You are browsing the archive for country club conservatives.

Labor Day: Build Esprit de Corps for Action

8:44 am in Uncategorized by Leo W. Gerard

"San Francisco Labor Temple wall painting"

"San Francisco Labor Temple Wall Painting" by xeeliz on flickr. The San Francisco Temple of Labor was built to house the San Francisco Labor Council and labor union offices and to provide a meeting hall for San Francisco's unions.

Celebrate Labor Day. Really, celebrate. It’s important.

Wear a t-shirt announcing to the world the name of your union and march in a parade, chanting and whooping it up about how glad you are to belong to an organization whose members are devoted to looking out for each other. If you’re among those without a union, proclaim your profession and declare your pride in the hard work you do. Make some happy noise. Infect your fellow marchers with your zeal.

Invite your most beleaguered neighbors, friends and co-workers over for a picnic. Raise a pint, braise some burgers and praise your companions for their skill, devotion and compassion. Recognize them for all they’ve persevered through since this relentless recession began in December of 2007. Build esprit de corps among your fellow workers.

This is one day devoted to labor, to the middle class, to the majority. One day out of 365. On this holiday, everyone gives an obligatory nod to workers. So don’t fret this Labor Day. Don’t waste it away in apathetic doldrums. Don’t let the minority rich and their purchased politicians take this celebration away from us too.

Some, including former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, have called for protests on Labor Day. They say workers must use this opportunity to demand that Washington solve the real crisis debilitating this country – dogged joblessness.

Reich is right. Read the rest of this entry →

March to Stop the Freeloaders

6:03 am in Uncategorized by Leo W. Gerard

The nation’s greedy corporations and insatiable wealthy are fattening themselves on workers. There’s no trickle down. It’s the opposite; the rich have been sucking the economic lifeblood from the middle class for decades.

When reckless Wall Street banksters get taxpayer-funded bailouts, billionaires get tax breaks and gigantic corporations like GE and Bank of America pay absolutely no federal income taxes, they’re getting for free the very public services that enable them to make massive profits in this country – the courts, the roads, the trade regulators, the patent enforcement.

The middle class doesn’t get those big time special deals and loopholes. Workers pay their taxes. As a result, it’s workers footing the bill for the government services that enrich the rich. Greedy corporations, their CEOs and the right-wing politicians they buy with tens of millions in campaign cash are freeloaders.

It’s time workers stood up to the freeloaders. Join Monday’s We Are One rallies. These demonstrations across the country by religious groups, social justice organizations and labor unions will illustrate that the middle class is mad as hell and not going to take trickster economics anymore.

It’s time for greedy corporations and the insatiable rich to pay their fair share. It’s time to stop cuts to the government programs most treasured by and vital to the middle class and the vulnerable in this country – education, public transportation, Social Security. It’s time to stop right-wing attempts to terminate democratic rights like collective bargaining and voting without harassment. It’s time for the middle class to stop paying for everything and for the insatiable rich and greedy corporations to start sharing the sacrifice required to recover from the economic crisis caused by reckless gambling by Wall Street bankster corporations.

March for your rights Monday. March for the middle class facing record rates of foreclosure, unemployment, child poverty, and loss of opportunity as country club conservatives cut off college loans and Head Start. March for the right of college students to register and vote in the towns where they study. March for the right of workers to band together, elect representatives and bargain with employers for better pay and working conditions. March for the right of the people to insist that corporations pay at least the same rate of taxes as workers do. March to end tax breaks for the wealthiest one percent who have now acquired more wealth than all the workers in the bottom 90 percent.

Greedy corporations, the insatiable wealthy and their purchased politicians have for three decades skewed public policy to enrich themselves while pushing down wages and benefits for the middle class.

From 1947 to 1975, a time of strong unionization in the workforce, real wages of average workers increased with productivity. The 75 percent rise in productivity and the nearly matching rise in wages gave the United States the largest, most vibrant middle class in the history of the world.
Read the rest of this entry →

Wisconsin Subterfuge Violates American Democratic Values

8:10 am in Uncategorized by Leo W. Gerard

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his crew of country club conservatives this week brutalized the nation’s democratic traditions to secure legislation demanded by big corporations and billionaire conservative financiers like the Koch brothers – legislation stripping workers of collective bargaining rights.

Walker & Crew succeeded in terminating workers’ rights – but they achieved that only by violating traditional American democratic values. They positioned themselves with dictators who act against the will of the people, deny free speech rights and suppress protests.

They violated the state’s open meetings law, breached the right of Wisconsin residents to rally in their own state capitol building, and contravened conventional standards of fairness by voting to deny workers their rights without assembling a quorum of senators.

Free speech and free access to government protect America’s democracy. Walker & Crew disregarded First Amendment rights repeatedly.

Just this week, Walker & Crew locked protesters out of their own capitol building in Madison. They locked the few protesters already in the building out of the meeting rooms where senate and house members voted. They denied access even to progressive Wisconsin Assembly members, one of whom climbed through a colleague’s window to gain access to his workplace.

In the weeks since Wisconsin’s 14 progressive senators fled to Illinois to prevent the chamber from achieving the quorum needed to vote on a measure spending the people’s money, Walker & Crew also shut down access from the capitol to a web site posted by protesters. And they severely restricted protesters’ access to the capitol where a sit-in and sleep-in began in mid-February.

Protesters, who peacefully gathered in Madison in the tens of thousands, began chanting, “Whose house is it?” referring to the capitol. “It’s our house,” they responded.

That’s not the way Walker & Crew saw it. They said voters gave them control of the people’s house in last fall’s elections. That, apparently, means to them that they don’t have to listen to the will of the people anymore. Polls show a large majority – more than 60 percent – of Wisconsinites oppose stripping workers of collective bargaining rights.

Walker & Crew didn’t listen to the people. And they repeatedly attempted to shut the people up. The First Amendment was written and adopted to protect the people from that kind of oppression by political leaders.
Read the rest of this entry →