A Race to the Bottom and the Global Economic Abracadabra
While listening to the radio some days ago in the Washington DC metro area, there was an interview of an air traffic controller in the Frederick county area. The subject was so upset that as part of the United States federal government austerity or sequestration magic, his job would be vamoosed from federal funding. The shocked controller went on to indicate his right wing leaning support for cuts within the government but wondered aloud why his job should be on the cutting block. This is not unique as corporations and individual members of the elite 1% club have used their stooges such as the main street pan-international media to wage regimes of miseducation against public sector workers around the globe.
So from Cyprus to London England, from Greece to Wall Street America, and from Wisconsin to Ohio there is the renewed mantra to blame the victims of corporate malfeasance and victimize the fatalities of individual greed instead of the so-called makers. When middle income folks within the private sectors lose their jobs and are unable to secure and provide for their families they are quick to point fingers at government workers instead of taking an objective look at the global corporate gluttony. They become impotent to challenge the transfer of jobs abroad and the automation of businesses to render people obsolete in various employment arenas.
These economic casualties which are perceived as mere collateral damages but are actual systematic offspring of our global economic systems are depressed, demoralized, and dejected and become unable to connect the dots between the disparities in income within their former organizations and their present conditions. There is a failure to link the corporate jets and CEO bonus to the devastation permitted on the common folks. Ours is a race for the crumbs that seeks to scavenge and be content for what miserly benefits that greedy elites deem necessary for us to survive on. We are swift in condemning homeowners that lost their homes in loan mortgage crises without realizing that they were ponds of the banking cartels and/or turning a blind eye to the same scams which the bankers have used from Spain to west coast states in America such as Nevada and California.
Consequently, we are presented with a Europe of unimaginable dichotomy like in the bible (religion) for butter (resources) days. At the same time we have more Portuguese and Spaniards heading to Angola than at any time since the global slave trade economy. We now have Europeans openly embracing fascism politics and cultural xenophobia. Amidst the petroleum wealth and boom in Luanda no one questions the Europeans for their workers permits. But in Europe and America it is easier to pick on the foreigners instead of organizing against those from within that specialize in setting up tax havens, shipping jobs around the globe to pay the lowest cost, and reaping astronomical profits. On US television there is an open call to move monies and investments to Ireland whereas urban and rural unemployment remains off the chain with the ensuing societal cost.
Paradoxically, the race to the bottom is sanctioned by politicians and the corporate media types who are beholden to the corporate status quo. As such they have the masses divided and fighting themselves, for example poor Europeans in America against African Americans and Latinos and African Americans against immigrants. Whilst they keep us bickering and competing for the lowest common denominators, the Dow Jones and other leading financial markets are creating no jobs, depressing wages, gambling with the savings of folks, forcing municipalities into bankruptcies, but making record earnings for the economic/financial gurus and members of the exclusive 1% club. These entitled classes would rather hoard monies and properties to service 3-5centuries of their descendants, whence people are poor, homeless, and dying today.
Nnamdi F. Akwada MSW, BA is a Social Justice Activist