We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It’s Time to View Good Jobs as a National Resource

By Robert Reich (former Sec. of Labor during the Clinton administration)

This article, IMO, is an excellent illustration of an American liberal point of view on the economy. Of course he assumes that there is no alternative to the capitalist system.  He looks at the economy from a naively nationalistic point of view--what is good for ordinary Americans (as if this was of any interest to the governing class). It seems to me that he, intentionally or not, entirely misses the point of the globalization strategy under the capitalist system--to increase profits for the owning class. Why hire American workers at $15/hr when you can get the same work done in Cambodia from desperate workers at $.50/hr, where environmental and labor laws are not enforced, and the tax rate is low or non-existent? Capitalists are global profiteers first, and Americans or some other national identity, second.  

Notice that the only industry that is not outsourced in the US is the so-called "defense industry"--the manufacture of weapons, including weapons of mass destruction. That is because the dominant capitalist class in the world are US capitalists, and they intend to remain the dominant enforcer of the capitalist system. Also the US needs to be the world's enforcer for the capitalist class in order to protect the value of its fiat money. Investors and capitalist-run countries will continue to buy US IOU's  to secure their wealth as long as the US remains the "baddest ass" in the world community.