Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Post-Plantation Economy?

New York City
February 21st, 2010
11:22 am

Comment #682.
New York City
February 21st, 2010
7:53 pm

A Post-Plantation Economy?

My question is not meant to be facetious but serious. What Peter Goldman vividly describes did not start yesterday but goes right back to the US plantation economy.

Sociologists do not own any special knowledge but their entire discipline rests upon the core empirical premise that social structures don't die -- they morph.

The 19th century US plantation economy has morphed into the 21st century post-plantation economy. Plantation capitalism morphed into the capitalism of the military-corporate-complex (MCC)

Let me draw upon 2 personal examples which represent tens of thousands of workers:

1. Large sections of the US public university economy have been functioning, at least since the early 80's, as a post-plantation economy -- cheap surplus academic labor within the context of a corporatized university structure in which the majority of workers are simply not paid for large portions of their wage-work, but are considered part-time workers with no job security. They are under-employed but overworked!

2. Now in 2010, a 26 year-old University of Michigan graduate I know has worked as contract (read post-plantation) labor for Goldman Sachs for the past couple years, without much hope (ever?) of becoming a full-time worker, frequently working 13-hour days, with absolutely no job security and no health care to boot. He cannot afford (neither time nor money) to get the ACL knee surgery he desperately needs.

So, if the New New Deal is chronic unemployment for the majority of US workers, whether they are in the private or public sector, please do not use the word \"rebound\" for the 2010 US economy. There's no such thing as a rebound in the US post-plantation economy. It's one unending boom-and-bust for the US military-corporate-complex.

A total, creative rethink is needed but highly unlikely to occur, given the irrational reliance on the MCC, whether by Obama or the Bush(es) or Clinton, all the way back to Eisenhower, who rightly warned about the \"military-industrial-complex.\" Now that military-industrial-complex has become thoroughly corporatized -- to morph into the MCC, the source of our decades-long chronic unemployment and underemployment.
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