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View Diary: Norquist: The Greatest Generation is anti-American (194 comments)

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  •  Do workers really gain? (none)
    My point is that corporate profitability has a nasty tendency to be wrung out of the sweat of the worker, who is overworked (more so now that overtime is being jiggered with), has his or her health benefits cut, and sees small if any wage increases, assuming they aren't the ones whose jobs are cut to help out the bottom line.

    I would also posit, though cannot prove (researching all this is a dream of mine), that the economic losses as a result of these cuts is not made up for by any gains the employee sees in their stock portfolio, assuming they still have a job. As you say, they can't live off their capital gains.

    So my assumption is that stocks don't help workers because their value rises as workers are hurt, rippling out through the economy as a weakening agent.

    The question about identification is difficult. I firmly believe most workers, and here I mention those who are able to afford some modest stock ownership or who have a 401k or who are in an employee stock program, do indeed identify with the wealthy class more than they do with what may really be their own economic interests. This is the point of Thomas Frank's new book, What's the Matter With Kansas, for example. That identification with the rich and thus the willingness to support things that help the rich a lot and help themselves little, like Bush's tax cut, may be explained by the fact that stock ownership gives one entrance into a different sort of outlook than just as a worker. There are other factors contributing to this identification, but stock I think is a big one.

    In short, these workers don't see themselves as 'labor' because they believe they're in a totally different environment where that binary doesn't exist. They are deluding themselves, but there it is.

    "you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one" - Lennon

    by eugene on Mon Sep 20, 2004 at 09:59:27 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (none)
      Yes, well, you could look at the interests of the business owner and those of the worker as being diametrically opposed, and workers who own stock as dipping a little into the former and mostly into the latter. I think the workers you talk about are, as you say, simply deluded as to where they fall on that. They're being suckered into believing they're one of the elite. That needs to be addressed, but I still believe that giving more people more opportunity to reap the benefits of economic production, which public companies do, is a good thing.

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