This is now how I reply to all ads I get online from any and all vendors.
If you really want us to buy your products, how about not contributing to the campaigns of budget-slashing politicians who are killing are economy and our jobs. If you're not already, then maybe you can tell your business acquaintances who are.
Too long! The trend of stagnated wages started showing up in U.S. Census about 1975 or '80. I bought my first computer with a statistical analysis program that year and loaded in some data from the Colonial period to the then present. If one looked at standards of living for those very early days, workers, widows, orphaned children, elderly, disabled physically and mentally had terrible living conditions. Things started to improve for working people after the Civil War and then the numbers really jumped during and after the Johnson presidency to higher standards for those who had been disadvantaged ... except the Viet Nam war siphoned off much of the upward mobility until the war ended. The Cold War changed, wages stagnated, the upper 10% began to grow, working class flattened out and continue to this day. Working people and those who were saving for retirement and college for their kids, had to scramble. Sadly, many chose to borrow money, then use credit cards with heavier loads than they could afford. Housing values rose creating a sense of confidence until the bubble burst. Now, with heavy debts, houses worth less than their mortgages, losing jobs, jobs going overseas, the growing numbers of people becoming millionaires and falling numbers of people falling below the middle class line, the whole economy stagnates, even those countries who benefited by business moving there from the U.S.
Austerity program???? Someone has got to be kidding!!!! We are looking at the wrong end of the beast. People who work for wages, who live on pensions, the handicapped physically and mentally, and now the growing numbers of war wounded becoming dependent on the public purse, have worsening conditions while some very selfish, irrational, greedy, human beings call on others to be more austere. I wish I could laugh ... but I know of the suffering people experience now.
Get off your "assterity" rants and start thinking critically!
Of course there are a lot of college students in the streets, that is what college students do. Remember the anti-Viet Nam marches, or Civil Rights protestors, or L.A. riots, or Kent State murders, we can track the resistance movements through our nation's history ... Young people learn about freedom and justice growing up and at college age they begin to experience loss of freedom and injustice. Protest! Rebel! Oppose! Confront! It is the nature of the animal.
I was part of the 1960s marches, I am too old and tired now to go any farther than my rocking chair.
I agree that the capitalism-vs-socialism, and either-or, paradigm will never again apply. It's simplistic and we're not in the 20th century. Every civilized and developed society has a balance of socialism and capitalism.
I think it's a matter of common sense: there are some things that should not be left to the markets to decide: I don't think the markets should decide if children can go to school, or if people get to eat or have health care. Water, food, education, health care, are all things that are basic to human dignity and human civilization and they should be socialized. This should be non-negotiable.
In Bolivia, when they tried to privatize water and the previous gov't sold ALL THE WATER IN THE COUNTRY to an American company, Bechtel, from San Francisco, the indigenous could not even gather rain water because it was illegal. Children had to be put out of school because tuition was unaffordable, since so much money was needed to purchase water. Retirees had to go back to work to purchase water. Eventually, there were FOUR MONTHS OF RIOTS on the streets. In the end, after deaths and violence, water was given back to the people, the people got scared of corporate appropriation and predation, the pendulum swung and Bolivia elected its first socialist and indigenous president ever, Evo Morales.
But this is an illustration of the extremes of American corporatocracy and its detrimental effects on the peoples of the world, not just on the U.S.
Leave computers, non-essentials, entertainment and the like to the free markets, that's acceptable. But education, health care, water, food, are human rights and should be socialized, made public.
Greg, thank you for the lead to Joan Robinson. Her list of books and articles boggles the imagination.