Four good, related posts touching on where we are, how we got here and what the future might hold.
But I think the problem is .... The economic orthodoxy is that capital is always efficient, while labor is always bloated, lazy, indifferent, greedy, demanding, corrupt and insufferable. That was and is the rallying cry of the union-busters, and you can hear it today. That is a perfect description of the capitalists of today. they don’t want to take risks. They want protected markets, special tax treatment, immunity from criminal prosecution and civil suits, and they have the money to pay off politicians to get that and more. They want all the money. They don’t want to pay their share. They want the right to wreck the economy with impunity. They want the right to screw consumers into the ground. They want the right to destroy the environment. And they want to make all the decisions about the future
Wall Street's grousing about American Airlines' worker raises shows what's wrong with Wall Street
“This is frustrating,” Kevin Crissey, an airlines analyst for Citigroup, bellyached to clients after the announcement. “Labor is being paid first again. Shareholders get leftovers.”
One doesn’t know what to say to this, except: Is he kidding? From 2014 through 2016, American Airlines authorized $9 billion in share buybacks, money that went directly into shareholders’ pockets. The company also paid out 40 cents per share in shareholder dividends in both years. By contrast, the pay raises will cost American $1 billion over three years. Pilots will get 8% and flight attendants 5% through the end of the current contract.
Brazil Paralyzed by Nationwide Strike, Driven by a Familiar Global Dynamic of Elite Corruption and Impunity
In other words, Brazilian elites – having plundered the country to the point where it was close to collapse – decided that the only viable solution was to force the country’s already-suffering population of workers and the unemployed poor to suffer further, by taking from them the meager protections and safety net they enjoyed.
What’s most baffling about all of this is that no matter how many times global elites see the rotted fruit of their piggish behavior – instability, extremism and collective rejection of their own authority – they continue to pursue it, seemingly inured to the consequences. Brazil is just the latest example, but it should be a familiar one to people across the planet.
Trump and the Trumpists
Trumpism is, after all, an expression of the crisis, not its solution.
When capital uses its government to work together for the benefit of both capital and labor, good things happen,
When capital uses its government solely for its own benefit, not so good things happen.
Capital needs to be reminded of this from time to time.
Now seems to be the time.