- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Class is more than just a bank account, it's a way of looking at the world

Posted by: Sean on January 30, 19100 at 20:51:08:

In Reply to: Betty goes over to the Dark Side. posted by MDG on January 28, 19100 at 11:07:00:

: [The Betty Story, snipped]

MDG: : Betty becomes successful; her business does well! Then one day the government food safety workers walk in and tell Betty that she needs to do X, Y, and Z to come up to code. Then the Occupational Health and Safety Inspector walks in and tells Betty she needs to do X, Y, and Z to come up to code. So on with the environmental regulators, disability rights regulators, energy regulators, and so on. All of these regulations have been derived through the democratic process for the good of all, but Betty fumes. She has an eye on a bigger house. She wants a nicer car. There's a mink coat on sale at Cruella DeVille's Salon! All these regulations just cost her more money.

Or, she cuts the working hours of her employees and starts buying lower quality ingredients.

MDG: Then, to top it off, her workers want to unionize, and the government labor regulators tell Betty they have the right to do so. That's it for Betty! She gets together with Wilma and Mrs. Granite and the other businesswomen, and they pool their money and hire lobbyists to recall those irksome regulations! Better still, they "donate" to a conservative huckster's political campaign, and he whispers into Tom DeLay's ear, and presto, no more regulations! Plus, the income tax and business tax goes down, pursuant to Betty's desires, so now Betty can buy that bloody mink (uh oh, less money for public education! No matter - Betty's kids go to private school).

But the unions depend on the state, of course. If Betty is lucky enough to have her shop in a right-to-work state, then any union she would face would be utterly toothless.

MDG: The workers strike, and Betty fumes! These Americans have too many freedoms! Betty takes her sandwich factory to Malaysia, where the regulations are few, and the government gladly provides soldiers who will beat the shit out of anyone who tries to organize a union (they'll even kidnap a few outspoken labor organizers and torture them. Betty favors electrodes on the gonads - it's so exciting!).

Not only does Betty fume, but so does the local media. What is it with these ingrate workers?

: Betty likes her money and power, and she won't give it up without a fight, and if some poor soul has to work 60 hours a week for 60 cents an hour and live in a shack where toxic waste (from Betty's plant, natch) runs off into his wellwater, and deforms his unborn son, well, that's too bad, there's winners and losers in life, and if Betty's conscience gives her the shivers, that DEElightful lynx fur coat chases all the bad vibes away!

Or maybe she doesn't move the sandwich shop to another country, but she uses the THREAT of doing so as leverage against her workers.

And about the coat, Maybe Betty doesn't even feel the bad vibes. Class is more than just a bank account, it's a way of looking at the world, a consciousness. She could spend her spare time in therapy trying to get in touch with her inner-child.

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