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August 28, 2006


well, i used to work for a living, but then i got laid off over a year ago ( after 13.5 years at the company ) and now i do not work for a living - nor generate any tax dollars for the bushithead warmongers - so, i guess it's a tradeoff.

There are several reasons why productivity and other gains have gone primarily to top manangement (and secondarily to shareholders) and not workers. One is the lack of unions in the service economy. Ezra Klein has a good post at TAPPED on the "Wal-Martization" of the economy. Wal-Mart undercuts everybody and drives competitors and suppliers to cut costs and/or off-shore.

Another reason is simply that it takes money to make money, and the top 1% not only is in a position to profit in the current economy, but to get policies they like, such as the anti-labor policies of the NLRB, favorable tax policies and various subsidies and breaks that rig the system.

In post-WWII America there was much more of a sense of responsibility and community in the counry, particualrly among corporate America. That's all gone now, and it is every man for himself.

That's why the Dems' best selling point is that they not only manage the economy better by almost any measure, but thier polciies support rather than erode the middle class.

I woke up in the first Great American Downsizing in the early 90's. I came to the conclusion that no matter how well educated you are (ms in computer science), no matter how professional your career (programmer), if your life depends upon earning a salary and you are beholden to someone else for your job, you are not middle class, you are working class.

If the last 15 years haven't kicked the middle class's butt, I don't know what will.

As a christian (Zogby had to amend their demographic questions to distinguish between people like me and the fundamentalists), I recently finished reading Dominic Crossan's Birth of Christianity. He describes Jesus as a champion of the peasant society (divided between the poor - those who have property- and the destitute - those who are being marginalized by the wealthy. Of course, the peasantry was increasingly being marginalized and Crossan describes the political, economic, and social dynamics that constantly pushed ordinary people to the edge.

All the time I was reading the book, I felt haunted by what has been happening here. Perhaps we're not as desperate as the ancient Judeans and Gallileans, but I sense that it's coming if we don't change things, and if people who are holding onto their illusions don't wake up.

mahablog has more...

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