Home > political-economy > The case for bitch-slapping Saint Paul until he wets his panties…

The case for bitch-slapping Saint Paul until he wets his panties…

February 16, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Remember back in the good ole days when a white man could beat a black child with impunity?

We do. We remember Willie Corgan emerging from the coat room at the back of the class with his fists clenched in agony, and tears streaming from his eyes, closely followed by our sixth grade teacher, his beating stick in hand.

Willie was a fuckup who could not stay out of trouble with that white man.

Our teacher would keep track in the corner of his blackboard of the number of disruptions each of us created in class, and on Fridays it would be time to settle up. You would be administered a severe whipping across the fingertips with a long thin piece of wood – probably bamboo or some other reed – which the teacher kept in a jar of some liquid, assuming, we imagine, that the moist tip would intensify the pain of our thrashing.

We usually never accumulated more than two or three stars apiece – it took three stars to be invited into the coat room with the teacher. In one week, however, Willie accumulated 18 stars.

Willie would not be broken.

On Friday, each of us would sit patiently in class until it was our turn to be called. Willie always had the honor of going first; like Greece, only smaller, younger and black.

Greeked

Saint Paul has a new post – The Case For Higher Inflation – wherein he explains the need for you to visit the cloakroom. Greece is going to go first, so you will be able to sit quietly in your seat absorbing the screams as you await your turn. Listening to the screams is the best part – it heightens the entire experience. If our teacher had had any real sense of cruelty, he would have let the rest of us go first and let Willie stew a bit before it was his turn.

Greece will be reduced to a mass of turmoil and confusion as the civil servants are thrown into the streets and unions are broken. But, this will only be the beginning: the real test of Greece’s progress will be measured by the number of women and children who will begin to move into the workforce to supplement the family income because the household breadwinner has seen his wages collapse. It will become much easier to hire and fire employees; so, soon, they will be as replaceable as that expensive IPhone you spent good money for, only to drop in the toilet at the club, because you were wasted and arguing with your significant other about where the fuck you are at 2 o’clock in the morning, and “who the fuck is playing that music.” Unemployment benefits will be reduced, health care coverage will be spotty at best; eventually Greece will look just like us – i.e., “U.S.” – a throw away workforce, with poor math skills,a tenth grade reading level, and locked out of the major science and engineering programs at American universities because public schools suck.

And, once Greece looks like U.S., we will be getting greeked in our own fashion, perhaps as suggested by Saint Paul.

We need inflation, Saint Paul argues, because,

… even in the long run, it’s really, really hard to cut nominal wages. Yet when you have very low inflation, getting relative wages right would require that a significant number of workers take wage cuts. So having a somewhat higher inflation rate would lead to lower unemployment, not just temporarily, but on a sustained basis.

Already you are confused by this gibberish, we see: “What the fuck are nominal wages?” you ask. “Why does the fall in nominal wages lower unemployment.” And, of course: “Why does inflation make it easier to lower wages on a sustained basis?”

What are nominal wages?: Nominal wages is the amount written on the face of your paycheck. If your employer could cut that amount, as is going to be done in Greece, your employer’s profits would increase.

Why does the fall in nominal wages lower unemployment:You eat less, your employer makes more money, the company hires more people. You don’t have to see a drop in your paycheck – there are a lot of different ways your employer could cut your wages, e.g., increase your copay on your health insurance, or work with Washington to shift the burden of taxes onto you and your family – but it all comes down to the same thing: Eventually you eat less and the company’s profits increase.

Why does inflation make it easier to lower wages on a sustained basis: In the middle of the Great Depression, a brilliant idea descended on Lord John Maynard Keynes: Cutting workers’ wages caused them to get angry and take it out on the existing order. It made no sense, he argued, to cut wages when the government had control of the money and could simply debase it and achieve the same results. Debasing the money allowed wages to fall in real term of what a dollar could buy at the grocery store, but it would appear natural, and, in time, even logical to the population of Willie Corgan’s out there who would never associate the stick of inflation with deliberate policy arrived at in Washington, but would chalk it up to the stars on the blackboard – indeed, might even be convinced that they, and not the cruelty of the owners, were somehow responsible for those stars.

Saint Paul is trying to resurrect that argument, you see.

But, he missed one crucial step: The reason why the workers of Lord Keynes’ time posed such a threat is that they were organized into unions and were capable of fighting back – while you are simply organized into suburban developments – scattered, isolated, cut off from knowledge of who you are and the power you have. Gullible slaves – sheeple – and of little consequence to the globe straddling multinationals that have turned entire nations into labor reserves. You’re just like we were: Helpless children in a classroom, each awaiting their turn in the cloakroom at the back of the class.

Saint Paul thinks that cutting your wages would be a lot easier if the government did more to increase inflation:

So yes, let’s have modestly higher inflation. Alas, Ben Bernanke — at least when speaking publicly — doesn’t agree.

Washington is not likely to be convinced of this. To them, you are just a little nigger kid waiting your turn. They do not need to risk inflation, because they can simply turn over the workforce and push you into lower wage jobs – as was done at GM; fire the old workforce and hire a newer, dumber, more desperate model. Those whose job security are significantly persistent – public employees, for instance – will be subjected to a propaganda war not unlike that which made Reagan’s mythical welfare queen into the icon of neoliberal political-economy.

Conscience of a liberal? Where ever you get the idea that they had one?

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  1. Threecrow
    February 17, 2010 at 11:50 am

    One wonders if the writer hears the effect of this “voice” upon the reader.
    It is powerful and compelling to say the least, and were it to continue for several hundred pages the reader would still be unable to stop reading.

    “Elmo James got nothin on this one, baby.” G. Harrison

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