The Washington Post


How long has it been since we last heard the phase “class warfare”? Has it been a minute yet? Can anyone define what it means? I can. It means if you mention that a greater and greater share of national wealth is going to a tiny tiny fraction of people, then you have committed class warfare and are disqualified from mentioning it. A good debating trick if you can get away with it, and they have been.

Maybe there’s a society somewhere on the globe or somewhere in history that has been radically stratified in wealth distribution and yet maintained a healthy democracy, but I’m having trouble just now thinking of one. If you assume, as I do, that power follows wealth, you might expect to see that wealth start to buy itself the power. Anybody see any of that going on? If you do, keep it to yourself, you class warrior you.

But if the top class is tiny, not so the bottom! Lots of room down there in steerage! If we can’t talk about the upper class, can we talk about the lower one? What?? There IS such a thing? All this time we thought we were a “middle class nation”! What happened?? When did “lower class” become something so huge? While we were busy not talking about it.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.


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