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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 money. But...

I think you see the bind that we've created for ourselves.

Wolf K.
It's called "opinion" because it's not knowledge.
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