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Monday, September 04, 2006

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?


Vote to restore Democratic control of Congress on November 7, 2006!

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Blogger Kvatch said...

Great post John. I'd thought of doing something myself for Labor Day, but I doubt I could do better.

title="comment permalink">September 04, 2006 12:09 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Great post! American workers need every voice they can get.

title="comment permalink">September 04, 2006 1:46 PM  
Blogger Stan Matuska said...

Very nice - but sad. This next election is going to show BushCo who is really in charge!

title="comment permalink">September 04, 2006 2:32 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

Kvatch - How nice of you!

Kathy - Thank you! You are so right. We all need to keep talking about it.

Stan - IF we ALL continue to fight right up until November 7th. There must be nothing taken for granted, we must not rest or become even a tad bit complacent. There's a strong chance of taking out 3 to 4 Indiana GOP congressmen this year. That's far too important to lose to complacency and wishy-washy efforts.

title="comment permalink">September 04, 2006 6:30 PM  
Blogger PTCruiser said...

Outstanding, John. Thanks for speaking for all of us workers.

title="comment permalink">September 04, 2006 8:03 PM  
Blogger Tim Zank said...

Hey I don't mean to be critical, but while reading your lengthy post lamenting the loss of American jobs, I noticed the picture of the Lexus at the top of your blog. Do you drive a Lexus?

title="comment permalink">September 04, 2006 8:18 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

Tim - Nope, I drive a good old American-made Caddy. A nearly 7-year old one at that. The Lexus symbolizes the wealthy conservative Aboite area in which I reside,while the license plate, GAUCHE, which is French for "left", represents my leanings.

What do you tool around in, Tim?

title="comment permalink">September 04, 2006 8:27 PM  
Blogger Tim Zank said...

Good ol' cadillac & chevy tahoe...
GM guy all my life...

title="comment permalink">September 04, 2006 8:31 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

I'm pleased to hear that you support UAW workers. My in-law related family is full of GM employees. Thank you for buying their fine, American-made, union products.

title="comment permalink">September 04, 2006 8:40 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

And the tax cuts they offer are more incentive for them to outsource more jobs, thereby making more money because they don't have to pay as much tax on it. But it all "trickles down" into low paying service industry jobs, that aren't enough to drive the economy (or balance the trade deficit)

title="comment permalink">September 04, 2006 10:06 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

"Trickle down" has always seemed like sort of a dirty term to me. . .I s'pose it fits all of these Republican "whores" though. . .

title="comment permalink">September 04, 2006 10:20 PM  
Blogger sumo said...

Yes...thoughtful post John...I only hope we can get some decent Dems elected with their hearts in the right place instead of their pocket linings.

title="comment permalink">September 05, 2006 3:37 AM  
Blogger azgoddess said...

i came by from blognnymous...nice to see your site

and i believe that red or blue - - screw the color - - vote for the honest person who is not rich and knows the issues and doesn't slam the other candidates in newspaper and tv ads...

basically an honest person!!

title="comment permalink">September 05, 2006 6:18 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

Sumo, AZ - Those candidates are out there, and they need us to continue to fight for them. Especially with what they'll be dealing with over the next 60 days. (See above report from MoveOn.org)

title="comment permalink">September 05, 2006 8:13 PM  

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