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Plutocracy Now: What Wisconsin Is Really About

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eilen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-22-11 07:32 AM
Original message
Plutocracy Now: What Wisconsin Is Really About
Edited on Tue Feb-22-11 07:38 AM by eilen
http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequali...

"....It's impossible to wind back the clock and see what would have happened if things had been different, but we can take a pretty good guess. Organized labor, for all its faults, acted as an effective countervailing power for decades, representing not just its own interests, but the interests of virtually the entire wage-earning class against the investor class. As veteran Washington Post reporter David Broder wrote a few years ago, labor in the postwar era "did not confine itself to bread-and-butter issues for its own members. It was at the forefront of battles for aid to education, civil rights, housing programs and a host of other social causes important to the whole community. And because it was muscular, it was heard and heeded." If unions had been as strong in the '80s and '90s as they were in the '50s and '60s, it's almost inconceivable that they would have sat by and accepted tax cuts and financial deregulation on the scale that we got. They would have demanded economic policies friendlier to middle-class interests, they would have pressed for the appointment of regulators less captured by the financial industry, and they would have had the muscle to get both.

And that means things would have been different during the first two years of the Obama era, too. Aside from the question of whether the crisis would have been so acute in the first place, a labor-oriented Democratic Party almost certainly would have demanded a bigger stimulus in 2009. It would have fought hard for "cramdown" legislation to help distressed homeowners, instead of caving in to the banks that wanted it killed. It would have resisted the reappointment of Ben Bernanke as Fed chairman. These and other choices would have helped the economic recovery and produced a surge of electoral energy far beyond Obama's first few months. And since elections are won and lost on economic performance, voter turnout, and legislative accomplishments, Democrats probably would have lost something like 10 or 20 seats last November, not 63. Instead of petering out after 18 months, the Obama era might still have several years to run."

Read the whole thing.

After reading it, please share your thoughts. How do you think we should address the lack of representation and responsiveness to the needs of the people? Is it truly realistic to expect results working within current frameworks? Do you agree with the author that labor unions are Over as a powerful political counterweight-- or do you think they can be revived-- if so how to revive them? Should people just start organizing Labor Councils in their localities not based on formal union membership?

I am hoping for some true discussion here.
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-22-11 08:03 AM
Response to Original message
1. Sad K&R. //nt
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el_bryanto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-22-11 08:09 AM
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2. Counterbalancing institutions
I don't know how such institutions can be created. I mean the unions could serve as one, but most workers aren't unionized, and a fairly large portion of society is down on Unions. The other possible counter balance is the Government; but the Government is thoroughly corporatized.

Bryant
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