By Timothy V. Gatto
October 19, 2009
The system of capitalism is strongest in America. The Unions have had their best days and are no longer effective. The people have been trained to accept what the employers give them. Ronald Reagan was the one that broke the back of the labor unions, and they have never recovered. The disparity between the rich and the poor has never been as great as it is now. The middle class is practically non-existent. In today’s America the younger citizen’s cannot blithely accept that they will be as well-off as their parents. In fact, just the opposite is true. Many parents are working multiple jobs just to maintain their standard of living.
Everything I have just written about is not news to anyone. In today’s America almost everyone that works for a living or depends on someone that does can sense that there is something inherently wrong. People are working harder and longer while incomes are falling. The promise of universal health care that Obama campaigned on has been thrown overboard and in its place is a system which rewards insurance companies. The auto industry is saving money by downsizing, cutting pensions and reducing health care benefits and the unions seem to be powerless. In fact, the auto industry is being saved on the backs of its workers.
The facts are that almost every industry in trouble is cutting wages and benefits. One might believe that this is the only thing that will save these troubled corporations but that is the result of brainwashing by the ruling class of this nation. The long and short of this entire recession is that the people that run this country don’t give a damn about the people who work for a living. If they did, it wouldn’t be the workers that take the brunt of bad times; it would be the shareholders and the management.
A good case in point is the auto industry. The fact is that there are just too many cars and not enough customers. If the management cared enough, instead of shutting down perfectly fine plants. They would re-tool and manufacture something that the country needs. Where is it written that the only thing an automaker can produce is cars? Here you have a perfectly good workforce and the latest in manufacturing technology and they can’t come up with an alternative to the automobile? Why must we wait for new companies to develop green technology? Wind turbines, solar panels and other technologies are just waiting for manufacturers.
The only way we are going to stop this decline of the American worker is to put power back in the hands of the worker. The fact is that for years companies have been moving to “right to work” states. While the name sounds noble enough, it’s nothing but an Orwellian ruse. Nobody in these states has a “right to work”, just the opposite. The manufacturers in these RTW states have the right to hire non-union people to work in a union shop. In other words, this breaks the backs of the unions.
The labor movement really needs new blood. This nation has prospered on the backs of the workers and the workers are the first to be thrown overboard when things go sour. The exceptions to this rule are the money handlers that are “too big to fail”. Since when is something too big to fail? The way it works in capitalism is that when one business goes under, another will be there to take its place. What happened to Wall Street was “socialism for the rich”. Everyone knows it but there is no mechanism in place to insure that workers keep their jobs. Government handouts to the wealthy appear to be the norm in this country while the middle and lower classes suffer. It’s wrong, but that’s the way it is.
The time for a balanced economic system was yesterday. Other nations take a much harder line with management than the workers of the USA. We are to believe that we should feel lucky to have what we are given. Our legislators have long ago thrown us over for corporate donations for campaigns and outright bribery. We need to realize this and support the rights of all workers to get a fair shake.
This kind of movement needs to start from the bottom up, not from the top down. If you wait for the ruling class to help you you’ll be waiting forever. We need to organize and take down those that stand in our way. This is a route that demands courage and fortitude. It’s a simple strategy when the airlines or the automakers or any other segment of the economy threatens to reduce wages or to cut health care or pensions than the unions need to act. If these corporations are in such dire straits, a strike would be crippling. There should be no room for “company loyalty” when it is not deserved. If the workers can no longer stand up to management, we deserve what we get.
The government is not worker friendly. The Republicans and Democrats govern for the wealthy. They are paid by the corporations that keep the workers down. We have finally gotten to the point in this nation’s history when this charade can no longer be played out. We all know what is going on, and only we the people can end it. Call it socialism or call it common sense, it still amounts to one and the same. The only ones that can change the system are the people suffering under a flawed system. In every instance, in every nation, when things become intolerable for the people, the people change the system. It is no different in America. In fact it is amazing that capitalism has come this far.
Read Tim Gatto’s new book Complicity to Contempt
Buddhagem Speaks with Noam Chomsky on May Day, 2009: Labor history and anarchism
Pingback: Why Socialism Matters Today By Timothy V. Gatto « Dandelion Salad
A lot of people are talking, pointing out the facts. The facts spell revolution. It’s a mater of when it will happen. That’s one thing the elite really can’t calculate.
You are RIGHT ON!
All around me, companies that make billions in profits lay-off workers. They hire younger workers who work for less money, and throw the twenty-year veterans out into the street.
Why? Because the wealthy investors are ‘disappointed with results’. They missed the Wall St number ‘by a penny’.
Meanwhile, the people who run these companies make tens of millions, and everything they do is designed to get the most for only themselves and their Goldman Sachs friends.
Everybody knows that GM would be making the best cars in the world today if their leadership at the top hadn’t just sat back and milked the cow across the 80’s and 90’s, happy with mediocre cars and lots of money in their pockets.
We all know about the workers in China, India, the Third World, who are exploited and work for pennies a day as miles of factories in America are empty.
We are living in a second Guilded Age.
The plutocracy has won.
Now comes the backlash…they will soon become victims of their own inhumane greed and hubris, as plutocrats always are….and it can’t come soon enough!
“Call it socialism or call it common sense, it still amounts to one and the same.”
Call it what it is — Fascism …
The inevitable result of trying to run an empire especially an empire through military means with no tribute …
Persia, Rome, The Hapsburgs, Britain all had tribute … Our model of tribute, debt, only begets more debt. Debt that now exceeds the entire worth of everything on the face of the earth …
This Fascism will ruthlessly take from the least of us to support the wealthiest among us causing a cascade of misery that in the end will consume everything we hold dear …