Thursday, June 23, 2011

Don't Look For The Cage You Can't See It It's Everywhere

The Rude Pundit sees the connection between our reality TV culture of humiliation-as-entertainment, and the siccing of the desperate working class on itself:
The Rude Pundit thought about Brian Jackson and his never-popping hot water bottle while he read about the latest attacks on working people by state legislatures and governors. See, it's not that New Jersey is seeking to raise state workers' contributions on health care and pensions. It's that the bill that made its way through committee stops collective bargaining on health care. It's the ongoing battle over collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin, in Massachusetts, in Ohio, in Illinois, in places Democratic and, especially, Republican, under the notion that this is somehow the way that everyone sacrifices for the good of some broad, undefinable "economy." Meanwhile, wages have stagnated as union membership has fallen. Somehow, surely, this is just the fault of greedy union workers. It always has been the workers' fault for demanding fairness, according to management. Why should these greedy bastards get decent health care when you can't find a job?

And this is how we get back to Brian Jackson. There's a political calculation being made here, as there so often is. They are pitting unemployed and non-union workers against the unionized state employees, who often have enviable job security in an insecure job market, by making those unionized government workers the target. It doesn't matter that the benefits gotten through collective bargaining make up for the shit wages. Boo to that; raise your arms in an X to get it swept away. Hope for failure and embarrassment. Turn on each other and give power and profit to the people behind the curtain, again and again.