Monday, July 29, 2013
Read those two stories.
In 1980, Ronald Reagan won the White House and commenced to undermine unions and rollback programs to help people get ahead.
In 1989, the Berlin Wall came down and soon everyone believe in Capitalism!
After a while, we replaced a market economy with a market society, where things like cost efficiency went beyond pricing goods to valuing human beings. And as this market society took hold, we were given some real benefits. For instance, NAFTA and other free trade agreements significantly cut the cost of many goods.
But as the economy as a whole benefited from declining prices for many goods, the real benefits went to the top of the economic ladder. The resulting focus on shareholders' claims to maximizing their returns at the expense of paying your employees a fair wage has created a perverse and unsustainable economy.
The Great Recession of 2008 should have been the summons that called us to look at the problems in the market society. The ethos of the market society turned homes - that place where you are always welcome - into just another commodity to be flipped, traded, turned into CDOs... and the results of this we all know.
The single most important issue facing us is global warming. But the second is the profound inequalities in our economy.
And for what it's worth, the GOP has no intention of solving either.