As the world’s political and financial leaders seek to reinvigorate economic activity, it is no surprise that the greatest sacrifices and the largest contributions are being demanded from the workers, the laborers who actually produce stuff. As the economy begins to lurch forward in one sector or another, lack of confidence in the sustainability of the recovery is causing employers to delay hiring more workers to satisfy increasing demand. Instead, as reported in the Financial Times, “manufacturers have found that they are able to increase productivity by getting their employees to work harder or more efficiently.” If you are not squeezed out of your job, more work is squeezed out of you. Meanwhile, a much more extensive squeeze is being planned for the lower and middle classes to make way for tax cuts for the wealthy. There is widespread agreement on the part of both parties that attention will have to be given to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, the “entitlement” programs that Americans long believed were the reward for the hard work that went into building this country but that must now be cut since they are no longer affordable. In listening to the great debate swirling about the globe in a search for a way to lower debt levels, the emphasis keeps coming back to cutting services rather than raising taxes. The need for credit in the first place is due primarily to the 11% profit skim US corporations reap as a reward for their control of the economy.That’s where the money is; that’s where it should be harvested.
Tennessee Ernie Ford describes the coal miner’s future in “16 Tons”