Friday, November 12, 2010

It is what it is

The middle class is being downsized away. There's a few folks like me whose creativity is hard to outsource and who get good salaries as a result. And then there's the former middle class, no longer needed partly because they've been outsourced to India and China... but also because we're just too damned good at making shit nowdays. As in, only 10% of U.S. workers are involved in manufacturing... but the United States is still the world's biggest manufacturer, even today with China making all our cheap shit and Latin America making all our underwear.

The deal is that technology has made probably 90% of all middle class jobs unnecessary. That was papered over for a while by putting the middle class to work trading dot-com stocks and selling overpriced real estate to one another, but the reality is that the jobs the middle class once worked are gone, and those jobs aren't coming back.

When there is only one solution, people adopt it sooner or later however much they hate it. With a permanent situation of more people than jobs, the unemployed will be supported from the general wealth. Call it Socialism or Christianity or whatever you please, but there's going to have to be a change in how our economy is organized because people do not voluntarily starve to death. They just don't. Hungry desperate people will do whatever it takes -- whatever it takes -- to survive, because humanity is a race of two-legged cockroaches in the end. The Republicans don't understand this, because they figure the entire world can be organized like Mexico -- i.e., them on top, and everybody else starving peasants. But that only works in low-tech resource extraction economies where the people don't have the resources available to do something about it. Once they do have the resources.... well. Bad Things Happen. Let's put it that way.

So: Reality is what it is. We will have socialism in America -- at least to some extent. Either that, or there won't be an America, just Somalia West, complete with warring warlords shelling each other's neighborhoods with artillery...

-- Badtux the Reality-based Penguin


  1. funny tweets, tks, I needed to laugh.

    I like this post, but you are kinder than I am. You should have seen the post I didn't post.

  2. My vote, as always, is on Somalia West. The maggots at the 0.1% pinnacle don't care about the middle class, or America in general, because they reckon they can ride out any social disorder with a buffer of armed guards (i.e. "the new middle class.") The top puddingskin is grabbing control of all the wealth that matters, whether it's physical gold or more importantly, the legal paperwork that says "We own that land/building/invisible asset like stock shares." They also have the freedom to flit from country to country. All of 'em won't be wrecked -- we'll always have Switzerland!

    And the American people lack any political will or cultural memory about how to organize to fight for their own interests. They'll just fight. Shoot your wife and her parents because you're sick of them calling you a lazy drunk, or shoot your kids so your ex can't get custody of them, or shoot some people in the workplace you just got fired from because you had a dangerously bad temper, or just go shooting people in a neighbourhood/church/mall because you're angry and your life sucks and you might as well inflict some pain before you go down in a beeswarm of bullets. That, to me, is America.

  3. Bukko -

    It's refreshing, in a way, to read someone more cynical than I am.

    Tux -

    It's always tempting to make a linear extrapolation from the current condition. But other arcs, and even reversals are possible.

    What if the globalization trend suddenly reverses? What if protective tariffs become highly popular? As unlikely as insourcing seems, it's not impossible.

    Or, in a totally different scenario, what if the U.S. population were put to work repairing our own infrastructure?

    The 2003 power grid failure had a number of contributing causes, one of which was a fucking tree at 2:02 PM August 14th.

    Many municipal water systems are 100 or so years old, and leak like crazy.

    Natural gas pipe systems are old and deteriorating.

    Etc, etc. There is lots of real, worth-while work that we could be doing.

    But we won't, so Somalia West it is.

    We're fucked.

  4. The best response might be the "What you mean "we", Paleface?" strategy. Get a job in the security industries, and then, when J Random Plutocrat is depending on you and there are no unfriendly witnesses, "accidentally" lose him (looting the corpse being optional). Rinse, repeat for as long as possible.


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