The Destruction of the Working Class
In this 27-minute video interview, Paul Craig Roberts discusses the demise of the American working class with Hanne Herland of The Herland Report. This is still of interest to European readers and all members of what we now call ‘globalised society’ since the same seismic economic forces have equally gutted the working classes here. France’s Yellow Vests can testify to this phenomenon; French geographer Christophe Guilluy has analysed it extensively.
Some of the points Roberts raises are:
- Collapse of ‘countervailing powers’ in society, which normally protect people against a dominant group, e.g. unions, the mainstream media, even the character of the people, all of which used to set limits on how far things could go.
- Jobs offshoring is responsible for the Robber Capitalism we now have, and the rise of China and its growing geopolitical power over the US.
- Companies used to have responsibility to employees, customers, the community and shareholders. Today, it is all about maximising profits for shareholders at the cost of everybody else.
- Offshoring means searching for the lowest costs of production, regulation and labour, so companies have gone to wherever these are the cheapest. The byproduct of this is the destruction of the middle class in developed countries – the demise of well-paying jobs, a tax base for the local community, profits returned and invested in the country. New levels of poverty in the US are now affecting university graduates as well as the manufacturing workforce, who are now left to pick up contract work and service sector jobs with lower wages and fewer employer commitments. The unions have largely been destroyed as a result of offshoring.
- More Americans aged 24-34 are still living at home and unable to develop independent lives, to rent or buy property, get married and raise a family. This represents the collapse of society. A majority of Americans can’t raise $400 without having to sell personal assets.
- Today, real leadership and a sense of responsibility to the people can be found in the leaders of Russia and China. Nobody will be looking to the West to follow its lead anymore. The decline was due to the dominance of the Neoconservative ideology following the collapse of the Soviet Union, until the rise of Vladimir Putin.
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