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Forum Post: the need for strong unions

Posted 4 years ago on Nov. 4, 2015, 10:07 a.m. EST by agkaiser (2460) from Fredericksburg, TX
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

from Naked Capitalism:

"It's easy to laugh at this clip*, but I lived in Australia in the early 2000, where the minimum wage was much higher than here, $11.20/hour, and I think it either rose to or was soon scheduled to rise to over $13.00/hour by the time I left in 2004. And in local purchasing power terms (one US dollar was pretty much equal to one Australian dollar then). Workers in low-wage jobs, like cashiers, seemed far more chipper than people in similar jobs in the US. In keeping, I knew people who had held professional jobs who were between gigs for complicated reasons, and they were willing to take jobs in retail stores at not much above the minimum wage because they could land them quickly and keep income coming in. How often do you see that in the US?

"The broader issue seems to go unspoken: what we are willing to pay someone is a reflection of how much we value them, not just their work, but as people. And we are seeing that many are willing to risk a personal catastrophic failure rather than accept the certain subjugation of a badly-paid job."




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[-] 3 points by agkaiser (2460) from Fredericksburg, TX 4 years ago

This is beyond the struggle for dignity and recognition. It's about survival.

[-] 2 points by ImNotMe (1488) 4 years ago

''21 Facts About The Explosive Growth Of Poverty In America That Will Blow Your Mind''

Unions are extremely important to The 99% but years of attacks & selling out undermines them. There is a certain psychopathology at play in the 1%/0.01% Parasite Class' world view but their pathological greed isn't without consequence.They imagine that they live forever.They don't & they won't! Tick-Tock!

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23316) 4 years ago

Nearly 47 million Americans are living in poverty right now.

1 out of every 5 children are on food stamps.

1.6 million U.S. children slept in a homeless shelter last year.

More than half of all students in our public schools are poor enough to qualify for school lunch subsidies.

51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

Approximately 70 percent of all Americans believe that debt is a necessity in their lives.

25 percent of all Americans have a negative net worth.

The top 0.1 percent of all American families have about as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent of all American families combined.

How friggin' sad is all that? And, it didn't even mention that 39 million Americans still have no health insurance and that the health insurance that most do have, they can't afford because of the ridiculous deductibles and co-insurance.

This country needs a complete turn around in how the economy operates. The economy needs to work for the masses of people who live here, not the corporations and wealthy oligarchs. It's time to take them down. They're literally killing us.



Support www.berniesanders.com He's got the economic issues right.

[-] 3 points by ImNotMe (1488) 4 years ago

Those ''Growth of Poverty'' facts are as brain-jolting as they are revealing and the comprehensive article via your Huffington Post link - attests to the long term deleterious epigenetic effects of real poverty over generations and the implications for social policy. I do wish that the democratically elected politicians, who purport to represent The 99% - would read such important research. Your 'Wall Street Journal' link was no less worrisome and with reference to that - please consider this:

''“The crisis in the health care system is a symptom of a much broader crisis across all sectors of society, where essentially policy has been hijacked for the benefit of the wealthy few.

''In fact, we cannot actually achieve health through the doctor’s office and pushing pills and medical procedures, which is what modern medicine unfortunately has become in the U.S. We’re spending more than any other country by far and certainly have the lowest indicators (in the developed world), by any measure, whether you’re looking at child mortality or asthma rates or longevity or cancer rates, we are doing very poorly compared to countries that are spending a fraction of what we are spending.

''We are going broke and I think the crisis in the health care system is a symptom of a much broader crisis across all sectors of society, where essentially policy has been hijacked for the benefit of the wealthy few. And that is who our political system is funded by and who it serves

And ''abolish student debt, which can be done with the stroke of a pen and is really critical for liberating an entire generation of youth who are essentially indentured servants right now with no hope of change on the horizon. And that can be done simply with a quantitative easing, which was done for the banks, it’s about time we do it for students.

''And that’s also a critical part of mobilizing the social force to actually get us there. There are 40 million young people who are trapped in student debt. That is enough to win a three-way race.

''The second thing that we (must) do is create health care as a human right, which is critical and also must be done in order for people to be productive and creative members of society we need to be healthy. And we’ll actually save money, not lose money, by moving to an improved Medicare-for-all, which is far simpler and saves about US$400 billion a year in waste, paper pushing, and pharmaceutical and insurance company profiteering.That money can be put toward covering everyone comprehensively.''

Bernie has much more scope to say what needs to be said for The US 99% because none of the other 'bought and paid for' venal psychopaths in the US Congress will honestly address the things that most Americans need and want.As such 'Educate; Agitate; Organise' remains the main hope for better days. Tho' I do get Matt's point below, I get yours more and Bernie should take Jill Stein / Kshama Sawant's ideas too imo but with a nod to Matt's point, fyi:

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23316) 4 years ago

Million Student March against student debt, today, November 12, 2015. I could not be more proud of these kids.


These kids are our future. They are becoming politically active. It's a beautiful thing. Now, we just need them to vote.

And, I really like Jill Stein, she stands for all the things I believe in. Bernie Sanders, however, is our great hope at the moment, and I'm going to support him as far as he can go.

[-] 3 points by ImNotMe (1488) 4 years ago

''Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders, who has vowed to make tuition free at public universities and colleges, and has pledged to cut interest rates for student loans, tweeted in support of the movement on Thursday afternoon.'' - from your link & also consider:

''With college and university tuitions climbing sharply, students are signing pricy debt notes to obtain higher education and thus mortgaging future wages for a significant part of life. Money merchants, whom law permits to create interest-free money and who take hard-earned money from depositors by paying marginal (0.02%) interest rate, also fund the American mind by charging interest rates much higher than does the FSA. Bankruptcy laws have been modified so students cannot discharge their student loans.

''Higher education in many countries is free or almost free. Germany provides tuition-free higher education, as does Denmark and Sweden. India, which will be producing most college graduates in the world in the near future, heavily subsidizes college and university studies. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which President Jimmy Carter signed in 1977, but which the Senate refuses even to consider for ratification, obligates signatory states to provide higher education "by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education." The United States, under the influence of money merchants, is moving in the opposite direction of the Covenant making it difficult for Americans to dream of becoming doctors, engineers, lawyers, and even plain college graduates without signing a promissory note of debt serfdom.'' from ...

Jill Stein btw - is closer to OWS positions than any other US-Pol - incl. BS & he ought to take some of her and The Green Party's ideas, imo & the same for people like Dennis Kucinich & Cynthia McKinney.

fiat lux ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23316) 4 years ago

"Today the average college grad leaves school with just over $24,000 in debt, an amount that eats up $276 every month if you stretch the payments out over ten years and it’s a government loan with a 6.8 percent interest rate. Of course, one out of five students also carries more costly private loans, where interest rates are in the double digits and fees add to the balance. This debt-for-diploma system is what counts as opportunity in America today. And it is animating much of the frustration and passion of the Occupy Wall Street movement." From "The Nation."

And, in 2014 average student loan debt was $30,000. Graduate school is even more expensive, so try to set yourself apart from the rest and unless you or your parents are wealthy, you're doomed to big time indebtedness that may never pay off.

And, from "Debt Serfdom in America": "Carrying debt has become a quintessential attribute of American life."

And, this ubiquity and habituation of indebtedness is what allows people to continue to sustain themselves in the face of higher prices for everything while enduring stagnant wages.

If credit which is DEBT ceased to be available and people could no longer sustain themselves, then I think you'd see the real revolution. It is because people can still clothe, house and feed themselves (in debt) that they don't revolt.

And, I agree with what you say about Bernie Sanders widening his ideas to reach out to the Green party, etc.

[-] 3 points by ImNotMe (1488) 4 years ago

'Debt Serfdom in America'' - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/liaquat-ali-khan/debt-serfdom-in-america-p_b_8510974.html - is an essential read for all OWS supporters & fyi, please also try to consider this ..

multum in parvo ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23316) 4 years ago

Debt Serfdom in America - Exactly where they want us.

"As of October 2015, American consumers owe $8.17 trillion in mortgages, $900 billion in credit cards, and $1.19 trillion in student loans. Home mortgages, credit cards, and student loans occupy the most of the consumer credit market."


That's because they're all lazy and bad money managers, right?

No, of course not, it's because American wages are so low and the costs of everything is so high, that Americans simply cannot live without debt.

Where's Jesus? We need him to turn over those money tables again.

[-] 2 points by ImNotMe (1488) 4 years ago

Turning over money changers'/lenders' tables is a deeply relevant meme in our times & it was his only attested to act of violence & so should be seen as Highly Relevant - both then and now! Thanx for that great link from an excellent writer & in compliment for your consideration after you've had a nice Xmas:

pax ...







[-] -2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 years ago

You share this anywhere other than here? Somewhere out on twitter or facebook or something else that is social media? Just curious as to if you are trying to reach the general public - as - some of your "apparent" fans give me all kinds of shit for sending out open letters to the public.

Same ones who would attack me for being pro duopoly or dem partisan for supporting Bernie the way you are NOW.


[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 years ago

Damn - good 2 c u r not totally f'ed up. I told Bernie 2 take his supporters independent if (when?) the DNC f's him over.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8256) from Phoenix, AZ 4 years ago
[-] 0 points by factsrfun (8256) from Phoenix, AZ 4 years ago
[-] 3 points by Viking (417) 4 years ago

I'm no expert on any of this, but I'm working on it, and am hoping that some of my bright friends' (some with finance backgrounds) intelligence wears off on me...lol. It's out of the box thinking that will bring us to a much better place. Anyway, I showed the below link that you put up several days ago to them. They were unaware of it, and were intrigued with it, and it became a topic of conversation with us, and probably will be again.

Reinventing Banking: From Russia to Iceland to Ecuador


I want to share the last verse of Santa Lucia with you. Although, I'm not religious, I love this song because it is inspirational as it fosters Hope.

Darkness shall take flight soon, From earth's valleys. So she speaks Wonderful words to us: A new day will rise again From the rosy sky.... Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!

I 'hope' that you and your Loved Ones have a Wonderful Holiday, and a Super New Year.... and Solidarity My Friend

[-] 4 points by ImNotMe (1488) 4 years ago

''Reinventing Banking: From Russia to Iceland to Ecuador''

.. .. is yet another great piece by the ever insightful Ms. Ellen Brown, a lady who I respect very much ...

Thanx for your kind words and tho' you may not be religious, I strongly suspect that you have a deeply spiritual inner core and nature and as such and in a similar vein to ''Santa Lucia'', please hear, feel and connect with this song ...

My very best wishes for peace, love & contentment to you and yours wherever they may be & to all here

pax, amor et lux ...


[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 4 years ago

Bernie sanders doesn't oppose war and I can 't support

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23316) 4 years ago

Bernie Sanders has the domestic economic issues 100% right. Take what you can get and don't shoot yourself in the foot.

He also voted against the Iraq War.

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 4 years ago

Write in NO WAR

we live in a world economy

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23316) 4 years ago

The world economy will be better off with Bernie Sanders as the next American president. I have not a shred of doubt about that.

[-] 2 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 4 years ago

oppresion cannot be enforced sans violence

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8256) from Phoenix, AZ 4 years ago

Allow the 1% to decide it's all just too hard for normal folks, better to write "no war" and allow the wars to continue than to kill the GOP and save the world, right Matt?

[-] 2 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 4 years ago

one can write NO WAR in there signature on the ballot

[-] -3 points by factsrfun (8256) from Phoenix, AZ 4 years ago

You are a F'ing idiot!

You might as well write in "take it all".

[-] 4 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 4 years ago

hard to take land sans war

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8256) from Phoenix, AZ 4 years ago

hard to change things when you don't even care enough to vote, or even worse you throw your vote in the toilet

[-] 2 points by grapes (5232) 4 years ago

If you're going to San Di ego, be sure to wear some mushrooms in your hair.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8256) from Phoenix, AZ 4 years ago

not even the flower children threw their votes away, that's why Johnson didn't even run in 68, in the 60's the movement had life because the people involved weren't stupid writing shit like "NO WAR" on ballots, they endorsed and supported effective political action and smart voting

[-] 2 points by grapes (5232) 4 years ago

We surely had the flower power to expose Johnson's Lied.

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 4 years ago

Lol ya those golden years of the 60s when the nation was in complete chaos...

You're delusional.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8256) from Phoenix, AZ 4 years ago

In the 60's we had a real movement that stopped a war and brought civil rights to millions, kids today don't care about anything.

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 4 years ago

Ya, you "ended" it after 9 years. Lol ok. Pushing buttons for people that support it, and then protesting that same shit in the streets. Great strategy.

Wait! .... Isnt that the same shit you do now?... Oh shit, ooops!

[-] -2 points by factsrfun (8256) from Phoenix, AZ 4 years ago

and the Green's Iraq War is 15 years and running...

(yes the Iraq War was brought to us by the idiots that voted for Nader)

if you have forgotten, or more likely never knew the facts here is a good recount of the facts of 2000


[-] 0 points by factsrfun (8256) from Phoenix, AZ 4 years ago

We are all shamed by Your perfection Matt, of course You do allow the GOP to win, just as the Senate allows war, but when You allow something that's different right Matt? Your actions allows more war and more airstrikes, but You don't care. Your hands are clean.

[-] 0 points by factsrfun (8256) from Phoenix, AZ 4 years ago

You are so pure and perfect Matt, you should be King Matt, if only YOU could rule us ALL!

(oh and the GOP thank you for your support and the war profiteers thank you for all the money they will make because you choose to opt out)

[-] 2 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 4 years ago

opting out was never my choice

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8256) from Phoenix, AZ 4 years ago

what else do you call writing "NO WAR" on your ballot? it is "opting out" Matt I know you have this dream that somebody gives a crap about your support, but they don't; they care about winning and writing the rules, you have opted out Matt and you give the power to the 1% by doing so

[-] 2 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 4 years ago

these arguments are no longer fruitful

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8256) from Phoenix, AZ 4 years ago

as in you have no answer to my question? you never address how you think opting out will do any good at all.

We are not having an argument, I am simply pointing out that opting out by writing "NO WAR" on your ballot is stupid as shit.

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 4 years ago

not to mention the abusive dominance of managers

we need our own money