Friday, March 1, 2013

Dorian Warren: Criminals, Conservatives, and Oligarchs Are Deepening Inequality | Next New Deal

Dorian Warren: Criminals, Conservatives, and Oligarchs Are Deepening Inequality | Next New Deal

On the first point, Dorian notes the recent Wal Mart bribery scandal and says that when you think of "the lawlessness of Wal Mart when it comes to unionization, I think that's a great example to think about the other ways in which employers have pretty flagrantly violated the law in the last 20 years or so. So when you think about minimum wage, when you think about health and safety, we're in a new environment, and activists who work on this call this 'wage theft.'" He highlights some shocking statistics from a 2009 study that shows how badly low-income workers have been ripped off by their employers and points out that there is a "basic principle of the social contract that when you work at a job you have an agreement with the employer for how much you're going to make... There is a pretty systematic violation of that contract, and that explains at least part of the wage stagnation that we've seen in the low-wage service sector specifically." While updating and modernizing labor laws is important, "monitoring and enforcement of existing wage and hour laws are really important."

Weak I-O policing causes an Iv-B and V-Bi disconnect, Iv employers rip off B workers to survive, those that don't can go broke in a Gresham's dynamic. B workers can also rip off iv employers, leaving them for other employers, stealing, working unreliably when not watched, etc. A social contract needs to be enforced, usually it is Iv agents versus Bi communities making stable contracts. When Iv-B tries to make contracts it is like in a poker game with bluffs on both sides, they are unlikely to be done honestly. 
Where race is concerned, Dorian argues that while it doesn't explain the rise of inequality by itself, "there is a story where race does play a role, and it's a political story." He points out that "for 80 percent of our country's history, the majority of Americans weren't classified as citizens," and that Lyndon Johnson's signing of the Civli Rights Act caused an exodus of white southerners from the Democratic Party to the GOP. He says that "there is a difference between Republican administrations and Democratic administrations, but how you get to a Republic administration has to be part of that story, and that's very much about race and the response of southern whites to greater inclusion into American democracy." This racial backlash in turn helps to shape the policies that further inequality

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