Thursday, July 12, 2012

Labor and its discontents

A remarkable article -- on many levels -- by Maggie Jones of the NYTimes:

Comments (God willing) to follow;  but in the mean time, consider its implications.

While I am gathering my thoughts, check this out, concerning the Reserve Army of the Un- (or Under-)employed:

One of the reasons it is difficult to frame a response, is that the situation in question is a sort of sciamachy, between unusually fringe and retrograde carpet-bagging bosses, on the one hand, and on the other, foreign laborers who basically shouldn’t even be here -- they are either here illegally, or the bosses bused them in.   Missing is what should be the key player:  American trade-unions.   In the absence of a powerful, commited, class-conscious American labor movement, such conflicts -- like so many others -- can scarcely be resolved.

It’s a little like the conflict over “Obamacare”.  Those most vociferously opposing it are mostly mendacious yahoos;  yet the bill itself is grotesquely flawed, precisely because it is based upon an originally Republican model (though now they disavow it, as they disavow Reagan-era tax brackets, and much else)  -- a patchwork of middlemen and special interests,  with built-in inefficiencies, but leaving much room for profitable rake-offs by parasites, and a vestigial “insurance” industry which (in this case, owing to pressure from the left) is no longer allowed to be an economically sound, actuarily-based industry as it has traditionally been, but a sort of casino:  how they will nonetheless manage to make profits  is unclear, but it probably won’t be pretty.

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