RANGER AGAINST WAR: The Great Society <

Monday, September 02, 2013

The Great Society

--And Here's to You, America, 
Anheuser Busch commercial (1986)

We pay the taxes we pay the bills
So they better pay attention up on Capitol Hill   
--We The People, Billy Ray Cyrus

  Thank God for the everyday heroes
For all you've done and for all you do
Thank God for the everyday heroes
It's a better world because of you 
--Everyday Heroes, Aaron Lines 

 Don’t scab for the bosses
Don’t listen to their lies
Poor folks ain’t got a chance
Unless they organize 

--Which Side Are You On, Boys?
Natalie Merchant 

Happy Labor Day, Ranger readers. We know that some of you are laboring today, while others are worshiping at the altar of the God of the Marketplace, because you are told this is what good citizens do.

Today, a holiday recognizing labor seems a bit cruel, being as it is a celebration of the labor movement and the social and economic achievements of workers in the face today of a much reduced labor presence. We live in the midst of a fast-bifurcating society, the dreams of the middle class shattering upon the rock of profit-making and the inexorable expansion of internationalism. In a world of fixed resources, it was inevitable that company paternalism would go by the wayside as other players entered on the leading edge of economic competition. For money, and not love, do we operate.

As traditional affiliations fray, commitment to anything besides the bottom line has become a quaint idea. Workers superannuated via outsourcing, hanging onto life rafts, must now grab onto any job that pays. For many, that means selling your soul (if you had one) and becoming a highly-paid indentured servant to the military contractor industry. We know local fishermen, oystermen and store employees who accepted work with Halliburton as they "had families to feed," and the work paid well.

What's good for war is also good for those who hang around at the bottom of the totem pole. There are always positions for human flack jackets, or for the brighter, those who will flack for the war machine. (Of course those who choose that route will probably need a few good shots of a double malt to get to sleep at night, but they can afford it ...)

An interesting trend in the press recently is the number of stories promoting white collar exploitation (= working at free internships) and the even greater number of stories questioning the usefulness of a college degree. The final trend in higher education reportage is the skew for working in the technical STEM (science, technology, engineering and math.) The subtext is: Work as a drudge so that you'll be too tired to be discriminating, and will be grateful for whatever job pays you; work in technology so your only reading time will be spent keeping up with technical journals.

In addition, if you are only about STEM -- or better,  if you lack a college degree -- you will have neither the ability or will to be a discriminating, voting citizen. The other things that college might introduce to you will be lost as quaint relics of that brief period of time when the needs and development of the citizen had merit.

We don't know what the labor pool will look like in a few decades, but the improvement of the worker's lot will not be anyone's primary consideration.

And as long as we can get some income and bennies, and have the ability to stuff our abodes full of cheap and toxic Chinese garbage, not too many of us seem too troubled.



Blogger no one said...

great old bud add. ironic that bud is now owned by foreigners. On the plus side, micro brews are a true made in America by small companies success story.

I am taking it easy today. Watching movies while lying in bed. My wife is off to pick up a pizza. I'm also sipping some made in America bourbon.


Monday, September 2, 2013 at 5:21:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous jim at ranger said...

To all,
I often wonder how many members of the ruling elite ever belonged to a union OR had direct dealings with a union.
I stopped drinking Pilsener Urquel and now drink micros exclusively.I esp. like Fullsail IPA.This is my act of patriotic boozing. I allow myself 2 beers a day and i want the experience to be meaningful.
I used to drink JTS Brown but can't find it any more.
When unions die then so too will capitalism.I often muse and wonder if any revolution was started by a middle class.Possibly this may be in the offing.With out a middle class there is no US of A.
Time will bear this out.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 8:18:00 AM GMT-5  

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