Posts Tagged justice

The War Against the Workers of the World: Labor Day 2010

Today is Labor Day. The day we celebrate the American worker.

Alas, this should be a day of mourning the downfall of the American Worker, for he/she has truly fallen. He has fallen victim to the greed and avarice of top management in America. The captains of commerce and the country’s political leaders have waged an all-our war against the American worker and they have won.

So today we mark the defeat of the American worker. He is broke, scared, and isolated in a distinctly American world absent of opportunity and hope.

There was a time in America when workers had some power. They had unions that made it possible for tens of thousands of workers to stand together and speak in a single voice. Standing as one, they could negotiate with managers and owners for fundamental fairness, due compensation and benefits, and, ultimately the dignity to be a working man and woman in America.

Those days are long over. When the average CEO of a corporations now makes 350 times the average worker, we can say that greed has swept the land and the very few amass wealth that was once more fairly distributed among the many. The shadow of rampant avarice leaves our once thriving cities to be more like empty ghost towns. The stark ruins of our industrial buildings now litter the desolate landscapes of poverty, need, and abandon.

Without unions, workers live in a world dominated by fear – fear of joblessness, fear of losing one’s health insurance, fear of losing one’s home, fear of looking like an abject failure before one’s children. This world of fear has swept away the worker’s dignity. So when the boss yells “Jump” we truly must ask “how high?” and mean it. For we are scared of losing the little we have.

Everything the worker has struggled for in the first half of the 20th century has been lost. And in that loss, we have lost our freedom. We have lost our voice. Our toil is now nearly fully dedicated to the ever-increasing wealth of the bosses and not for ourselves – not for our communities. As we die, as our towns and cities, they thrive in the wealth that is grotesque before any man or woman of conscience.

In a land whose news outlets now cry our for cutting Social Security and Medicare because we can no longer afford these “entitlement” programs, we already know that super-massive wealth and vast entitlements have already been transferred to the wealthiest one percent of Americans. We know that these are savage lies told by their dupes. We know them by their words and we know them by their actions. We know them as our political leaders who are the well paid soldiers of the corporate elite.

We know that they are the servants of fear.

How much longer will we be slaves to the greediest among us? How much longer will we live in the darkening shadows of our own fears?

When will the workers of the world stand up and say, “No. We are done being your slave. We are done with your ugly class. We will not forsake you, as you have forsaken us. Rather we will invite you to join the world of life, where we stand as equals, where we celebrate and honor our diversity, where we place life before class and skin color, where we are as one, caring for each other and our planet.”

When will we wake up to that?

Spread the word my friends.


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America the Addicted

It should come as a surprise to no one that Americans <em>need </em>to be addicted. What does this mean? Why do we need to be addicted?

It’s simple. 70% of all economic activity in the US is retail sales. Unless we shop till we drop, our standard of living will decline, shopping centers will become filthy and empty. Crime will fill the streets and we will turn from consuming to mainlining. Omigod!


We must shop and we must buy. The alternative is downfall, the downfall of the United States. So we must fill the gaping mouths of powerful and hungry bankers with trillions of dollars. We do this because we must have credit flowing. Americans MUST shop till they drop. We must borrow until we’re tapped out to keep these retailers with their miles and miles of strip shopping centers bustling and fun.

This seems to be the dream of America. Ideas like democracy, opportunity, and thrift are painful anachronisms.

But I suspect that this dream is really not a dream of the American people. It’s really the dream of corporate America, the banks, the Walmarts, the Countrywide Mortgages, the snake oil salesmen, and their elected servants in Washington.

I think the people are a lot smarter and know what’s really going on. Let’s turn those strip centers into parks, let’s get the money flowing to environmental scientists so we can have an oil free future, let’s get back to real communities instead of brazenly awful McMansions, let’s change the tax code that keeps the rich VERY rich and the poor VERY poor.

We can heal our communities through equity, compassion, and intelligence. We can authentically counter crime and hopelessness through making the VERY rich pay their fair share and raise up the disenfranchised. We can work to bring us together, instead of fostering separate us into enclaves walled off from the sprawling desert where most Americans live. Let’s stop killing the planet through endless consumption of stuff so as to keep corporate executives on their chemical laden golf courses.

We can do this.

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The mayor of Lansing tells it like it is. This is an important voice.

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