People ask me all the time why we don't have a revolution in America, or at least a major wave of reform similar to that of the Progressive Era or the New Deal or the Great Society -- given that middle incomes are sinking, the ranks of the poor are swelling, and almost all the economic gains are going to the top. The answer is complex, but three reasons stand out: (1) The working class is paralyzed with fear it will lose the jobs and wages it already has, and its major vehicle for organizing itself -- labor unions -- have been decimated; (2) students (who have been in years past a force for social change) are laden with debt and face a lousy jobs market, and don't want to rock the boat; and (3) the American public has become so cynical about government (in large part due to Republican tactics) that many no longer believe reform is possible. Have I left anything out? Has the right been so clever as to target unions, ensure high employment, pile on student debt, and seed cynicism precisely to prevent such a movement for fundamental reform? How will this end?Discuss.
Friday, January 24, 2014
Why no revolution, or change, in the US?
Former Labour Secretary Robert Reich says: