Cheap Labor

Discussion in 'Economy' started by midcan5, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. midcan5

    midcan5 liberal / progressive

    Jun 4, 2007
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    Philly, PA
    Whenever the discussion turns to unions or fair wages or corporate power the right inevitably defends corporations and wealth against people. This has always struck me as odd and off base. The same anti-worker mentality that gained precedence with Reagan still exists today. So many zombie economists think formulas equal reality, you wonder where it is they work and what their lives must be. But every so often people speak out honestly. Joe Bageant writes eloquently, in a backwoods manner, that makes the topic real.

    "...In the mornings while making coffee I listen to NPR. And in the evenings before this besotted old carcass craps out for the night, I watch the our Public Broadcasting systems’ history specials and retrospectives, or the History Channel (Native Virginians are obsessive about history). And I hear narrators and commentators feed the same thin witted stuff to the nation. Things like, “Race has always been the primary historical and cultural issue of American history, especially in the South.”


    It’s always been about cheap labor down here, just like everywhere else in America. Free slave labor may connect Southern history, but cheap labor connects all of American history. True, preserving free slave labor was the reason southern Congressman Preston Brooks clubbed the living hell out of Massachusetts anti-slavery Senator Charles Sumner right there on the Senate Chamber floor in 1856. But the main theme has always been about powerful men and more recently, faceless, bloodless corporations more powerful than any of the oligarchs of earlier times, aggregating wealth from the toil of the masses. That’s why there were hundreds of thousands of white indentured servants in America before the slave economy arose to the levels it did. And that’s why today the U.S. has such strong union busting laws as the Taft-Hartley Act and the misleadingly named The Right to Work Act."

    Joe Bageant: Oligarchy, corporations and unions

    Another good old boy worth a read.

    A Short History of Conservative Obstruction to Progress | Conceptual Guerilla

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