Monday, December 8, 2008

"When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose"

Why does so much of the talk about fixing the economy take a top-down approach, instead of a bottom-up approach? In other words why are we talking so much about corporate welfare, while so many people think that welfare for the poor is a dirty word?

Do the rich really need more money? How much worse can things get for someone who is already poor and homeless? The middle class and the poor have suffered through an economic crisis for years, and the government didn’t care and did nothing to help them. Instead they helped corporations ship jobs overseas. However, when an economic crisis starts to effect the rich the government is ready to give them billions of dollars. Something is wrong with this picture.

From Guest Blogger: Michael Zweig's Proposal for Economic Stimulus:

We set out to design an economic stimulus package that would provide direct relief to distressed workers while bringing the economy towards full employment. But we found that, as important as job creation is, most distressed workers have jobs – just not good ones. So in addition to short-term stimulus we propose longer-term structural reforms that provide universal health care and make it much easier for workers to organize unions.

For the past 35 years we have lived through one of the greatest redistributions of wealth away from working people to the corporate elite that this country has ever seen. Worker productivity has gone up while wages adjusted for inflation have gone down. That’s what class warfare looks like, and the working class has been on the losing side for almost two generations.

When we criticize the increasing inequality around us and call for economic justice, others denounce such talk as “class warfare.” But the complaint is itself part of the war, designed to change the subject. A market economy can produce great wealth, but what’s the point if the working people who create it don’t live better for it?

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