In a great post, maha lays out what the consequences of an extraction-based economy–one that exploits humans–are for the U.S.:
And then there’s the fatigue factor. Workers are worn out and stressed out. They’ve skipped vacations and worked way too much underpaid and unpaid overtime. They are not being rewarded. Their wages are stagnant, even as the cost of living rises. So workers subsidize their employer’s profits by going deeper into personal debt, struggling to maintain a “normal” middle-class lifestyle.
…Back in the days of the Cold War we patriotic Americans were told, over and over again, that Communism is a bad system because it doesn’t provide a personal incentive for people to work. If everyone is going to be taken care of by the state, whether they work hard or not, then why bother? And I think that’s a valid criticism. You can’t deny that Communist countries produce piss-poor economies in the long run.
But I think King Capitalism is making the same mistake. If everyone is going to be pissed on by their employer whether they work hard or not, then why bother? What’s the incentive?
When you’re getting a raw deal, the only thing that matters is the payday. And paydays just suck right now:
…people got used to carrying larger and larger chunks of debt to pay for the stuff they believed middle-class people were supposed to have, but which they couldn’t afford. As I said, they’re subsidizing their employers’ profits by going into debt.
This is no way to run an empire.