I'm a homeless technical writer whose career field has been off-shored to death, a frustrated filmmaker and writer who predicted the Great Recession back in the late 80s as the logical consequence of Reaganomics and, oh, by the way, I HATE BEING RIGHT. I am stranded in a reactionary zone of my home state, the Central Coast, having been born, raised and lived all of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area.
But most of all, I have become a revolutionary. I no longer believe that this nation will change without direct action, violent if necessary (though hopefully not). Certainly, if the elites don't listen to us, the result will make the Great Terror of the French Revolution look like a grand guignol theatre event.
But I have an idea on how to call the elites out on their bullshit: offer them a specific group of legislative and federal demands. Namely, these:
1. End corporate personhood OR, make corporations subject to the same sanctions as genuine persons under the law.
2. Repeal Taft-Hartley.
3. Allow card-check elections of unions within workplaces.
4. Raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour immediately, then again to $15 an hour within one year.
5. Amend the Constitution to indicate that secure, decent, minimal housing is a RIGHT.
6. Make it illegal under federal law to discriminate against job applicants for "past action", be it criminal, civil, credit-based or job history unrelated to the specific position being applied for. Give the law real teeth, making it a felony to so discriminate with the intent to conceal such actions.
7. Mandate by law that Human Resource departments MUST ensure and verify that federal employment statutes are followed to the letter. No more HR as management's ass-coverers.
These seven demands are specific and eminently doable. Make THAT your platform, and keep pushing for it....and watch the reaction. There will be a media firestorm of sneering contempt and condemnation. Talking heads will snark about our naivete and "economic ignorance." A perfect place to show their wanton service to the plutocrats is to ask how raising the minimum wage by barely 50% is going to cause businesses to close up and people lose their jobs, when it doesn't purchase what it did in 1973! Use the movie ticket comparison, specifically from 1982, when the minimum wage was increased to $3.35 and a regular admission ticket cost about $1.75, with a small popcorn costing about $2.00. Back then one only had to work two hours to have enough to TWO movies (if one was a matinee, $.75) and have a snack. Now someone has to work almost six hours to see two movies and have a snack.
Now that comparison/contrast may seem silly, but it is something that everyone can relate to, and will put the media mouthpieces on the defensive.
By the way, I am NOT interested in being some kind of leader, spokesman or theorist. I offer up these ideas because I believe they will work, and that is all. Use them, or don't - it's up to you.
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Oct. 15, 2011