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The Corporate Plan: Keep Them Scared

By James Donahue

If you ever wonder why the stock market makes the U.S. economy look so healthy while so many Americans are struggling just to make ends meet, there is no push to raise the minimum wage and many skilled workers are still listed among the unemployed, consider this: the corporate giants like it this way.

Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, gave the whole idea away when he testified before Congress in 1997. He told that roomful of financial shills that he believed imposing “greater worker insecurity” was a major route to economic success.

The following quote by Greenspan is taken right out of the Congressional record:

“If workers are more insecure, that’s very healthy for the society, because if workers are insecure they won’t ask for wages, they won’t go on strike, they won’t call for benefits; they’ll serve the masters gladly and passively. And that’s optimal for corporations’ economic health.”

Yup, Greenspan, the man we once considered the most powerful and influential figure in the world of finance, revealed in one sentence his general contempt for the working class, and his plan for keeping them enslaved under the iron thumb of corporate power.

It should come as no surprise that Greenspan was an acquaintance and admirer of American writer and economic philosopher Ayn Rand, whose books advocated the very direction the nation has been going as corporate power has been slowly eroding the thinking of elected state and national leadership.

Noam Chomsky, author and professor of analytic philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, pointed out the Greenspan testimony in a recent published commentary. In the article, Chomsky noted how American universities, which depend on corporate financial support, have all fallen into lock step with a corporate business model that insures a shortage of jobs for graduates.

Thus there can be an understanding why we have so many college graduates working for minimum wage jobs in fast food joints while holding masters degrees in specialized fields where jobs do not exist.

Adding to the horror is the bank sponsored student loan fiasco, which leaves graduates indebted to the banks, to the government, and to any employer they may happen to have.

There was a time when a college degree meant an expansion of thought and personal enlightenment. Students read fine art and studied philosophy, sociology and psychology. Now they study bookkeeping, computer skills, engineering and other fields that they are led to believe might offer them good paying employment. 

It is all a lie. Once they enter the work force, that college diploma in hand, they find themselves in a long line of other candidates just like them, all competing for the few jobs that may be available. They made a big investment with borrowed money, often for naught.

Chomsky's article transferred the Greenspan (Ayn Rand) philosophy to the university setting. He asked: "How to you ensure greater worker insecurity? Critically by not guaranteeing employment, by keeping people hanging on a limb that can be sawed off at any time, so that they'd better shut up, take tiny salaries, and do their work; and if they get the gift of being allowed to serve under miserable conditions for another year, they should welcome it and not ask for any more."