Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Why, oh, why is it?

 American farmers in the late 19th and early 20th century knew exactly how the railroads and banks were screwing them. Likewise, organized labor understood from the Homestead Strike to the Battle of Blair Mountain that they fought and died in shocking numbers for the simple dignity to be free men and women rather than exist as wage slaves. 

 In 2016, the farm vote went 70-80 percent to Trump, a candidate who told them clearly that he would ignite a tariff war with the farmers' largest overseas customer for soybeans and pork. For good measure, he would cut off the source of labor they needed for harvesting and downstream processing. Farm income plummeted and rural suicides spiked. No matter; they voted again for Tump in 2020 in even higher numbers.

In 2019 a vote on whether to unionize was held at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant. VW, which actually has union members on its board back in Germany, said it was neutral on unionization, so there were no heavy-handed Amazon-style tactics used against the plant's hourly employees. The workers voted to reject it.

Why is it that people are insidiously bamboozled to act against their own interests on behalf of the wealthy and powerful? Why would poverty-stricken disabled retirees vote for Republicans and against Medicare For All programs?

Elon Musk has a higher net worth than the gross domestic product of a country like Ukraine, with over 40 million people. In the past, Americans knew about corruption and called the oligarchs "Robber Barons". 

For nearly two centuries, the works of Marx and others have dissected and denounced the machinations of the rich.

 In 2017, Americans spent $71 billion on lottery tickets nationwide, an average of over $1,000 per year per consumer. With the odds of winning the Mega Millions at one in 302 million, there is a good reason why mathematicians do not play the lottery. 

Why are so many of our fellow workers voting irrationally against their own interests? 

Adapted from here

Opinion | Why Do Tens of Millions in US Support an Economic System That Doesn't Benefit Them? | Mike Lofgren (commondreams.org)

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