Which is all that this WaPo “would you like some cheese with that” seems to boil down to.
Now, before somebody accuses me of acting like a Republican (ack-put), don’t get me wrong. There are definitely bad things going on in the corporate world, and even the WSJ is all over the CEO-vs-RandomSchmoe pay divides because of the outright chicanery involved. For instance, when a corporation claims that it can’t fund its pension program, and it turns out that this is because it’s quadrupled its its CEO pensions, folks who’ve put in twenty-five years have a legitimate reason to be somewhere between severely pissed and borderline postal.
But this isn’t quite that critter. No, this odd little lament devolves fast and furious into self-assuring mantras that whitewash the 20th century into a recognizable boomer vision:
In ways more difficult to quantify, the mass prosperity fostered a generosity of spirit: The civil rights revolution and the Marshall Plan both emanated from an America in which most people were imbued with a sense of economic security.
Nobody actually did anything. People were imbued with comfort, and specific policies simply emanated from the resulting hazy goodness. Yeah, pass that joint, man, the history final’s not ’til Monday.
Clearly, the war of American employers on unions, which began around that time, is also substantially responsible for the decoupling of increased corporate revenue from employees’ paychecks.
Learn some history, dude, you’ll need it on Monday. The old labor organizers wed themselves to the antagonistic model from the very beginning. That’s why Toyota’s been kicking GM’s ass — Toyota’s flavor of union, a cooperative labor model, simply works better.
For the bottom 90 percent of the American workforce, work just doesn’t pay, or provide security, as it used to.
These kind of kvetchings make me wonder if the folks writing laments like this are just scared of the future and need reassuring as all the old mantras start to look threadbare. Now that money’s going to corporate bosses rather than being hauled out of union dues to labor bosses. There are always bosses. It’s still bosses. That’s how the world works, and until we’re off this rock, and invent the new, shiny, arrogant and heartless Space Bosses, that’s the way it’s gonna be.
And besides, we’re much closer to having the rocket ships now.
Dude, I’m sorry that your world has changed. But I’m living in it now, so chill out: that world you’re so fond of, 1947-1973, has been gone for over thirty years. If you’re going to wallow in cheap nostalgia, just crank up the Lawrence Welk and be done with it.