(Picture from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.)
Note: This is a cross post from Ramona's Voices. See the original here. Thank you, Ramona !!!
Working for someone else, fingers to the bone with no expectation of decent wages or a foothold on the ladder, is back in vogue here in America. Even your big deal congresspersons will tell you that. There are no greater patriots than the country's laborers, and the very, very finest--the finest patriots of all--are those who have no use for unions. The best patriot/workers understand that in America it's All for One and None for All.
And this, too: If God wanted you to be healthy, wealthy and wise, he would have given you better parents. It's a practice near to sin to get the taxpayers to take care of you and yours. The taxpayers have a hard enough time taking care of the rich.
The rich have earned our blind, gushing loyalty (How, you ask? By being rich, you ninny).
You? You haven't.
Yes. Well. You'll pardon me for bringing this up, O ye sensitive ones who hate having to hear about the bad old days vs. the good old days, but didn't we goddamn settle this already?
Child coal mine workers, 1900s
I bring this up because Nate Silver says there's a 60% chance the Republicans will take the senate. Nate seems to know what he's talking about but he doesn't say why the Republicans deserve to take the Senate. That's for the rest of us to chew over. So I'm chewing:
How many workers see something in the Republicans that tells them life will be better when the GOP/Tea Party takes over Congress? What is it they see?
How many women see something in the GOP that the rest of us don't? Enough to take them over the top? What is it they see?
When the Republicans win will they finally get busy and deliver on sustainable jobs? Affordable, ethical health care? Bridges? Roads? Pollution? Kids? Or will a comfortable win tell them all they need to know about the sterling virtues of capitalism and the ready acceptance of an oligarchy?
America’s nascent oligarchy may not yet be fully formed — but one of our two main political parties already seems committed to defending the oligarchy’s interests.
Despite the frantic efforts of some Republicans to pretend otherwise, most people realize that today’s G.O.P. favors the interests of the rich over those of ordinary families. I suspect, however, that fewer people realize the extent to which the party favors returns on wealth over wages and salaries. And the dominance of income from capital, which can be inherited, over wages — the dominance of wealth over work — is what patrimonial capitalism is all about.
In Bernie Sanders' report, "Poverty is a Death Sentence", he warns:
“If people don’t have access to health care, if they don’t have access to education, if they don’t have access to jobs and affordable housing then we end up paying not only in terms of human suffering and the shortening of life expectancy but in actual dollars."
These are not revelations new to the 21st century. Krugman and Sanders are both echoing what President Roosevelt said in his 1944 State of the Union speech, in the midst of the Second World War, when he proposed a second Bill of Rights:
We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
- The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;
- The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
- The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
- The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
- The right of every family to a decent home;
- The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
- The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
- The right to a good education.
We've been here before. Millions of Americans took FDR's words to heart and worked tirelessly for decades to insure that these most obvious, common-sense American rights should come to pass. Many of them did come to pass, but now they're in jeopardy. Now the Republicans (and, yes, some bloody Democrats) are working tirelessly to undo it all.
Millions of us see clearly what's happening again and are trying to stop it, but there are millions of distinctly separate Americans who think it's high time we give up on that old FDR course and head in another direction. The direction they want to take us in is the same direction we were headed when all hell broke loose in 1929 and it all came crashing down.
It looks like the oligarchs might just get away with it. So what is it they're seeing in this new, same-old plan--the plan that caused the stock market crash in 1929 and led us into a devastating long-term depression--that makes them think it's going to work this time?
The answer is, it doesn't have to. America is the place to make money; any idiot knows you wouldn't want to keep it here. Whatever happens to us won't happen to them.
Some setup, huh? Makes you wonder if we shouldn't have stuck with that Democracy thing and at least given it a try.