The Servant Economy: Where America’s Elite is Sending the Middle Class
By Jeff Faux
Americans are in denial. Voters tell pollsters that while America may be in trouble, they and their kids will somehow be okay. Jeff Faux’s provocative new book explains why
they will not. For three decades before the financial crash of 2008, real wages for most Americans were stagnant. But they could maintain their living standards by borrowing.
That cushion is now deflated. The U.S. can no longer fulfill the dreams 0f Wall Street, the Pentagon, and the Middle Class. At least one dream must die. Despite partisan differences, both political parties have agreed to sacrifice the people. An economic recovery will eventually create more jobs, predicts Faux, but most will no longer pay a middle class salary. On our present track, real incomes by 2024 will be dramatically lower than they are today.
Our much-touted service economy will become a “servant” economy. Debt-laden 20-something college graduates will become 30- and 40-somethings, still juggling dead-end jobs. Personal dignity will go the way of decent pay. Life at work for most Americans will return to what it was before the New Deal – insecure, underpaid and subject to the daily humiliations of an economy managed to benefit of the rich and powerful.
The core problem, argues Faux, is not that we don’t know wha to do. The main elements of a high wage strategy—re-directing capital from short-term speculation to long term investment and sharing the returns to rising productivity more broadly—are clear. But the influence of the richest “one percent” has blocked government’s capacity to shape our common future, no matter which party is in power.
Restoring the American Dream will require a citizens’ movement to drive the big money out of our politics. Since large majorities of both Democratic and Republican voters agree that money dominates Washington, argues Faux, the time for such a movement is at hand.
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