Potemkin prosperity

Carl Remick carlremick at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 1 03:15:03 PDT 2001

>From: "Lawrence" <lawrence at krubner.com>
>My politics lean to the left but there are some issues where either the
>left response has been weak or I simply
>haven't read the right books. Why did real wages decline or stagnate from
>73 to 95? LBO recently pointed out how
>abnormal those decades are compared to the rest of American history. Please
>don't tell me that wages declined
>because of the right-wing, I doubt the 70s and 80s were more conservative
>than the 1920s or the stretch 1865 -
>1900, during which real wages rose. The right wing has a good line
>regarding these decades - that the economy had
>become stifled and over regulated, that Thatcher and Reagan unleashed a new
>era of creativity, that the boom of the
>90s was dependent on the wave of innovation set in motion by the political
>changes of the 70s and 80s. What is the
>left argument on these decades?

I can't speak for "the left," but I can say it's hard to know where to begin in unscrambling the hocus-pocus of the last three decades. The one unifying theme has been the ever diminishing political power of labor, the continuing shrinkage of government's role as a guarantor of social welfare, the rampant expansion of reckless deregulation, and the most malignant increase in the wealth and power of capitalists in a century. It has been era where billions of dollars have been squandered on follies associated with "paper entrepreneurship" ranging from the S&L bailout to the dot-com bubble; an era of rampant public stupefaction caused by media consolidation and the rise of the "entertainment economy"; an era where self-seeking charlatans like Lee Iacocca, Mike Milken, Jack Welch and Bill Gates are hailed as visionaries and embraced by a gullible public as heroes. It has been a time of mass hallucination, in short. Why? Maybe Nietzsche provides a clue: "In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule."


_________________________________________________________________ Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list