In "The Incredible Shrinking Middle Class" (Commentary, May 19), John Balzar deplores the shrinkage of our middle class. His statement was one of the most powerful commentaries that I have read in The Times. I wish such a man would lead Americans in a fight to avert a government by money.
The citizen has the strength to redress grievances with the initiative and recall process, peaceful assembly and the vote. Let us all stop saying "ain't it awful" and take action. America can unite to fight war; why not unite to free ourselves from the tyranny of big money?
Let us start with an initiative to limit all campaigns to a resume published in the newspapers. Resumes work for business. We could then choose our representatives on the basis of what they have done instead of what they are going to do.
Carleton H. Ralston
Liberals such as Balzar who bemoan the increasing gap between rich and poor should reflect upon how some of their favorite government policies have contributed to the problem. High taxes, fanatical labor and environmental regulations and hair-trigger liability laws hit hardest not at high-tech companies or fast-food restaurants but at the heavy manufacturing industries that have traditionally been a source of decent-paying, blue-collar, middle-class jobs.
Southern California is the world's biggest automobile market, but the auto factories that used to dot the industrial suburbs of Los Angeles are gone, and workers who could have been building cars for $20 an hour are instead probably washing cars for minimum wage.
Of course, conservatives share some of the blame, particularly in Orange County, where class-conscious zoning laws prevent the construction of homes that a factory worker could afford. But liberals, who profess to champion the common man, must reexamine their anti-industrialist ideology.
The solution to the demise of the middle class is to revive what originally created it: the labor movement. The largest, longest and most evenly distributed economic period in our history coincided almost perfectly with the period in which the unionized percentage of the labor force was highest. This is doable. It would require political will and repealing the Taft-Hartley Act, the odious labor law that has hamstrung unions for over 50 years.