Back in Jamaica, when the island was emerging from colonial status to independence, I often heard well-off Jamaicans complaining that they couldn’t “get good help these days.”
“Good help” included maids, cooks, yard boys and chauffeurs. And the colonial ruling class depended on them to maintain their relatively luxurious lifestyle.
As the society evolved, politicians began to fight for the dignity of poorer Jamaicans. Successive governments introduced programs to create types of employment that would be less demeaning. The poor now had other ways to make a living besides waiting hand and foot on to the upper class.
“Good help” grew scarcer and scarcer.
The reverse appears to be happening in America.
As fewer and fewer Americans become richer and richer, the country is sliding into a class structure like the colonial system that existed in Jamaica when I was a boy.
(Click on graph to see the income gap.)
Financiers and overpaid corporate executives live like the colonialists of old, with maids, chauffeurs, and other “good help.”
With their vast resources, the corporate/financial elite are managing the political system to ensure an adequate supply of cheap labor – not only for their factories, shops and offices but also for their homes and country clubs.
I think that’s one of the reasons for the stubborn resistance in Congress to President Obama’s jobs bill.
The Republicans in Congress, who are owned body and soul by the ruling class, will never allow the president to do anything to help the country’s burgeoning underclass.
They want to keep unemployment high. They want millions of American families to live in poverty.
After all, what’s the point of being rich if everyone else is rich?