Sunday, January 6, 2019
© Charles D. Hayes
I posted this short piece on Facebook a few days ago without a title and it sort of went viral.
A half century ago, General Motors was America’s largest employer and the hourly wages then, were equivalent to $50.00 per hour today. Now, America’s biggest employer, is Walmart and the value equivalence of their hourly wage is $8.00 per hour.
This is the reward of 50 years of trickledown economics and because this loss of equity happened so slowly over time, we have a frog in the pot scenario, in which, the frog (we) let the water get too hot, until jumping was not an option.
Moreover, the small-government-low-taxes mania that accompanies trickledown economics, combined with a governance that operates on the principle of legal bribery, is a recipe for oligarchy at best, and tyranny at the worst.
That the GOP still has wildly enthusiastic support for a system rigged so effectively that it amounts to Socialism for the top one-percent, and that CEO’s and Boards of Directors openly loot our public corporations, without public outrage, is an assault on the very idea of democracy. Donald Trump currently has an 88 percent approval rating with Republicans. How in the name of hell is such imbecility possible?
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis put our predicament in clear perspective: “We can have a democratic society, or we can have great concentrated wealth in the hands of a few. We cannot have both.”
French economist Thomas Piketty’s exhaustive research on the history of global capitalism, shows clearly and definitively that over time, unless there are very strict safeguards, capital will exponentially outpace the value of labor, resulting in an ever-increasing economic inequality.
This is where we are in 2019, and it’s going to take a lot more than a little tweaking with the minimum wage to fix this. Ideas?
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