1915, even though Ford’s workforce had grown substantially by then. And production in many departments soared by 50% or more. Henry Ford himself later called the $5 Day “the greatest cost-cutting move I ever made.”(Gallagher par. 8) These statistics proved that paying workers more will in turn save businesses money overall. Other businesses followed in Ford’s footsteps and started offering employees higher wages, this created what is now known as the middle cl...

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