Thursday, September 09, 2010

Reflections on Labor Day 2010

About twenty years ago, before he was Secretary of Labor (Locked in the Cabinet)in the Clinton Administration, Robert Reich wrote a book (The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism)that in part addressed the contemporary change in entrepreneurship and Capitalism in the United States. The following is from my memories of reading The Work of Nations about 18 or so years ago.

When indistrialization began in the United States in the Nineteenth Century, communities large and small perceived factory owners as benefactors: the provided jobs, built schools and hospitals, were paternal figures to towns and cities. Before the end of the century, many had become oppressive and expoited their employees. They acted as rober barons. Still, they served their communities financially in many ways. The philanthropic activites of robber Barons such as Andrew Carnegie, John Jacob Astor, Milton Snavely Hershey, Cornelius Vanderbilt and John D. Rockefeller  benefited their communities and beyond.

In The Work of Nations, Professor Reich points out that the nature of the extremely wealthy individuals and corporations had changed dramatically. Phianthropy and paternalistic care for their communities has been replaced by greed and more greed.

For example, he desribes a businessman (I can't remember the details, so this is my reconstruction of what he wrote) who was approached by a community leader to obtain his support for a much needed increase in taxes needed to maintain the community's school. The business man refused.  When asked why, he gave the example of one of his latest projects: the design was being done in Japan, the manufacturing in China, and the software development and production in Twaiwan. "I do not need this town," he said.

That was about twenty years ago. Today such robber barons. in their desire for more and  moer profits, are taking the opportunity of layoffts of their U.S. workers to retool their production to replace employees with robotics, to move production to where people work for very little compensation, and plan to maintain a reduced workforce no matter how injurous it is to communities. Their driving force is simply greed.

Thus, Labor Day 2010 found people:

I hope that you somehow had a happy Labor Day.


  1. [url= ]Точка G - не более, чем привлекательный миф [/url]
    Проблема вот у меня - я никак не могу "слезть" с всевозможных ментолово-мятных конфет, жвачки, леденцов итд. Просто маниакальная потребность каждый день есть что-то сильно-мятное, чтоб аж во рту горело. Чищу зубы по нескольку раз в день, пасту выбираю также сильно-мятную. Началось все во время беременности, страшно подсела на все это, мучительно давались ограничения, так как химия это все страшная, естесственно. И в данный момент вот 3 года прошло, а я все никак не могу победить эту наркоманию. Конфеты Рондо употребляются уже в каких-то промышленных масштабах, со мной буквально каждый день так же и эфирное масло мяты, упиваюсь этим запахом. Что это, отчего так? Может, не хватает чего-то организму, кто знает, подскажите? Смешно, но у меня аж ломки, в случае в случае если я день не съем свои конфетки.

  2. I agree with Mr. Reich. The situation is not only in the USA but also in Europe .