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A House of Credit Cards Pt2

Wolff: Low wages, weak unions and consumer culture led to an economy built on a house of credit cards.

The Real News' second segment with economist Richard Wolff we discuss
declining union rates and the role they play in the current U.S.
financial crisis.

According to Wolff  the decline of unions ability to actually aid
workers and the hostility that workers had towards their government is
ultimately the cause for union's being in such a weakened state.  He
says "what workers quickly experienced starting in the 60's and in to
the 70's and 80's was a situation in which wages were no longer going
up, work was becoming harder and the unions were unable to change
that.....there was a disconnect between the actual experience of people
and what their unions could do for them."

When asked what he felt the nature of the crisis was Wolff
responded, "we have a economic system that has tried to keep building
without taking in to account the end of the rising wages, most of our
economy depends on the mass of people consuming things."

Without rising wages the American public was faced with a difficult
choice whether to decrease their spending or maintain the quality of
life they had become used to through debt, Wolff says,  "basically what
Americans did with the aid of the business community was substitute
borrowing for wages in order to keep the consumption going"

For complete coverage of this interview visit our website:


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