The Way We Live Now: In a new way. Which is not to imply it's a worse way. It's just new, and different. Corporate America hasn't been doing so well. They need...a "new deal," if you will.

The WSJ says that companies are seeking "A New Compact With Workers." Sounds comforting, does it not? A new compact. A new agreement. A new partnership, so that both of us may move forward, together. And here it is: Lower pay, fewer health care benefits, and no retirement plan.

Thank god that new compact is finished. American business can move on to the real business of American business, which is: business. And you, the workers, can move on to the new business of American workers, which is: moving into your car, now that your home's been foreclosed on.

That will also benefit the US auto industry. Win-win.

Before you go examining this New Compact (Car—heh!) too closely, it's worth considering the pain that companies themselves are going through. It's not just a pity party for you workers, you know. The demand for new corporate jets is still "sluggish." That's a row that corporate titans are forced to hoe; a cross they're forced to bear; a first class commercial seat they're forced to occupy, for the time being.

Shared sacrifice. It's a phrase that means something, at certain times. At other times, it's a meaningless phrase used to obfuscate a fundamentally unjust situation. That's not the point. The point is that we're all in this together. The boss will settle for Net Jets; you, the average poor bastard living in Flint Michigan, plant a vegetable garden on abandoned urban lots, to give you sustenance through the harsh, jobless winter. In both cases, it's about people, and doing things. Whatever you do, don't start a revolution.
[Pic: AP]