There has been a concerted attack on quality in the name of the bottom line and payments to shareholders, whether it’s government services, consumer goods, medical care or any number of other examples. We are paying much more for far less so a small percentage of management types can be paid obscene amounts of money well in excess of what any civilized person would ever need over a hundred lifetimes.
Meanwhile, the resources and opportunities for workers and consumers are squeezed ever more tightly. Unions are busted. Full-time work and benefits are withheld. Hiring people at slave wages is touted as a valid solution to unemployment. Sourcing out work to less prosperous countries is endemic, and if these decisions lead to the occasional disaster that snuffs out hundreds of lives or costs middle-class Canadians their livelihoods, well that’s just the price of doing business.
Reviving labor unions is, sadly, anathema to the right; even many mainstream liberals resist the idea. But if economic growth depends on rewarding effort, we should all worry that the middle classes aren’t getting pay increases commensurate with the wealth they create for their bosses. Bosses aren’t going to fix this problem. That’s the job of unions, and finding ways to rebuild them is liberalism’s most challenging task. A bipartisan effort to revive the labor movement is hardly likely, but halting inequality’s growth will depend, at the very least, on liberals and conservatives better understanding each other’s definition of where the problem lies.
If there has ever been a more obvious personification in the Canadian context of the reality that rich white men can get away with actions and behaviour that absolutely no one else would be able to, I am not aware of it. And, not just get away with the behaviour, but get elected to office and defended by otherwise self-described “law-and-order” right wing types despite it!
Good argument from Michael Laxer.
Paul Krugman on the austerity fetishists. Why don’t we have someone like this with a platform like this up here?
H/t I Acknowledge Class Warfare Exists.
Knowing that the United States and the world are on a course toward instability and chaos ensured by irreversible climate change and economic deterioration, the Obama administration and those who expect to inherit its role and powers “want the mechanisms by which they can criminalize any form of dissent,” Hedges continued. The attack on the press, which the AP phone records scandal exposes, is “an excuse to ferret out and destroy legitimate movements that challenge centers of power” by scaring potential whistle-blowers and dissidents into silence.
Frightening words from the guy who handed Kevin O’Leary his ass a year and a half ago.