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5/30/2006

the new economic reality for the workers

In Today's paper there is an article by William Pfaff on the flaws of the new American economy. Primarily the key issues of concern was the dismissing of the role of workers and their values, and transferring all the benefits to management and shareholders. 'The market settles business morality and you get away wtih what you can get' from the market. This leads to the billion dollar rewards for the executives. All the executives are concerned is how to maximise shareholders' value and their own values. And since raw material and energy cost cannot be controlled, the next thing is to reduce or even replaced labour cost. 'The system of values now governing the US corporation rejects the principle that business should serve the interests of workers and community as well as those of investors and managers.' Thus there is no trickle down effect where the bottom of the food change will get a share of the crumbs, when the workers were excluded from receiving its fair share of the corporate value which it helps to contribute. And according to the new US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, he concedes that 'a growing portion of the population feels they are not sharing in the benefits' that American industry and trade produce. The decline in workers family income during years of deregulation and globalisation has reached a point where workers depend on federal food stamps to live, and use hospital only for basic medicare. And Pfaff commented that a corporate model that deliberately renounces responsibility for the well being of its workforce hollows out the domestic consumer market... The above scenario is very familiar as our economy is a carbon copy of the US economy. Our workers did not have federal food stamps to live on, but they now have Comcare and Progress Package to tie over hard times. The Americans are waking up to their heady mismanagement and misallocation of wealth to the small core of top management at the expense of their workers when wealth were piled up like it is their god given right. Would our system continue down this road when $600k income is peanuts while 30% of the population is living on less than $15k annual income and struggling to make ends meet? Will this widening income gap be seen as a social evil and not a normal state of affair in a free capitalist system?

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