3 Ways Elites Rig the System

from AlterNet

Beginning with Ronald Reagan, the U.S. government has systematically derigged labor markets for the many while rigging compensation markets even more for the elite few. Mass immigration, including mass illegal immigration, resumed after the 1960s, lowering wages for the poorest workers and weakening the ability of unions to organize. In the late 20th century, Congress allowed inflation to erode the real value of the minimum wage. Even after several increases, it is still lower, in real terms, than it was in the 1960s. And having effectively destroyed private-sector unions, the right is now trying to eliminate public sector unions, on the theory that schoolteachers and emergency responders are a much greater threat to the American economy than the reckless bankers who created a near-Depression and the CEOs who are rewarded for offshoring one industry after another.

What is rigged can be derigged; that is the lesson of the derigging of the institutions that raised the incomes of the American middle and working classes, between the Great Depression and the 1980s. TBTF can be eliminated, either by allowing giant, interconnected financial institutions to fail, or, more realistically, by turning them into tightly regulated public utilities that don’t make risky bets. CEO compensation practices can be reformed by law. Corporations are creations of the governments that charter them, and charters can contain any rules that lawmakers choose to put into them. And the rents extracted by the academic-professional complex can be reduced, by lowering the barriers to entry to the professions or, more radically, by reorganizing medicine, law and university teaching so that they are no longer structured as trades run by medieval guilds.

Of course, to succeed, this agenda has to be promoted by politicians, many of whom are members of the credentialed professional guilds, dependent on campaign donations from financial and corporate elites whose compensation depends to a large degree on markets that are legally rigged.

Such deeply entrenched, systemic & systematic cheating must be rooted out, by any means necessary – the only alternatives are serfdom & slavery for us & our children, grandchildren, etc.


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