The mess in Wisconsin is really dispiriting. Their yahoo governor, while giving tax cuts to the rich, is now trying to cripple the unions who have helped bring prosperity to the middle class. He's doing this to make up the revenues, in the form of tax breaks, he has given to the rich.
Back when Jesus said that the little you have will be taken from you, he must have been thinking of Wisconsin. Has anyone else noticed that Republicans believe that future government savings must be placed on the backs of those least able to sustain them—like those people who depend on the solidarity of unions to defend them?
Anyone who thinks unions are unnecessary should consider the weekend. Two days off in a week is a benefit we would not have without unions.
My father worked in the steel mills in Youngstown. Back in 1912-18 thereabouts. He told me how Saturday night—after work!— was devoted to drinking and dancing and Sunday, the one day off a week, was devoted to church and hangover. Plus whatever needed done around the house. His steel mill career was terminated when a palette of bricks fell on his foot, giving him a limp for the rest of his life.
No job, no insurance, no benefits of any kind. "Too bad Joe, but you're no good to us now. Hit the road."
This is the situation that the governor of Wisconsin and his corporate backers aspire to. More profits for the corporations, more slavery for the workers.
Middle class? Fageddaboutit. Ain't going to be one. The middle class only takes profit away from the rich. Corporations don't need the middle class—they think. I don't know who they think is going to buy the crap they produce when no one is left who can afford it. Even Henry Ford, anti-Semitic, racist, fascist loving and ultimately murderous sumbitch he was, recognized that his employees had to earn enough to afford the cars he was producing. He may have hired thugs to beat and kill his workers when they tried to form unions, but he at least had a grasp on reality to the extent that he knew there weren't enough rich people around to support his factories. There were hellish factory conditions, no safety net, no health insurance—but at least they made enough to buy the damn cars they made.
Present day corporations don't have even that basic level of intelligence.
Somewhere in my previous fulminations I mentioned how much of the wealth of this country was in the hands of so few citizens. I don't have the exact figures at hand, the top one percent (in riches) of this country control more wealth than all the rest of us. Someone with more energy than me can go look up the exact figures. They're out there somewhere, maybe in my previous posts.
The problem here is not that the public service unions, like the teachers' union, or the state workers, are getting too much in relation to the rest of us—it's that the rest of us are getting too LITTLE in relation to what we deserve. We shouldn't be trying to bring the unions benefits down, we should be trying to bring our benefits up. The quality of life of the billionaires and corporation CEOs is not going to be affected that much if the rest of us have a bigger share of the wealth this country generates. And unions need the collective bargaining power to keep their members alive and healthy. The rich already have enough.
I don't know what the hell they think they are going to do with all that money. What good is it to have more money than you or your immediate descendants can spend? I swear on my mother's grave, I could not spend even one billion dollars in my lifetime, much less several billions. The effort of trying would wear me out, probably kill me. And frankly, I don't want, much less need, all that much.
What do those rich idiots think they need all that money for?
There is one way to screw up this acquisitive action of the greedy rich. Stop buying their stock. Stop dealing with chain stores, support your local farmer and his fight against Monsanto robo-seeds. Give up on money where you can. Okay, your doctor is not going to be happy to be paid in chickens—you will need money here. But if you need a chicken, could you trade some vegetables, a ham hock, a service, a painting, for that chicken? No way we can get rid of money as the medium of exchange, but we can reduce its influence in our lives. We can get along without being slaves to greedy billionaires who don't have a clue as to what it means to be a real, honest human being—a best example of what God created us to be.
Grow what you can, trade what you can, and buy as much as you can and need from local suppliers.
Jesus wasn't kidding when he said it would be easier for a camel to go thru the eye of a needle than for a rich person to attain the kingdom of God. Jesus knew how much the love of wealth and possessions corrupts the human soul and leaves it bereft of value. He knew how we can be blinded by our possessions, how possessions can make us too big to get thru that needle's eye.
You may not believe in God or Jesus. but you should believe in the dignity and the glory of the human race— triumphant above the existential needs of animals, better than the lives in hives of insects—where it is possible for individuality to coexist with societal responsibility.