FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Long Run to the Bottom

by BILL MANSON

Now would you just stop arguing, and listen a minute?  The days of this “yeoman-farmer” you mentioned are gone, pal!  People need jobs, “good jobs,” sure, even jobs with a “Living Wage.”  What do mean, this fella Marx says the capitalist “expropriates” all the profit and gives the worker ONLY a “living wage”?  What’s so bad about that?  Your precious worker would starve otherwise, wouldn’t he?  The fact is, people need to be deployed—I mean, employed—and companies need cash to do that.

And that’s where these banks come in, don’t you see?  Sure, they were reckless, irresponsible, what with their “toxic debt instruments” and so forth.  But who do you think has bankrolled the entrepreneurial spirit that has made this country so great?  Right: banks!  HOW did they become “Too Big To Fail”?  How should I know?  The point is: no cash to loan to companies—whether it’s General Motors or some ingenious start-up venture—equals no jobs.

The government could, what, hire its own citizens to provide necessities and services that people really need?  Don’t make me laugh!  No, wait—just listen a minute.  Firstly, that’s socialism: you want us to model ourselves after CUBA?  Second, there’s no profit in that.  Where’s the incentive?  No: banks need money to make money, which is their incentive.  Sure, I don’t like it any better than you do: the public had to come up with what, a trillion dollars, to “help” the likes of Bank of America!  Necessary evil, buddy.  Seed money: and look at the result—the Dow’s going up again, companies are declaring record profits and…What?  Jobs?  Be patient, my good man.  These recessions take time to turn around, but in the long run…

What’s that?  Downsizing?  Automation?  “Outsourcing”?  These big American companies are pretty savvy, they’re not gonna keep their own American people cashless—who’s gonna buy their products if the people aren’t working?  No, they need jobs, good jobs, before they can drive to the mall, don’t you see?

What do you mean, “emerging markets”?  Oh sure, I know, big companies are looking to sell a lot overseas, sure, they even make a lot of their stuff in China or Mexico…but what’s that got to do with creating more good jobs here?  “Capital flight,” “race to the bottom”?  NAFTA and GATT?  I don’t see how these Free Trade Agreements are anything but that: agreements to FREE trade from all these embargoes and whatnot that block American companies from selling their goods everywhere!  If American companies can make money, as I’ve been trying to tell you, they can start hiring again—and create a lot of jobs, good jobs.

What is an “American” company?  What do you mean?  What are you trying to say?  You know what?  I give up: it’s useless trying to talk to you!

BILL MANSON previously taught social science at Columbia and Rutgers universities.

 

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

April 26, 2017
Richard Moser
Empire Abroad, Empire At Home
Stan Cox
For Climate Justice, It’s the 33 Percent Who’ll Have to Pick Up the Tab
Paul Craig Roberts
The Looting Machine Called Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
The Dilemma for Intelligence Agencies
Christy Rodgers
Remaining Animal
Joseph Natoli
Facts, Opinions, Tweets, Words
Mel Gurtov
No Exit? The NY Times and North Korea
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Women on the Move: Can Three Women and a Truck Quell the Tide of Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse?
Michael J. Sainato
Trump’s Wikileaks Flip-Flop
Manuel E. Yepe
North Korea’s Antidote to the US
Kim C. Domenico
‘Courting Failure:’ the Key to Resistance is Ending Animacide
Barbara Nimri Aziz
The Legacy of Lynne Stewart, the People’s Lawyer
Andrew Stewart
The People vs. Bernie Sanders
Daniel Warner
“Vive La France, Vive La République” vs. “God Bless America”
April 25, 2017
Russell Mokhiber
It’s Impossible to Support Single-Payer and Defend Obamacare
Nozomi Hayase
Prosecution of Assange is Persecution of Free Speech
Robert Fisk
The Madder Trump Gets, the More Seriously the World Takes Him
Giles Longley-Cook
Trump the Gardener
Bill Quigley
Major Challenges of New Orleans Charter Schools Exposed at NAACP Hearing
Jack Random
Little Fingers and Big Egos
Stanley L. Cohen
Dissent on the Lower East Side: the Post-Political Condition
Stephen Cooper
Conscientious Justice-Loving Alabamians, Speak Up!
Michael J. Sainato
Did the NRA Play a Role in the Forcing the Resignation of Surgeon General?
David Swanson
The F-35 and the Incinerating Ski Slope
Binoy Kampmark
Mike Pence in Oz
Peter Paul Catterall
Green Nationalism? How the Far Right Could Learn to Love the Environment
George Wuerthner
Range Riders: Making Tom Sawyer Proud
Clancy Sigal
It’s the Pits: the Miner’s Blues
Robert K. Tan
Abe is Taking Japan Back to the Bad Old Fascism
April 24, 2017
Mike Whitney
Is Mad Dog Planning to Invade East Syria?    
John Steppling
Puritan Jackals
Robert Hunziker
America’s Tale of Two Cities, Redux
David Jaffe
The Republican Party and the ‘Lunatic Right’
John Davis
No Tomorrow or Fashion-Forward
Patrick Cockburn
Treating Mental Health Patients as Criminals
Jack Dresser
An Accelerating Palestine Rights Movement Faces Uncertain Direction
George Wuerthner
Diet for a Warming Planet
Lawrence Wittner
Why Is There So Little Popular Protest Against Today’s Threats of Nuclear War?
Colin Todhunter
From Earth Day to the Monsanto Tribunal, Capitalism on Trial
Paul Bentley
Teacher’s Out in Front
Franklin Lamb
A Post-Christian Middle East With or Without ISIS?
Kevin Martin
We Just Paid our Taxes — are They Making the U.S. and the World Safer?
Erik Mears
Education Reformers Lowered Teachers’ Salaries, While Promising to Raise Them
Binoy Kampmark
Fleeing the Ratpac: James Packer, Gambling and Hollywood
Weekend Edition
April 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Diana Johnstone
The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail