Essay: Perrucci and Wysong's Work

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¶ … Perrucci and Wysong's work of literature, The New Class Society: Goodbye American Dream, is that a number of factors have taken place since the end of the 1960's to result in a two-tiered society in which there are a finite number of highly wealthy people whom the masses are exploited by and work to support. The authors utilize several means of substantiating this thesis, which predominantly spans three main areas: economics, politics, and ideology. The result is that the conventional American dream in which anyone can come to this country, work hard, and achieve at least a middle class life or better, is shrinking (if not outright decimated). A thorough evaluation of this thesis indicates that the authors have researched it well, and offer a plethora points of empirical evidence to validate the fact that this country, and the world as it has traditionally been known, is changing…perhaps irrepairably so.

The aforementioned new class society was principally created by economic means. At the same time, however, these economic means were largely enabled by political maneuvering; had the political interests in the U.S. been opposed to the economic advantages of the new class society, they would not have been permitted to take place. Yet the ideological component of this society is inextricably linked to these other two as well, since without the proper ideology the masses of people would not be unaware and allow such manipulations to takes place. From a strictly economic perspective then, the authors cite the fact that the creation of a global economy (which is actually fueled by the greed of multinational U.S. countries) is responsible for the waning U.S. domestic output, shrinking jobs, and low wages that typify the lot of the vast majority of people in the country. They emphasize the fact that beginning in the 1970's, work was routinely shipped overseas for cheaper prices while it steadily declined domestically to the detriment of conventional middle and lower class Americans and to the benefit to the elite ruling class.

The political element of the new class was able to aid the economic tendencies of multinational corporations to abandon conventional investment and resources in America in favor of those in foreign countries in a number of ways, both overt and those that were less so. Some of the more subtle political influences which created the new society were related to tax breaks that corporations got which allowed them to continue routinely conducting work overseas, as opposed to in the U.S. In addition to tax breaks, foreign taxes are significantly less arduous than domestic ones, a fact which the U.S. government could have changed if it had a vested interested in stopping the tendency of domestic companies to conduct their operations in foreign lands. Additional political agreements such as NAFTA and FTAA have been struck so that multinational corporations can continue to exploit the resources of foreign lands, which simultaneously reduce the ability of Americans to access any share of the work or profits from these companies.

As deliberate and as unscrupulous as the economic and the political aspects of the new society are, the ideological facet of this movement towards a socio-economic polarized population is perhaps the most subversive. The principle element of the ideology with which globalization and the reduced job opportunities and wages for Americans is enacted is by the media, which has always cleverly disguised the true reason (avarice) for which globalization is taking place. Instead, the media routinely focuses on myths such as the fact that organized labor unions are inherently bad, instead of reporting the fact that profits can grow outrageously by paying people in foreign companies less money. Also, the media is one of the principle points of distraction -- in the form of movies, internet usage, television, etc. -- which preoccupies the masses with fleeting phenomena so it is less concerned with the real issues negatively impacting them and creating the new class society. The limited education of the majority of the masses also contributes to an ideology in which they do not understand or questions the workings of the class structure.

2)The logical coherence of this thesis is extremely evident, especially as the reader reads more chapters and pages of this particular text authored by Perruci and Wysong. The initial beginning of the new class society was economics, which is logical since the ultimate goal of the new class society is a dominance enforced by economic superiority (which will then manifest itself in virtually all realms of society). Moreover, the authors provide evidence that empirically validates the concept that the main effect of the globalization, which functions as the primary method by which the new class society has been enabled, has served to create a significant divide in the classes. Whereas corporations are able to profit from utilizing cheaper sources of labor and other resources while moving production into foreign countries, it is an empirically validated fact that "between the late 1970s and the mid-1980's, more than eleven million workers lost jobs because of plant shutdowns, relocation to other countries, or layoffs" (Perrucci and Wysong 107). This passage and this evidence shows how the author's idea that globalization benefits corporations to build an elite class of Americans while the vast majority economically suffer and lose jobs is certainly a rational point-of-view.

The authors' empirical evidence to validate the political facet of their theory -- principally that governmental entities are creating legislation or in some cases not creating legislation that would slow the advance of globalization and the widening class divide -- is perhaps the most salient of the three components. The information regarding taxes is fairly staggering, and a perfect example of the deliberate way in which the ruling elite multinational corporations are able to further their own ends while abandoning the general masses of poorer Americans. The authors assert that "In the 1960s, corporations in the United States paid about 25% of all federal income taxes, and in 1991 it was down to 9.2%" (Perrucci and Wysong 115). The implications of this statement is that by taking their operations overseas, multinational corporations that are truly from the U.S. are able to evade paying taxes in this country. They are also able to get tax breaks and reduced rates of taxation. The implications of these statements are that instead of taxing those with the most money, multinational corporations, the U.S. government is instead obtaining the majority of its taxes from the majority of the people who have the least money. Thus, there is a growing divide between the rich and the poor, which are the only two classes in the new class system. Foreign operations are also fueled from a governmental perspective by "new international agreements like NAFTA and FTAA that attack organized labor and threaten workers to keep their wage demands to a minimum" (Perrucci and Wysong 132).

The media is also a key mechanism that is readily used by the privileged elite to perpetuate an ideology in which the true responsibility and benefits of the system of globalization is either marginalized or prioritized beneath fleeting events such as the Super Bowl or some reality television series. The authors provide empirical evidence that the media is not only controlled by the corporate elite, but is very effective in creating an ideology in which resistance to globalization is minimized. The following quotation references these facts.

The major networks of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox, and turner Broadcasting

determine what the overwhelming majority of Americans will receive as news and entertainment. Two of the major networks are earned by major multinational firms, and institutional investors control…stock in the networks (Perrucci and Wysong 130).

3) The implications of this thesis proffered by Perrucci and Wysong, which is empirically validated and logical, has very real and immediate effects upon… [END OF PREVIEW]

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