gozer: tes_fic made this (Liberator)
[personal profile] gozer
Over on my LJ, on an entry dated a few weeks back, called Feed the Rich, Starve the Worker: That's Bullshit... from Madison, [livejournal.com profile] neuralclone commented:

What bamboozles me is the way ordinary people are supporting the corporatists. Economics 101 - can't they understand that by reducing people to a subsistence level they're going to destroy the consumer economy that sustains them? It will eventually rebound upon themselves.

And my rant got kinda long, so I made it an entry:

Corporatists have been working on this for thirty to fifty years (or more, kinda hard to tell when it really started), just chipping away, and they do it by taking advantage of this annoying thing called Human Nature, the desire for short-term gains pitted against long-term gains that require patience and, more importantly, thought. It's what con men rely on. Like all scams, they need the cooperation of the person they're scamming for this shit to work. Despite what the old saying says, you *can* cheat an honest man, but it's a lot more difficult than cheating some idiot who's helping you do it, usually with a smile, because they think they're in on the con with you.

Case in point: my mom was a sales clerk for a national chain department store in our town. She started working there in the early '70s when the store first opened, she was one of their first hires. There was a union for the people who worked for that chain in their store in Manhattan. So when she started working at the sister store in our town, the store's executives said, "Don't join the union and you won't have to pay union dues, and we'll give you *everything* the people in the union in Manhattan get." And the workers in the store in our town all agreed, because they wanted to keep the union dues that would be taken out of their paycheck every week, but they would still get the good stuff (health care bennies, for instance) the union was fighting for in Manhattan. Why pay when you can get it for free? So that's an entire store of workers in this national chain who voted to keep the union out, and for nothing more than the union dues they got to keep.

Keep in mind, my dad was in a union that he signed up with in the early 60s, a mechanics union, and that union did all kinds of great stuff for my family. We were able to climb out of being working class/the working poor and became middle class, entirely due to the union.

So, we were a Union family, and yet my mom voted to keep this other union out of her workplace just because it suited her short-term needs. It did bite her in the ass twenty-some years later when, because of the accumulation of the tiny merit pay raises she got over 20+ years, she wound up making so much per hour that it attracted attention at an HR level and they decided to lay her off and hire a college girl (at minimum wage) to take her place. Yes, a few months after giving a huge fancy dinner for all their 20+ year workers, they laid them all off in one fell swoop and replaced them with minimum wage workers who did not get health bennies. Canned *and* conned!

My mom had a great deal of experience, in fact she was doing a manager's job w/o a manager's pay at that point, so, on paper, she was a drag to their bottom line; off-paper, she was value for money. Especially in contrast with the minimum-wage college girls they hired to take the place of all the older ladies who used to work there for a decent wage, those first-wave hires who foolishly voted to keep the union out. My mom was devoted to her job and was in it for the long-term success of the store; the cheap workers hired were more devoted to doing the bare minimum possible to get by on their crappy minimum-wage jobs, jobs that they could not wait to ditch. (I had been one of those college girls working in the store years earlier, so I know what I'm talking about.)

If my mom and her co-worker buddies had voted for the union in the 70s, that union would have blocked the exec's ability to lay them all off, en masse, in the 90s. But no union, so they all got laid off and replaced by cheap, young labor. My mother was very bitter about her store's lack of loyalty to her... silly of her, as it was really a multinational corporation's lack of loyalty to her! The local union would have been more loyal, I think.

Another case in point: multinational corporation/family-friendly Walmart, where millions of people flock to shop. Walmart is the single largest employer in the US, and the family that owns it rakes in mega-billions in profit partly by paying the people who work for them crap wages/no health benefits, and partly by offering non-union-made merchandise for sale. They donate millions to many politicians, which is the main reason why the legal minimum wage is so low in this country. Personally, I will not shop there as I feel they are destroying America one town at a time, but I'm very lonely in that regard. Everyone else shops there and helps destroy America because, HEY LOOK, A DOZEN PAIRS OF (poorly-made, and probably made by under-age slaves in China) SOCKS FOR TWO-FIFTY! SOOOOOO CHEAP!

Third case: The Tea Party is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, and I am not exaggerating, but the idiots who make up that party DO NOT THINK THEY ARE, and will shout down anyone who tries to explain reality to them. People who are the victims of con artists are sometimes very difficult to convince, their egos won't allow it. Teabaggers (and yes, I know that's a pejorative) believe themselves to be awesome, cool mavericks! The Koch brothers are mega-billionaires, but apparently *most* of the money isn't enough, they want ALL the money; it would be very convenient for them if the US was turned into a third world country, where a tiny group of corrupt people on top are very, very, VERY rich, and everyone else is very, very, VERY poor. The (lower middle class, often elderly) Tea Party chumps, what Lenin called "useful idiots", vote and march to help the Koch brothers destroy the middle class, often in fun costumes or hats, carrying (usually) wrongly-spelled posters. It's so much FUN! They feel so EMPOWERED, as they shoot themselves and the rest of us in the foot.

How awesome would it be if someone could get the Kochs on youtube mocking the Tea Party?

/rant! I feel better! Especially since Fox just announced they're dumping Glenn Beck! Let's hope this is a the beginning of a down-turn for all corporate shills everywhere!

In other news, LJ is messed up again. I wanted to Import my LJ to Dreamwidth, which I didn't even realize I could do until several friends mentioned it on their journals, but don't think it's a good idea to attempt it until LJ is working again. Besides, I can't get in and change my LJ password, which is suggested on the handy-dandy Import Journal page on Dreamwidth.
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