Echoes on the Road

“Adapting Marx, human beings make job choices – but not in circumstances of their choosing. This isn’t consumer choice in some idealized marketplace – it’s the product of an underlying political struggle. And it’s a political struggle that workers have been losing over the last few decades.”

Henry Farrell

Kyle Cupp

Kyle Cupp is a freelance writer who blogs about culture, philosophy, politics, postmodernism, and religion. He is a contributor to the group Catholic blog Vox Nova. Kyle lives with his wife, son, and daughter in North Texas. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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16 Responses

  1. Rodak says:

    Stipulating the truth of this statement, what is the solution to the obvious problem? When the majority is losing and the minority of winners, who are profiting by the losses of the majority, withdraw and fortify their position rather than helping, and when political solutions are evidently no longer a realistically viable option despite the majority status of those losing…what is the majority to do?

    • Kyle Cupp says:

      Good question, and I’m afraid to say I don’t have an answer. In the past, labor was able to organize effectively, but there are obvious barriers to continuing this today. I’m interested in your thoughts, as well as GordonHide’s.

    • Kimmi says:

      sunlight and caltrops.

  2. GordonHide says:

    Could you make it clearer what sort of debate you are looking for here?

  3. Rodak says:

    I am looking for plausible answers to the questions posed.

    • GordonHide says:

      My question was directed at Kyle. – But while I’m at I guess you are complaining that the gap between rich and poor in the US is widening. There are several reasons for this and therefor probably several viable remedies. We could start by trying to get agreement that this is probably a bad thing and that it is actually happening.

      • Rodak says:

        Okay. I will stipulate that it is definitely happening and that it is a very bad thing. But I think that you are missing what I’m getting at. What I’m getting at is that in the past there have been political solutions to this problem, when it has periodically come up. Reform has been possible, and the middle-class has prospered and grown. There no longer seem to be viable political solutions. Or am I missing something?

        • GordonHide says:


          No I don’t think you are missing something. The apparent lack of viable political solutions may be because politicians represent those who pay for their campaigns and the persuasive advertising promotes policies to satisfy that audience. There is a huge unrepresented segment of the population. – Those who can’t afford to contribute to political campaigns. The problem may be even worse in that many may be voting against their own best interests because policies and candidates more suited to their needs don’t attract the money to get an airing.

          Even though political donations come from a very large population segment you still have the makings of a plutocracy.

          So, if one wanted to redress the balance the system needs to change but the current political establishment seems like an unstoppable juggernaut to me.

          Then this is all against a background of globalisation and increased automation. This further weakens the position of Joe Public.

          However, all is not lost. Even those largely insulated from it can observe the increasing society dysfunction that results from this state of affairs and even they would rather live in an harmonious society.

          • Rodak says:

            So, all we can do is sit and watch it all go down, smug in the knowledge that we “get it” even if most of “the others” don’t?

  4. Rodak says:

    …and getting none.

  5. GordonHide says:

    So, all we can do is sit and watch it all go down, smug in the knowledge that we “get it” even if most of “the others” don’t? —

    Well, this may come as a surprise to you but I don’t have all the answers. Being a foreigner I am not close enough to the problem. Being a disinterested and remote party may lend a certain overall clarity but only at the cost of ignorance compared to those who have to live the problems. American problems will be better with American solutions.