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View Diary: What's The Matter With The Left? (117 comments)

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  •  Well, Ray, since you asked... (9+ / 0-)

    I think it's too great a sense of complacency. Those of us who follow the economic clusterfuck closely, of course, aren't complacent...but there are millions of middle- and lower-middle-class people who simply do not follow the issues closely, even though it would be important to them if they were aware of how they're being screwed.

    The really really poor are probably too busy fighting for survival to have the energy for much else.

    What do I think we need?

    I think we need a strong far-left movement to counteract the Teahadists.  I don't see it happening, though, until conditions are much worse.

    When the New Deal happened, it was after literally decades of people fighting for socialism, or communism, or the right to join a union.

    It also happened after the excesses of the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties brought the entire economy to a standstill...20-something percent unemployment...banks failing as far as the eye could see....

    You know, catastrophe.

    Both Roosevelts seem to have been something of reformers, but FDR had no choice.

    What's different now? A definite tilt the wrong way, a stimulus package that was too little but managed to avert another Great Depression, and billions of dollars being thrown at the shit-slingers of the GOP.

    IMO.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 11:48:56 PM PDT

    •  Fighting for unions and then the organization of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kristina40, New Rule, Youffraita

      working people into unions carried a lot of the weight for the left.  The left's decline can be tied to the decline of unions and there simply is not a comparable organization or institution by means of which we can reach out to ordinary working people and organize them to fight for economic justice.   And that is exactly why the right is against unions. They've understood that unions were the basis of the political power of the left and set out to destroy them. And they have largely succeeded.  Who is going to organize working Americans around the wholesale transfer of our manufacturing industries to foreign countries?  Why, the Democratic Party has played a major role in making it happen.  Now Obama is proposing an immigration law that will allow in tens of thousands and someday hundreds of thousands of guest workers to compete with Americans for employment.  I hear not a wimper of protest on the left.  And Trumpka is putting his seal of approval on it.   Generally, people on the left seem to think it's a good idea.  I don't get it.

      The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

      by helfenburg on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 04:57:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's am good idea because (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lorla, gramofsam1, Youffraita

        the existence of a large "illegal" work force is what puts a downward pressure on wages and working conditions. Undocumented workers can't organize or appeal to existing labor laws without risking arrest and deportation.

        The alternate "solution", the forcible expulsion of millions of undocumented workers and their dependents, all other questions aside, is simply impractical.

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:41:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't refer to expulsion. I referred to the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WB Reeves

          proposed new law that would authorize a new influx of tens of thousands of guest workers.

          Read carefully, please.  

          The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

          by helfenburg on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:32:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ah, thanks for the correction (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ray Pensador

            I'll have to have a closer look at that part of the law. Depending on the specifics though, the principle remains the same. Workers without legal status have no protections and no recourse. This makes them subject to hyper exploitation which in turn exerts a downward pressure on wages and work conditions for workers as a whole.

            Nothing human is alien to me.

            by WB Reeves on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 09:14:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Like I said, WB, I'm talking about something (0+ / 0-)

              else.  What's different about off-shoring our manufacturing or letting in waves of foreign workers to take our jobs away from us righ here?

              Please explain, because I don't understand why more people on the left don't find it problematic.

              The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

              by helfenburg on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 03:54:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well for one thing (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Youffraita

                if our jobs are being off-shored, what jobs do you imagine will be here for people to take away from us?

                I don't believe you are talking about something else. The only reason why immigrants can "take away" our jobs is because they are subject to hyper exploitation. Otherwise there is no advantage in hiring them over native born workers.

                In fact, if wages and working conditions were equal, the advantage would be with native born workers in terms of education, language and culture. The demand for cheap imported labor would evaporate because it would no longer be cheap.

                As I said before, this would depend on the details of the current proposal. If the plan treats immigrants as a lesser, second class pool of labor, that would be something different.

                Nothing human is alien to me.

                by WB Reeves on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 04:26:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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