Train riders hear the warning from the incessant badgering of conductors and pre-recorded loops, reminding them to, “Mind the Gap!” There’s an entire culture based on people who have a natural, (unnatural?), Letterman-esque gap in the middle of their upper teeth. There’s the ‘gap year’ which has become an almost mandatory rite of passage for millennials. Hardly anyone can avoid the pull of a triple-discounted comfy sweater, made by hard-working Vietnamese laborers, in the window display of The Gap. And then…there’s the culturally/religiously-perpetuated gender gap, (how can that still be a thing?), and its slop-over into the rampaging, out-of-control pay gap between labor and management, where CEOs’ yearly salaries have soared to nearly $30,000,000 compared to median union wages of $80,000. Okay, okay…let’s say that the heavy lifting of a CEO warrants compensation equal to the annual budget of a mid-sized New England town, (somebody has to take responsibility for choosing the color palates of the new Chryslers and Chevys), and that we agree that $80K can provide a marginally comfortable lifestyle to a frugal family of four. But, when you factor in the inequity of the progression of those salaries, the hard-fought-for labor agreements of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s against the meteoric rise of management windfalls, you must admit we’re experiencing a rude awakening from the American Dream. CEO pay increased 1,460% since 1978 compared to 18.1% for labor. This discrepancy, created by an eyes-wide-open, sleight-of-hand global economy has obliterated, for all intents and purposes, the middle class, and without that middle class, the necessary, expansive gap between poverty and excessive riches, civilization falters. In a thriving society, most people, a major shit-ton percentage of people, find gainful, satisfying employment that not only fulfills their basic needs but includes guarantees of leisure and health care and provisions that ease the stress of retirement. Post WWII, we were well on our way. We were growing our working class, reducing unemployment and poverty and although we had major ideological differences, we got along and got things done. Small businesses thrived and corporations seemed willing to treat their employees with an ample degree of respect and fairness. When the yahoos who created Ronald Reagan came along with their deregulated trickle-down bullshit, everything started going to hell. Corporations became mega-corporations and mega-mega-corporations. Small businesses couldn’t complete and began to disappear. Globalization allowed the M-M-Cs to move labor intensive manufacturing to cheaper locations and little by little, the middle class began skewing toward poverty. It’s no mere coincidence that Reaganomics also created the easy-to-get credit card(s) that promoted an addiction to self-imposed untenable debt. Today, no matter what some stuffed-shirt economist may posit, the economy is broken. It’s become an unwinnable shell game and the fat, fat, fat cats who keep amassing wealth, un-spendable in multiple lifetimes, don’t seem to grasp the dastardliness of their deeds. How preposterous for the bailed-out automobile companies to cry imminent bankruptcy if they comply with workers’ demands for fair, cost-of-living wages and benefits. The pile of post-celluloid crap of deep-pocketed movie producers’ claiming lethal damage to their bottom lines if actors, writers and technicians are fairly compensated, or forever uncompensated, (thanks, AI), is just a load of emperor’s new clothes malarky. I could continue this list. There are no promising examples. So, I’ll wrap up with a personal note…FUCK SPOTIFY!!!