We Americans tend to be self-satisfied about our national commitment to civil liberties and human rights; when political figures talk about “American Exceptionalism,” they evoke images of the City on the Hill, a virtuous (albeit imaginary) metropolis where liberty and equality are celebrated by a moral citizenry, the rule of law is respected, and human rights are enjoyed by all citizens.
No American working 40 hours A week should have to financially struggle through life-
Something is very wrong with this picture that teeters between indentured servitude and slavery…For those in this situation, A healthcare crises without Medicare or Medicaid is just about assured and guaranteed death-
The fact that we spend 60% of every tax dollar on A scam assed defense budget is indefensible- America can afford single payer and A living wage-Indeed, we can easily afford all of this and A rebuilding of our dilapidated, outdated, 20th century infrastructure-
This country has become nothing more than one cruel and disenchanting smudge on this planet with two political parties that are so involved in greed and inhumanity that it makes me ill to even think about it-
I wanted to write something better about all of this but my anger takes the words right out of my mind…
Thank you Sheila Kennedy for this thoughtful and alarming piece!
Republicans and their Fox-zombie followers are chanting the mantra that raising the minimum wage will mean everyone gets laid off. The Democrats are either articulating about raising the minimum wage making automation feasible, resulting in essentially the same talking point, or merely pretending to be for an increase as long as the pretense keeps poor people voting for them.
How about this–don’t increase the minimum wage. In fact, go ahead and lower it. But at the same time, institute a federal maximum wage, and use the extra internal revenue to get everyone signed up for social services. Hell if you have some free time, find out how many people one CEO, currently making $10million could help if $9.5 million went to SNAP, housing subsidies, energy assistance, etc.
Oh, wait, they need that money to fund political campaigns.
“No American working 40 hours a week should have to financially struggle through life.” I would take it one step further and say that no American regardless of whether they have a job or not should struggle through life financially. Universal income would raise everyone out of poverty while putting pressure on businesses to pay their workers better because the ‘need’ to work would be lessened.
You are absolutely right about our over bloated military budget which economists have said that a mere 25%reduction in the our military budget would be enough to provide the 90% at the lower end of the wealth spectrum with a basic income eliminating poverty in one fell swoop. Naturally the political will isn’t there when all we do is elect officials who are beholden to their corporate sponsors, but perhaps one day the basic thinking around fighting poverty will take a new discourse?
Actually funding campaigns is just a drop in the bucket. It only takes a few million to buy every Republican and Democrat Congressman and Senator out right. Just ask AIPAC. However the MIC is out of control and jobs are disappearing at an alarming rate. The only way to force wages up is to introduce universal basic income so that people don’t have to work to feed and clothe themselves. Companies would have to offer a decent salary to employ anyone. Increased automation meanwhile would no longer pose a threat to the marginal income brackets of society.
Sheila Kennedy wrote a good article, but she is still stuck in the 20th century mode of thinking in that wages are the universal panacea to all of our problems for the working poor. Eliminate poverty first without dependency on a forced increase of wages. Higher wages will naturally follow as businesses will have to pay more money to keep a diminishing labor force.
I will admit that the restructuring of our military to eliminate poverty will deal a serious blow to our country’s ability to bomb people around the globe, but our national defense is hardly at risk when the U.S. possesses more guns that the rest of the world combined. Besides, a universal income like Nixon proposed, would go further towards developing a sense of nationalism and patriotic pride than anything else that corporate America has ever proposed.
I get so angry I can spit. Then to forget about it I read about the cosmos or watch Netflix; yes, I still like a good movie or show, my greatest weakness.
I seem to get angry every time I go the this site and read some Trump BS or just about any other thing that comes along- Sometimes I wonder if it is good for my health, but what the hell, you need to stay informed if you really give A shit about what they are up to- I kinda feel like you don’t have any right to bitch if you are not paying attention…enuff of this already-
I haven’t always had the opportunity to “cool off” by streaming anything on the net- I’ve been with ATT and their stingy allowance of 5-gigs, then 10-gigs, then 20-gigs has left me short of data by mid month, and this has been going on for years-- (I threw the TV out A long time ago)
Well, just A couple weeks ago, ATT cut my 110.00 12-gig bill in half and gave me their 22-gig plan for 65.00 and if I can still get streaming it is unlimited! Well, I live in an area where I am one of the very few using the tower so I have been catching up on everything! I am on 45 gigs of use right now, but only being charged for the 22-gig plan- This is GREAT!!!
But other people should? Look at how contemptible that makes us look to many.
We need to start thinking ahead to the world in 20 years, a world where there will be almost no jobs unless you have a PhD. We’re signing our country’s own death sentence by not thinking that we our planet need to evolve beyond greed. It not just all about us. That argument wont work. Its about everybody. Only then will we not be under pressure to open the borders to the cheaper just as highly skilled workers from everywhere else.
People have been very seriously misled, by the elite. Both parties are in cahoots on a scheme and everything we read in the news is fake. And even an idiot should be able to see this.
We need to realize one thing. All around the world, millions of people work and often their pay is not enough to survive. And this is in no small part due to us, due to the radical right wing free market ideology that sucks the life out of societies. And is becoming increasingly indefensible even to those who advocate it. We need to realize we’re having a race to the bottom literally forced upon us, when things should be improving for everybody. But they wont as long as we dont see the truth for what it is.
Unfortunately, the fact that automation is rapidly eliminating the need for human workers has created a very real and tangible sense of ENTITLEMENT among the wealthy to rapidly falling wages and working conditions.
Thats the road that neoliberalism is taking us down. A road which most Americans cant win at because our costs of living is too high and our wages are not low enough in the eyes of the people who hold power. More than people think couldn’t care less about living wages. Here or elsewhere (although they pay lip service to channeling jobs to the developing world, those jobs wont benefit the workers, so much as the middlemen. And Americans will lose because frankly we’re being set up.)
The concept of a “living wage” is anathema to neoliberalism and for that reason, its off the table. Pretending this ideological gulf doesnt exist between those who rule this country (both parties) and the rest of us is actually NOT constructive, because it creates a false sense of security. Thats how they think, strategically, and they stick together. They are global, we are not. They have no allegiance to us, just to money.
They love our ignorance and lack of math literacy because they are using it to justify their stealing of our world’s entire future. And enslavement of all mankind, to them.
They are working behind the scenes to use trade agreements to make it actually FTA illegal for governments including our own to make any law that increases the cost of doing business unless it is not more burdensome than necessary to ensure the quality of the service. And it isnt because there are literally millions, and in some cases, billions, of other people who will do those jobs for less, and the WTO makes it clear that that is whats supposed to be done rather than passing or even just maintaining any restrictive law that increases wages (like quotas or other restrictions on foreign guest workers) without it being absolutely necessary to maintain the quality of the service and nothing else. And it isnt, its there to keep wages above a few dollars an hour when otherwise they would fall and fall and fall as jobs get scarcer. Economics 101, people will do literally almost anything to eat.
Hello America. People getting living wages is NOT ON THEIR MAP. They want our wages to FALL, a lot, so they can get as rich, as fast as people in the Third World do.
. Politicians are lying to save their brethren from having to tell the truth. Even “good” politicians like Bernie were more concerned about Hillary Clinton’s feelings than the life or death struggle for the basic things we need for a secure and happy future. Wake up the world is laughing at us.
We are so so stupid. They are putting a false impression in our minds that victory was much closer than it really is, because no matter what we vote for these agreements operate at a higher level and they will cut off the changes we need to make, by giving them as irreversible entitlements to corporations and foreign countries. Its an end run around democracy.
Its an old tactic, bullshit promises to get an issue off the table, bullshit promises that the promiser has NO intention of ever keeping.
in order to prevent the very real CHANGES that NEED to occur on this issue IN GENEVA and places like it. Washington is putting itself out of the loop.
There, I said it. Deal with it. Trade deals are taking away democracy and we are being misled into not seeing or understanding it until its too late… They will result in Americans being priced out of our own job markets. And out of our own colleges. And out of our own future. Thats what they are hiding. Both parties. Selling us all down the river successfully was what the 2016 election was all about. And it succeeded, because the entire country is babbling about CRAP. When we need to be mobilizing to stop the takeover of our future and democracy with other people around the world - Democracy is under threat by a criminal conspiracy owned by the ultra rich around the world and their sycophants.
We need to stand up for increases in wages in other countries because we’re pushing trade agreements that lower all boats otherwise. We’ll all be making the same soon so its our choice whether we want it to be 2/3 of what we’re making now or at the most 10% with most of the jobs going to very high skill workers who are working mostly for experience and getting paid almost nothing. As jobs vanish job selling is becoming more common, its a free market thing. Organ selling too. People wont have much to sell as things become more and more corrupt and everything they own is taken.
We have to start thinking of the big picture. Other countries cant be bought off with US jobs to make drugs and food more profitable (whats being done now) thats evil, its truly evil.
(So live simply so others can simply live- learn about the bad FTAs and ISDS and lets wise up- the whole frame of FTAs is wrong- 66% thats a best case scenario- also most Americans will likely be unemployed because we make and expect too much- thats what liberalisation is all about, shifting service jobs to others who make less)
The way things are going now, by dividing us, they are guaranteeing the worst outcomes… Think total wages in services going to current workers… maybe as low as 10% or less % Understand?
Their scheme is way out ahead and people are being paid to incite party emnity… Trump is a diversion, we’re all idiots to fall for this circus. Both parties are rigging the system - they are laughing at us behind our backs.
Read up on the WTO GATS and the obligations it creates - they subsume national laws. They basically have systematically gotten rid of the whole new deal. Bernie lied, so we would look like we had due process. He never intended to win. His platform was a laundry list of everything GATS forbids us from doing. The whole Democratic primary was a sham. The sooner we grasp this the better. or it will become financially impossible to escape what amounts to a capture of the whole planet’s future. All Americans are being screwed equally. By the ONE party of the RICH which is international.
Look, I am a Democrat and I vote Democratic still, because like the rest of us I have been given no choice. BUT when you learn about whats going on in Geneva, the whole WTO thing becomes obviously a scheme to eliminate democracy thats likely working, and the whole political scene we see is all an act to cover up the dysfunction that GATS forces on government… because things have to get worse, never better. “Progressive Liberalisation” is what thats called- irreversible privatization- All the GOPs deregulation locks in.
Who would vote for that? Nobody…
Republicans, like us, are being lied to too. So the road to liberation for all of us is uniting to get democracy back, its the only way.
Realize that people are being paid in all likliihood to divide all of us with wedge issues.