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Letters: Brexit and decline of the middle class

A teller counts ballot papers at the Titanic

A teller counts ballot papers at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland, after polls closed in the EU referendum Thursday, June 23, 2016. Credit: AP

Michael Dobie’s column “Brexit’s lessons for Americans” [Opinion, June 26] was an astounding piece. To paraphrase, Dobie cites the populist rage evidenced in the Brexit vote and the Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders candidacies. He says these are evidence of voters’ deluded desire to take back control of the system — but that control was always an illusion.

Apparently, the middle class and the 99 percent were born when the 1 percent built factories in our country, and died when those factories moved out. As helpless victims of this reality, the 99 percent should shut their mouths and accept change and embrace technology?

Dobie must be unaware that history’s most pernicious form of class warfare is thriving in the United States. The brightest minds in the world are being employed by law firms, hedge funds and consultancies to craft policy and investment strategies that enrich their clients. In the wake of exponential success, the 1 percent influence national and global policies that serve their exclusive interests.

The most insidious redistribution of wealth in history has made the 99 percent aware that something is gravely amiss, but media propaganda has successfully misdirected the blame away from the 1 percent. In a democracy, the 99 percent have the voting tools to craft a solution. Enlightened commenters like Dobie should seek to empower and focus the collective will of “we, the people” to form a more perfect union.

Bill Binnie, Lake Grove


Michael Dobie’s column doesn’t address the main reason many Americans are fed up with the economic situation. The fact is, America is still the No. 2 manufacturer in the world, and the jobs that went overseas were mainly low-tech jobs.

The main problem is stagnant wages in the last 30-odd years combined with a reduction in the quality of benefits most employees used to enjoy. Why have these changes occurred? Corporate greed, pure and simple. The rich get richer while the rest of us get the ugly picture.

James A. Clark, Syosset