LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

Oh give me a home

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There is a disturbing difference between those who have so much and those who have little.  The difference rears its ugly head in this document.  The top photo shows one of President of the United States Donald Trump’s homes/businesses in Florida. The bottom photo show a young man living in a bus stop shelter in Stone Mountain Georgia. This man has been living in this bus stop shelter for several months. It pains me to drive by him and observe his predicament. I frequently stop by and chat with him, and offer encouragement. I also go to the store and get some of the simple things he needs just to survive.  He is very unhealthy and probably has not had a real bath in months.  In a world, especially in a nation with so much wealth, it is hard to fathom why someone is living in a bus stop shelter.  Some will likely blame his condition on him. However, listening to him, leads me to believe he is incapable of making decisions that will get him out of his current situation.  Some will look at this document and see Donald Trump as a shining example of success, and the other person as a failure- The kind of person Dr. Ben Carson described in a recent interview.  John D. Rockefeller, Jr. put it best. He said, I was born with it and there was nothing I could do about it. It was there, like air or food, or any other element. The only question is with wealth is what do you do with it.  Albert Einstein said the value of a man, should be seen in what he gives and not in what he receives. The huge gap between those at the top and those at the bottom (income inequality) continues to grow. Is there an end to this madness-probably not, as long as those in power deny that this it is in fact a problem. However, just because a significant number of Americans do not see it as a problem, does not negate the fact that it is indeed a problem. The struggle between the have and have not continues. There is little evidence that those who have most of the wealth of this nation will change their minds about sharing a little more of it. Those caught between the rich and poor, (the middle class) are squeezed and being slowly crushed between these two extremes. An African saying put it best. When elephants fight, the grass suffers.

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May 30, 2017 Posted by | Donald Trump, Failed economic poicy, Soup kitchens, Trickle up economics, Uncategorized, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

Sharing Why not?

 

Given today’s unending and growing friction and animosity between races, nations and the haves and have not, what is a reasonable expectation of what is to come? Certainly in a Country whose economic system is based on capitalism, things will  get worse. The way that wealth is distributed assures this outcome. Hook and crook is not necessary.   It reminds me of a lion’s kill. The lion pride eats its share. When their appetite is satisfied and bellies are filled, they slowly saunter away; find a shady spot and rest for a very long time. Meanwhile, after the lions have taken all they want, other animals move in to spar and fight over what the lions did not eat. Buzzards, Jackals, Fox, hyenas etc. jockey and fight, trying to get a little piece of what is left. No different as far as humans are concerned. Those in the middle and at the bottom are constantly fighting over the scraps left by the rich. There are times when it takes the whole carcass to satisfy the hunger needs of a lions pack and nothing is left but bones. Animals who do not have the jaw power to make a meal of bones go hungry. Some animals never get a full meal. The same thing happens under capitalism. There are those who never get a decent share of the kill.

Notice. I never mentioned the word Fair. All I am saying is why is it necessary for some folk to have so much wealth, while others go hungry? Why are some folk so unwilling to share for the good of mankind? Why put a people in a position that they feel it necessary to get access to the wealth of this nation by illegal means? Until more people of means understand and accept the notion that there is nothing wrong with sharing wealth, the gap between haves and have not will continue to grow.

It is written that the knowledge of our nature, and the circumstances which govern the character and conduct of man, are to be acquired only by attending to the facts which exist around us, and to the past history of the human species. In other words, what has taken place in the past that helped create the situation in which we find ourselves?

 

This writer Owens makes the argument that this whole individual thing is what tears a people apart, and unless it is entirely abandoned, it will be useless to expect any substantial, permanent improvement in the condition of the human race, for this system ever has been, and must ever remain directly opposed to universal charity, benevolence, and kindness; and until the means were discovered, and can be brought into practice, by which universal charity, benevolence, and kindness, can be made to pervade the heart and mind of every human being, a state of society in which “peace on earth and good will to man” shall exist, must remain unknown and unenjoyed by mankind

Finally, Owens is saying, “Folks, we had better take care of what is ailing this country. If not, what you see today will continue to grow. I.e. Donald Trump. He and his followers may have the makings a Fourth Reich.

July 12, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Economic Empowerment, Failed economic poicy, Greed, Soup kitchens, Trickle up economics, Uncategorized, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

We know what is best for you

We know what is best or you

 

Those of the Conservative persuasion has long held the belief that getting rid of labor Unions was one of the best and quickest fixes for labor, management, and wage problems in America. Obviously they were being untruthful when they said employees would have better working conditions including better wages, health care and retirement packages if labor Unions were out of the picture. Fox News Network (FNN) and Conservative Talk Radio (CTR.) took up the fight and constantly advocated getting rid of Labor Unions.

Many who benefited from gains made by Labor Unions, were convinced by talking heads that unions were indeed bad for them, and things would be better without organized labor. Never in their wildest dream did most of them think the demise of Labor Unions would affect them directly. One would think that any right thinking person would look at the efforts required by Labor Unions to make gains for employees and see that without concentrated efforts, employees are at the mercy of employers.

Why is it so easy for FNN and CTR to convince their listeners that labor Unions are bad? Simple! The talking heads on these outlets have been priming their listeners to think a certain way for many years. Still others were convinced that it was unnecessary for them to think at all. All they had to do was listen to and embrace the Conservative points of view. Points of view constantly spouted all over the airwaves, 24 hours per day by FNN and CTR. Put another way, entirely too many of their listeners do not take the time to listen to and questioning what these folk were advocating. Their listeners have been convinced that these talking heads are intellectuals and wise and what they spout is always in the best interest of their audiences.

These same talking heads are now lamenting that the American Middle Class is being destroyed by the loss of well-paying jobs. They are right about this. However, many of the jobs lost were union jobs. Loss of these well-paying jobs were lost in the Rust Belt (Great lakes area.) Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania are some of the states that are suffering due to loss of well-paying jobs.

For a very long time, many who agreed with FNN and CTR and most Conservatives, felt the Middle Class (mostly white) was safe from the ravages of Union Busting. Those of the middle class thought; ”surely those we have elected and kept in office for many years would always have our best interest in mind when making labor decisions. “ Wrong! Now they see the real impact of a mostly non-union workforce. Entirely too many of them did not realize the very people they were trying to get out of unions were their neighbors, children, parents and friends and in may instances, they themselves.

Loss of jobs that make up the middle class has other negative ramifications. Neighborhoods are in decline, schools are closing and graduation rates are dismal. Children of the middleclass are heavily indebted due to student loans and many are now living with their parents and grandparents. Last but not least; many are suffering from the ravages of drugs of all sorts. Heroin use is of epidemic proportion.

This union busting thing has come full circle. Are workers better off? Are they better paid, with better benefits, including health care and retirements? Are their children and grandchildren better off? Are their neighborhoods better and safer? Is the quality of education better? What about the public infrastructure? Is it better maintained since the loss of union jobs?

I tuned in to the Bill Bennett radio talk show this morning. His guest was a well-known talking head, Fred Barnes.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard, which he cofounded in 1995. From 1985 to 1995, he was senior editor and White House correspondent for the New Republic. He covered the Supreme Court and the White House for the Washington Star before moving to the Baltimore Sun in 1979. He served as the national political correspondent for the Sun and wrote the “Presswatch” media column for the American Spectator.

Commentator Bennett asked Fred who and why were voters angry enough to vote for Trump. To my amazement, he said those most angered were the Blue Collar workers. Bennett pressed him on this assertion. Fred said that many Blue-collar workers felt that they were the forgotten class and needed someone in the President’s office that would have their best interest in mind, and Trump was saying exactly what they wanted to hear. They also feel he will deliver on his promises, no matter how far fetched, and unrealistic they appear.

Think for a minute; many of the Blue Collar workers were union members in the factories in the Midwest. Many workers, though non-union enjoyed benefits fought for and gained by organized labor. Many non-union employees sat back and made no effort to keep the Right-to-Work issue from gaining traction. As a matter of fact, many of them applauded the efforts of Scott Walker as he worked tireless to dismantle organized labor in Wisconsin.

So why are Blue Collar workers angry? To whom should their anger be directed? As expected, many try to shift the blame to the Democratic Party and President Obama. Some will make muted statements about the Republican Party. However, I have yet to hear Blue Collar (middle class) mostly white workers having a real conversation with their grand old party Representatives about the negative impact of union busting. They appear to be afraid to speak out about the impact on cities, jobs, families, wages, schools, tax base and the general welfare of workers and those whose very livelihood depend on well-paid workers. Is it misplaced loyalty? Is it blindly following and voting for a Political Party whose concern for their welfare is questionable?   It appears many of the Conservative persuasion merely vote for a Party rather than a principle. They even vote against a principle or position that is in their best interest, just to support the party platform. The same can be said about many in the Liberal Party

The demise of the middle class, including Blue Collar workers will continue as long as they continue to see President Regan policies as the best thing since Apple Pie. Wasn’t it President Regan that sold them on the idea of Trickle Down Economics? Here they are patiently waiting for their share of this nation’s wealth to trickle down. It never has and never will, as long as this thing called Capitalism remains in its current configuration. It will never trickle down as long as the rich can never be rich enough. It will never change until those with very little and those in the middle class band together as one to take on those who suck up most of the wealth of this nation. Most of the wealthy appear unwilling to share just a little larger piece of the pie.  Why, you ask is this the case? It is quite simple; Greed!

Workers, who agreed with talking heads about the problems caused by labor unions, got just what they deserved when they lost their jobs. Meanwhile none of those spewing daily diatribes advocating union busting lost their jobs. Somehow, some way, those responsible for convincing a large segment of society that organized labor was and continues to be bad for this nation’s workforce should be held accountable for the outcome of union demise. Responsibility lies squarely at the feet of Republican lawmakers, Fox News Network, Conservative Talk Radio and businesses fighting to get rid of unions.

 

 

March 18, 2016 Posted by | Failed economic poicy, Trickle up economics, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

Enough already!

Enough already!

In his book titled The Age of Jackson, Arthur Schlesinger, JR. wrote about how American history has been marked by recurrent swings between conservatism and liberalism. Without a doubt, the period between the years 2000 and 2008 heavily favored those of the conservative persuasion. And, true to history, many social issues that needed to be addressed were ignored. Two long-lingering wars, a deep recession, high unemployment, uninsured Americans, a banking system in disarray, and a whole host of other issues that needed to be addressed were given little genuine attention

Although as history shows, the pendulum has always swung between conservatism and liberalism, the last swing to conservatism was something to behold.  The little people were all but forgotten-forgotten when it came to reaping some of the fruits of their labor. Conservative politicians and talking heads convinced many of their followers that this thing called trickle-down economics, fashioned and put into play by the Regan Administration was still applicable and adhering to this philosophy continued to be in their best interest. In its simplest definition, it says, let those at the top get most of the wealth of this nation and they will let it trickle down to the masses. Some are wondering when will the trickle-down phenomenon begin.

In 2008 Obama, a true liberal, was elected President of these United States. And, as has history clearly shows, he entered into office with the grim and unenviable task of solving the above mentioned problems as well as several new problems that surfaced on his watch. If history repeats itself, at some point, the public will feel the nation has swung too far to the left and once again, conservatism will again rule the day.

In their efforts to right the course of the ship, will the Obama Administration overcorrect and swing too far to the left?  Is America ready to be taken where the Obama Administration is trying to take it? Will his health plan crumble under its own weight? These and other lingering questions will be answered between 2013 and 2016.

The current budget impasse is a classic example of politicians letting things pile up. Some people think those in Washington charged with solving our budgetary problems are incapable of doing so. Others feel they may be capable, but are not willing to put aside their biases long enough to get anything done. Isn’t it amazing how easy it was for them to set aside their differences and put into place the mechanism to go to two wars, but will not use the same logic to craft a budget both sides can agree on?

Many of the issues the Obama Administration is dealing with have to do with the wealth of this nation. Although cloaked in something else, if one takes the time to remove the outer-garment, they will find the almighty dollar is driving the debate. A politician from Caroline had it right when he wrote the following way back in the 1800s. “Wealth, like suffrage, must be considerably distributed, to sustain a democratic republic; and hence, whatever draws a considerable proportion of either into a few hands, will destroy it. As power follows wealth, the majority must have wealth or lose power.”

Taylor saw two threats to the natural economic order. He states the following” there are two modes of invading private property; the first by which the poor plunder the rich….sudden and violent; the second, by which the rich plunder the poor, slow and legal.” He felt the poor could not become dangerous until the concentration of wealth greatly increased their number. The real peril he believed lay in the second mode; plunder from above; orderly and legalized. The secession of privileged orders through history-the priesthood, the nobility, now the banking system showed how every age has shown its own form of institutionalized robbery by a minority operating through the state.

Will the US Government ever be strong enough to wrest the power from those who have the real power in this nation. After-all, wealth equals power, and power equals control.  Have the majority  been conditioned to accept the fact that a few people with vast amounts of wealth control this nation and feel there is little that can be done to alter the situation? How does a Nation break up the mass concentration of wealth without wealth redistribution accusations obscuring and shrouding the issue?  How does one convince those controlling and owing most of the wealth of America that this situation could and probably will, eventually lead to the destruction of this thing called capitalism? This nation will eventually self-destruct if drastic action isn’t taken to insure more people share in its wealth. It is easy to see how the American way of life is being torn apart by companies and individuals seeking profit and wealth.  One of the simplest ways to get more wealth into the hands of the masses is to simply pay them a little more. After all, one can argue that without them, who would produce the wealth of this nation?

Something must change. There will be change. Will it be controlled change, or will it be forced uncontrolled change? Those elected to guide this nation must put aside their differences and make decisions based on the will of the people and/or for the good of America.

12/28/2012

December 29, 2012 Posted by | Economic Empowerment, Failed economic poicy, Greed, Soup kitchens, Trickle up economics, Uncategorized, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

Union busting at its worst

Some folks believe the new emphasis on Union Busting is a new phenomenon. Quite the contrary. One of the more notable incidents bringing light to the subject was a Douglas Fraser’s Resignation Letter to the Labor-Management Group dated July 19, 1978. Douglas Fraser became president of the United Autoworkers Union (UAW) in 1977. In 1978 he resigned from a committee of eight corporate executives and eight labor officials chaired by former Secretary of labor John T. Dunlop. This committee represented an attempt to forge cooperation between labor and management.

Fraser’s involvement and interaction with this committee gave him the impression that U.S corporations, by their actions had no real interest in working with labor, instead choosing to wage a one-sided class war against working people, the unemployed, the poor and minorities. Fraser also felt corporations were waging a war against young folks, old folks and the middle class of the United States.

Fraser stated in his resignation letter that he believed that leaders of the business community, including industry, commerce and finance, with few exceptions have broken and discarded the fragile, unwritten compact previously existing during past growth and progress.  Despite profound differences, labor and management has always managed to come to general agreements that benefitted labor and management.  Today those who control the wealth of this nation feel they no longer have to negotiate working conditions with most US workers. These same, US Corporations, operating from a position of extreme, financial, and political power, and backed by the Federal State and Local Governments, feel they can make any demands they wish on US workers.

As Fraser mentioned in his resignation, the United States Capitalistic system has always worked best for the haves in our society, rather than the have-not. Despite this well-known and indisputable fact Capitalism remains because the very foundation of this concept remained grounded on one simple concept.  Fraser surmised that in the past, when things got bad enough for a segment of society, the business elite “gave” a little bit-enabling government or interest groups to better conditions somewhat for that segment. Not so today.

The Haves of this nation are not willing to give a little more for the benefit of this nation.  It is a well-known fact that this nation is slowly but surely losing its middle class. At the same time the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  What has brought on this out of control greed and a need for even more of this nation’s wealth? Why are business leaders willing to destroy America’s middle class for the benefit of a few at the very top of the wealth ladder?

What can be done to reverse the continued flow of America’s wealth to the people at the top of the money chain?  Corporations have a strangle-hold on the US government.  They use their enormous wealth and political persuasion to demand and get almost anything they ask of the federal government.  Many Americans, to this point, have felt there is little the common man can do to change the situation.  Two recent actions by average Americans suggests that the common man banding together can impact how our government governs. The Tea Party was the first action to get a lot of attention and persuaded many politicians to change their behavior. Later, the Wall Street Occupiers caused quite a stir.

The current meltdown of the world’s economic system, largely brought on by unscrupulous and greedy American Capitalists caused many people to say “Something must change.” “Although the powerbrokers have most of the wealth of this nation, something must change.” “Although Congress has been bought and sold, something must change.”   Today’s actions by people all around this nation and abroad, makes it plain that people are dissatisfied and fed up with the way so called capitalism is managed in the United States.  People are taking to the streets as they did in the seventies to protest the Viet Nam war.  US politicians and money handlers should not take lightly what is taking place. Those people participating in sit-ins all over this nation and abroad are not willing to sit back and do little else.

People it is time to do more than spout simple rhetoric. It is time to turn off the radio and TV and take to the streets. It is time to stop supporting businesses that support Conservative Talk Radio and Fox News Channel. These outlets programming regularly call for the destruction of labor unions.  Those of you who are not in favor of labor unions and clamor for their demise, just wait, your wages and benefits are next.  Non-supporters of organized labor-do not think for one minute that the robber-barons of this nation are only after the dollars they pay union workers. They are determined to control most of the wealth of this nation and workers and are willing to use whatever means necessary to achieve this goal.

Thus far, those of the conservative persuasion, along with Conservative Talk Radio and Fox News Network have successfully used labor Unions as wedge issues-quite successfully.  Who will be next?  Do not think for one minute, Union workers are the only ones they feel are overpaid.  Remember the hue and cry each time a vote to raise the minimum wage came up? Remember when conservatives said raising the minimum wage would bankrupt small businesses. Divide and conquer still works.

By what hook and crook has the Republican Party, with and free propagandized assistance from Conservative Talk Radio (CTR) and Fox News Network (FNN) managed to convince millions that there is nothing wrong with a few Americans having the majority of the wealth of this nation.  Despite untiring efforts by Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and other super-rich Americans, Republican lawmakers continue to beat back any attempt to get a few more bucks from the richest of this nation.

Father Ambrose Bishop of Milan made the following quote: How far, oh rich do you extend your senseless avarice? Do you intend to be the sole inhabitants of the earth? Why do you drive out the fellow sharers of nature, and claim it all for yourselves? The earth was made for all, rich and poor, in common. Why do you rich claim it as your exclusive right?

A careful observation of how wealth is distributed in the United States and abroad brings to mind something John Adams,(1735-1826) 2nd President of the United State coined. In every society where property exists there will ever be a struggle between rich and poor. Mixed in one assembly, equal laws can never be expected; they will either be made by the members to plunder the few who are rich or by the influence to fleece the many who are poor. It is quite clear who is doing who in America.

November 30, 2011 Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Economic Empowerment, Glenn Beck, Greed, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Trickle up economics, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

Cheap labor no matter the cost

Americans are thoroughly frustrated and at times confused as they try to place the blame for the current economic quandary squarely where it belongs.  One thing is certain, it matters very little which party is in power when the glue which binds America’s capitalistic system fails.  What is the glue that holds it together? Someone compared our system to a three-legged stool-Capital, labor and consumer. If either fails or is shorten, the entire system suffers. According to current news outlets, there is plenty of capital available. However, job losses (those actually gainfully employed) shorten the labor leg. Shrinkage of those gainfully employed, with disposal income, shortens the consumer leg of the stool. When the consumer leg and labor legs fail, the capital leg is unable to support the stool and will collapse under its own weight.

Just listen as economists and politicians look for signs that the economy is rebounding. Two industries usually take center stage-construction and automotive.  When either product (new homes and new automobiles) sales are flat because of low demands, the US economy suffers. Why are the demands for these products so low? The answer is very simple.  Today, as in the Great Depression, entirely too many Americans have lost their purchasing power. This is one of the inherent dangers of allowing a few people to have most of this nation’s wealth.  Instead of buying power distributed among millions, it is in the hands of a few who have to reason to spend most of it.  It is a well-known fact that most middle and lower income Americans will spend if they have the money. Why do you think middle and low income Americans save very little of their earning? Simple-they love to spend money. When you take away this purchasing ability by putting the wealth of this nation in a few hands, you effectively kill the very thing that keeps the US economy energetic and growing. Pay people less and they will buy less. Create a tax system that spares the rich and disproportionally negatively impact the people whose income is modest at best, puts additional burden on those least able to pay.

US Job losses due to US companies moving operations overseas have had a devastating effect on the US economy. Jobs traditionally held by US workers (especially manufacturing) are now firmly in the hands of foreign nations.  China is a prime example.  Unemployment creates surplus workers. Surplus workers give employers incentives to lower wages and benefits.  Workers unemployed for long periods of time put undue stress on unemployment compensation programs. Social service programs designed to help the needy are hard-pressed to help all who desire or need help.  Much of this hardship is avoidable if US companies would keep manufacturing jobs in the US.  Loss of these jobs and related infrastructures also means the eventual loss of skills and a highly trained workforce vital to the needs of this nation. This nation was built on people making things. If US consumers purchase and use an item, why not make it in the US?

One sure way to stop the flow of manufacturing jobs 0verseas is to stop using US military might to protect shipments from overseas markets. It is ironic that our military men and women are protecting shipments of products from overseas markets.  These products are owned by the very companies that laid off their friends, relatives, closed plants and rebuilt them overseas. The same goes for the US taxpayers who foot the bill for our military. After all, they are the ones who pay for this military might.  Some call it, protecting US interest abroad. Stop pretending; just say “protecting US companies business interest abroad?”

November 30, 2011 Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Economic Empowerment, Failed economic poicy, Glenn Beck, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Soup kitchens, Taxpayer bailouts, Trickle up economics, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

Just does not hurt bad enough

America at the mercy of oil companies and speculators!
How much longer will Americans accept oil companies and speculators imposing their will on those whose livelihood depend on affordable fuel? Those who control the price of crude oil are taking Americans to the cleaners. These parasites have no problem creating false reasons to raise the price of crude oil. Talk about wealth redistribution! Let us not forget that much of the crude pumped in the US comes from public lands.
Those who commute several miles to work each day are finding it harder to afford fuel for their automobiles. Owner/operators of semi/trucks are finding it difficult to continue doing business because of rising diesel costs. In the meantime, those who support what they call capitalism see no harm in what takes place. Listen to Conservative Talk Radio (CTR) and Fox News Network (FNN). These outlets suggests in the strongest terms that it is just the market at work and any effort by the Federal Government to regulate the speculative aspect of crude oil pricing amounts to unnecessary intervention by the government into private industry.
American taxpayers pay billions of dollars for Aircraft Carriers and supporting ships and planes. Costs to supply, train and staff these seagoing vehicles are additional costs. This equipment and support personnel constantly patrol the high seas. I wonder why some people say government should take a hands/off approach to the private market, yet do not have a problem with the government providing safe passage for crude oil supertankers carrying crude across oceans. These operations support the oil industry and those who enrich themselves by speculating and driving the price of crude and finished crude oil products to an unnecessary plateau.
The United States economy depends in a large measure on the oil industry.. Any unnecessary volatility and aggravation in this market can have devastating affect on the US economy. The US government, in a hands-off approach to the crude oil business has allowed it to be hijacked by speculators. Speculators and others who control the industry are reaping huge amounts of wealth at the expense of Americans.
Entirely too much wealth is being diverted from sorely needed areas of the US economy to the oil industry and those who derive huge amounts of wealth by simply creating false reasons for increasing the cost of crude oil. Oil companies will give a little lip service to the speculative aspect of crude oil pricing. However, they make little effort to control and rein in speculation. Why? Because speculators make them money.
Will Americans ever rise up and truly take a stand against rip-offs imposed by oil companies and speculators? Americans will complain and do little else. Why do we feel so hopeless and helpless when it comes to the oil industry? Why are we afraid to make a genuine effort to rein in this destructive behavior by the oil industry and associated speculators? What are we afraid of? Americans need to become as bold as the oil industry and associated speculators.

April 13, 2011 Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Crude in theGulf, Greed, Taxpayer bailouts, Trickle up economics, World Affairs | | Leave a comment

Collective bargaining at risk

There is a clamor from the Republican Party, Conservative Talk Radio (CTR) Fox News Network (FNN) and other opponents of organized Labor Unions to weaken and or destroy the collective bargaining apparatus in the United States. What is so alarming is the fact that many people who enjoy benefits gotten by organized labor are on the side of those trying to destroy labor unions. The only way to fully appreciate the positive impact organized labor has had on working conditions, is to roll back working conditions to where they were before unions came on the scene. Surely those who enjoy shorter workdays, a safer work environment, decent pay and other negotiated benefits in the work place can see the gains many American workers enjoy. Most people in all walks of life that oppose organized labor refuse to admit that they enjoy workplace benefits garnered by the sweat, blood and tears of union workers. Workdays were shorten by organized labor actions. The eight-hour workday is undeniably the results of organized labor. Safer workplaces are certainly attributable to union activities and demands. Livable wages in many occupations are the direct results of collective bargaining. It is easy for those opposed to labor unions to see them as nothing but a drain on big business and governments at all levels. If one takes the position that labor need business more than business needs labor, then it is easy to see why some want organized labor to got the way of horses and buggies. One must understand and appreciate the need for some kind of balance between workers and big business. Samuel Gopher (1850-1924) one of the founders of the American Federation of Labor (A. F. of L) spoke of the need for collective bargaining. Gopher put it this way: Collective bargaining means that the organized employees of a trade or industry, through representatives of their own choosing, shall deal with the employer or employers in the making of wage scales and working conditions. Collective bargaining is the only practical proposal for adjusting relations between management and the workers in a business way, assuring a fair deal on both sides. CTR and FNN talking heads constantly beat the drums to a tune called democracy, while advocating autocracy, especially in the workplace. Now, politicians of the Conservative persuasion feel comfortable singing the same tune. They want a work environment where management dictates every aspect of the workplace. CTR, FNN and those of the Conservative persuasion constantly paint a dismal picture of unionized workers. This constant drumbeat has attracted the attention of workers not represented by organized labor and created a certain amount of jealously and reluctant admiration for the wages and benefits negotiated by labor unions. All employees in any workplace want are decent wages, benefits and a safe work environment. Having been a union member for several years and a supervisor and manager of union members for several years, I will tell you there must be give and take on both sides. I was involved in negotiating labor agreements representing management and never felt management was forced into positions that were detrimental to the authority and ability of management to manage the workplace and contain labor costs. Union members are well aware that they are taxpayers; property owners and an integral part of the community in which they live and are not about to deliberately take a position detrimental to the well being of said community. Although, at times it appears organized labor positions are hard and fast, most are willing to sit down and negotiate decent and fair contracts that benefits labor and management. The current atmosphere and dire straits many communities, including states and local governments find themselves in, financially, lead some community leaders to assume the time is right to arbitrarily take back many things negotiated and agreed to in labor contracts. Actually there has never been a better time for both sides to sit down and negotiate a contract that benefits both parties. There needs to be a general agreement as to what the problems are and the best way to solve them in a manner both sides can agree to. Workers, in recent years, in several industries made huge concessions to management to help keep businesses afloat. The same thing should and can happen with teachers, firemen, policemen and other public employees. However, arbitrarily changing conditions of employment negotiated in good faith is not the best way to get sorely needed changes and concessions in labor contracts.

February 23, 2011 Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Glenn Beck, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Trickle up economics, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

Individualism

Let us start this article by defining individualism. In its simplest term, it means uniqueness, selfishness, eccentricity, egoism, independence or individuality. If you listen to Conservative Talk Radio (CTR) and Fox News Network (FNN), you often hear the word individualism tossed around like a hot potato. Talk hosts on these outlets will swear on a stack of Bibles that the United States of America were founded on pure and unadulterated individualism. Hubert Hoover, President of the United States often spoke of individuality, and his writings suggest he truly believed in this principle. However, he was careful not to take it to the extreme, often expressed by talking heads on CTR and FNN. Some would argue that it was unfettered individuality that brought this nation to its knees during the Great Depression. Listen as those who preach a pure individualism theory support their position on one simple fact; individuals are suppose to be self-supporting and anything that suggests people doing anything together for the good of all is tantamount to socialism/communism. There is one possible exception to their position on individualism. They see nothing wrong with our young men bonding together as military units, going off to foreign countries, and fighting senseless and useless wars. They see nothing wrong with these same units using their military might to impose the will of American businesses on foreign countries. Some how, some way the individualism philosophy gets lost when it comes to sacrificing our young people, supposedly for the good of this nation, when in actuality, only a few share in the fruits of our young soldiers’ labors. As this nation struggles to right its economic ship, there are those who are unwilling to accept any changes to the economic and political principles on which this nation is purportedly founded. This unwillingness is causing immeasurable and irreparable damage to several segments of American society. For decades, several economists, politicians, spiritual leaders and the like have repeatedly admonished those who lead this nation about the dangers of a few having so much and so many having so little. Those who subscribe to raw and unadulterated individualism see absolutely nothing wrong with the continued spiral of wealth to the top, with little left for those in the middle and practically nothing left for those on the bottom rung of American society. Despite criticism for the hardships brought on by the Great Depression, President Hubert Hoover had it right when he made the following profound observation relating to individualism:  “No doubt, individualism run riot, with no tempering principle, would provide a long category of inequalities, of tyrannies, dominations, and injustices. America, however, has tempered the whole conception of individualism by the injection of a definite principle, and from this principle, it follows that attempts at domination, whether in government or in the processes of industry and commerce, are under an insistent curb. If we would have the values of individualism, their stimulation to initiative, to the development of hand and intellect, to the high development of thought and spirituality, they must be tempered with that firm and fixed ideal American individualism-an equality of opportunity. If we would have these values, we must soften it hardness and stimulate progress through the sense of service that lies in our people.” President Hoover further stated the following: “While we build our society upon the attainment of the individual, we shall safeguard to every individual an opportunity to take that position in the community to which his intelligence, character, ability and ambition entitle him; that we keep the solution free from social strata of classes; that we shall stimulate effort of each individual to achievement; that through an enlarging sense of responsibility and understanding we shall assist him in his attainment; while he in turn must stand up to the emery wheel of competition.” Look around people, it is not difficult to see what President Hoover predicted would happen with unfettered individuality. Specifically, equality of opportunity in many areas ceases to exist.

February 22, 2011 Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Economic Empowerment, Failed economic poicy, Glenn Beck, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Politics, Trickle up economics, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

Home Sweet Home

Home is where the heart is.

Where is the heart of this nation? Where is your heart? Have entirely too many Americans allowed their need for things to overtake their need to have compassion for the less fortunate. What is behind the hardening of the hearts of so many Americans? Many will argue, and with some justification that Americans gives freely to many nations all over the world. However, we should not neglect the needy of this nation. How in God’s name can a compassionate people drive by a homeless woman virtually living in shopping carts in all kinds of inclimate weather, and not stop to see if they can be of assistance. I have taken a personal interest in this individual and have spent several hours observing how those driving and walking by this individual responds. In most cases, there are no visible responses. I am sure many people feel sorry for her and wish her situation were different so they do not have to drive by and see this terrible, heart-wrenching, wretched and pitiful scene daily. It is entirely possible that many who drive by this situation do not really see what is taking place. It is said that we sometime neglect what we do not like to see, and sometimes we neglect because we do not see at all.
The Christmas Holidays are in full swing and judging by the number of people in shopping centers, a giving mood exists. The question is-who is giving to whom? Are we inclined to give to people who already have more than they need? Are we inclined to give to those from whom we expect to receive? It is written that it is better to give than receive. How many of us actually believe and live by this creed?

December 28, 2010 Posted by | Economic Empowerment, Soup kitchens, Trickle up economics, Uncategorized, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment