Re: [OT] Yemen (wasRe: King Donald)
- Date: Sat, 4 Feb 2017 20:01:04 -0500
- From: "Wolf K." <wolfmac@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Re: [OT] Yemen (wasRe: King Donald)
On 2017-02-04 18:23, Sailfish wrote:
Most Americans understand what it takes to become rich and do not desire
that path. They do expect that working hard comes with its own rewards.
Yes, that includes a decent salary and a weekend off. Is that such a
greedy thing to aspire to?
No, it's not greed (which is the sin of feeling entitled to more than
your fair share). It's what it should be. People want to do a good job:
the respect of one's peers is very important. A decent salary? Yes,
enough to pay for one's leisure. But the anti-union sentiment in the US
(and Canada) has made it difficult to get that. I worked for a non-union
company in Alberta years ago. We got a raise whenever the union workers
at Texaco down the down got a raise. Later, I worked at another
non-union plant. Same thing. In fact, I earned more (at 17) that year
than my dad did as a catheter at maximum salary. I never told him,
though. As union power has diminished, so has real income for the bottom
60%. A good deal of that damage was self-inflicted by voters who
supported "right to work" laws.
Of course, it's more complicated than that. It always is. Another
complication is values, and the effects of technology.
IMO, a central issue is the USA has never worked out how to resolve the
tension between individual and community interests. (To a lesser extent
also true of Canada, Australia, the UK). The American instinct is to put
individual interest above community interest. That's both good (it
increases liberty) and bad (it enables selfishness). But our
technological economy is far more interconnected than the low-tech
economy of the 1700 and 1800s. We are mutually dependent in ways that
our forebears couldn't imagine. But our values are still much like their
values: so we have trouble seeing that many of them have become
irrelevant and even destructive. We believe that producing is better
than consuming, yet we have an economy that produces more than it can
consume, and needs fewer and fewer people to produce what we consume.
The result is that more and more of us are not needed as producers. But
we are needed as consumers. But only producer "deserve" to be paid. But
consumers can't buy what the producers make if they don't have the
I think you see the bind that we've created for ourselves.
It's called "opinion" because it's not knowledge.
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