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The change has been entirely political. It's about attitudes, not economics. The pre-Carter attitude was that the working classes had a certain inherent dignity and deserved a seat at the table.

The post-Reagan consensus was that the working classes - and that includes white collar working classes, who would usually think of themselves as middle class - were only worthy of abuse and contempt.

The two remaining political positions in the US is the far right fuck-em-all position, which glories in the abuse and contempt. And the less far right throw-them-a-bone position which accepts that some strategic concessions may be necessary, as long as they're kept to a minimum.

The idea that workers have an equal place both in democracy and in the economy has been eradicated.

This isn't an arguument about economic theory, but about enlightenment vs aristocracy. The enlightenment view of the inherent equality of all individuals is considered a quaint piece of history by the US political classes, and not a living principle.

So - it's unlikely that policy will change until this point of view is changed. Rational forward planning can't happen as long as there's more interest in abusing and taming the majority of the population than in creating a culture in which it's possible for everyone to flourish.

Perversely, for the aristocrats, destruction of the environment is a valid end in itself, because it's one of the way they can demonstrate their specialness.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jul 10th, 2008 at 11:52:09 AM EST
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