Labor Day reflections
As we celebrate the workers of America on this Labor Day, let us also remember what has been lost. Let us vow solidarity to regain what was hard fought for and won through the blood, sweat and tears of our labor force. Here are but a few of the misfortunes that have befallen the American worker under George W. Bush:
- Our high-paying manufacturing jobs have been taken from us, and moved to foreign lands where workers toil at them for pennies per hour. Since 1986, 15 million high-paying manufacturing jobs have left the US for foreign shores. Under Bush, America's economy is producing more low-wage, service sector jobs, while shipping out the manufacturing and high-tech jobs that offer our people middle-class wages and the opportunity for upward mobility.
- Bush likes to brag about his job creation numbers. He always leaves out the job loss numbers. In reality, his presidency has been the first since Herbert Hoover to actually show a net loss of jobs. Actually the issue isn't even actually about jobs. Think about it: even slaves had jobs. The issue is income... wages... middle-class opportunities. Ask a waitress at any cafe or bar if she's aware that Bush has been creating new jobs, and she'll say: "Yeah, I know, I have three of them."
- As far back as Richard Nixon, legislation has been hammered through our Congress that dilutes the power of our labor unions. Bush has intensified this process. Good luck in trying to "look for the union label", it's now in Chinese. The same holds true for "Made in America". Don't even get me started about Wal-Mart. . .
- Many Americans today work full-time jobs without adequate healthcare; some have no healthcare plan at all. Many of our middle class pay exorbitant rates for health insurance, and even forego other necessities to pay their premiums. Retired seniors often have to choose between eating and their medications. That is a crime, and it will be addressed by progressive candidates.
- Instead of rewarding the work of America’s middle class, Bush's tax cuts helped America's wealthiest people protect their wealth. Bush states that we "ought to make the pie higher". What he was trying to express is the old theory that by baking a larger pie, everyone can get a bigger slice. But that theory ignores a special trick of economic pie-making that Bush baked right into his policy: Greed. Yes, the pie is now larger, but Bush simply fattened the slices of the corporate powers and the rich, leaving the workaday majority of folks trying to get by on the same slim pickings they had before... or less.
- In yet another slap at working-class America, Bush wants to eliminate the estate tax. Fewer than one percent of people who died last year paid any estate tax at all. Indeed half of the revenue generated by this tax comes from estates valued at more than $10 million. It's calculated that total repeal of the tax, as pushed by Bush and congressional leaders, will end up taking hundreds of billions of dollars out of our treasury. BushCo likes to wail that Social Security faces a budget shortfall over the next 75 years. To deal with this shortage they want to raise grandma's retirement age and cut her monthly benefits, while also privatizing the Social Security system. Excuse me, but where is the morality in cutting back on granny's small retirement check while rushing to pad the huge inheritances of Paris Hilton and other elites who live on their parents' wealth?
HAD ENOUGH ?
Vote to restore Democratic control of Congress on November 7, 2006!