Tag Archives: means of production

The Middle Class

By anaxarchos posted by Michael Collins

Capitalism does not elevate… it expropriates and impoverishes. Its urban slums and shanty towns are a step down from the rural, quasi-capitalist material it begins with. Worldwide, it expropriates wealth from the many instead of creating “prosperity”. (Image)

The original American reference to a “middle class” probably comes from Britain. It referred, as on the continent, to the propertied but untitled yeomanry of the countryside, the rising burghers in the cities, and the mercantile classes as a whole. It was an accurate naming. Originally, what was to become the bourgeoisie really did stand between the aristocracy and the property-less classes.
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Consider the Germans: Co-determination and Works Councils


By Thomas Geoghegan
Harper’s Magazine

Come on: Is the West really in such decline? Yes, we can sit here on our island continent and gloom about the rise of China, as our elite now like to do. Or we can go out into the world and start competing like the Europeans. For here’s a strange fact: since 2003, it’s not China but Germany, that colossus of European socialism, that has either led the world in export sales or at least been tied for first. Even as we in the United States fall more deeply into the clutches of our foreign creditors—China foremost among them—Germany has somehow managed to create a high-wage, unionized economy without shipping all its jobs abroad or creating a massive trade deficit, or any trade deficit at all. Sure, China just pulled slightly ahead of Germany, but that’s mostly because the euro has soared, making German goods even more expensive, and world trade has slumped. Meanwhile, the dollar is dropping, and we still can’t compete with either nation. And even as the Germans outsell the United States, they manage to take six weeks of vacation every year. They’re beating us with one hand tied behind their back.

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