Tag: Living Wage

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: The Fast Food Workers Movement – The Ants on the Elephant by Geminijen

“We are the Workers, the Mighty, Mighty Workers

Everywhere We Go,

The People Want to Know

Who We Are, So We Tell Them…
.”

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As I walked toward the demo of the Fast Food Workers in Union Square, I heard the words and sounds of this song and couldn’t help but grin.  We were back!  The workers that is – not the “middle class,” not the “deserving poor”, not “the 99%.” As a working class kid from a union factory family, I got it.  Not only because you can’t really go around shouting “Middle Class of the World Unite” or “We are the Mighty Mighty Middle Class” – let’s face, it, it just doesn’t resonate – but because the very concept of “worker” which this movement seems to grasp intuitively changes the very nature of the struggle.  

“The Middle Class,” “the poor” and even “the 99%” define us in terms of how much wealth we have or do not have, regardless of how we got it, in the upwardly mobile mantra of Capitalism. As workers we are defined, instead, by what we do, how we appropriate the materials and provide the services necessary for the survival and comfort of the human species. And that is a pretty important difference.



Obama’s “middle class” framing of all that is good and important in society (and god know we all want a better lifestyle) is no more than the standard capitalist divide and conquer, the promise of individual upward mobility for the few at the expense of the many.  You too can be one of the chosen. And we often buy into it. We want to see ourselves as “better” because we have been able to buy our own home, or send our children to “private” or “charter” schools.  And we rationalize that it is because we deserve it – we’re smarter, more industrious, stronger, our skills are more necessary–not due to the whim of the time and place we were born into or that our skills and success are built on the back of the skills and hard work of others.

All of us have known an aunt who raised kids, worked outside the home all her life, carried on intelligent conversations about the world’s problems, worked for the community and has ended up relatively destitute.  What is her value? Is she poor because she deserved it?  How about many of our young people today who bought the American Dream, worked hard, even went to college if they could afford it and now, through the vagaries of capitalism are jobless or working in low paying jobs that will not allow them to get that middle class dream (unless they can still inherit it from their parents)?

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The term “workers” reunites the labor movement by removing the distinction between the mostly white, working middle class (who usually got their middle class lifestyle through union benefits that their grandfathers fought for) and the less affluent workers who are often people of color, single mothers, immigrants, and increasingly young college educated workers who missed out on the brass ring due to the recent failing economy. As one worker put it:

“I don’t care if you’re blue collar, white, collar, pink collar or no collar — all of us have value.  Have you ever stopped to think how hard people work?  The people who cook for you, the bus driver who drives you to work in the morning?  The people who clean your house and your clothes?  Have you ever stopped to say ‘thank you’?  If you don’t know how to do that job, or if you don’t want to do that job, the best way to say thank you, no matter how much you make, is to stand in solidarity with us and RAISE THE MINIMUM wage!”

Ask them about the Minimum Wage; It’s the Least we can Do.

Raese says Minimum Wage is Unconstitutional

by Alison Knezevich, The Charleston Gazette — Oct 14, 2010

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Republican candidate for U.S. Senate John Raese doesn’t just want to abolish the minimum wage.  He also calls it possibly unconstitutional.

[…]

Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin’s campaign seized on Raese’s remarks as a sign that Raese, a multimillionaire, is out of touch with West Virginians.

[…]

West Virginia is one of the nation’s poorest and oldest states. Nearly 18 percent of West Virginians live in poverty, compared to 14 percent of Americans, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Rachel Maddow has some sage advice, on how to turn “out of touch” rhetoric like this, into Electoral Gold …

What IF Congress was on Merit Pay — like average folks are

Gridlock

grid┬Ělock

noun

1. A traffic jam in which no vehicular movement is possible, especially one caused by the blockage of key intersections within a grid of streets.

2. A complete lack of movement or progress resulting in a backup or stagnation:

“the political gridlock that prevented … the President and Congress from moving expeditiously to cut the budget”

gridlockChiefly US

noun

1. (Engineering / Automotive Engineering) obstruction of urban traffic caused by queues of vehicles forming across junctions and causing further queues to form in the intersecting streets

2. a point in a dispute at which no agreement can be reached; deadlock political gridlock

verb

1. to block or obstruct (an area)

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/gridlock

The Media gladly enables Canadian Strawmen, while silencing Real Doctors

The President gave a compelling prime time Press Conference last week mostly about Health Care Reform — the most pressing Issue of our time, and what was the lead story for the next several days?

The merits of Public Option competition?

The plight of 14,000 citizens losing their Health Insurance each day?

No, the lead story was the President’s take on the arrest of his friend — on the emotionally charged “wedge issue” of Racial Profiling. A worthy discussion, no doubt —

But what about the issues of Health Care Reform?  What about that Debate?

Of course the Media has been failing to have a Real Health Care Debate for some time now …

ABC Censors Obama’s Longtime Doctor, Dr. Scheiner