Under the Perfect Sun

Class Warfare — From the Top Down

September 26, 2011 by Jim Miller
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Paul Krugman recently wrote that:

“lack of compassion has become a matter of principle, at least among the G.O.P.’s base . . . And what this means is that modern conservatism is actually a deeply radical movement, one that is hostile to the kind of society we’ve had for the past three generations — that is, a society that, acting through the government, tries to mitigate some of the ‘common hazards of life’ through such programs as Social Security, unemployment insurance, Medicare and Medicaid.”

Of course this has been true for quite some time now, …

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Paradise Plundered – unmasking what has led San Diego to the brink

September 19, 2011 by Jim Miller
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Editor: This was originally published on Sept 19, 2011, so the intro is somewhat dated. But I’ve picked this tomb up in the last few days to reread it – and it is definitely worth a second look.

Last week on KUSI’s Republican campaign infomercial, Carl DeMaio, Jerry Sanders, Kevin Faulconer, and all the usual suspects lined up to pound home the point that the pension scandal is the root of all things evil in San Diego.

If only we can bust city employees’ pensions, the future will be golden for San Diego’s taxpayers. It is time, they said, as the KUSI lapdogs nodded along, to save the city from the horrors brought them by the public employee unions. Other than the show trial-like atmosphere, this exercise in right-wing demagoguery was nothing new. And it explains little. Back in 2005 in the afterward to the paperback edition of Under the Perfect Sun, I addressed the emerging scandal by putting it in its larger context…

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Salute Our Heroes—Then Bust Their Pensions

September 12, 2011 by Jim Miller
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Yesterday we marked the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 when most Americans watched in horror at the devastation of the terrorist attacks in New York City and elsewhere but were then moved by the heroism of the first responders to the disaster—most of whom were firefighters and cops who risked their lives to help their fellow citizens. They were America’s working class heroes, the pride of the nation.

This led to a wave of appreciation of public servants like them across the country as not just New York’s finest, but public safety workers were honored in the press, at ballgames, and during community events. Here in San Diego, …

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Happy Labor Day: For Far Fewer of Us

September 5, 2011 by Jim Miller
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We greet this Labor Day with anxiety about the possibility of a double-dip recession, persistently high unemployment that never significantly ebbed after the depths of the 2008 downturn, and austerity budgets at the local, state, and federal levels. While many observers have drawn parallels to the Great Depression, one key difference stands out for American workers: Labor is not on the march.

In a perverse irony, the current economic crisis has been cruel to Labor. Rather than rallying workers to the union cause even though Labor did much to elect him, the Obama Administration has shown tepid support for unions after talking big about the value of Labor in his campaign. Hence the Obama era has been a kind of anti-New Deal period with the administration spending more time attacking teachers’ unions than helping American workers of any stripe in any significant way.

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