October 15, 2012

Plutocrats vs the people

Doug Broome of Vancouver writes:

The British Labour Party had an objective that a quarter of candidates be blue collar workers. And social democratic parties generally have stronger worker representation through legislators who rise from the union movement.

The U.S. is unique among major democracies in its political duopoly which silences social democratic voices. By international stadards the Democrats are moderate conservatives while the Republicans are almost without parallel.

The working class and the poor have few friends in American party establishments. The result is an increasingly impoverished underclass, low unionization and wages, and widespread worker exploitation.

In any other democracy the AFL-CIO would have split from the Democrats long ago to be a foundation of a pro-union, redistributive, socially progressive party of the left which honour taxes as the price of civilization. And long ago the U.S. would have joined all other advanced democracies in achieving universal health insurance.

Unionized teachers are so vilified that education itself suffers. And despite very low taxes and public investment by international standards, a prevalent anti-tax hysteria guarantees that public investment and social programs will be increasingly sub-mediocre compared to other advanced democracies. For instance, neither Obama nor Romney have a word to say about a shameful 22 per cent child poverty rate.

For want of a left-wing party, the U.S. is sacrificing its future to an emergent plutocracy.