Friday, August 01, 2008

Descending Into Two Americas, One For The Rich And One For The Rest Of Us


The first e-mail I read this morning was from a group called American Rights at Work and it as about the Employee Free Choice Act, which, much to the chagrin of reactionaries, is pending legislation that would ensure that workers have a free choice and a fair chance to form a union without fearing they'd be fired. And the last e-mail I read before going to bed was from a friend urging me to read a story in today's Wall Street Journal, Wal-Mart Warns of Democratic Win. The two are very much related since Wal-Mart fears that a Democratic president would sign the Employee Free Choice Act, making it easier for Wal-Mart workers to form unions. Wal-Mart management is forcing anti-union indoctrination on store managers and department heads. At these indoctrination sessions the management stooges "make it clear that voting for Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama would be tantamount to inviting unions in, according to Wal-Mart employees who attended gatherings in Maryland, Missouri and other states."

Like Big Oil and other anti-middle class special interests, Wal-Mart will put all their resources and clout behind McCain, a career-long, corrupt Big Business shill. They are also throwing millions of dollars into vicious anti-union campaigns against Democrats running for the U.S. Senate.
The business-backed lobbying groups are running ads in states where a win by a Democratic Senate candidate would boost support for the legislation in the Senate, saying the loss of secret ballots exposes workers to bullying labor bosses. In one, they use an actor from the Sopranos TV series about mob life to hammer home their point.

That first e-mail this morning pointed out that Bush's tenure in office and the rubber stamp posture taken by his congressional allies-- the Republicans plus Blue Dogs-- has resulted in the greatest earnings gap between regular middle class families and the wealthy since 1928, on the eve of the Great Depression. I sure hope Obama is up to the task of being the next Roosevelt. If he's not, we're all done for.

In between that first e-mail and the last one, I flew home from Oakland Airport. The line was gigantic and slow. The TSA employees were, as usual, surly and badly trained; and the security check-in was severely understaffed. No one was happy. Wait, wait; let me take that back. The rich were happy. The rich get whisked to the front of the line by security guards and their bags are pushed onto the scanner ahead of those who have been waiting for 30-40 minutes. The first time I saw it, I figured it was some VIP. The fifth time, I called a security guard over and asked what the hell was going on. That's how I heard about Fly Clear, a private company apparently licensed by the TSA which makes it easy for paid members to go to the front of the line. (And while they're at it, they can seize your laptop for no apparent reason as well.)

I didn't like it one bit-- and I bet neither would Andrew Jackson. But it's emblematic of the entire cesspool of what the Bush Regime is turning our country into. Florence Reece wrote a song about it in 1931. Here's Natalie Merchant doing that powerful song in 2003:

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