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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quotation Of The Day

Our quotation of the day comes from Sarah Jaffe via Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon:

“How the hell did we get into a world where workers making $60,000 are overpaid but CEOs making millions are overtaxed?”

Indeed. The tweet from Jaffe was a reaction to the strike at Verizon, and Jaffe's entire piece is well worth the read, especially the reaction of conservatives, who seem to think that wage earners aren't productive. I liked this part particularly well:

Now, the bigger idea behind this. The idea that somehow teachers, call center workers, janitors, secretaries, firefighters, and other so-called middle class workers are not “successful” or “productive”, and thus deserve to have their pay slashed, while millionaires are obviously making bank because they’re more “productive” than the rest of us. The idea that so many people seem to have accepted, that middle-class workers deserve to make less, even when we live in a capitalist economy predicated upon the idea that financial reward is the best and only incentive to do pretty much anything. The idea that only the ultra-rich do it for the money and need mega-compensation (and no taxes) while the rest of us work for the fun of it. The idea that workers daring to ask for a raise is slothful and wrong, while finance managers holding a gun to the head of the entire economy over a proposed regulation on their pay is just how business works.

Marcotte tells us that there is a name for the economic system we seem to be adopting in this country, thanks to the Randian freaks and Grover Norquest types:

There's really only one term for people who believe, as a matter of ideology, that a handful of people deserve to own everything and the rest of us should (be) living lives of endless work and squalor, with perhaps a slender class of people who get paid pretty handsomely to protect the interests of those who own everything: feudalists. That's the system that they're clearly advocating for, albeit in modern terms, where the billionaires and company owners are our kings, top executives are the knight class, and everyone else is a peasant who works to death, gets four hours off for church on Sunday, and needs to be grateful that his masters allow him that.


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