Essayist Barbara Ehrenreich says American employers look at their employees, not as potential consumers, but as expenses.
Noted essayist and author Barbara Ehrenreich has spent decades chronicling the economic inequalities of American society. Her newest collection of satirical essays, "This Land is Their Land: Notes from a Divided Nation" examines the gap between the haves and have nots.
Ehrenreich says the US economy has become a zero-sum game: "Amerian Employers ... look at their employees, not as potential consumers, but as expenses -- expenses that you would want to eliminate."
According to Ehrenreich, the notion of the corporation changed -- from a group of people who came together to make a product, and make profits along the way, to "... being a conglomeration of assets, that someone could control, and the more that you could get short-term profits, the better for share holders." And eliminating the workforce was one of the ways to make short-term profits go up for share holders.
Ehrenreigh cites higher costs that the poor pay for health insurance as one of the current inequalities in American society. Of particualr interest is the story of a man who robbed a bank of $80 in hopes of being sent to jail where his healthcare costs would be paid.
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