Time for a New Deal
I’m afrtaid you are going to have to pay for it, but this is an excellent review – from the current issue of the New York Review of Books – of what loooks to be an excellent book on the state of the American working class.
Time for a New Deal
By Jeff Madrick
The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker
by Steven Greenhouse
Knopf, 365 pp., $25.95
Only recently has the situation outlined by Steven Greenhouse in his new book,The Big Squeeze, been getting serious attention from politicians. Average wages for American workers have been largely stagnating for a generation. Some six million more Americans have no health insurance today than did seven years ago. The distribution of income in the United States is as unequal as it was in the Roaring Twenties. With the country facing a possibly deep and painful recession, unemployment rising, and mortgage defaults at record levels, the poor state of the economy is finally high on the list of American concerns and is the leading presidential campaign issue.
When you click on Jeff Madrick above and are directed to his page at the NYRB, a very good bibliography of recent books on the American economy awaits you. NYRB does a good job in linking the better economic publications with insightful reviewers. I wish I could say the same for the Literary Review of Canada which gave Michael Byers book Intent for a Nation to Ezra Levant.
Seems to be a lot of paradigm shift talks these days. I was struck by this article in the FP today that reminded me of this post and how labour has retreated from their once heady days of the early post war era.
Given the source of the article I was not surprised at some of the neo con speak, and leanings when comparing keynsianism to the last 30 years of neo conservative economics. Upsetting and one sided no doubt, but then the articles tears right through the fabric of sensibility when it suggests the latest financial turmoil gripping global markets that has some far reaching effects on people, nations and social cohesion on many levels, to some misguided financials institutions “over-reliant on the allegedly sophisticated algorithms of propeller-hatted geniuses”, and then proceeds to blame the mess on over bearing govenment intervention.
I just cannot fathom how people actually get paid to write such tripe. I mean really, are these people actually walking around in this world, breathing? Are they from this planet? Given the dynamics of change over the past 6 months and with much more on the raod to come, it is precisely such garbage that will continue to keep us on the journey to destruction.
It is very far from the pathway outlined in the book above. I wonder how we will ever move forward within our cultural space with such thought promoters as the FP.
When you stand way up and look down on this financial mess, I see a whole lot of wealthy people playing in the sand box of wealth that this culture of modernity has allowed them. No longer having to actually contribute towards anything but the casino of more wealth within the financial system of the supreme controllers.
I cannot imagine sitting within another culture where such huge amounts of wealth are but a star light beaming down from the darkened sky. Hunger pains stretch across the lands with plenty mouths and lack of food. I can understand one thing about this paradox, it is one sides gain at the others loss.
I wonder if slow change is the answer that the social democrats profess it to be.