Nice Work If You Can Get It
Last night, my beloved and I went to see Barbara Ehrenreich talk about her latest book, "Bait and Switch", which does for the exploitation of white collar workers what "Nickle and Dimed" did for those working for minimum wage. Bottom line: the lure of the corporation as a means toward affluence and security is fool's gold and will result in layoff, downsizing, restucturing or exhaustion.
So, it appears that the best way to make a lot of money is to go to work for the government! It's been a really successful career path for the Bush family and their friends. And the best part? No competition...just name your price. The only person to report to is Karl Rove and he'll be looking for a fat lobbying career in 3 years, so if he smells a job offer, he'll roll over for you.
Here are some examples of those who have recently cashed in:
Ted Stevens has learned how to make a buck after 36 years in the U.S. Senate and he can turn a tidy profit for those around him. He was instrumental in getting $233 million dollars in pork to build a bridge that will link Ketchikan Alaska to an island with 50 residents. No doubt there is a developer buddy nearby. And Stevens' son (another Alaska politician) is set to make a million thanks to the new fisheries bill.
Billions of dollars in contracts have been awarded to Bush friends to rebuild the Gulf Coast, including the all-star cast of Halliburton, Bechtel, Shaw, Fluor, and Kenyon. The Project on Government Oversight has a detailed list of those who have been awarded contracts so far. It is interesting reading. Thank God SOMEONE is watching over them.
Another perk: as a federal employee with a government credit card, your credit limit just went up fom $2500 to $250,000. Not bad!
But beware...if you are hired by a Gulf Coast contractor, the President has suspended the Davis-Bacon Act, which guarantees that when a federal contractor comes into an area, they will pay the "prevailing wage" (around $9 an hour). Hopefully there will be enough demand for workers to push up wages, with no thanks to the White House, which seems to hate the working person and adore the corporation.
CBC article: "First Katrina Recovery Contracts Go to Bush Friends"
CNN article:"Bush Allies Getting Katrina Work"