I’m working from home today, so I’m able to listen to the radio more than on a typical. What am I hearing? More and more about the royal baby and Anthony’s wiener. What’s the news on Detroit? It's bankrupt and there’s no other choice but to cut worker’s pensions. What’s the news in Chicago, a city that had its bond rating slashed? The city’s broke, and we must cut workers’ pensions. Meanwhile, here’s the latest on the royal baby and Anthony’s wiener.
The corporate media, better defined as the info-tainment industry, doesn’t focus on important matters and go below the surface. The budget problems in Detroit and Chicago have resolutions that are not discussed by shallow reporter who look like models. There is also no examination of the real winners and losers. When pensioners are asked to take reduced benefits, who wins? Investors and the bankers who care for their money as if it were a royal baby.
Retired workers and current employees that paid into pension plans expected to have security in retirement. They worked thinking that retirement was part of their compensation, not a resource owned by the city that could used to pay its debts. The problem here is not simply a matter of “resources,” as the Emergency Manager of Detroit put it. People’s lives are on the line, and we need to understand these stories with that in mind.
Government officials, bankers, and the investor class do not care about these people. They only know Return on Investment. They also know that most people will not pay attention to this story. They want the sensational story that’s easy to understand. Working people and the middle class need to wake up, or their wages – present and future – will be the next target.
P.S., Economist Dean Baker compares Detroit to an organization that the government bailed out, Goldman Sachs. Needless to say, the rich get richer.