Sunday, September 16, 2012

Arianna Huffington's Third World America 1

I started Arianna Huffington's Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream.  In my latest reading, Arianna argues that the decline of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and their replacement with jobs in the service sector does not help the American economy.  First of all, manufacturing jobs have traditionally been the jobs that have put Americans into the middle-class and "kept them there" (page 20).  Second, it is the manufacturing sector that actually produces stuff.  How can we export goods that other countries can buy, when there is a decline in the U.S. in the kinds of jobs that produce those goods?  As Arianna says on page 21, the financial sector is "supposed to serve our economy, not become our economy."

Like Mitt Romney, Arianna Huffington is for increased productivity.  I doubt that Arianna would support Romney's technique of creative destruction to do so, however, for she tells heart-wrenching stories about people in the middle-class who have lost their jobs.  I wonder what she would say to the right-wing argument that unions, taxes, and regulations encourage American manufacturers to export their jobs to other countries.  If that is the case, I'm curious as to how the right-wing would expect for the U.S. to compete, period, since it would be scary if American workers were paid as low as workers in other countries, and cheap labor is a reason that other countries are attractive to companies looking for a place to set up shop.

At the same time, I vaguely recall reading in an economics book that it's not just cheap labor that makes a business competitive----it's also productivity, and that's why American companies have been fairly competitive in the past.  Is there a way for businesses to be productive with unions, taxes, regulations, and decent wages, and without creative destruction?

2 comments:

  1. I have found a new book that talks about social justice and early Christianity. In his new book, Cover Up: How the Church Silenced Jesus's True Heirs, Lawrence Goudge proposes that the Jewish followers of Jesus wanted social justice for the world. I have discovered a new book that shows how this social justice message was covered up by His Gentile followers. The church has blinkered its past. It's no secret that Jesus strove to bring in the kingdom of justice here on earth and his followers implemented it in the communal society we read about in Acts 2:44-47. The church’s dirty secret is that the Jewish followers of Jesus continued to hold his vision dear, later influencing such sects as the Bogomils and even, according to their own oral traditions, the Doukhobors. After exterminating the Jewish followers of Jesus, the church’s historians buried this history of justice-seeking but an author by the name of Lawrence Goudge has exhumed their story and presented it in 'Cover-Up: How the Church Silenced Jesus's True Heirs.' This book does the world a great service by illuminating for the first time this vital part of the history of social justice. I found it at http://tinyurl.com/69cazll.

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