Russellings

Miscellaneous musings from the perspective of a lefty (both senses) atheist with a warped sense of humor.

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Location: Madison, WI, United States

I am a geek, but I do have some redeeming social skills. I love other people's dogs, cats, and kids. Snow sucks, but I'm willing to put up with it just to live in Madison.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Divide and Conquer

Divide and Conquer
by Richard S. Russell


Recently a friend sent me the following parody cartoon under the heading “This pretty much nails it!”:



Actually, far from “nailing it”, the cartoon cuts off abruptly just as it’s getting to the interesting part, the ANSWER to “What do we need jobs for?”. You need a job if you want …
• better food than a guaranteed MINIMUM place in line at a soup kitchen.
• better clothing than a guaranteed MINIMUM set of someone else’s castoffs.
• better medical care than a guaranteed MINIMUM box of Band-Aids and bottle of aspirin.
• better housing than a guaranteed MINIMUM of a cot in a basement.

Most people I know would rather live in a house with 1 or 2 livable stories above that basement, which is why they work to improve their lot in life. But, for our fellow citizens who may be elderly, orphaned, sick, injured, beset by war-induced PTSD, working their way thru college, or just plain unable to find a job in a banker-looted economy, isn’t it nice to know that the wealthiest country on Earth can afford to provide them with some MINIMUM level of what we think of as a civilized existence? I mean, if it weren’t for that cot in the basement, what’s the alternative? The street? The jungle?

I find it curious that the lower middle class (LMC), in particular, has been brainwashed into (a) resenting the upper middle class for having already achieved what the LMC aspires to, as well as (b) hating the poor for NOT having achieved what the LMC has already got. Wouldn’t you think that the LMC would recognize that the poor and the upper middle class are their natural allies in trying to build a better life for ALL ordinary citizens?

There’s also an interesting answer to THAT question. Just ask yourself:
  (1) Whose interests are served by breeding that kind of resentment and hatred?
  (2) Who owns most of the newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, and multi-million-dollar political campaigns?

Here’s Hint #1:



Here’s Hint #2:



So, with respect to jobs, I see these 3 groups in the workplace:
 • GS: Those who are Getting Screwed.
 • PFS: Those who have organized themselves and used their collective power to set up shields that provide some level of Protection From Screwing.
 • DTS: Those owners, bosses, bankers, lawyers, and lobbyists who are Doing The Screwing.

Here’s an approximation of relative well-offness:
600 GSes = 300 PFSes = 1 DTS


The DTSes already have 97.5% of the wealth in this country, but they aren’t satisfied with that; they want it ALL. And the way to do it, they seem to think, is to use the old divide-and-conquer tactic of turning the GSes against the PFSes. You can see this in action by scoping out the 2,000 pathetic GSes they paid to ride their busses to counter-demonstrate against the 90,000 PFSes who voluntarily turned out on Capitol Square in Madison last weekend.

So, to those of you in the GS camp, why is it that you resent the PFSes who worked hard to get up to twice what you’re worth, while giving a complete free pass to the DTSes who have 600 times what you’re worth, built on the backs of OTHER people’s labor? Do you really, seriously think that it’s in your own best interests to make common cause with the richies on the theory that some day you’ll be one of them? (If so, you probably also think that some day Sarah Palin is going to have sex with you.)

Wake up! Look at who your natural allies are! If the richies succeed in breaking the unions, do you really think you WON’T be the next targets in their race to the bottom?

4 Comments:

Blogger Judy said...

My only criticism of your analysis lies with the last line:

The GSes won't be next, as they're already pretty much at the bottom. Instead, their numbers will be augmented by the PFSes as they become part of the GSes, and together, the full cadre of GSes (old and new together) will sink to a new, lower bottom while the DTSes rise to new heights.

12:42 AM  
Blogger Bucky Badger 2 said...

It appears that if left in charge you would have a fair distribution of the wealth. The Soviets tried that, it failed and now they have billionaires and a growing economy.

If you have a million dollar idea would you share it with 10 others, 100 others or patent it for yourself? Why not give away your to one million or better yet for free? Because it is useful and responsible to actually have cash.

Life isn't fair and all things evenly divided. It takes work to be one of the lucky, it takes brains to stay lucky.

Take your credible chart and draw it based on the economy of scale in 1990 for China and the USSR. 99% of the assets of the nations were owned by .000001% of wealthy politicians. Try the same in Iran, Iraq, and most of the middle east where dictators have ruled and stole.

Our system works - refer to your own ramblings about Jefferson and Paine and how for 234 years this has worked.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Lester said...

I do not think it has to be so polarized in how we look at things on an economic level. Saying that the disparity in wealth is out of control is not the same as saying we need to push for a complete leveling out on an equal basis. As Bucky pointed out, such an attempt is a fail from the outset, as well as being unfair to those who have happened to become DTSes. That being said, there is something to be said that there need to be something done to bring up the GS's so that they are not so far at the bottom and the disparity is lessened so that all can enjoy the fruits of our country. Our country is very large and that makes these issues all the more difficult to address in a meaningful way.

5:53 AM  
Blogger k a r l said...

@Bucky Badger 2
Our system used to work. Up until the CEO compensation began to sky rocket.

http://www.epi.org/economic_snapshots/entry/webfeatures_snapshots_20060627/

http://www.epi.org/economic_snapshots/entry/webfeatures_snapshots_20060621/

So, if you see starting in '78 that gap got larger and larger, just as Reagan took office and started enacting policies that favor the neuvo richies.

Luck has nothing to do with the richest 1%. There's an econommic structural bias to the wealthest that's been built up over the past 30 years.

2:54 PM  

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