Monday, October 11, 2010

Open Letter to Bob Woodward, cc Joseph Stiglitz

As the most famous contemporary journalist, you expose the inner secrets of our government. I am wondering why you do not investigate the link between American jobs being shipped overseas, and donations to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from foreign corporations.

I have a hard time believing that these two situations are unrelated. Personally, I believe Americans have to share the work that exists worldwide with workers from other countries. But I am not hearing that conviction offered as justifi-cation for shipping our jobs abroad.

Could it be that there is an understanding between the leaders of the United States and the rest of the world - whether they head capitalist regimes or not - that we agree to spread the work in return for their financial support of our economy, whose collapse would bring the rest of the world down with it?

Without a spectacular revelation that only you can provide of what may be happening, leaders will not be able to tell American workers the truth. They will continue promising to ‘fight for American jobs’, knowing full well this is not in the cards.

Please release our leaders from their captivity to a false narrative so that they can legislate true reform: job sharing. Instead of calling for an increase in the retirement age, let them promise early retirement with full benefits for those who voluntarily give their job to a younger worker. Instead of eight hours a day, allow them to explain that four hours would suffice, because there is more capital floating around in the world than profitable use for it. (Be sure to emphasize the difference between ‘profits’ and investments in schools, medical care for all, green energy, etc. And while you’re at it, suggest that we don’t need more ‘stuff’, but more time for joy.)

We’ve been deriding or condemning Europe ever since the French Revolution. As a last favor, I ask that you reveal the work of the European no-growth movement. Make sure the public and its would-be masters understand that the planet will survive no matter what we do to it, but humanity may not.

Each generation has its problems, and we must not hold future generations hostage to our fears. During the Cold War many chanted “Better Red than Dead”, and today the bogeyman is Sharia law. We need to stop worrying about who will rule the planet and make sure it remains hospitable to humans. Job sharing across the world will enable us to do that, and it will enable our children to find their own rulers and laws.

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