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.

1940s-Late 1960s
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.

Early 1970s-Now
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.