Taking Back Our Economy - Part 2
Who is Deciding for Us?
Last week we discussed
economics - the choices on how we allocate resources, how we produce
things, and who benefits in the process - and we mentioned that those in
power make economic decisions, whether that's tax breaks for the rich,
trade legislation that kills jobs, or some other policy.
We have to understand that politics and the economy are not separate
things. The economy doesn't just happen. Government and those that can
successfully influence government make the rules for the economy. Those
rules once served our interests, but not any more:
Workers were rising up, staging general strikes, and
winning battles. We won Social Security, unemploymet benefits and
overtime pay. The conversation was about how to make the economy work
for workers, not just how we can work for the economy.
Organized labor was powerful enough to negotiate the
first health care benefits and pension plans. People generally thought
that the market was imperfect and could use some government intervention
to make it work, including things like a minimum wage, rules on overtime
pay, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
The dominant view in Washington is that the "market" should be left
alone, with free trade and minimal regulation on corporations. We are
seeing the results, and we know this isn't working.