Writer’s Name: Todney Harris
Title: The Unfounding of America
I have written this response to an article written by Joseph Stiglitz. Mr. Stiglitz posted the article in the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair. He is one of the lone voices in America who is actually speaking about the issue of class and labor in America.
In order for Americans to understand the importance of Mr. Stiglitz message, it is important to understand the American economic philosophy of Capitalism. First, the government does not regulate business in America. The corporations in America are privately owned and operated. The term is known as "Laissez Faire". Second, there are two classes in America, the owner class and the laboring class. The owner class has been forced to share resources in America with the laboring class due to the influence of organized labor which resulted in the formation of labor unions. The owner class wishes to amass profits at the expense of the laboring class. There is no social welfare in Capitalism. The owner class does not care about redistributing wealth and resources in this country. They just care about getting rich at the expense of the worker. For a time, labor and capitalists coexisted together. Now, with the corporations outsourcing labor in order to circumvent labor unions and a living wage, America is at the point where the owner class cannot coexist peacefully with organized labor.
Furthermore, Capitalism and education are intertwined. Most people expect to rise to the middle class or better with an advanced education. One system cannot be reformed without reforming the other. Education was created due to the growth of industry in America. The immigration that occurred was the impetus for the creation of public education in America. At this point in our nation’s history, both institutions are being undermined by the Capitalists or owner class. College tuition is at the point where most American families cannot afford to send their children to an American university. Completing a degree program does not guarantee a job to any college graduate. Why? Outsourcing!
Listen, the country cannot spend its way out of this economic depression. We can't sell guns and weapons to allies. The world is not at war. We have made weapons that we cannot use. What has to occur is corporate responsibility. American corporations need to stop outsourcing jobs. Corporations need to create new business and industry right here in America! Certainly last but not least; hire American people for these jobs. American corporations need to stop outsourcing our jobs to poor countries. American people need to be paid a living wage.
What baffles me is that American corporations still expect America to have the number one consumer economy in America. People have been buying products in since Henry Ford invented the idea of paying his workers a decent and living wage in order for his workers to purchase the Model T’s that his company was making on the assembly lines. The commercials on television are more influential and persuasive than ever. How can companies expect us to purchase their goods if they aren’t hiring us and paying a decent wage? They surely don’t have a problem charging for their products in light of the fact that some poor worker in India, China or Indonesia is responsible for making the product at a less than satisfactory wage. The end result is that the corporate profits are soaring. Taxes aren’t being paid and workers aren’t being hired. I consider this the “unfounding” of America due to the fact that this goes against all of the principals in which this country was founded upon.