Guess who made this statement

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 at 03:48 PM

The statement:

People in the middle class have long been said to be a robust pillar supporting the socio-economic stability of a country. So, the bigger the middle class, the better our society is. However, the number of those in the middle class here was learned to have declined substantially while those in the upper and lower classes has increased in the last 10 years, according to a report released recently...It makes one wonder whether or not a chronic social state making the rich richer and the poor poorer is being revived. The crumbling of the middle class means nothing other than those in a state of economic hopelessness are increasing. Those driven out of the middle class are set to be deprived of their courage and hope that they would be better off if they work harder.

Who said it?

No, it wasn't a Democratic legislator, or an academic with a conscience, or even an American labor leader.  It's an unbylined editorial in the Korea Times newspaper from South Korea.

Other excerpts:

According to the report, the middle class, which accounted for 55 percent of the total population in 1996, fell to 43 percent last year while those in upper and lower classes that stood at 20 percent and 11 percent, respectively, increased to 25 percent and 20 percent in the same period.
Particularly worrisome is the fact that those in the lower class have doubled in the last 10 years. Those driven out of their jobs or the selfemployed suffering from a long business recession are deemed to have fallen out of the middle class. The statistics testify to the worsening income polarization of our society, a phenomenon the current regime has vowed but failed to correct.
The recent spiraling of apartment and other real estate prices makes it extremely hard for middle or low-income people to secure their own housing. That has made a growing number of people who can't afford to buy homes regard themselves as economic "losers."

It is simply intolerable for the government to simply let the gap between haves and have-nots continue to grow---even psychologically---because it signifies social injustice in itself and threatens to destabilize society. The only plausible means to redress the situation is to vitalize business activities. A policy putting more emphasis on economic growth than on distribution should be pursued.

The government should realize that supporting the waning middle class is their foremost task because the decline of the middle class is not merely a sign of economic difficulty, but an indication that society¡¯s existence might be in danger.

Still waiting for an American paper or other media source to be that direct and honest about the situation.

And, by the way, do you still think that "globalization" is innocuous, that it's effects on America are isolated, that it's anything but a looming threat to what the developed world has long considered to be a healthy society?