So, where do you fit in?

Recently I did a post on Plutocracy, Income Inequality and the Future of Woodworking in America.  It caused quite a stir.  I decided to get back to woodworking.

But today, a good friend of mine, whose political and economic views are moderate to conservative, sent me a link to a video he saw that had originally been shown on CNN Money.  It’s not FOX and it’s not MSNBC.  The video is based on analysis done by members of the faculty at Harvard Business School and Duke Business School.  These are not wild lefties.  These are legitimate observers of our economy and our nation.  My friend, with uncharacteristic disappointment in his tone, concluded that we may have lost our way.

I’ll let you be the judge.  (But personally, I still wonder what will happen to woodworking as a profession, if this trend continues.)

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11 Comments on “So, where do you fit in?”

  1. Matthew Says:

    Sounds about right. There will always be a certain subset of folks that defend plutocracy. It’s a knee-jerk reaction to all those “lazy colored folks” out there taking their “hard-earned” tax money…

  2. Hi there – First timer on your blog via Unpluggedshop’s site. THe video certainly reflects what I see here in the San Francisco/Ca/USA area and it is heart rending.

    Can you link to your original thoughts on plutocracy which caused the stir?

  3. Jeff Says:

    Of course…..nothing on the causes or any proposed solutions.

    • paul6000000 Says:

      Umm, I think the implied answer is the usual “socialist” stuff: Returning payroll, income and inheritance taxes to the rates they were in the 50s, back when the US had a thriving middle class and a trade surplus.

      But the answer most right-wingers want to hear is more jargon about job creators, supply side and trickle down economics….and chatter about supposed “growth” that constantly shifts the goal posts of the conversation.

  4. Jeff Says:

    Also….it is never stated directly, but it is implied that the pie is a fixed size and that the pie is distributed unevenly.

    • Matthew Says:

      Arguing that the pie increases in size with an increasing concentration of wealth at the top is a diversion from the reality that we are creating a class of people that is above the law. We now have a whole segment of society that is “post-citizen”, insofar as they have no allegiance to anything other than their money. These people are able to literally buy the government they want for themselves- especially in this post citizens untied era. I am not speaking of the upper middle-class person here. I am speaking of the billionaires. Not the physicians and engineers, but rather the financiers, bankers and very large business owners. If you have not felt the squeeze your self, you are either very fortunate or just not paying attention.

  5. Matthew Says:

    Returning to the topic of woodworking; Chris Schwartz once wrote that amateurs will be the saviors of this craft. By that I think he meant that it is very difficult to actually make a decent living at the craft of custom woodworking/furniture-making, and that the only way the craft will survive is if people with enough money and leisure time take up the craft as a hobby. This appears to be what is occurring. I took a class at the local woodworking studio here in Portland once and every single person in the class was a physician on vacation from out of town. I ask you; is this “saving” the craft?

  6. D.B. Laney Says:

    I’d like to address the concerns of some people who are disappointed by the fact that I edit certain comments. First, let me say that the purpose of this blog is to share knowledge about woodworking and the process of making a living with your tools. The economy affects all of us. But American craftsman have “taken a beating” over the last three decades. I’m always happy to engage in “lively, intellectual” discussions about the economy and the effect it has on professional woodworkers. But this is not a soap-box for any extreme view, especially a view that is not in the best interest of people their love their craft and make great sacrifices to practice it. Also, bear in mind that I accept no advertising, I solicit no aggregators or consolidators. This blog is solely my domain.

    My grandfather taught me a great many things: to work hard, to love and serve my country, to help anyone who needed assistance (without qualification, expectation or requirement) and to never get “too big for my britches”.

    But, one of Gramps’ favorite expressions really rings true here, “do not suffer fools, lightly”.

    If you have something worth saying, please say it. If you disagree, and you can state your disagreement in civil and intellectual terms, then disagree. If you merely want to parrot the “talking points” of this or that fringe group, then beware – you are just a “delete key” away from being “un-invited”.

  7. Matthew Says:

    One of my favorite sayings (and one I should really tattoo onto my own arm) is “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference”. This of course ignores the fact that in the modern media landscape, whoever shouts the loudest often prevails. What can one do but try one’s best to be rational? Now on to making something that most people could never afford…

  8. Mike Baggett Says:

    So when does all that money start trickling down.

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