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Memo to the Next President: Don’t Forget the Working Class


#1

Memo to the Next President: Don’t Forget the Working Class

Sherry Linkon

At the end of most US presidential elections, most Americans are ready to see the last of campaign ads, social media commentaries and tension-fraught news coverage. That’s even more true this year. But more than in most recent elections, we shouldn’t expect the frustrations and divisions that have surfaced over the past 18 months to disappear after the ballots have been counted. Tensions over class and race, especially, may die down, but they aren’t going away. If a new president will take them on, something good might yet emerge from this ugly election.


#3

If Eddie Cochran was to write the lyrics to Summertime Blues today, he would change the "I'd like to help you son, but you are too young to vote", to "I'd like to help you son, but you are too poor to bribe".


#4

The elephant in the room is still the Forever War, by which we mean the pointless & meaningless deaths of millions of people, and the pissing away of trillion$ in resources.

The Working Class will continue to get nothing more than crumbs so long as the USA remains a defacto Military Dicatorship.

The illusion, promoted by Bernie Sanders and other pseudo-progressives, that 'foreign policy' (the USA's euphemism for war or the threat of war) is distinct from 'domestic policy' (currently a euphemism for austerity) must be confronted if meaningful change is ever to come.


#5

Hey Sherry do you really think that counting votes in this election will make any difference???


#6

The working class is doing OK. If you have a minimum wage job, your income is roughly double what our former welfare aid provided -- and people said that welfare recipients were able to afford designer clothes and big screen TVs (all on roughly $100 per week...). At any rate, you can still afford food, shelter, etc.

Out here in the real world, not everyone is able to work (health, etc.), and there aren't jobs for all. The US shipped out a massive number of jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare in the 1990s. The last I heard, there are 7 jobs for every 10 jobless people who still have the means to pursue one (home address, phone, etc.). If you have a minimum wage job today, you are still among the better-off. You can get by, and you still have a chance. Many don't.

What is the logic behind this generation's conclusion that only those who are picked to be of current use to to employers are deserving of the most basic human rights (UN's UDHR) of food and shelter? Why do people Stand in Solidarity with the better off while utterly turning their backs on those who have effectively been pushed out of the job market/economic system?


#7

A good many people would be profoundly grateful to have the opportunity to get some of those "crumbs." The ugly little truth that we all have to face is that we have created an abundant surplus of job-ready people who are absolutely desperate for any job at any wage. Why pay more? The focus should have been on demanding more jobs, ensuring that every person has a job.


#8

"I’m sure there are better ideas out there. Our next president needs to find them. She (or he) must pay attention — not only to the anger and frustration of working-class people but also to the complex nature of the problems that generate those feelings."

And will the author now name-shame the cause - capitalism. Once she has ascertained the culprit then seeking the solutions is much easier. But for many, the president will always be wearing blinders because the fact is her (or his) task is to hide the truth and to continue to serve Wall St. They have the police and national guard to suppress the anger and frustration.

Isn't Obama turning blind eye to the repression of the DAPL protesters evidence enough of what to expect? There is no need to read a history book, you just have to look around.


#9

I still think the minimum wage is not a living wage. I too agree everyone is deserving of basic services ie health care, food , shelter whatever. Everyone deserves vital services


#10

I do not want a job. I want my fair share of the work and my fair share of the profit.

It is obscene that one person works 40+ hours while another equally qualified and able cannot find work. It is obscene when a person is selling the better part of his time but does not get enough money to properly feed and shelter his family because collectively we are attempting to sell significantly more hours of work than Capital wants to buy, and so enabling Capital to purchase our labor far too cheaply.

In other words, it does not make any sense to create jobs unless the work needs to be done if we chose to manage the availability of our labor so that the supply of labor balances the demand for labor. This will force Capital to value our time at a more reasonable rate and we will be better off even though we mostly will be working fewer hours. We will be left with more time available for family and community. Fuck jobs for all - Instead lets fairly share the needed work so that we can demand and get reasonable compensation for our time and work while having time left for family, community, and oneself.


#11

Do you expect the capitalist elephants and donkeys to see and care about the tiny little worker ants below their feet? They cannot even see your tiny little memo. They cannot hear us ants because the sound of the air moving through their nostrils drowns out our loudest shouts. And they do not see a problem because they have organized things so that the worker ants are so desperate that the work the elephants and donkeys want done gets done quite cheaply by the hungry ants.


#12

Ms Linkon should know by now that Presidential candidates and Presidents only remember the working class during elections, pandering to us for votes. Unless we unite into a massive movement that cannot be ignored, dismissed or easily crushed we will not be considered or heard.


#13

Now there's a memo that will fall on deaf ears unless Dr. Stein is elected.


#15

Indeed! I'd send The journal I edit which Ms Linkon is familiar with to the White house to educate the President to our reality but, I don't want to be disappeared.


#16

Memo to the Next President: Don't F_______ the Working Class.