Why not an Outcry? Why not a Revolution? Robert Reich, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkley and Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, writes on his blog and on Facebook about the state of the American economy, unemployment, the minimum wage and the disparity between the rich and the poor. From Facebook 2/1/14):
“To me, the most poignant moment in “Inequality for All” is when a worker at a power plant tells me he doesn’t deserve more pay because he’s not smart enough. He had obviously bought the right-wing line that the market knows best, so his current pay must reflect what he’s worth. By this same logic, a CEO like Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan, who just raked in $25 million, must be “worth” that amount despite the more than $30 billion JPMorgan recently agreed to pay for its law-breaking, the 5 million Americans who have been jobless for more than 6 months aren’t “worth” extended unemployment benefits, the minimum wage shouldn’t be raised because workers at the current minimum aren’t “worth” more, and unions shouldn’t bargain for wages higher than their members are “worth” in the market.
In reality, (1) the “market” is based on laws (about property, monopolization, taxes, education, corporate governance, unions, international trade, and minimum standards of decency). (2) Such laws are being influenced to an ever greater degree by wealthy individuals and big corporations with enough money to entrench and enlarge their privilege and power. (3) The result is that although the nation is richer than ever, more and more of its economic gains are going to a small group at the top, while most Americans are receiving a smaller and smaller share.
But how to get this reality across to people like the power-plant worker who doesn’t think he’s “worth” a higher wage?”
I keep coming back to the question Reich asks in an article “Why There’s No Outcry”? )Blog, Sat. Jan. 25, 2014)
“ ….why we don’t have a revolution in America, or at least a major wave of reform similar to that of the Progressive Era or the New Deal or the Great Society?”
Check out Dr. Reich’s Blog or Facebook page.