Nearly 250 years ago, our nation signed a promissory note, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Today, some 13 million Americans are members of labor unions. Another 70 million say they would join a labor union if they could. It’s easy to figure out why. Unionized employees earn 26 percent more than non-unionized employees and enjoy better benefits and more job security.
Conservatives claim that the higher labor costs increase the cost of goods and services. To some extent that is true, but at the same time union membership increases the disposable income of the middle class, making those fractionally more expensive goods and services easier to purchase.
We must not rely on our purchased politicians, we the people must mobilize public outrage, take it to the streets and in their suites, and demand justice!
The result of an abundance of well paid workers and slightly more expensive goods is a strong middle class and a healthy local and national economy, as America had during the 40 years before radical conservatives took over the White House and Congress in the 1980s. The result of the loss of good paying, living wage jobs may have brought cheaper goods at Walmart, but it has eviscerated the economies of our local communities and strangled the expansion of the middle class. The tax policies of 40 years of conservative neo-liberal economics has greatly increased the number of people dropping out of the middle class, and into the category of the working poor, the largest percent of adults in poverty today.
When organized capital and organized labor have relatively equal levels of power, society becomes stable, as we witnessed throughout the period from the 1940s to the 1970s, the golden age of the American middle class. When government defines the rules by which the game of business is played, and supports policies in favor of corporations and against labor, as has been happening for nearly 40 years, then job security vanishes, wages drop, and corporate profits soar. CEOs award themselves multi-million dollar paychecks, and corporate corruption runs rampant.
Democracy in the workplace is known as union labor. The most democratic, unionized workplaces are the least exploitative because labor has the power to balance capital and management. Those cultures that embrace the largest number of their citizens in an egalitarian and democratic manner, in and out of the workplace, and tax the rich at 50 percent or more, are the ones that have the highest quality of life. Those cultures that are most despotic, from the workplace to the government, with low tax rates on the rich, as we witness today under the corrupt Trump administration, are those which give us the poorest quality of life, and greatest inequality. It is economic despotism, where only the creditor has unalienable rights.
The immoral backbone of our economy is the age old exploitation of the worker by labor arbitrage, interest rate apartheid and debt peonage, by the craven hegemonic machinations of resource acquisition by the corrupt corporate oligarchy. This immoral exploitation has eviscerated the social compact of community and sovereign nations around the world.
Empowering labor and the middle class is our ultimate just cause. We must immediately repudiate the Trump fascistic, sociopathic corporate activities have led to a business culture that is a poison to our planet. It is a vital first action toward remaking our culture in a way that is healthy and sustainable.
We have a great potential to fight against the dystopian world that the blatantly corrupt Trump, vomited up as president by a corrupt electoral system, has put upon us, by building a broadly based post Covid political consensus around a New Economic vision. We must begin by addressing the fact that outrage against the covetous activities of Wall Street bankers greed and corruption that has reduced us to indigents, is universal. We must also share our universal concern for the well being of our children, families, communities and our natural environment.
Our post Covid political agenda must focus on a society that puts family and community values first, ahead of financial values, and corporations. We must put people ahead of profits. We must favor global cooperation over global competition, and insist that our politicians shed their greedy oligarch, Citizens United bred donors, and finally in good conscience, adhere to the supremacy of citizen sovereignty and allow sovereign nations to own and prosper from their country’s natural resources. We must demand equal opportunity, and forcefully assert our voice in the decisions that shape our lives.
The post covert Covid scare values that underlie our shared dream must defy the semantic deceptions of being categorized as conservative or liberal values. These values are our deeply shared and enduring human values.
The liberty of democracy is not safe if one is not paid a living wage. It is the slow erosion of opportunity, that we have witnessed for the last 40 years.
Now, it is our time to finally discard our dystopian culture, cravenly rendered upon on us by the arrogant one percent of the oligarchical class, and put our artificial divisions behind us, and join together, creating the great New Deal of the 21st Century, with a top tax rate of at least 50 percent, and by building and esteeming labor with redistributive policies and public employment projects with living wages. We must build our shared dream, a new modern day Renaissance, the utopian return of a vibrant egalitarian society, where labor and the restored middle class will rise supreme once again.
Only then, can we reclaim the promissory note signed by our founding fathers, and restore the dignity of labor, by restoring life, liberty, economic justice and equality for all.
We must build a labor based political party that reverses the disastrous wealth distribution to the rich of the last 40 years. We must not rely on our purchased politicians, we the people must mobilize public outrage, and take it to the streets and in the suites, and demand justice!
After all, building a labor class and a middle class that once again earns a viable economic living wage, is our moral duty. It is love made visible.