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

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