Martin O’Malley: We need a global middle class

Martin O'Malley in Newton, IA.

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley wrote an op-ed this week for TIME magazine, and this part caught my attention:

The cornerstone of American strength in the world is economic strength at home. Maintaining our security in the long run will require an economy that works for all Americans. No fighter jet or troop battalion will protect us as much as a vibrant economy. A stronger middle class is the first garrison against any threat we might face.

The greatest power we possess as Americans is not military might, but the power of our own example. We must lead the world by strengthening the American middle class and supporting the rise of a global middle class — free from want, and free from fear.

Yes, it seems as though we’re in a race to the bottom, and O’Malley has the right perspective, one that was shared by Dick Gephardt when he ran for the Dem nomination. Gephardt said he’d go to the World Trade Organization and ask for an international minimum wage, pegged to a percentage of each country’s cost of living.

It was a good idea then, and it’s a good idea now.

O’Malley is also right because poverty breeds fundamentalism, repression and terrorism. Our present policy of pounding the crap out of nations with bombs is, surprisingly, not working.

2 thoughts on “Martin O’Malley: We need a global middle class

  1. Yeah right. While 99% of us are damn near on the verge of living in fucking boxes, so many millions of us still without affordable health care, a crumbling infrastructure, an economy that allows Capitalist to squeeze every fucking dime from the least of us——and we’re gonna sell our ideas of a “middle class” to the rest of the world??? I guess you and O’Malley have lost your noodles! (Pun intended)

  2. At least it’s a semi-populist argument. I can’t remember how long it’s been since I’ve heard campaign rhetoric like this. But, I don’t see any specifics on HOW he would ‘strengthen’ the American middle class.

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