Way forward: Educate and Save – Two American Families | FRONTLINE | PBS – Do you have other ideas…?

13 Jul

Two American Families | FRONTLINE | PBS.

A good book I found for a suggested way forward out of this is “The Next Convergence” by Michael Spence.

  • www.thenextconvergence.com

    Michael Spence, Nobel Prizewinner in Economics, New Book THE NEXT CONVERGENCE: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World


    A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book for 2011

    In 2011, the global economy doesn’t stand at the dusk of one era, or at the dawn of another. Rather, we’re smack in the middle of the “third century of the Industrial Revolution.” Until roughly 1750, the world economy was a stagnant cesspool of poverty and misery. But after two centuries of innovation and growth, the handful of nations that followed the United Kingdom into industrialization prospered mightily. By 1950, Spence writes, “the average incomes of people living in these countries had risen twenty times, from about $500 per year to over $10,000 per year.” Unfortunately, these places housed just 15 percent of the globe’s population.

    The author points out that in the decades since 1950, as political, social and technological barriers fell, the growth virus spread to populous nations such as China and India. And it’s still spreading like Groupon. By 2050, Spence argues, our descendants will inhabit a world “in which perhaps 75 percent or more of the world’s people live in advanced countries.” In the future, we’ll all be comparatively rich, and the gulf separating the typical American consumer from the typical Indian one won’t be quite so large. “The huge asymmetries between advanced and developing countries have not disappeared, but they are declining, and the pattern for the first time in 250 years is convergence rather than divergence.

    With the British Industrial Revolution, part of the world’s population started to experience extraordinary economic growth—leading to enormous gaps in wealth and living standards between the industrialized West and the rest of the world. This pattern of divergence reversed after World War II, and now we are midway through a century of high and accelerating growth in the developing world and a new convergence with the advanced countries—a trend that is set to reshape the world.

    Michael Spence, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, explains what happened to cause this dramatic shift in the prospects of the five billion people who live in developing countries. The growth rates are extraordinary, and continuing them presents unprecedented challenges in governance, international coordination, and ecological sustainability. The implications for those living in the advanced countries are great but little understood.

    Spence clearly and boldly describes what’s at stake for all of us as he looks ahead to how the global economy will develop over the next fifty years. The Next Convergence is certain to spark a heated debate how best to move forward in the post-crisis period and reset the balance between national and international economic interests, and short-term fixes and long-term sustainability.

Mikeguru 3 days ago

For 20 plus years I have tried to figure out, how a Fortune 10 Corporation that never missed a stock dividend, forced me out and halved my anticipated defined benefit pension. I went to college at night for 3 and half years, studing what it would take to retire today, planning, saving. Sure enough, after working 60 hour weeks for most of the 30 years, many without pay to “help the company in tough times”, our Company was headed by a Wall Street Banker who systematically got rid of older workers and walked away with Billions and paying off former Executives with “stock awards”

Then having a recent degree in Business and Finance, I had to reinvent myself, I went to work for a Financial Service Company and did quite well, and learned a lot about money, who had it, who didn’t and why some had it and why some did not. I read about 25 books a year as I sought to find out, just why Corporations were going bankrupt, why Corporations were shipping jobs overseas, and why non Executives were having a difficult time making ends meet.

All the books, articles pointed in one direction – the Policies and Laws passed and not passed in Washington and Court Decisions on a Federal Level. Our Country was being manipulated by the Money of the Rich, the Banks, Wall Street, and Corporations, a minority of the population while the rest, the 99% or so were paying the cost of all the wealth transfer to the small group.

I looked back, at the start, Nixon and an economist who wanted to do away with the draft (Nixon wanted to eliminate the Rich elite from the Military), Privatizing Social Security, Public Education, Medicare, eliminating the Safety net of Food Stamps and Unemployment – he is dead now, Milton Friedman. Him along with a US Supreme Court Justice and forces like the US Chamber set out to dismantle the greatest strength of America, Volunteerism, Leadership Training of the young, Control of Media with consolidation to eliminate 18,000 investigative reporters, 2000 Fox stations and 600 Limbaugh stations around the clock convincing us the government leadership not of their view extreme right is wrong, then the philosophy of a governent in the bathtub, no checks and balances, de-regulation of everything financial that might prevent Predatory banks and Wall Street.

The Repeal of the Glass-Steagall act, the modernization of the Commodity Futures, the former CEO’s of Goldman Sachs that became US Treasurer signing our dollars, and orchestrated the bailout that put all the banks in the same pot so Goldman Sachs and Citi Bank would not go to jail with the 12 major banks (6 now) too big to Fail or Jail. NAFTA that we were warned about ‘Sucking sound of jobs” that came true, Privatizing Prisons, Privatizing Public Education, eliminating of Privacy, Privatizing Social Security, Privatizing Medicare. The housing Fraud scam of subprimes, banks who changed qualifying information, the bankruptcy laws, the Health Care Monopoly with competition in name only who forced doctors to be in billing companies owned by insurance companies who Fix Prices nationwide, with a computer network all tied together across the nation changing prices to meet Profit Objectives that has created Health Care resulting in One million families to lose their homes with Medical Bills and Bankruptcy every year.

The two families worked with what they had and what was in front of them, not realizing that forces were at work in dark closets and rooms of Corporate America and in the Financial System to figure out ways to make it impossible to live the American Dream. Laws were passed and Not passed along with Policy like Nafta and tax laws like allowing Corporate Executives to be paid 90% in Stock taxed at 15% to avoid paying taxes at ordinary income tax rates of 39% the rest of us and small businesses pay without the stock scheme, the Corporations also use the Profits that normally would have gone to employees as pay increases as their share of Productivity improvements and longer hours went to “Buy Back Stocks” so the Stock Price would increase in value so the Executives could make more money and the employees were short changed, the Tax Incentives of Corporations that promotes shutting down Manufacturing in the USA and move offshore to China and receive a check from the IRS as a reward. The Privatized Prisons, huge number of people in for drugs, losing the time value of money in being able to work, a Congress and the Courts bribed by Money from Billionaires, Banks, Wall Street, and Corporations, dismantling organizations that could help create better working conditions and pay, a minimum wage that qualifies people for food stamps.

When you put it all together, we, the People of the United States, are being manipulated and duped by some very, very clever people, a minority that only want to feather their nest.

So what to do, what can members of this family do? For one, vote out the people, especially the ones over 30 years that have been instrumental in getting us where we are, in trouble and shifting from the Great American Dream of our fathers and grandfathers to a Third World Country, controlled by Money from a minority, which is Not Democracy but a Plutocracy.
We can turn this around, and the Plutocrats know it if we wise up and get our Policies changed, trade like Nafta, stop the House Republicans from dismantling the Dodd Frank bill to reign in Wall Street and the Banks, basically start not listening to the Corporate funded Media, wanting to Privatize, wanting to deregulate, wanting us to carry sidearms every day, wanting us make the government (We the People) as weak as possible so they can control the country.
I want to apologize to the two families but I too, was trying to survive and faired a bit better than they. But I want them to know, from my perspective, the laws passed, not passed, the courts, Congress, were the cause because of Money, and a small group of people who bought our country for their benefit at our expense.
Fight back and get the policies changed, new Congressmen but be careful of the organizations funded by Billionaires who want to control the country with clandestine groups like the Tea Party bunch who are removing any Financial Reform and Predatory Finance, Federal Judges who are not Corporate Judges need to be put in place. Lots needs to be done internally in this country to turn it around.
We have the power, we just need to exercise it before, that power is taken away.
Best of luck to those families. We might not be able to do anything for them, but we do something for their kids and grandkids. But we need to start now.
Thanks to Bill Moyers and Frontline.

  • Bette Mikeguru 3 days ago

    PLEASE write a book! You have told it SO right! Where you gained was your STUDY. Most Americans TRUST and believe the state propaganda. We can no longer do that, and it has been so true for way too long!

    • Rusty Wilson Bette 3 days ago

      Mikeguru gave an accurate accounting of how they did it but even if he wrote a book how many would read it and even if it wound up a best seller how much would it change things? We have seen how hard the two families have worked to barely keep their heads above water. They and most other hard working people have little enough spare time and they neither have the energy or desire to spend it on anything else other than family, rest and entertainment. Even if they somehow become enraged their protest will be meaningless without leadership. The political candidates of both big business parties are pre-vetted and if elected answer only to their big campaign contributors, Obama is a fine example of that. Activists are marginalized and not heard thus there is no effective leadership for people. Most people will not act unless prodded to act by leaders.

      Money is power and it is more powerful than kings as was proven by the capitalist revolution. “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Plutocracy and fascism is the final stage of capitalism. The twentieth century proved the futility of trying to reform capitalism as the reforms were only temporary to be taken back as soon as possible, as they have been in the last forty years.
      The strong labor movement that created a large middle class is gone and will never return. The future is to be a low wage, no benefit, corporate feudalism in a world wide gulag. Forget about the two big business parties or trying to reason with the 1% who not only don’t care about you but consider you garbage.

      There is only one solution and that is to replace capitalism with socialism. Otherwise there is only worse ahead for most as the 1% continues to increase its obscene wealth through low wage slavery.

      By Fred Goldstein…

      Lecture by Fred Goldstein, 2:23:36 Video:

      Here is the complete book for you to read for free so you can maybe plan a better future.

      Low-Wage Capitalism Videos and Audios

  • nettwench14 Mikeguru 2 days ago

    You absolutely know what you are talking about. I have also figured a lot of this out over the past few years. One thing you did not mention, that happened at the same time that the Supreme Court conspired with the Chamber of Commerce to make our financial and workplace laws more favorable to corporations, was the birth of the lobbying industry. It barely existed until the 70’s and since then has grown like gangbusters. That was the double whammy, and repealing Glass-Steagall, and now the Citizens United decision letting corporations and private wealthy individuals flood as much money as they want into the political process, were the knife in the heart and the stab in the back.

    Now we have legislators writing pre-emptive laws that basically legalize illegal activity and enable them to escape any consequences for their actions, Like for Monsanto, as an example. I really don’t know how we can fix any of this when half the people in the country refuse to believe it!

    Oh, and one more thing – the degredation and devolvement of our national news media into something resembling a circus act has practically ensured that many vote against their own best interests.

    I keep trying to tell people that privatization of government functions is far worse than the government they are constantly yelling about. At least government you have a say in. It falls on deaf ears. Running almost any government function in the private sector costs more, mainly because of the jacked-up payscale of corporate executives, and a change in focus from a providing a service to servicing the bottom line. Medicare is the perfect example of this. No private insurance company can do what Medicare does at the same price. And yet many are convinced the Ryan budget will “save” Medicare, when what it does it dismantle it completely. Republican policy is mainly about sucking as much cash out of the middle class as possible,and giving it to rich people. If people think the government is ripping them off, they ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

    • Mikeguru nettwench14 19 hours ago

      We are on the same page. I do my best to tell the story. Write various Congressmen I see on CSPAN and the news. When I write about an issue, like Health Care Monopoly, they do not even answer. I question the Repeal of Obamacare, what to replace it with, and no answer.
      The Republicans want to return to the 7% annual Price Fixing that is very profitable to insurance companies. Insurance Companies should be disbanded, they are sucking money out of health care but have been doing so for 30 plus years. They found they could “Monopolize” using Computers tied together nationwide, to make “a lot of money” and our Congressmen seem to be naïve or just plain Stupid thinking that Healthcare costs are “Complicated” which is Congress speak “I am too stupid” and are in self denial to accept the fact health care has been Monopolized for outrageous Profits instead of providing a reasonably priced Service.
      With the 10% approval or 90% approval of Congress, worst than Used Car Salesmen, people out here are “arming themselves” for the revolution they think is coming and Congress seems to be living in LaLa land ignoring what is going on, for the Money slithering in the halls of Congress and the Courts and in Legislatures through out the USA.
      The Seniors who are duped by Fox and Limbaugh are incredibly manipulated by “Entertainment” Corporate News. Amazing me to just how they are influenced on issues that are Not in their Best Interests.
      Guns, God, Gays, Abortion, Climate, Debt – all “Noise” to get people to vote for them, ignoring the Money and tax laws that favor the Billionaires, Wall Street, Banks, and Corporations that are really the driving force to get elected, to feather their nests at the expense of the 99%. The 1% are Money Savvy but the 99% are Money Ignorant when it comes to what Laws are passed and not passed and decisions in our courts.
      Hopefully, we are getting wiser thanks to Social Media that gives us as a alternative to Corporate Media Propaganda but it has taken us over 30 years to get in this mess, it will probably take longer unless those who are preparing for a Revolution, which will speed up the process of change but create chaos of the likes of the middle east.
      We should not think it cannot happen here.
      Our Elected Officials better get their heads screwed on straight and turn off the corruption as people are Pissed off, and are sick and tired of it.

Roger Bouchard 3 days ago

It was as if you were following my life in your story of these two family’s. I’ve been waiting for someone to tell our story. The American Dream that we were promised in school if we worked hard and did the right things never came true. And our children don’t even have a dream.

What does it mean when a young man has to go to Afghanistan to make a living working for a Military Contractor? It says a lot and none of it is good.

Thank You Bill Moyers and Frontline for a very true story of OUR AMERICA.




About this book
The workers and the warfare state
A note on the current capitalist crisis and low wages
Postscript: the crisis within the crisis
Section 1:
Imperialist globalization and worldwide wage competition
Doubling the global workforce
Political expansion after 74 years of contraction
The new international division of labor
Corporate design for worldwide wage competition
Marx on wages and competition
New global networks of exploitation
Dell: ‘Collaboration of individuals’ or global regimentation
of workers?
Toyota, the pioneer
International Business Machines
Liz Claiborne
U.S. auto companies
Making stuff cheap
Supply chains: vassals of the lords of capitalism
Flextronics, the lead vassal
Boeing and ‘reverse auctions’
Cisco sheds factories
Contracting out for super-profits
Price-setters and price-takers: workers are on the bottom
Fears of the overseers and secrecy of the monopolies
Offshoring: millions of service jobs at risk
Offshoring fever rises in the boardrooms
White-collar outsourcing by Europe and Japan
Blinder comes up with miserly ‘solutions’
Table of Contents

Marxism and globalization
Lenin on twentieth-century imperialism
The dual character of imperialism
Three factors behind new ‘globalization’
Marx on technology and the international division of labor
Lenin on the previous imperialist division of labor
International solidarity and globalization
An irony that helped the globalizing exploiters
Impact on U.S. workers of defeat of socialist bloc
Anti-communist crusade showed ruling-class fear
Socialist camp set standard for working-class security
Global expansion can’t dispel crisis of overproduction
Section 2:
Three decades of getting poorer
Where high tech is leading
High tech and the military
Role of technological offensive in weakening unions
Changed social composition of the working class
Declining rate of profit and capitalist crisis
The era of permanent layoffs
30 million lose their jobs
‘A ceaseless bloodletting’
The end of ‘safe’ jobs
Law of capitalist accumulation applied to U.S.
High tech and increased exploitation of labor
Manufacturing jobs down, manufacturing up
From manufacturing jobs to low-wage service jobs
Globalization and low pay
44 million low-wage jobs in 2006
Deskilling jobs and the ‘education’ scam
Marx on wages and growing poverty
More multi-earner working-class households
Costs rise, men’s wages fall—women take up the burden
Driving down the value of labor power
As real poverty goes up, official poverty goes down
Why the bosses need Wal-Mart
Sexism, racism, and low wages
Women in the workforce
The class nature of Clinton’s welfare ‘reform’

National oppression and low-wage labor
African Americans and capitalist restructuring
Racism and low wages in the prison-industrial complex
Globalization and immigration
Lenin on immigration
Searching for cheap labor at home and abroad
May Day 2006 in the United States
Latina/o immigrants pulled into low-wage labor force
Vast super-profits behind debate in U.S. ruling class
NAFTA and the crisis of Mexican workers and peasants
Remittances and the global migrant labor force
Late 1970s: Attack on unions begins
The importance of unions
Listening to the boardrooms, Reagan ambushes PATCO
‘PATCO scenario’ takes off
Globalization and the ‘fear factor’
Section 3:
Lessons from the past for the future struggle
Decades of rank-and-file fight-back
Solidarity Day and beyond
State of the unions: glass half-empty or half-full?
Reviving the struggle
Two earlier periods of great struggle
Labor’s failure to fight racism undermined struggle
Stirring examples of rank-and-file control
From class struggle to witch hunt
Rank-and-file support against reaction
High tech undermines old forms of class organization
Limitations of craft unionism
Assembly line brought industrial unions
Rising tide of deskilled jobs
Breakup and dispersal of working-class centers
The growing retail proletariat
Marx’s law of wages confirmed, with a vengeance
Building a broad working-class movement
The struggle against racism and oppression–key to class unity
U.S. working class: over one-third comes from
oppressed nationalities
Katrina disaster called for working-class action

Women’s and LGBT issues are workers’ issues
Union cities and urban struggle
Need for other workers’ organizations
Marx on unions as organizing centers for the whole class
The Million Worker March Movement
For a militant, unified labor movement
For coordinated, class-wide struggle
Class struggle and capitalist legality
Taft-Hartley, ‘right-to-work’ laws: illegal brakes on workers’ rights
Human Rights Watch on repression of U.S. labor
Unequal ‘protection’ for unions
Legality follows struggle
Plant occupations and the right to a job
Class consciousness and class struggle
Challenging the capital-labor relationship
UAW concessionary contracts of 2007
Breaking through the bosses’ ideology
Globalization and international solidarity
The end of capitalist stability and social peace
New phase of permanent crisis for workers
Socialism the only way out
Afterword: Imperialist war in the 21st century
Three stages of imperialist war
‘Regime change’ from Clinton to Bush
Colossus with feet of clay
Peace, an interlude between wars
Expand or die
Tables and charts
Employment growth 61 months after peak
Manufacturing increases & employment decreases
Additional hours worked per two-earner family per year
The self-sufficiency standard for Philadelphia in 2004
Effects of anti-labor offensive & restructuring on African-American workers
Jobs of undocumented workers

One Response to “Way forward: Educate and Save – Two American Families | FRONTLINE | PBS – Do you have other ideas…?”

  1. Vale Spa July 13, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    Tradable jobs are ones that can be done by anyone around the world: manufacturing, back-office operations, pharmaceuticals, engineering, finance, consulting. Non-tradable jobs are those that really can only be done by people in the U.S., such as retail, health care, food service, government, and construction.

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