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Are the American people obsolete?
Salon ^ | Michael Lind

Posted on 07/30/2010 9:48:37 PM PDT by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass

Have the American people outlived their usefulness to the rich minority in the United States? A number of trends suggest that the answer may be yes.

In every industrial democracy since the end of World War II, there has been a social contract between the few and the many. In return for receiving a disproportionate amount of the gains from economic growth in a capitalist economy, the rich paid a disproportionate percentage of the taxes needed for public goods and a safety net for the majority.

In North America and Europe, the economic elite agreed to this bargain because they needed ordinary people as consumers and soldiers. Without mass consumption, the factories in which the rich invested would grind to a halt. Without universal conscription in the world wars, and selective conscription during the Cold War, the U.S. and its allies might have failed to defeat totalitarian empires that would have created a world order hostile to a market economy.

Globalization has eliminated the first reason for the rich to continue supporting this bargain at the nation-state level, while the privatization of the military threatens the other rationale.

The offshoring of industrial production means that many American investors and corporate managers no longer need an American workforce in order to prosper. They can enjoy their stream of profits from factories in China while shutting down factories in the U.S. And if Chinese workers have the impertinence to demand higher wages, American corporations can find low-wage labor in other countries

(Excerpt) Read more at salon.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: america; economy; emigrate; fail; girbilist; immigration; jobs; obsolete; serfdom

1 posted on 07/30/2010 9:48:40 PM PDT by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass

Golly Moses. “The Rise of the Machines” is a true story.

CQ
CQ
I
C
Q


2 posted on 07/30/2010 9:51:46 PM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spirito Sancto.)
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass

It can only happen by evil and corruption being rampant in government.
And it has happened, see book: “The Franklin Coverup” if you doubt. JMHO


3 posted on 07/30/2010 9:57:05 PM PDT by J Edgar
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass

You have been found guilty of the crime of being obsolete.
4 posted on 07/30/2010 9:58:27 PM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass

Congress is so I guess we are.


5 posted on 07/30/2010 9:59:22 PM PDT by historyrepeatz
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass

Americans gave away their liberty for a TV clicker. They are too lazy to cancel cable and sat TV to cut off the elites power. Enjoy serfdom.


6 posted on 07/30/2010 9:59:36 PM PDT by Frantzie (Democrats = Party of I*lam)
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass

Interesting article that gets one thing wrong, they cannot stay rich if the US Middle Class disapears. The markets in China and India will collapse if that happens. Their prosperity is based on our consumption. And they are also very protective of their markets. Look at mobile phones.


7 posted on 07/30/2010 10:04:40 PM PDT by microgood
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass

19th century view of the world in which everyone is either a “rich” Robber Baron capitalist or a “worker” in some grimy factory living hand-to-mouth.

The US economy could compete in the world and provide opportunity for its people if the liberals would stop strangling it to death.

Government, at all levels, sucks up 45% of GDP.

The liberals demand that we pay $400 billion every year to foreign countries for energy, instead of using nuclear power and domestic oil & gas and coal. This is draining us of our national wealth.

They have imported 30+ million low-skilled, low-educated foreign nationals costing us more than $100 billion a year, tens of billion in outbound remittances, and pulling down wages for Americans by uncountable billions of dollars.

Unions, backed by the power of the government, demand levels of benefits that bankrupt their companies, and then get the federal government to cover it over with taxpayer money.

Taxes crush American businesses, and then the federal government complains that they aren’t hiring more workers. Just the cost of complying with the tax code wastes billions and billions of dollars.

Regulations hamstring businesses and smother the native spirit of invention and entrepreneurship that once made America the most prosperous land in the world.

It is the liberals who are crushing America’s economy.

But if they can successfully demonize businessmen as “Robber Barons,” perhaps they can convince Americans to hand over that final measure of total power to the government - and end liberty and prosperity forever.


8 posted on 07/30/2010 10:05:38 PM PDT by SirJohnBarleycorn
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To: microgood

OOPS I meant disappears.


9 posted on 07/30/2010 10:05:40 PM PDT by microgood
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass

This is the kind of thinking you’d expect from the Left: inane questions as to whether entire societies are ‘obsolete’. Makes the Socialist history of genocide more explicable.


10 posted on 07/30/2010 10:07:18 PM PDT by Post Toasties
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass

There is no such thing as “American Corporations”, Corporations have no nation.

Arthur Jensen said it best in the movie, “Network”:

“You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels.”


11 posted on 07/30/2010 10:07:18 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass

Are Americans not Leftist enough for our taste?


12 posted on 07/30/2010 10:24:02 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: dfwgator

The Left, who has always wanted a socialist America, realized that the present population was too resistant, so they are in the process of flooding the country with 3rd world peoples who’s native countries are socialist based and who are much more eccepting of Socialism...and voilà!...The Socialist States of America.


13 posted on 07/30/2010 10:24:16 PM PDT by Main Street (Stuck in traffic.)
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To: dfwgator

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzSj1yNZdY8

God I have forgotten about that part of the movie


14 posted on 07/30/2010 10:29:21 PM PDT by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass
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To: SirJohnBarleycorn

Thank you.

Lefties think they can just keep taking more and more of productive peoples earnings without significant consequence to wealth production.

The fact is they’ve exceeded tipping point with the yoke around the neck of everyone willing to work between taxes, regulation, endless environmental insanity and not in my backyard.

We were a “can do” people.

Not anymore.


15 posted on 07/30/2010 10:40:51 PM PDT by DB
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To: Frantzie

“Americans gave away their liberty for a TV clicker.”

Duntno if they gave it away as much as it was taken while they were distracted by shiny objects.


16 posted on 07/30/2010 10:56:36 PM PDT by jessduntno (I wonder...how will third Manassas will turn out?)
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass
In return for receiving a disproportionate amount of the gains from economic growth in a capitalist economy

WTF?

17 posted on 07/30/2010 11:11:08 PM PDT by douginthearmy
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass

Girbilists are certainly obsolete.

And it is increasingly becoming evident to the most PollyAnna-ish among them that the days of being able to earn a living at it are very numbered for the vast majority of them.

The world, it seems, doesn’t want a gate keeper after all.

Misery loves company.


18 posted on 07/30/2010 11:13:29 PM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass
How do you determine if someone obtains a disproportionate benefit from the economy? Who makes that decision? The Salon article is so rooted in socialistic-think that anyone that benefits from the economy is considered suspect and sinister, especially if they are conservatives. The real criminals are the politicians in Washington that end up being multimillionaires before they leave office. Charlie Rangel probably did not have two dimes to rub together prior to being elected to office, and now he is a multimillionaire.
19 posted on 07/30/2010 11:28:32 PM PDT by Nosterrex
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To: SirJohnBarleycorn

“19th century view of the world in which everyone is either a “rich” Robber Baron capitalist or a “worker” in some grimy factory living hand-to-mouth”

You’re absolutely right. This is a pathetic article by someone with a Political Science 101 insight worthy of Barak Obama. The world he’s talking about ended in the 70’s when the smoke stack industry coalition of decadent “economic elites” and the old Labor unions could no longer compete with the Japanese auto industry, and the American steel industry fell behind Japan and much of Europe technologically.

The next industrial revolution started in California of all places, with the invention of the microprocessor in the early 70’, followed by the development of personal computers, and the biotech industry in the 80’s. These industries catapulted the US way ahead of that of a resurgent Europe by the 1980’s.

Why we couldn’t sustain our techological preeminence and are now facing an economic decline that lead is a complex issue. But I think it has a lot to do with our silly educational system and general cultural decline along with the debilitating factors you discussed.

One thing is for sure. Our decline has nothing to do with “Robber Barons” of the kind that produced greatest transformation living standards in human history more the than 100 years ago and almost did it again 30 years ago.


20 posted on 07/30/2010 11:46:02 PM PDT by haroldeveryman
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass
Michael Lind is policy director of the Economic Growth Program at the New America Foundation.

The New America Foundation is some kind of quasi-socialist front group/think tank isn't it?

21 posted on 07/30/2010 11:49:53 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass
Increasingly, however, America's professional army is being supplemented by contractors -- that is, mercenaries.

Leftwingers and their mental tics. They love trains and they hate private contractors working for the military.

22 posted on 07/30/2010 11:59:42 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: DB
We were a “can do” people. Not anymore.

A depression is likely very soon. Even a Republican takeover of Congress won't stop it.

The questions I have are 1) if the economy collapses will all hope for freedom collapse as well and 2) will hungry bellies change the average American's view of the utility of capitalism?

I'm pretty sure about the latter but not the former. I know that in any other era, a president like

Obama would be thrown out of office for worsening the economic situation to such an extent.

But it looks like the corruption of Democrats is so deep, that even with a depression, they will be difficult to dislodge.

23 posted on 07/31/2010 12:09:17 AM PDT by TheThinker (Communists: taking over the world one kooky doomsday scenario at a time.)
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass

It the purpose of this screed is to intimate that the U.S. rich don’t care about the business of the local peons, I’m not sure that has been proven. Yet.


24 posted on 07/31/2010 12:12:33 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: TheThinker

Neither did Reagan’s election stanch the Carter malaise, that is, not until a couple of years passed. Then the US economy began to smile again.


25 posted on 07/31/2010 12:14:21 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: combat_boots
"Are the American people obsolete?"

Only those that refuse to vote DNC.

The elites fight hard to flood the US with poor.

26 posted on 07/31/2010 12:49:47 AM PDT by NoLibZone (Liberals are right. The AZ situation is like Nazi Germany. Mexico is Germany and Arizona is Poland)
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass
Good then does that mean we can stop sending our money to other countries. I would love it if we just stopped every dime of our tax money going to other countries. This story is a blessing...now if only the government would take action. We could leave every country militarily, Africa would fall apart if we left, Korea would too, I don't know if Europe would be in trouble if we left but we can always find out. Plus get the U.S. out of Thailand, Philippines, etc. We could balance the budget if we did this.
27 posted on 07/31/2010 1:11:14 AM PDT by napscoordinator
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass
In every industrial democracy since the end of World War II, there has been a social contract between the few and the many.

Contract? The author better check his/her premise!

28 posted on 07/31/2010 2:59:28 AM PDT by The Duke
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To: microgood
Their prosperity is based on our consumption.

Exports account for less than a fifth of India's economy. Or so I've heard.

29 posted on 07/31/2010 3:05:56 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass

Atlas shrugged and took his factories overseas.


30 posted on 07/31/2010 5:24:33 AM PDT by MontaniSemperLiberi
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass

There is alot of truth here...look at the gathering of trans-national rich elite taking place in Rhinebeck NY this weekend. This goes to the heart of why the elites hate the tea parties...they are a huge threat to this vision. Time to end free trade, NAFTA. Time to start mandatory jail sentences for employers of illegals and time to end legal protections for corporations that move jobs and money overseas


31 posted on 07/31/2010 5:39:08 AM PDT by rman04554
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To: GonzoGOP

My favorite episode of the Twilight Zone... The Obsolete Man.


32 posted on 07/31/2010 5:50:59 AM PDT by Common Sense 101
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To: haroldeveryman
The next industrial revolution started in California of all places, with the invention of the microprocessor in the early 70’, followed by the development of personal computers, and the biotech industry in the 80’s.

This misconception is commonly held because the microchip manufacturers themselves chose to headquarter in California in the early 80's. The tech' industry revolution, however, started in Texas.

33 posted on 07/31/2010 6:20:51 AM PDT by Brass Lamp
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To: Common Sense 101

Another great piece of American thought.

The Twilight Zone - The Obsolete Man

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXzQD2SRESs


34 posted on 07/31/2010 8:43:11 AM PDT by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass
The author is something of a Luddite. The simple fact is times change. There is no going back to the everybody working in a factory days. Is Lind suggesting that all Americans be guaranteed a job of whatever kind? The responsibility of an adult in the modern world is to assess the situation an make the proper adjustments.

Lind's thoughts reflect the thinking of most leftists that the average person is an unfortunate, unthinking specimen who is lost in the modern world and incapable of adapting. History proves otherwise. The rich are richer than they used to be, but so is everybody else. And we'll get richer if we can keep government out of the equation. I'll trust my future to one hundred, unfeeling capitalists a lot more than I'd trust it to one hundred liberal congresscritters who "looking out for me."

35 posted on 07/31/2010 9:00:35 AM PDT by driftless2 (For long-term happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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To: Pride_of_the_Bluegrass

The ancient world was built on slavery.

The Obamacrats are creating virtual slavery via debt.


36 posted on 07/31/2010 12:44:08 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Brass Lamp

I got no dawg in that hunt . In fact I have no technical background in microelectronics, and my first microcomputer was a Radio Shack (Tandy) TRS-80 Model III bought in 1981. But here goes.

The scientific basis for solid state semiconductors was developed by William Shockley, who went on to invent the transistor at Bell Labs in what? New Jersey? Shockley left Bell Labs in the 50’s to open his own transistor company in Mountain View California. In nearby Palo Alto, the framework for the electronics industry complex that came to be known as “Silicon Valley” was put in place by Hewlett Packard in the late 1930’s. (I preferred their “reverse Polish” calculators to Texas Instruments’, but I may have been in the minority.)

The first integrated circuit was invented by Jack Kilby,of Texas Instruments in Jan 1959. But in Mountain View, CA, Bob Noyce (who previously worked for Shockley) was working on the IC simultaneously, and came out with his integrated circuit about 6 months later. Noyce’s IC became the industry standard.

Noyce started up Intel in the late 1960’s, where he developed the first semiconductor memory chip.

In the early 70’s one of Noyce’s engineers, Ted Hoff, came up with the microprocessor, which put all the essential functions of a computer on a single chip and it was just a small step from that to the personal computer revolution.


37 posted on 07/31/2010 8:11:06 PM PDT by haroldeveryman
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To: haroldeveryman
I apologize for the late reply, but I was approaching the subject economically. The innovations which occurred within the industry as part of the natural progression of the field certainly do merit the banner "revolutionary" when they very suddenly advance us. Usually, however, technical advancements are very incremental and more 'evolutionary'. I was referring to the industry's (then, newly found) ability to virtually "flip" a regional economy, almost overnight, to something radically different from what it had been. Just as the first American Industrial Revolution fundamentally changed the whole economy of New England, and the second Industrial Revolution subsequently made the upper Midwest the manufacturing center of the global economy (for a while, anyway), so too the Technology Revolution very suddenly and dramatically caused a shift in almost all aspects of the Texas economy.

For New Englanders, such a revolution meant that, within a single generation, future fortunes were to be found on the factory floor and not the family farm, causing a massive influx of city-bound laborers. It also caused a rare reversal of traffic in which most manufactured goods would thereafter be exported from a region which had previously depended almost wholly upon trade for durables, implements, and instruments. In fact, New England's real economy had been TRADE itself, and the first Industrial Revolution 'flipped' that from the import business to the export business. Not only did sea lanes and shipping traffic patterns of the time change, but so too did American maritime architecture and even the building of portage, shifts which serve as high-water marks of change and which persist to this day in the shaping of many large coastal cities.

Midwesterners saw the like when their regional economy changed in a rapid succession of revolutionary and innovative shifts, again within a single generation. The upper Midwest's economy went, in quick order, from being based upon the opening and sale of cheap, supposedly farmable land, to becoming the continental transportation hub (in large part to bring in folks to buy the land), to, finally (can I say "finally"), the heavy industrial manufacture which both depended upon and produced the transportational infrastructure which went along with being the hub. So one generation of Midwesterners, hoping to raise families on the farm, instead see their children off to vocational school because the economy had created the environment in which the having of technical training, not the reputation a strong arm or work ethic, would serve as passport to living the comfortable lifestyle of America's new middle-class. Indeed, the persistent inclusion of "shop class" in many public schools stems from this economic trend.

But the innovations which had spurred on these economic shifts did not originate in either region. New England's Industrial Revolution was, in the most literal sense, build upon inferior wood-patterned versions of British manufacturing equipment - outright intellectual property theft! The Industrial Revolution of the upper Midwest was caused, firstly, by the British development of Bessemer steel, and later, by the German invention of the modern automobile. We nevertheless correctly refer to these major economic shifts as "revolutions" by region, not because of these places are the source of ideas, but because these places are where the ideas manifest their impact.

In one generation, really in one decade, the economy of most large Texas cities changed radically in way that was not occurring in the most of the rest of the country at the time. If a total stranger to the area had to guess what the top three industries in Texas were, and had nothing more upon which to rely than a cartoon-fed reputation of the state and a thumbnail sketched map marked "Texas", he would likely suggest 'oil, cattle, and real estate' and would have two of the three right. In fact, for a very large part of the population, the hauling and fitting of pipe and other such labor in the gas and oil fields of Texas was considered both honorable and profitable as late as the 70's. The curricula of most technical schools were dominated by interest in heavy industry, and that was mostly applied to it's utility in the oil and gas business. And though Texas has great resource to land, it's value, at the time, was nearly wholly dependent upon what lay beneath. The only real land market upon which to speculate was oil and natural gas potential. There was comparatively little commercial development and not enough population shift to warrant it. Cities grew, but more slowly and incrementally. This would all change with breathtaking speed in the late 70's and early 80's with the arrive of the tech' industry.

The first major change occurred in the schools. Not only did standing institutions very quickly change their major focus to the electronics industry, but many became very serious research centers. Texas A&M, of all places, became as nearly reputable and about well funded a research institution as MIT. There were also more schools founded, MANY more. The opening a new schools actually spurred a new growth in the real estate racket as speculation soared upon the hopeful expectation that any large contiguous plot could be the next established campus.

The land market was also fueled by an explosive growth in commercial and housing development heretofore not seen. This happened because, while there were certainly jobs to be had in the new technology fields, the influx of hopeful northerners greatly outpaced actual job creation. Apartment complexes filled and trailer parks swelled with out-of-staters who all soon found that the best steady work to be had while working through technical school was retail work, selling consumer goods to other newly arrived northerners. Cities sprawled outward across the plain at a shocking pace. The consumption of building materials to fed the growth in Texas actually impacted global supply and inflated the price of steel and concrete. For a short while, the somewhat underdeveloped town of Denton, the third city of Texas's Dallas-Fort Worth triangle, was the fastest growing city in the country and had the notable distinction of being one the few cities to actually experience southerly growth (when most historians will tell you that cities tend to grow to the north).

The technological Industrial Revolution that became attached to Texas does not demonstrate some innate virtue of either the population or the geography. It demonstrates the portability of the industry which, indeed, passed rapidly through California on it's way overseas. It could have happened in Ohio. As it happened, it left it's mark in Texas.

38 posted on 08/01/2010 7:18:03 AM PDT by Brass Lamp
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To: Brass Lamp

As the saying goes, “If ya ain’t Texan ya ain’t sh$t.”


39 posted on 08/01/2010 10:30:31 AM PDT by haroldeveryman
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