Thursday, March 24, 2011

Class War!

One would think that in a country where Wall Street Bankers and executives crashed the economy through widespread fraud, where the 400 wealthiest people have as much wealth as half of the citizenry, where 40 million people have no health insurance and 1 in 5 children live in poverty, and where corporations sit on the highest profits in history yet the unemployment rate keeps increasing, that there would be some kind of animosity. And you'd be right - there is intense animosity toward working civil servants, the poor, and unions. Just the past few days, we're seeing results of the most full-throated baldfaced attacks on the working classes since before the Great Depression. What's amazing is how coordinated these attacks are, and how little coverage they are receiving in the mainstream (i.e. corporate-owned) press.

In Congress, the Republicans have proposed legislation that says going on strike will make a workers' family - including children - ineligible for food stamps:

In Minnesota, they are attemepting to make it illegal for anyone on public assistance to have more than $20.00 in cash in their pockets in any given month:

Lawmakers seek limits on Wages: via Engineering News Record:

The union rights controversy isn’t confined to Wisconsin or teachers. Newly seated Republican majorities in several budget-strapped states have swung legislative wrecking balls at some of the pillars of the building trades, including prevailing wages and project labor agreements.

In Ohio, where newly elected Gov. John Kasich (R) has pledged to cut costly regulations, new Republican lawmakers have provided a substantial majority in the state Senate. A bill originating in the Ohio House of Representatives would prohibit state funding on any local government project built under a project labor agreement. On prevailing wages, open-shop contractors are “working with the governor on extending a 1997 ban on prevailing wages for K-12 schools to universities,” says Bryan Williams, government affairs director of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Ohio.

Looks like teacher's unions are just the opening salvo. And, last but not least, in a move pregnant with symbolism, Maine's governor is ordering that a mural in the state capitol depicting the history of the labor movement be painted over because it was "offensive" to business interests:

"Maine Gov. Paul LePage has ordered the removal of a 36-foot mural depicting the state's labor history from the lobby of the Department of Labor headquarters building in Augusta…. Don Berry, President of the Maine AFL-CIO, issued a statement… 'It's a spiteful, mean-spirited move by the Governor that does nothing to create jobs or improve the Maine economy.'"
Looks like the Tea Party Revolution is marching on. The question is, why is anyone but the richest 10 percent voting for it? Does anyone seriously believe the problem with America is people get paid too much and have too many benefits? If so, you may want to reread my first paragraph.

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