Saturday, January 01, 2005

Setting Up A Modern Serfdom

The NYTimes has a round-up of the hard work Republicans have been doing for the Prez on behalf of American plutocrats everywhere. That's it--beat down those faceless hordes, put them in their places, turn back the Red Menace of fair wages and safe working conditions!!

Like I said.

And to think, the Democrats are still moping about trying to figure out what cart to hitch the donkey to.

The Economist has a worthwhile piece on the growing failure of America's "upward mobility". Seems that, as incomes reach polarization levels last known during the Gilded Age, the one thing that has made such inequity palatable--the hope that with grit and determination one could move up the economic ladder--has been fast disappearing. Meanwhile, the plutocratic class, in politics, entertainment, business, and other avenues of life, has been ensuring that it replicates itself in its scions, and bars those common folk jumped-up enough to think they might gain entree:

"In the 1990s 36% of those who started in the second-poorest 20% stayed put, compared with 28% in the 1970s and 32% in the 1980s. In the 1970s 12% of the population moved from the bottom fifth to either the fourth or the top fifth. In the 1980s and 1990s the figures shrank to below 11% for both decades. The figure for those who stayed in the top fifth increased slightly but steadily over the three decades, reinforcing the sense of diminished social mobility."
The article also discusses the contributions to this problem made by the American educational system, of which more below, and the failure of any kind of contemporary progressive movement to recognize and correct for the aristocracy that's taking root as a result.

Gee whiz. Do you think we could read something like "moral values" into this, all you more-Republican-than-thou Democrats?

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