Class Warfare Jeopardizing American Workers' Security - by Stephen Lendman
Warren Buffett once said:
"There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning," Obama's deficit-cutting agenda the latest battle.
On May 4, Hugo Radice, Life Fellow of the University of Leeds School of Politics and International Studies, headlined an article, "Cutting Public Debt: Economic Science or Class War?" asking:
"Is cutting the public debt really an objective economic necessity, or is it actually a deeply political stance, reflecting the interests of the business and financial elites?"
Analyzing historical public policies, he explained the shift from earlier Keynesianism to "the unchallenged hegemony of free-market neoliberalism since the early 1990s." In fact, over the past three decades, it was notable, beginning under Britain's Margaret Thatcher and America's Ronald Reagan, establishing practices that succeeding administrations hardened. As a result, Britain's New Labour governs like Conservatives while American Democrats mimic Republicans, especially on imperial and pocket book issues.
Radice calls it class warfare, pitting private wealth against public good, "a new common-sense" based on property rights, individualism, and notion that free markets work best so let them, including the right to demand massive public spending cuts, ones Radice says "are not, repeat not, economically necessary."
Nonetheless, for over 30 years, they've been ongoing. Since the mid-1970s, real wages haven't kept pace with inflation. Benefits have steadily eroded. High-paying jobs disappeared. Improved technology forced wage earners to work harder for less. More than ever, "free" markets work only for those who control them.
As a result, the class struggle between haves and have-nots escalated. A handful of powerful winners emerged. Wealth disparity extremes became unprecedented. Exploitation increased and successive crises, busts following speculative booms. Easy credit fueled them by excess lending and spending as well as high public and private debt levels. To heal, officials now call for "shared sacrifice," their sharing, our sacrifice.
Richard Wolff calls mainstream economics "faith-based." For Michael Hudson it's "junk economics," a Wall Street power grab, holding industrial America and wage earners hostage, debt peonage the final solution, benefitting only a powerful, elite few.
Today's buzzword across Europe and America is austerity, Obama's deficit commission declaring war on ordinary workers. Targeted are their jobs, benefits, standard of living, and retirement futures from draconian cuts. A scam to transfer greater wealth to the rich, trillions more than already looted, the grandest of grand theft, class warfare of the worse kind, a bipartisan scheme to wreck the economy and working Americans for profit.
After endorsing deficit commission proposals, a second New York Times editorial headlined "Waiting for the President," saying:
There's "no way to wrestle the deficit under control without both cutting spending and raising taxes." Everything "must be on the table," Obama out in front promoting it. Watching from the sidelines increases odds "it will never go anywhere." Strong White House leadership is needed to support "the commission's plain truths."
The Times editorial, other mainstream opinions, and Obama's deficit cutters avoided constructive alternatives, the right way to address high debt, foster economic growth, and lift all boats equitably. Obvious ones include:
-- waging war on concentrated wealth and power;
-- an across-the-board populist agenda, elevating social justice as issue one;