Tuesday, January 04, 2011

"Haves" and "Have Nots"

Well, you'd think that anybody using THAT line would be a progressive, or even a liberal, right? Nope. Republican.Scott Walker, come on down:
“We can no longer live in a society where the public employees are the haves and taxpayers who foot the bills are the have-nots,” Mr. Walker, a Republican, said in a speech. “The bottom line is that we are going to look at every legal means we have to try to put that balance more on the side of taxpayers.”
Scott Walker is governor of Wisconsin.


A state where the gap between the rich and the middle class, once so low that the state prided itself on its relative equality, has yawned ever wider over the last few decades, as the top fifth decile's income rises 36% since 1990, while the poor's income barely budges despite the enormous growth in productivity. (And remember, if it follows American trends, Wisconsin's wealthiest 5% would have had their income go up by sixty percent.)

THAT is "haves" vs. "have nots". It has nothing to do with public sector unions.

Well, okay, that's false. It absolutely does. Unions, and especially the public sector unions, are just about the last thing that is protecting the middle class from utter annihilation by the modern robber barons and their various mouthpieces and hirelings. The prospect of a nasty strike is the only thing stopping corporate executive management from getting rid of pensions, health care, and anything approaching a decent salary for their employees. And since that's who Republicans work for...

Makes sense that they'd be pushing now. After all, America has what the Marxists always referred to as a "reserve army of the unemployed", including a lot of highly-skilled young college grads so desperate for work that they'll work for free and call it an "internship" if you dangle the prospect of a job in their face. And they're the lucky ones. If you're older, or uneducated, or (god forbid) black, you're just straight-out screwed.

It must be frustrating not being able to take advantage of this situation by slamming wages and salaries into the ground as hard as you possibly can. Certainly the shareholders—who are principally members of the same hyper-wealthy fraction of Americans that executive management belongs to—are going to want them to do it. Their job is to to "maximize shareholder value", is it not? That's how you do it these days. Innovation and market development is for chumps. Screwing the employees on one side and customers on the other: that's the ticket these days.

So, yes, looking at it through that light, it makes sense. Scott Walker knows that his job as a Republican governor is also to "maximize shareholder value". It shouldn't be. His job should be to help the people of Wisconsin. But in this zombie-ruled world, that just ain't happening.

No comments:

Post a Comment