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

Friday, November 19, 2010

Low-Wage Capitalism: Colossus with Feet of Clay [a book review]

by Gregory Elich from Global Research (orig. from Science & Society). 

This book appears to offer some excellent insights to enable an understanding of the gradual degradation of the lives of working people caused by neo-liberal policies.
The first section of the book addresses economic globalization, in which "transnational corporations are able to pit workers in the rich, developed imperialist countries in a direct job-for-job wage competition with workers in poor, underdeveloped, low-wage countries on an ever-widening scale."

In the second section of the book, Goldstein outlines the thirty-year assault on the American workforce. The net effect has been more deleterious than is often realized. "Over three decades of outsourcing, offshoring, and immigration, the pressure has become more insidious than a market crash. The confidence of workers has been slowly and imperceptibly undermined by the bosses' gradualist piecemeal tactics: layoffs in one plant or a group of plants, staggered over time and in different industries and regions. Production is shifted to low-wage areas behind the backs of the workers. Over time, concessions have been made to the bosses in increments. It all adds up to a massive attack on the entire class, but in slow motion. The workers are influenced by what has become known as the 'fear factor' and their leadership has shown no way out."