American Exceptionalism Comes Under Conservative Assault

Mar 29 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

After 3 months of anemic Republican action on the economic front, Speaker John Boehner and the Joint Economic Committee have formulated a plan.  On the second page of the executive summary titled, What and How to Cut, the Republicans are demanding to “Decreasing the number and compensation of  government workers”- the Republicans follow up with their explanation of the prior statement,

“A smaller government workforce increases the available supply of educated, skilled workers for private firms, thus lowering labor costs.”

For those who have a slight grasp of economics this is astonishing.  Let me explain, labor costs = American wages.  By increasing the supply of labor, wages decrease.  This is basic economics of supply and demand.  So the way the Republicans want to create jobs in America is to saturate the American labor pool with more workers, increasing unemployment, and driving down the American standard of living.

The wages of the American middle class has been almost flat for almost an entire generation.  “The typical worker has had stagnating wages for a long time, despite enjoying some wage growth during the economic recovery of the late 1990s.”

The one demographic that has had better performing wages has been college educated employees.  Most government workers are college educated thus have a higher standard of living and wage packages than high school educated workers.

The conservative assault on our standard of living has been incremental, first  the GOP has driven private unions into the dirt over the last 30 years, now they are attacking the public sector unions with the same intentions.

The Republicans have now turned their sights, not only on the unions, but all working class wages.  This is precisely what liberals have been warning would happen if conservatives ever took control of our government.

The basic foundation of a strong economy is wages.  Without wages there isn’t demand, without demand, there isn’t economic growth.  That is unless all economic demand is controlled by the elite.  If economic demand predominately comes from the top 10% of Americans there isn’t a need to increase the wages of the middle class. This has been called a plutonomy, an economy of, for, and by the rich.


The data may be a further sign that the U.S. is becoming a Plutonomy–an economy dependent on the spending and investing of the wealthy. And Plutonomies are far less stable than economies built on more evenly distributed income and mass consumption. “I don’t think it’s healthy for the economy to be so dependent on the top 2% of the income distribution,” Mr. Zandi said. He added that, “In the near term it highlights the fragility of the recovery.”

Essentially the working class is only needed to make the things that the rich buy.

I don’t see anything in GOP plan to reduce CEO compensation that has spiked through the roof.  Just recently the CEO of Ford received a 54 million dollar salary.  This is 500 times the average workers’ salary at Ford, if the worker made $100,000/yr.  In the world of the conservatives, this should be celebrated as the American success story.  Really?  The only people allowed to live a comfortable lifestyle and have their standard of living continue to increase are the executives in the country?

The GOP obviously sees no need to manipulate the money out of the hands of the CEOs and bring a portion of that economic growth into the hands of the working class, the employees who made the company successful.

The core of American exceptionalism is our democracy and our standard of living, unfortunately both are under assault under the oppressive direction of the current republican regime in the states and the federal government.

Ramen noodles for everyone!





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