Imodium In Us

Disowning the Ownership Society Naomi Klein / The Nation Remember the "ownership society, imodium in us" fixture of major George W. Imodium in us Bush addresses for the first four years of his presidency? "We're creating...an ownership society in this country, imodium in us where more Americans than ever will be able to open up their door where they live and say, imodium in us welcome to my house, imodium in us welcome to my piece of property, imodium in us" Bush said in October 2004. Imodium in us Washington think-tanker Grover Norquist predicted that the ownership society would be Bush's greatest legacy, imodium in us remembered "long after people can no longer pronounce or spell Fallujah." Yet in Bush's final State of the Union address, imodium in us the once-ubiquitous phrase was conspicuously absent. Imodium in us And little wonder: rather than its proud father, imodium in us Bush has turned out to be the ownership society's undertaker. Well before the ownership society had a neat label, imodium in us its creation was central to the success of the right-wing economic revolution around the world. Imodium in us The idea was simple: if working-class people owned a small piece of the market--a home mortgage, imodium in us a stock portfolio, imodium in us a private pension--they would cease to identify as workers and start to see themselves as owners, imodium in us with the same interests as their bosses. Imodium in us That meant they could vote for politicians promising to improve stock performance rather than job conditions. Imodium in us 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. Imodium in us But the ownership society was quite real. Imodium in us It was the answer to a roadblock long faced by politicians favoring policies to benefit the wealthy. Imodium in us The problem boiled down to this: people tend to vote their economic interests. Imodium in us Even in the wealthy United States, imodium in us most people earn less than the average income. Imodium in us That means it is in the interest of the majority to vote for politicians promising to redistribute wealth from the top down. Imodium in us So what to do? It was Margaret Thatcher who pioneered a solution. Imodium in us The effort centered on Britain's public housing, imodium in us or council estates, imodium in us which were filled with die-hard Labour Party supporters. Imodium in us In a bold move, imodium in us 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). Imodium in us Those who could afford it became homeowners while those who couldn't faced rents almost twice as high as before, imodium in us 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, imodium in us No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies; and the collection Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate (2002). Imodium in us

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