Facts Collected by the Government
Facts Collected by the Government
The comment/article below, written by me, is based on facts collected by the government, not conjecture, or opinions. For a comprehensive more view see, “Capitalism Hits the Fan,” by Professor of Economics, Richard Wolff, PhD:
There’s a term called, “Real Wages”, which you can look-up anywhere; it refers to the amount you receive in wages while accounting for inflation. For real wages to increase, they must rise absolutely, or inflation must decrease, or both. Historically, real wages have increased every decade from 1820 to 1970, including the great depression; the numbers aren’t as good back in 1820, but they rapidly improved. That’s 150 years of people having more money in real wages to burn, which in itself is incredible; no Capitalist country on this planet can make that boast. As productivity increased, employers had more stuff to sell and so they made more money and profits. At the same time however, employers also increased wages comparably and perpetuated the consistent rise in real wages as described in all of those government numbers. In the 1970s that stopped, not because of any economic reasons, or any other reasons for that matter, but simply because big, or bigger businesses ceased that, “practice”, of rewarding employees appropriately. Again, these are cold hard facts, not opinion. And the last 30 years have been nirvana for big employers specifically because they no longer felt compelled to properly compensate employees, and again, their hands were not forced by anything other than the desire to make more money in profits. For those of you that whine about the lengths of my posts, feel free to go away now with the above nugget of factual information. For those of you who would like to read a little bit more about this, which continues to be based on factual data collected by the government, you are free to continue.
The above, “phenomenon”, did cause a dilemma for big business. If the people had less in real wages, then they couldn’t buy as much in products or services; economics folk refer to that as demand. Though big business was making a lot more in profits, they were, in effect, attacking their own demand. That was a problem because it meant that they weren’t making as much money as they possibly could. At the same time, they had one of those good problems in that they had all of this, “extra”, money, and didn’t know what they could do to make even more money before they had the following epiphany. They used that money, which would’ve normally gone back to the employees, and, instead, “offered”, it to them in the form of credit cards. Is that a wonderful solution for them or what? Not only was the money still, “theirs”, in that the people had to pay it back, but they also made even more money on the interest that people had to pay for the credit version of what would’ve been their own real wages. Now, I mentioned the word, “nirvana”, before, but I was premature since this was clearly even better. Not only did they make all of this money from simply having stopped compensating employees for all of their added productivity, these big businesses dangled that same money in front of the people who otherwise would’ve had that money, like they did from 1820 to 1970, but didn’t let them actually have it; instead they charged them interest to make even more money. Along with a media ad campaign telling everybody in the country to, “buy now and pay later”, big business had very effectively solved the problem they created with demand, as people started, “buying”, again, they also had the windfall of getting all of that money back with interest. Again, if you’d like to stop reading, you are free to do so, but I’m going to continue.
In my first paragraph, I didn’t describe why American workers didn’t significantly or successfully fight back against what, to them, not being economics professors, was this nebulous degradation of their real wages. Here are three major factors as to why they didn’t protest/resist much. First of all, it was in the 1970s, and especially in the 1980s, when computers started taking jobs in a variety of ways that most people grasp now, so I won’t get into details. Secondly, in the 1970s, women entered the workforces en masse, partially for their independence, equal rights, etc., but also because the, “bread winner”, as I described in that same paragraph, wasn’t making as much in real wages anymore; the fact was, in an attempt to maintain the same standard of living, wives went to work. Part of this second reason was also immigration, legal and otherwise. This had the effect if increasing the supply of labor to big business and nirvana just keeps getting better. In short, there were a lot more people on the job, “market”. The third cause for why people didn’t fight back was, “outsourcing”. Big business, who had tossed all sense of loyalty, morality, etc. for the American people, dramatically decreased their costs even more by hiring people in other countries that didn’t and still don’t have the protections that the U.S. government put in place for all of us to keep our workplaces safe, to protect the environment, to ensure that the products we made weren’t toxic, etc. The people they started hiring via outsourcing don’t have those protections and they’re also extremely desperate for anything they could get from anywhere. As a direct result of all of that, hiring people in these less than human/environmentally-friendly nations is far cheaper for big business. There are other reasons that brought-about this artificial devaluing of American people, but that should be more than enough for you to see how this caused people not to fight back. People had their power taken from them and once again, this was not due to some, “thing”, forcing the invisible hand of big business, it just made them more money.
I could go on…at length…with many more facts, and though I’ve written enough for one sitting, I want to leave you with yet one more paragraph. First, to repeat myself, these are all facts, so anybody trying to dispute this is talking out of their butts. Any economics professor can tell you that all of this is not only factual, it’s also very simple and nothing about it is complicated. People who have a vested or philosophical interest in perpetuating this people-crushing system, will call me names, say that I don’t know what I’m talking about, make quick little erroneous or propaganda-like, “points”, in an effort to discredit facts, but these are still facts based on literally thousands of statistics that you can go look-up all by yourself. You may wonder why you don’t hear this in the news media and other than pointing-out to you that big business owns the news media I’ll just leave for you to decide why. Finally, I want to give you some hope. There are an infinite number of very simple and imaginative ways in which we, as Americans and humans in general, can regain our power without costs, or violence, and while staying within the system as it stands today. We can even do this without leaving our couches. We have enormous advantages over this oppressive, exploitive tyranny; in fact, their greed provides us with all the power we need to bring humanity back to this planet, and them back to the negotiating table on our terms. I’d love to tell you about them, but I said that this would be my last paragraph for now. If you’d like to know what kind of ideas I have, find me; I’m a fiery biker-chick on Facebook. That having been said, I will add more material, but since it isn’t mine, it doesn’t count as more paragraphs. What follows are some quotes by some of our most revered Americans, to include some founding fathers. My special thanks to Prof. Richard Wolff and Prof. David Harvey for their videos as well as Prof. Noam Chomsky for his kind communications with me.
“Julie Labrouste” (me)
“I hope we shall take warning from the example [of England] and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws our country.”
– Thomas Jefferson
“The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of diversity. It is more despotic then monarchy. More insolent than autocracy. More selfish then bureaucracy. I see the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned. An era of corruption will follow and the money power of the country, will endeavor to prolong it’s reign by working upon the prejudices of the people. Until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”
– Abraham Lincoln
“The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labour…I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals.”
– Albert Einstein
“Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That, in its essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any other controlling private power. The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way as to sustain an acceptable standard of living. Both lessons hit home. Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt
“We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. ‘Necessitous men are not free men.’ People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”
– Franklin Delano Roosevelt, from his proposed Second Bill of Rights
“(People should have the) right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation (and the) right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation”.
– Franklin Delano Roosevelt, from his proposed Second Bill of Rights
“In most parts of our country men work, not for themselves, not as partners in the old way in which they used to work, but generally as employees,—in a higher or lower grade,—of great corporations. There was a time when corporations played a very minor part in our business affairs, but now they play the chief part, and most men are the servants of corporations.”
– Woodrow Wilson
“We wish to control big business so as to secure among other things good wages for the wage-workers and reasonable prices for the consumers. Wherever in any business the prosperity of the businessman is obtained by lowering the wages of his workmen and charging an excessive price to the consumers we wish to interfere and stop such practices. We will not submit to that kind of prosperity any more than we will submit to prosperity obtained by swindling investors or getting unfair advantages over business rivals.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
“Corporations were given the rights of immortal persons. But then special kinds of persons, persons who had no moral conscience. These are a special kind of persons, which are designed by law, to be concerned only for their stockholders. And not, say, what are sometimes called their stakeholders, like the community or the work force or whatever.”
– Noam Chomsky
“The “corporatization of America” during the past century has been an attack on democracy—and on markets, part of the shift from something resembling “capitalism” to the highly administered markets of the modern state/corporate era. A current variant is called “minimizing the state,” that is, transferring decision-making power from the public arena to somewhere else: “to the people” in the rhetoric of power; to private tyrannies, in the real world.”
– Noam Chomsky
“As long as the working-people fold hands and pray the gods in Washington to give them work, so long they will not get it. So long as they tramp the streets, whose stones they lay, whose filth they clean, whose sewers they dig, yet upon which they must not stand too long lest the policeman bid them ‘move on’; as long as they go from factory to factory, begging for the opportunity to be a slave, receiving the insults of bosses and foremen, getting the old no,’ the old shake of the head, in these factories they built, whose machines they wrought; so long as they consent to herd like cattle, in the cities, driven year after year, more and more, off the mortgaged land, the land they cleared, fertilized, cultivated, rendered of value; so long as they stand shivering, gazing thro’ plate glass windows at overcoats, which they made, but cannot buy, starving in the midst of food they produced but cannot have; so long as they continue to do these things vaguely relying upon some power outside themselves, be it god, or priest, or politician, or employer, or charitable society, to remedy matters, so long deliverance will be delayed. When they conceive the possibility of a complete international federation of labor, whose constituent groups shall take possession of land, mines, factories, all the instruments of production, issue their own certificates of exchange, and, in short, conduct their own industry without regulative interference from law-makers or employers, then we may hope for the only help which counts for aught — Self-Help; the only condition which can guarantee free speech (and no paper guarantee needed).”
– Voltairine de Cleyre
“For it must needs that offenses come, but woe to him through whom the offense comes.” The crimes of the future are the harvests sown of the ruling classes of the present. Woe to the tyrant who shall cause the offense!
Sometimes I dream of this social change. I get a streak of faith in Evolution, and the good in man. I paint a gradual slipping out of the now, to that beautiful then, where there are neither kings, presidents, landlords, national bankers, stockbrokers, railroad magnates, patent right monopolists, or tax and title collectors; where there are no over-stocked markets or hungry children, idle counters and naked creatures, splendor and misery, waste and need. I am told this is far fetched idealism, to paint this happy, poverty-less, crime-less, disease-less world; I have been told I ‘ought to be behind the bars’ for it.
Remarks of that kind rather destroy the white streak of faith. I lose confidence in the slipping process, and am forced to believe that the rulers of the earth are sowing a fearful wind, to reap a most terrible whirlwind. When I look at this poor, bleeding, wounded World, this world that has suffered so long, struggled so much, been scourged so fiercely, thorn-pierced so deeply, crucified so cruelly, I can only shake my head and remember:
The giant is blind, but he’s thinking: and his locks are growing, fast.”
– Voltairine de Cleyre
“What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
– Thomas Jefferson
“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
– Patrick Henry
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