The conservative consistently beat the drum about themselves being the defenders of American exceptionalism. American exceptionalism is defined partly by a well-compensated middle class, yet I do not hear a word of defense coming from the right about this.
The entire essence and strength of our country and democracy depends on the strong, vibrant middle class. Just a quick look around the world and many of the revolts have been attended by oppressed middle class workers joining together to take down the regimes that are in bed with the very very wealthy.
David Brooks of the New York Times wrote an op-ed last week subltly celebrating the falling wages of America’s wages throughout this last generation. He said,
The Boston Consulting Group foresees a manufacturing renaissance as Chinese wages rise and workers in low-cost states like Mississippi find they can compete once again.
What Brooks is saying when he mentions “low cost” in Mississippi is wages also. So in review of his comments, what he means is due to increasing Chinese labor and lowering America labor employees in Mississippi can compete. Is this really worth celebrating?
Here is a little dose of reality for those who believe that lowering wages in America to bring jobs back here is a benefit to the country, as stated by the Alliance For American Manufacturing.
1. No one should envision or hope for a low-wage U.S. manufacturing workforce. That would mean a further nail in the coffin of the American middle class.
2. It is illegal dumping, subsidies, and currency manipulation that give China’s manufacturers a price advantage over U.S. firms, not the well-deserved wages given to the skilled men and women who keep our factories running.
The only type of American exceptionalism conservatives in both parties, Democrats and Republicans celebrate is the exceptionally large disparity of income in this country.
The race to the bottom that was kicked into high gear with President Reagan must be stopped. We need politicians that will stand up for a good wage and benefits and denounce trickle-down economics.
Wages, not profit, is the primary driver of demand and by devaluing labor you undermine your own economy.