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Disowning the Ownership Society Naomi Klein / The Nation Remember the "ownership society, cheap phosphatidylserine online" fixture of major George W. Cheap phosphatidylserine online Bush addresses for the first four years of his presidency? "We're creating...an ownership society in this country, cheap phosphatidylserine online where more Americans than ever will be able to open up their door where they live and say, cheap phosphatidylserine online welcome to my house, cheap phosphatidylserine online welcome to my piece of property, cheap phosphatidylserine online" Bush said in October 2004. Cheap phosphatidylserine online Washington think-tanker Grover Norquist predicted that the ownership society would be Bush's greatest legacy, cheap phosphatidylserine online remembered "long after people can no longer pronounce or spell Fallujah." Yet in Bush's final State of the Union address, cheap phosphatidylserine online the once-ubiquitous phrase was conspicuously absent. Cheap phosphatidylserine online And little wonder: rather than its proud father, cheap phosphatidylserine online Bush has turned out to be the ownership society's undertaker. Well before the ownership society had a neat label, cheap phosphatidylserine online its creation was central to the success of the right-wing economic revolution around the world. Cheap phosphatidylserine online The idea was simple: if working-class people owned a small piece of the market--a home mortgage, cheap phosphatidylserine online a stock portfolio, cheap phosphatidylserine online a private pension--they would cease to identify as workers and start to see themselves as owners, cheap phosphatidylserine online with the same interests as their bosses. Cheap phosphatidylserine online That meant they could vote for politicians promising to improve stock performance rather than job conditions. Cheap phosphatidylserine online Class consciousness would be a relic. It was always tempting to dismiss the ownership society as an empty slogan--"hokum" as former Labor Secretary Robert Reich put it. Cheap phosphatidylserine online But the ownership society was quite real. Cheap phosphatidylserine online It was the answer to a roadblock long faced by politicians favoring policies to benefit the wealthy. Cheap phosphatidylserine online The problem boiled down to this: people tend to vote their economic interests. Cheap phosphatidylserine online Even in the wealthy United States, cheap phosphatidylserine online most people earn less than the average income. Cheap phosphatidylserine online That means it is in the interest of the majority to vote for politicians promising to redistribute wealth from the top down. Cheap phosphatidylserine online So what to do? It was Margaret Thatcher who pioneered a solution. Cheap phosphatidylserine online The effort centered on Britain's public housing, cheap phosphatidylserine online or council estates, cheap phosphatidylserine online which were filled with die-hard Labour Party supporters. Cheap phosphatidylserine online In a bold move, cheap phosphatidylserine online Thatcher offered strong incentives to residents to buy their council estate flats at reduced rates (much as Bush did decades later by promoting subprime mortgages). Cheap phosphatidylserine online Those who could afford it became homeowners while those who couldn't faced rents almost twice as high as before, cheap phosphatidylserine online leading to an explosion of homelessness.

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and syndicated columnist and the author of the international and New York Times bestseller The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (September 2007); an earlier international best-seller, cheap phosphatidylserine online No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies; and the collection Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate (2002). Cheap phosphatidylserine online

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080218/klein