Letters to the Editor for March 9, 2011
How we got into this mess
To the editor:
The way the network news people tell it, it’s a big mystery. The deficit, I mean. And states are broke. Mystery? My gramma’s corset laces! It’s been looming the past 30 years.
Let’s say it all started when everyone went to computers to do the work of an army of clerks (and pocketed the saved wages as profit).
Next they (the big industrial corporations) went for automation. And that eliminated many thousands of jobs. And took a whack out of their market because all these laid off workers could no longer buy the stuff they used to make. Not incidentally, public services spending increased sharply to help these laid off people.
The next bright corporate idea was moving the factories to Korea, Mexico, China, India, anyplace with coolie wages and no unions. And we haven’t even mentioned the several great corporate scams that finally collapsed the economy.
Now the only thing those guys running things can think of is to slash basic services. Cut more jobs. Slash the wages of jobs remaining. Brilliant!
So where do we go from here?
Electronics, automation, the internal combustion engine, television and other things have reshaped our world — sometimes for the better and sometimes not. Each of these, as labor-saving devices, should have resulted in a sharing of the resultant reduced number of jobs by either a shortened work day or week at the same wages. But that would not be very profitable to the owners. As it happened, corporations, being about profits, not human well-being, opted to go for profit only and dumped workers.
I have long wondered how we, the majority class, would be able to wrestle with the powerful corporations who have all but swallowed us and our democracy, because we have no large political party with which to take ’em on electorally, while they have two.
The protests in Wisconsin and Ohio may provide the answer. If it lasts long enough, and if we win, may come a happy resolution of the present Great Recession, a new major political party and actual full employment.Dan Martin