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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:50 PM

Southern Poverty Pimps The “original sin” of the Southern political class is cheap, powerless labor

Southern Poverty Pimps The “original sin” of the Southern political class is cheap, powerless labor

By Michael Lind at Salon

http://www.salon.com/2013/02/19/southern_poverty_pimps/

"SNIP................................................


Contemporary American politics cannot be understood apart from the North-South divide in the U.S., as I and others have argued. Neither can contemporary American economic debates. The real choice facing America in the 21st century is the same one that faced it in the 19th and 20th centuries — Northernomics or Southernomics?

Northernomics is the high-road strategy of building a flourishing national economy by means of government-business cooperation and government investment in R&D, infrastructure and education. Although this program of Hamiltonianism (named after Washington’s first Treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton) has been championed by maverick Southerners as prominent as George Washington, Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln (born in Kentucky to a Southern family), the building of a modern, high-tech, high-wage economy has been supported chiefly by political parties based in New England and the Midwest, from the Federalists and the Whigs through the Lincoln Republicans and today’s Northern Democrats.

Southernomics is radically different. The purpose of the age-old economic development strategy of the Southern states has never been to allow them to compete with other states or countries on the basis of superior innovation or living standards. Instead, for generations Southern economic policymakers have sought to secure a lucrative second-tier role for the South in the national and world economies, as a supplier of commodities like cotton and oil and gas and a source of cheap labor for footloose corporations. This strategy of specializing in commodities and cheap labor is intended to enrich the Southern oligarchy. It doesn’t enrich the majority of Southerners, white, black or brown, but it is not intended to.

Contrary to what is often said, the “original sin” of the South is not slavery, or even racism. It is cheap, powerless labor

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Reply Southern Poverty Pimps The “original sin” of the Southern political class is cheap, powerless labor (Original post)
applegrove Feb 2013 OP
shcrane71 Feb 2013 #1
SharonAnn Feb 2013 #2
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #3
Art_from_Ark Feb 2013 #4
pampango Feb 2013 #5
Selatius Feb 2013 #6

Response to applegrove (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:24 PM

1. And then Wisconsin became Walkerstan, and brought the South to the North. nt

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:58 PM

2. And the wealthy own all the land, the factories, law enforcement and the government.

A small example that I see here is few of the old wealthy families constantly agitate against any increase in property taxes because more than half of the county budget goes to schools and another large amount goes to the jail system.

They send their kids to private schools and their "kin" don't end up in jails because the sheriff won't arrest or charge them.

How they manage to fool the poor people here into support their property tax ideas is something to see. For the average property owner here it would be $10-$100 a year for better schools for their children. OF course, for the wealthy it would be a much greater amount since they own so much. But the average property owner somehow things that keeping property taxes low is "helping" them.

Shaking my head.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:08 PM

3. "Northernomics" means "government investment in R&D, infrastructure and education"? The author

 

must not have been in the North recently.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:09 AM

4. Of course, a lot of Northern factories used child workers

who were also "cheap, powerless labor". Not to mention Northern farms, which often consisted of a large number of children who could provide essentially free labor until they were old enough to either graduate high school, or run away.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:32 AM

5. Every Southern state is 'right-to-work' if I am not mistaken.

There are, of course, many such states in the rest of the country (with the GOP pushing for more all the time) but they are universal in the South, AFAIK.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:55 AM

6. I never saw the North as any superior to the South before the Civil War.

If you weren't being broken by a southern plantation lord out in the fields, you were being worked to death in the mines and factories up north.

The war was a pissing contest between factory barons up north and southern plantation kings in the south over control of the federal government. The barons up north were growing in power and wanted a new balance of power and had no qualms about knocking off the South from control of the Senate and House.

Slavery became a lightning rod because it was the first major issue that encompassed both moral and economic facets of American life. The barons up north also knew that attacking slavery would simply undermine the plantation lords down south.

They also hated textile products flowing into the Union from the textile mills in the British Empire, fed by raw materials sent to that Empire from southern plantations, because they were opposed to having their textile mills in direct competition with British mills, and they wanted the South to stop selling to the British Empire, one of the South's biggest consumers of cotton.

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