Norm Ornstein, despite being associated with the nutty American Enterprise Institute, is a pretty solid guy and who sees big trouble coming down the pike:
“Most of the cognoscenti in Washington say, Of course they’ll reach an agreement because they can’t not reach an agreement,’” Ornstein said. “Get inside the belly of the beast and you realize these days they can not reach an agreement.”
That’s a real risk, Ornstein said, whether Republicans or Democrats prevail in 2012.
“Rather,” Ornstein posited, “to take a hit for the first few weeks in January, and then go for the mother of all reconciliation bills at the end of January or early February, which would leave out most of Medicare, but which would bring tumultuous changes in the process and probably move us not very close toward the path of finding agreement on the policy there.”
Essentially, the Republican Party has become an insurgency determined to sweep the last vestiges of civil society into the dustbin of history (There is no society, said one of their heroes, Maggie Thatcher). "Getting the government out of our lives" is simply a euphemism for replacing it with corporations and other private entities; neo-feudalism, in short. At what point will wages, however meager, be paid in scrip redeemable only at a company store?
Harold Meyerson is no more optimistic:
With offshoring comes lower wages for those American workers whose jobs could be shipped to the Foxconns of the world. The steady decline of wages at many of our marquee manufacturers is one of the major stories of the current recovery. The $28 hourly wage that workers in unionized plants outside the South used to count on looks increasingly like a relic of the broadly shared prosperity that America used to enjoy. With private-sector unions now weakened by ineffectual labor laws and implacable employer opposition, manufacturing wages have been slashed to $14 an hour, or lower, in many places. Meanwhile, wages in retail and most other service sectors are unlikely to rise while historically higher wages in manufacturing continue to plummet. No wonder more and more Americans can’t afford to buy houses, despite record-low mortgage rates.
China's notorious Foxconn is the capitalists' model for our future.