Monday, August 12, 2013

Capitalism is just Feudalism with a new name

Well, the classic defense of capitalism as a system from much of its history has been, okay, it has this or that flaw. But it quote, unquote, "delivers the goods." The reality is that for at least 30 years now, that isn't true. For the majority of people, capitalism is not delivering the goods. It is delivering, arguably, the bads- Richard Wolff, 08/09/13 during an interview by Bill Moyers

Wolff mentions during his great interview and with his Capitalism Hits the Fan roadshow is that Real Wages have remained stagnant for 30+ years. Of course, during this time costs (Healthcare, College, Homes) have all gone up and the productivity of the American Worker has increased while his pay has not. Americans have tried to combat this with dual incomes and with increased overtime. But, it's been a losing cause as we've seen more and more wealth accumulate with the Top 1% and even faster with the Top 0.01%, a group which owns more wealth and assets than the 150 million Americans.

Medieval Serfs worked less days than we do today. Of course, religion allowed them the extra days off but besides a 3-4 day work week (excepting for Harvest) the other days were the Serfs to hunt, fish and forage in the Commons and Forests to supplement his meager living.

Feudal Lords took better care to protect Serfs than Corporate Overlords do today. Nowadays, Wage Theft and Wage Slavery are the norm.

Restaurateur David Dadon and his son Barry, formerly co-owned the State Street Grill, engaged in a lengthy scheme of wage theft stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in alleged unpaid wages from their workers. Father and son have been arrested by U.S. Marshals and charged by the California Labor Department with a number of crimes, including grand theft of labor. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is consistently against any protections for employees.

The Republican push to get overtime transferred into Compensated Time (CT) is a Grand Scheme to Bilk the working class of Billions in Pay. Overtime gets you extra money but the Republicans and their Corporate Overlords deem you to be their wage slave. The scheme is instead of paying you a company will create a bank of "CT" at a 1.5 to 1 ratio which a worker can then use to get an extra paid day off.

As masters of Orwellian Doublespeak, Eric Cantor and his Teahaddist co-sponsor Martha Roby titled their Wage Theft Bill, the Working Families Flexibility Act.

If a public employee is fired or retires their CT Bank must be paid out. Private sector workers are overwhelmingly at will. When your boss says 'No you can't use your CT', you can't and when you tell your boss you'd like the pay instead he'll give the overtime shift to someone else willing to take the comp time. And when your Company decides to fire you or when it goes belly up because the Owners are stealing are that bank of Comp Time you've saved won't be paid out to you the Invisible Hand will just make them vanish into the Free Market.

But, back in the Middle Ages Serfs could, sometimes, turn to the Church for comfort or aid or as a last bastion of assistance. Today, people had been able to count on the blessed reforms of FDR and LBJ to provide a Social Safety Net. Which is why ALEC, the Koch Brothers and the US Chamber of Commerce have demanded the Republicans (and Pro-Business Democrats) obliterate it.

And in a fight to rob Americans of the Birthrights and reduce us to penury and Wage Slavery no tactic is too despicable or too reprehensible. Which is why Republican Congressman Markwayne Mullin, invoked Ronald Reagan's Spectre of Welfare Queens and Steak-Eatin Young Bucks,
So I’m in Crystal City and I’m buying my groceries…and I noticed everybody was giving that card. They had these huge baskets, and I realized it was the first of the month. But then I’m looking over, and there’s a couple beside me.This guy was built like a brick house. I mean he had muscles all over him. He was in a little tank top and pair of shorts and really nice Nike shoes. And she was standing there, and she was all in shape and she looked like she had just come from a fitness program. She was in the spandex, and you know, they were both physically fit. And they go up in front of me and they pay with that card. Fraud. Absolute 100% all it is is fraud…it’s all over the place. And there you go, to the fact that we shouldn’t be supporting those who won’t work.
This anecdotal Bullshit story by Mullin is designed to work the struggling duped right-wing voter into a frenzy in which they'll help destroy the Social Safety net, because the 1% love nothing more than for Americans to fasten the chains of bondage upon themselves.

And now if you do manage to overcome the obstacles Corporate Hegemony has created with their Republican Hitmen and get a good education the Reactionary Republicans will steal you back into poverty by raising payroll taxes and student loan rates. And by voting over and over and over and over and over and over 40 times to repeal the ACA so that more of your shrinking assets will go towards Healthcare coverage while at the same time helping shield Corporate profits from taxation and creating offshore havens for tax evasion by the 1%.

Facebook made more than $1,000,000,000 dollars in profits last year and didn't pay taxes on that profit. 30 Massive Corporations led by GE, Verizon, Boeing made a combined $205 billion in profits between 2008 and 2011 and 26 paid no federal corporate income tax.

No area is safe from the despicable Republican perpetual motion machine of enslavement to Corporate Hegemony. They declare Government doesn't work and then set about undermining, sabotaging, defunding and lying about Laws, Regulations, and Governmental entities.

Texas Governor Rick Perry screeches, 
"Somebody has to tell the E.P.A. that we don’t need you monkeying around and fiddling around and getting in our business with every kind of regulation you can dream up,” he said. “You’re doing nothing more than killing jobs. It’s a cemetery for jobs at the E.P.A."
Republicans in the House have unveiled their budget which drastically cuts funding for the EPA. Republicans who have sworn fealty to the Koch Brothers have also declared regardless of evidence they will never support Carbon Taxes.

Under President George W(orst Ever) Bush, the EPA was undermanned, restricted and defunded, so that Corporations were able to do whatever they wished like BP repeatedly dumping tons of heavy metals and poisionous hydrocarbons into Lake Michigan from their Whiting, Indiana plant and gross negligence in the Gulf of Mexico.

The gross violations by BP or Boeing or the Koch Brothers are on the macro scale on the micro scale AOL CEO Tim Armstrong used a video conference call to frighten and overawe his wage slave by summarily firing an employee named Abel.
We are living in a Reactionary Time when aided by Republican Lap Dogs Corporations are running rampant over workers. Everything is designed to make the Working Class fearful and accept their lot in life until your status as a working class wage slave is hereditary. Just like Medieval Serfdom.


ChickenHammer said...

The focus on overtime in this writing makes it a lot more clear to me why we see things differently.

Hourly workers are generally less educated and perform manual labor. Lack of education sabotages their opportunity for advancement and their employment outlook. Their supply exceeds the demand for them and like any product high in supply and low in demand their value declines.

Engineers in the physical sciences are always in high demand and well compensated. The high school grad or the Liberal Arts graduate not so much.

In other words the smart ones will always do better than the less smart ones. You can even call it Intelligence Privilege if you feel the need for a label.

Kulkuri said...

You want fries with that?? There are lots of college grads working in fast food and other jobs that don't require a degree simply because the jobs aren't there. We've been sold a bill of goods on this get an education and you'll have a good life.

If anyone had told me back 1973 that this is as good as it gets, I'd have told them they were crazy. But that is when wages peaked and it's been downhill ever since. And it doesn't help when you have people that are working for a living repeating the party line bullshit from the corporate masters.

Another thing keeping people enslaved is the high college loan debt. Used to be a person could afford to go to college with grants and/or scholarships and a part-time job and get a degree without a hugh debt to pay back. Now when they get out of college they have this huge student loan payment to make and can't afford to do much else. And if they're working fast food they probably can't even afford to make that payment without living with their parents.

Patricia said...

@Chickenhammer, I am an hourly employee with a college degree, I graduated Dean's List. Intelligence Privilege is now called Cronyist Privilege maybe Nepotist Privilege, Networking Privilege? There is plenty of supply and very little demand, hence, the "networking" variable in job hunting, since you can no longer walk in a door and get hired. If in fact, anyone's hiring. But go ahead and blame the victims of this economy. It's easier than addressing offshoring of jobs and tax dollars. I remember when fast food jobs were for high school or college students and now we have people trying to raise families on those wages, to bad they don't have the magical "Intelligence Privilege." They do however, have the will to go on strike for better wages.
Since inflation no longer counts the price of food and fuel, I am guessing this is how low wages are justified. $7.50 an hour just can't begin to cut it. The estimate is that it's $13.00 just to survive. But hey, let them eat cake. If we have learned anything from history, heads will roll.

Grung_e_Gene said...

One of the longest lasting Myths (or Lies) propagated by the Ruling Class is that workers are not skilled enough.

It's a total lie.
What employers describe as talent shortages are often failures to agree on salary.

What employers want are skilled workers willing to labor for slave wages and surprise Americans long ago declined to be slaves, indentured servants or replaceable cogs.

Americans want a good salary and benefits and are as well trained, educated and hard-working as ever. And when a person knows they have worth they aren't willing to accept minimum wage.

J.O.B. said...

"Hourly workers are generally less educated and perform manual labor. Lack of education sabotages their opportunity for advancement and their employment outlook."

I guess we can give a big old thank you to people as yourself ChickenHammer. You let us know all your thoughts on education in your comments on this post-

Of course, the idea of free college education was started by Socialists , such as Benjamin Franklin.

Syrbal/Labrys said...

My disabled veteran son just graduated from a very good university, luckily with very little debt. But he has a huge debt from six years of unemployment SINCE he was medically discharged....arrears in child support because he had no money. And so, he has been told on several job applications that in spite of his education, he is not hired BECAUSE of his debt.

So, education is not a cure if being poor is alongside it.
More and more, it seems the poor are told they will STAY poor. We can provide him a home, but we aren't flush enough to pay off his debt.

ChickenHammer said...

@Patricia, if your college degree is an AA, BA, or MBA I'm not surprised you're stuck in the rut of an hourly job.

What sort of degree did you earn?

I don't know any engineers or physicists who are out of work or underemployed. As a matter of fact we're always looking for more talent as graduates with the credentials we need are always in short supply.