Home > Uncategorized > Lower Prices for TVs and Lower Wages Are Moving Us Away From Democracy

Lower Prices for TVs and Lower Wages Are Moving Us Away From Democracy

Paul Theroux’s blistering op ed article that will appear in tomorrows NYTimes contrasts the billionaire’s magnanimous desire to “help the poor” in economically deprived nations with their practice of off-shoring jobs and neglecting the problems created here at home. He offers this blunt description of globalization:

To me, globalization is the search for a new plantation, and cheaper labor; globalization means that, by outsourcing, it is possible to impoverish an American community to the point where it is indistinguishable from a hard-up town in the dusty heartland of a third world country.

Mr. Theroux could have written this article about New England mill towns a couple of decades ago when corporations decided to relocate their factories to the south in an effort to avoid paying union wages. There are communities in New England where most people made their living working in factories and now scramble to make ends meet…. and there are urban areas and Rustbelt communities that have the same third-world feel to them.

The problem is two-fold: shareholders and CEOs want to maximize profit and consumers want low prices. The deregulated capitalism and free trade advocated by political candidates in both parties reinforces this and the anti-government mantra of the right makes it even worse. Shareholders need to look at the effects of maximizing profits by moving jobs abroad and taking advantage of tax loopholes… and consumers need to ask themselves if they are willing to save money at the expense of their fellow Americans jobs… and we have to face the fact that the consequence of this will mean substantially lower incomes for the billionaires, higher corporate taxes, and a trade-off for rank and file workers of higher taxes and higher costs for goods in order to earn higher wages.

Here’s the bottom line: If everyone dug a little deeper to pay taxes and spend more on consumer goods we COULD restore the economy in our country. Otherwise, we will continue devolving into a plutocratic oligarchy. I’m willing to pay higher taxes and pay higher prices on my “fixed income” to help my neighbors in Arkansas, Detroit, California, and New England earn a decent living and have an opportunity to advance. Is anyone else ready to do the same?

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