Yet more dispatches from the long dissolve:
1. You there, with the $15/hour janitorial job—what makes you think you’re free to leave to take an $18/hour janitorial job?
Don’t you know “free labor” is about the freedom to hire labor, not of the laborers themselves?
2. Yet more wisdom from a mineworker—or, in this case, Mary Middleton, widowed by a mine:
“You get a speeding ticket … and you don’t pay and they’ll want to put you in jail,” Middleton added. “But this man — it’s people’s lives and injuries, and then they just keep letting him keep doing it and doing it.”
Her husband was one of five men killed in an explosion at Kentucky Darby Mine in Harlan County, Ky in 2006. The co-owner of the company, Ralph Napier, Jr., “still owes $500,000 in penalties for the Kentucky Darby disaster. Napier also controls eight other mines that have $2.4 million in delinquent fines.”
3. And tank the world economy, and you get a chance to pay a fine for corrupting the currency.
No jail for anyone, of course.
4. Any halfway-decent Marxist (or Marxisch, as it were), could tell you of the state’s centrality in the development and protection of capitalism; any disputes have centered on to what extent the state retains some autonomy from the relations of production.
The welfare state, which has improved the lives of tens—hundreds—of million of people, nonetheless serves to blunt attacks on the state, and thus on capital itself, by insulating workers from the remorseless machinery of capitalism.
There is a logic for both labor and capital to sign on to this agreement: the state will skim off some of the profit it insures for capital and redistributes it to labor, leaving capitalists their profits and laborers some level of decent living.
This agreement has worked more (Scandinavia) and less (US, UK) well for decades, but the pact has long been unraveling.
And what should no longer astonish me, but nonetheless still does, some people like it that way.
(h/t: Erik Loomis, Lawyers, Guns & Money)