Every now and then, someone will sum up a concept so clearly and elegantly that truth cannot be missed. I only wish Dean Baker had written it last year when Chris Bowers and the rest of Whole Foods Nation were in the “You like me! You really LIKE me!” stage as the Obama campaign was fluffing them. Here it is, all you need to know about the working class:
“Most of us work for a living; the rest are bankers.”
If you are not a banker or someone who owns a huge chunk of an international corporation, you are working class. You depend on a banker of a corporate owner for your livelihood.
And you are incredibly vulnerable.
Rich people are not like you and me. Wait, I think someone else said that. Well, he’s dead now, he won’t mind. He was right, of course, the very wealthy and well connected are Jet Setters. They think globally, not locally. That whole citizenship/patriotism/pride in country thing is soooo outre. Everyone knows that labor is cheap everywhere else in the world and people are swappable like new widgets. And if your own workers are too expensive or still covered by a bothersome union, have no fear! You only have to shutdown your American research facilities and with the money you save, you can buy up some struggling little companies with good ideas. Buy them up! Drink their milkshake! Corner the market on innovation. Never think beyond the next resort season.
It’s all about power and accumulation and not having to answer to anyone and a huge, global game of Monopoly where you can charge rent on everything from St. Charles to Park Place. Don’t worry about the proles getting in a high dudgeon about it. Hire a bunch of mindf$^&ers who will convince the gullible to vote against their own interests. Or tell them that losing their jobs is a sacrifice for the greater good. Keep them from associating with each other. Make them call each other racists and teabaggers. Sit back and watch the fun.
But seriously, folks, when the mindf%*(ers convinced the Whole Foods crowd to vote for Obama, the neofeudalists won. It is going to be very, very hard to work our way out of the predicament we are in. Unless we can wake up the working class in the next couple of years, we will not be able to turn this around. We will have turned ourselves into a highy stratified society consisting of the superrich and everyone else. We won’t mix. There will be no equality. No innovation. We’ll have our own caste system. Even higher education will be pointless. There will be no jobs. It will only be the masters and their servants like Jane Austen’s England. And don’t think that Sonia Sotomayor is going to make a bean’s worth of difference on the USSC. I wouldn’t be surprised if she were just the kind of justice the bankers (and their bonuses) love. We shall see.
We Clintonistas were the canaries in the coal mine, last year. We saw where the working class was headed when the Democratic party abandoned us. And we tried, desperately, to get the attention of the Whole Foods crowd, to no avail. But the truth is, the self-identified “creative class” were *always* one of us. They just didn’t know it until now. And until they accept us as their equals and join with us in solidarity, we will have no power as a Union.
Happy Labor Day.
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Filed under: Labor | Tagged: canaries, creative class, Dean Baker, Labor Day, masters and servants | 55 Comments »