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.
Even as the New York Times and its ilk now use hipster-bashing to delegitimize the new political awareness among the same un- and underemployed twenty- and thirty-somethings — previously taken to task for their avoidance of politics — the same bashers employ this all-purpose dummy to ventriloquize their own refined and slightly ridiculous consumption habits.
Glenda Jackson on the legacy of Thatcherism.
… if you opposed Thatcher’s ideas it was likely because of their lack of compassion, which is really just a word for love. If love is something you cherish, it is hard to glean much joy from death, even in one’s enemies.