When capitalism fails...a job should still be a right

When capitalism fails...a job should still be a right

It’s easier to get into Harvard than Wal-Mart. During the 2014 admissions process, Harvard University accepted 5.9% of freshmen who applied to that school. And Ivy-League rival Yale University accepted 6.3% of freshmen who applied. While those numbers are pretty low, there’s one number that’s a lot lower: Wal-Mart’s hiring rate. It's twice as hard to get a job at Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the US, and a company that rakes in nearly $1.8 million in profit every hour, than it is to get into Harvard.

As NBC Washington pointed out, when Wal-Mart came to the nation’s capital last year, the corporate behemoth received over 23,000 applications to fill the 600 jobs in its District of Columbia stores. Do the math and that translates to a hiring rate of just 2.6%. When a corporation that makes tens of billions in profits every year is hiring fewer people than Harvard University is accepting students, you know there’s a jobs problem in America. It’s time for that to change.

In his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944, FDR proposed his “Second Bill of Rights,” also known as “The Economic Bill of Rights.” One of the rights he proposed was - quite literally, just like the "right to free speech" - that every American should have the right to a job. Roosevelt said that every American should have, “The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation,” and, “The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.”

Roosevelt was so passionate about Americans having the right to a good, well-paying job, that he proposed amending the Constitution to include that right - right along the right to own guns and the right to a trial by jury. He understood that when capitalism fails to put Americans to work during times of economic downturn, it’s the government’s responsibility to step in and hire Americans. And FDR proved it worked, because that’s exactly what he did in the 1930’s with his New Deal policies and programs.

Under the New Deal, the Public Works Administration was one of many agencies he created. The PWA provided funding for infrastructure projects across the country, from government buildings and airports to hospitals and bridges. From 1933 to 1935 alone, the PAW spent over $3.3 billion in today’s dollars on over 34,000 projects, and thus put hundreds of thousands of unemployed Americans to work.

The PWA was just one of the many ways that Roosevelt used our government to help put Americans back to work - a process that rebuilt the economy. But Roosevelt wasn’t the only president to spend billions putting Americans to work. Under President Eisenhower, the Interstate Highway System was born. From the birth of the program to today, construction costs have been estimated at around $489 billion in today’s dollars. Like the PWA, the Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System has put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work over the years.

When JFK came to Washington, he championed the creation of NASA, so that America could compete with the like of Russia when it came to sending men to the moon and exploring space. As of 2012, NASA employed around 18,000 people, not including the tens of thousands of contractor jobs that NASA has created. Even Reagan spent billions putting Americans to work.

Thanks to his proposed “Strategic Defense Initiative” otherwise known as “Star Wars,” over $538 billion in today’s dollars was spent on defense projects in 1987 alone, projects which directly and indirectly employed hundreds of thousands of Americans. Most recently, George W. Bush did it by spending hundreds of billions on defense contractors for his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

None of these guys called it a "right to work," and, in fact, they all pretended they weren't doing it. But even Republicans know that FDR was right. That's why they've worked so hard for six years in Congress to prevent President Obama from hiring Americans. They know it will work, it will fix the economy, and anything that might do that while he's president is something they've sworn to block.

The bottom-line is that every American should have the right to a good-paying job that lets them provide for themselves and their families. And we know that increased government spending puts Americans to work. It’s been tried and proven over and over again, by both Democrats and Republicans.

So, when capitalism fails, and Americans can’t find jobs in times of economic downturns and during times of high employment, our government needs to step up and create good jobs that put Americans back to work. And, when unemployment levels dip and the economy turns around, the government can dial back on the jobs, and let the private sector take over again.

It’s time to put Americans back to work, and make the right to a decent-paying job a reality.

Comments

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 26 weeks 1 day ago
#1

Agreed, Thom... except the part about defense projects, which are mostly a waste of money beyond any paychecks they might generate. Reagan's pet Star Wars project is a classic example of the bullshit our precious resources have been squandered on. These chicken hawks have made defense a way bigger priority than it ever should have been. Government funds would be much better spent on infrastructure that serves peaceful purposes such as roads, bridges, school renovations, airport maintainence & improvements, an updated sewage system, high-speed rail in all major cities, etc. etc. Only a tyrannical empire needs the sort of monstrosity our system of defense has become. These relentlessly imperialistic, kleptocratic foreign policies and unprovoked acts of aggression make our government the biggest terrorist organization in the world. So the hell with defense! If we could just stop robbing other countries of their natural resources and murdering their citizens, we wouldn't need all this defense-related crap, would we(?!). Seems a no-brainer to me. - Aliceinwonderland

Kend's picture
Kend 26 weeks 1 day ago
#2

Easier to get into Havard then Walmart. Have you never been to Walmart? It doesn't take much to get a job there. The truth is there is a lot of people working there who couldn't get a job any where else. It a great place for the young to get there first job. I don't get why it is that the left hates Walmart so much. They have done nothing wrong. They buy stuff mark it up and sell it. Thats it.

Alice, Alice. "robbing other countries of their natural resoures" they don't rob it they buy it. Then it helps those countries get jobs and food. "Murdering their citizens" I am with you on that one I think the US gets involved a little too much.

There hasn't been any money for roads, bridges, school renovations, airport mainainance & improvements, updated sewage systems, high speed rail, etc etc because it all went to build solar panels, wind turbines and electric cars. All of which are failing or highly subsidized to keep them a float. I would be scared to death to give this government a cent. There track record isn't that great when it comes to spending your hard earned tax dollars.

I would bet there isn't one person on this blog that would agree that this government has spent those trillions wisely. In fairness has any of them

roads, bridges, school renovations, airport maintainence & improvements, an updated sewage system, high-speed rail in all major cities, etc. etc. - See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2014/04/when-capitalism-failsa-job-should-still-be-right#new

Anthony2's picture
Anthony2 26 weeks 1 day ago
#3

Thom - Certainly we have a tragic situation with high unemployment caused by a severe economic turn-down. And we can discuss (and try to correct) the causes of that. But have you really thought through the things you are saying, namely "Every American has the RIGHT to a job," etc.

Maybe jobs came like that to you - I had to work hard for my jobs, both my first jobs and those I got as I progressed in knowledge and skills. What you are saying is like saying "Every American has a right to a college degree!" Again, I had to:

1) work hard enough to earn ENTRANCE into a university or college; and

2) work hard in school to EARN my degree

every American should have the right to a good-paying job - See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2014/04/when-capitalism-failsa-job-should-still-be-right#sthash.IsSsLEWQ.dpufevery American should have the right to a good-paying job - See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2014/04/when-capitalism-failsa-job-should-still-be-right#sthash.IsSsLEWQ.dpuf

"

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 26 weeks 1 day ago
#4

Kend!

The poverty wages of Walmart are not a benefaction but an exploitation of people's desperation. You'll find that people working places like that, entry level retail, food service and below (Walmart), these days are very commonly overqualified posessing more than one college degree.

We do, in fact, rob people of their resources. We make a deal with a corrupt dictator whom, half of the time, we installed in the first place. He lines his pockets and his citizens get nothing for it but a bullet in their heads if they've got anything to say about it.

I don't care how much you've got invested in fossil fuels, wind turbines, solar panels and electric cars work great and they're what the planet needs - or we're done for. More than 20% of Germany's power comes from solar, the delivery fleet of the U.S. Post Office would be electrical today if the Republicans hadn't sabotaged the service and wind turbines work great except for hurting a few little birdies - but we'll work that out.

The stimulus package contained infrastructure projects but Republican governors refused them. Obama's jobs bill was an infrastructure bill but Republicans wouldn't even consider it, even when Obama broke it up into its componant parts and tried to pass each one individually. Republicans, since Clinton, maybe before, would never pass a good idea if it was the Democrats' - if it wasn't their own or couldn't take credit for it. They always put politics before the well being of the country. In fact, they don't care at all about the well being of the country they're just lokking to steal it for their own purposes. They're just trying to take control.

dianhow's picture
dianhow 26 weeks 1 day ago
#5

kend WMT is not looked on with favor for good reasons . And Re repair & upkeep of roads, bridges ,sewers, investments in high speed rail ..GOP has voted DOWN- Blocked every single attempt Obama has made to do just that . Recall Cantor, Boehner , Ryans Dermints GOP # 1 vow was to ' make Obama a one term Pres / Make him fail > Re WMT they pay low wages, few if any benefits, many WMT workers qualify for assistance, medicaid, food stamps at taxpayer expense ! I do NOT shop WMT even though I am a lower income widow caring for a sick relative ,who's late husband got gyped out of his pension after working long hours for many years . Of course..Thats perfectly legal in US.. where we bail out crooked greedy bankers, gives giant OIl ,pharma subsides, loopholes , tax cuts to powerful corps , billionaires, & the super wealthy. Our US COngress lives like ' royalty ' They are exempt from the laws they make, work 'part- time' have generous ' benefits ' ( lobbyist bribes ) after a few years they retire as over paid lobbyists !

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 26 weeks 1 day ago
#6

Thom, defense manufacturing is capital intensive rather than labor intensive. That is, it's largely automated and doesn't employ a lot of people. It's mostly good for lining the pockets of cronies in the defense contracting business.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 26 weeks 1 day ago
#7

Anthony -- Every person having a job is nothing like every person should have a college degree. I think it should be hard to get a good job, The difficulty should be the degree of hardness when the unemployment rate is 3.8% not 7.8%. The unemployment rate is high because Republicans have decimated labor unions. It seems that high unemployment is due to two factors. Those two factors are productivity increases and the out-sourcing of jobs. Outsourcing jobs would include the large number of H1B visas that are given. In order to counter the effect of productivity, labor unions have historically negotiated for shorter work weeks. To counter outsourcing of jobs, labor unions have supported representatives that propose reasonable tariffs.

To get a job lot planting trees in a national park, I do not think it should be difficult.

Craig Bush's picture
Craig Bush 26 weeks 1 day ago
#8

4 day work week with a 3 day alternative shift. Ban forced overtime.Start with first responders, law enforcement and teachers. Allow students two days off a week if they choose. One from the 4 day teacher. One day offf the 3 day. Limit class size to 20, 15 for math and science. School year round. Vacation arranged around family schedules. You will find the students will attend more then required. Create a 4 day work week.There would no longer be any unemployment woes and the human misery that pervades our present disfunctional economic system. We must learn to work less, consume less and live more if we hope to solve global warming.

We need the new economic "bill of rights". We must start the action now to amend the constitution and fullfill the vision of FDR. Include a supreme court reformation that formulizes term limits to 3 - 6 year terms with the last term requiring reconformation. End money is speech and the artificial creation of life from chartered organizations. Include in the new amendments the inalienable right to clean water. Make water a public common. Very important social movements. This struggle we must win.

dianhow's picture
dianhow 26 weeks 1 day ago
#9

Mostly agree but doubt many at WMT have college 'degress'

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 26 weeks 1 day ago
#10

Kend, Kend, Kend... by now I'm convinced you're living on another planet, not just another country. I refuse to waste precious time and effort countering the same lame-ass talking points over and over. Been there, done that. Your "facts" are nothing but fiction; unsubstantiated bull crap is all it is. Have a nice day and don't fall in it, because it stinks. - AIW

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 26 weeks 1 day ago
#11

Kend -- You really need to show the weakness of Thom's statistics. You just give us your opinion that it is harder to get into Harvard, than it is to get a job at Walmart. I assume everyone knows that it is harder to get into Harvard. Avoid alzheimers and point out the weakness in Thom's numbers.

I thought it was interesting on Bill Maher's show when someone stated the US govt gets a 60% return on their investments (investments is what right wingers call wasteful spending). The right winger on Bill's show called the 60% return awful. Meanwhile, everyone worships Warren Buffet and his 13% annual return. My favorite example of the extra-ordinary return that the govt gets on their investments is the change from losing 700,000 jobs a month (and getting worse each month) to gaining 200,000 jobs a month. This gain has been going on now for 5 years in spite of republican obstructionism. This repug obstructionism included every republican governor cutting governtment jobs in his state.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 26 weeks 1 day ago
#12

'dianhow"- I'd bet $$ some of the homeless have college degrees. I'll bet even some skilled jobs have been outsourced from this grrrreat country of ours. I'll also wager that many minimum-wage jobs here are occupied by educated people who can no longer find the kinds of work they were trained in. - Aliceinwonderland

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 26 weeks 1 day ago
#13

Craig Bush -- I do not disagree with anything you suggest. The part you left out is how to get there. I think the best way to get there is increase the power of the labor unions. To increase the power of labor unions, we need to get "card check" (AKA Employee Free Choice Act). If the democratic party had one more vote in the Senate in 2009, card check would have passed. I say vote for a Democrat. I should mention I have never been a member of the Democratic Party (whatever that means). Also, I have never been a member of a labor union.

Kend's picture
Kend 26 weeks 1 day ago
#14

No Mark we pay for the resourses then the dictator steals it from his people. Let's not forget many many employees have had great careers at Walmart And many pensioners stocks have given them a good retirement. Yes 20% Germanies power is solar but the other 80 % is coal now instead of nuclear there carbon footprint went down but the carbon footprint went way up in Eastern Europe somewhere. Except hurting a few birds. They are slaughtering thousands.

Kend's picture
Kend 26 weeks 1 day ago
#15

Sorry to waste your time

Kend's picture
Kend 26 weeks 1 day ago
#16

Of course I was just being sarcastic about thoms stats. chuck. There is no weakness in his numbers it, to me, it is a stupid comparison. you do know when the government spends money on make work programs tax payers have to pay it. The US has the highest debt per person in the world Already.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 26 weeks 1 day ago
#17

Anthony, I think you're confusing meritocracy with basic rights. Everyone has a right to the basics: food, water, health care, sanitation, shelter, utilities, mobility, a non-profit postal service... Without these things, we can't function. Anything in that category should be a basic right. Period.

I don't know how old you are, Anthony, but Thom and I are both old enough to remember when a worker could buy a house and support a family on one income, with or without a college degree. We'd kinda like to see that again. - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 26 weeks 1 day ago
#18

Kend, don't you ever get bored with these same dead-end talking points?! You're like an old phonograph record that skips back and repeats itself again... and again... and again...

No money in the U.S. for things like roads, bridges, schools or high-speed rail? Really?! What a crock. Try lumping together the cost of all these dumb-ass kleptocratic wars with the cost of fossil fuel subsidies, tax breaks for corporations and billionaires, the so-called "war on drugs"; not to mention this expensive-but-useless, paper-pushing bureaucracy behind our "uniquely American" pay-or-die healthcare system... and voila! That's all the money we need, for all those things and more.

I get very tired of your posts, Kend, because your arguments are so redundant and so bloody asinine. Sometimes when I see your name, all I can do is groan, heave a big sigh and skip over to the next post. - Aliceindunderland

Wendalore's picture
Wendalore 26 weeks 1 day ago
#19

I think this Walmart thing is getting ridiculous. I support you, Thom, in almost every other issue you raise, but there's something you don't understand about Walmart.

People LIKE Walmart. People don't expect to earn a "living wage" at Walmart. Everyone knows why things are cheap at Walmart. Not many sales clerks. Not good benefits. Cheaply made things that are made in other countries. Disorganized shelves.

But doesn't everyone like to save that few pennies? that couple of dollars? Even the people that work at Walmart shop at Walmart, and until they change the trade laws and NO ONE sells cheap stuff from China, please leave Walmart alone.

So you say that the Walton family makes a lot of money? So they should pay their employees more and give better benefits and hire more people? Then their stuff isn't going to be cheap any more.

Walmart makes a ton of money because their stuff is cheaper than other stores. If it stop being cheaper than other stores, people won't go there so much. Then it will go out of business. Walmart has the reputation for being the least expensive. We who don't make much money want there to be a Walmart. Why do you want to do away with Walmart?—I always hear you defending those of us who don't make much money.

I'll say it again—once you make Walmart do all those things you want it go have for the employees, then it won't be any cheaper than Target. Or the supermarket, or your local pet store, or hardware store. Once it loses its reputation, people will stop going there. NOW you'll see even fewer jobs. Besides, if you are in favor of socialized medicine, why do you mind if Walmart employees get their medical insurance from the government? Please, there are SO many more important things to talk about. I just don't get this one.

For example—Clinton's promise that by 2000, 20% of our energy will be Solar, and then treasonous Reagan comes along and sweeps it all away. I started crying in my car hearing that. Then you get on and say, "Makes you want to cry, doesn't it?" And you were right! When you are alone, you CAN cry and I did.

I wish someone would publish a simple list of talkiing points we could all memorize and talk about. That would be on it. I can't remember the vast amount of history that you know!

Kend's picture
Kend 26 weeks 1 day ago
#20

Alice No I never get bored of trying to help the left see the light. so talking about the massive debt the US is creating is important to me. I myself could never feel ok about leaving my grandchildren that burden. If it's ok with you I guess I just have to keep fighting for your grandchildren I guess.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 26 weeks 1 day ago
#21

"The bottom -line is that every American should have a right to a good paying job." Wait just a minute here, that sounds like Communism or something...LOL!

I find it unbelievable that in the 21st century we still debate such things as the right to a living wage job, and universal healthcare for all. Why the masses continue to allow extreme concentration of wealth and power after all the misery its caused humanity throughout all of recorded history remains a real mystery to me.

Those billionaires who would selfishly block basic human needs like a good paying job and healthcare have no place in our society. Their Free Market Capitalism has failed over and over again. Good government is mandated to correct this behaviour with legislation or face the reality of revolution. God help us all if the truth ever gets out!

I thought I heard the "F" bomb on progressive radio today! .....the caller was correct, we've been pulled far off center to the extreme right do to the Dems caving in on issues. Many Democratic public servants serve only themselves and the billionaires, just like their counterparts.

Kend's picture
Kend 26 weeks 1 day ago
#22

Thanks Wendalore finally someone who is sick of hearing about Walmart as much as me. Now if we could also do something about the whole gay marriage thing. What does it matter to anybody if someone else wants to get married.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 26 weeks 1 day ago
#23

Well Kend, you'll have to get a lot sicker of hearing about Walmart, because this issue isn't going away anytime soon. Life sucks then you die... -AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 26 weeks 1 day ago
#24

Kend, need I remind you? This isn't your country. Your grandchildren don't live here. Go fight your own battles and leave us to ours. - Alice I.W.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 26 weeks 1 day ago
#25

.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 26 weeks 1 day ago
#26

I have to agree with Alice on this one. However I don't have the time to get bogged down in a quagmire. Therefore, I'm baling early tonight. Good night all!!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 26 weeks 1 day ago
#27

I'll be back tomorrow morning... Watch your mouths!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 26 weeks 1 day ago
#28

Wendalore, I strongly disagree. I think it is you who are failing to understand the significance of this Walmart problem. Until maybe six or seven years ago I shopped there too, and frankly, I saw very little savings from their prices. And of all the stores around here who made a habit of ripping off customers at the cash register (like charging for two items you only bought one of, or charging the regular price instead of the advertised sales price and banking on customers not noticing the discrepancy), Walmart was the very worst. I was constantly catching "mistakes" at their cash registers that were always in Walmart's favor. I never let 'em get away with it. As I said to one of the cashiers while correctiing one of these (ahem) discrepancies: I'm all for contributing to worthy causes when my budget allows; it's just that the Walton family's ill-gotten fortune isn't one of those things I happen to consider donation-worthy. Not on MY nickle anyway.

The Waltons are one of the richest families on the planet, yet they are too stingy to pay a decent wage to their workers. They're so stingy, they make sure to give workers plenty of training and advice on how to apply for welfare benefits! So we the taxpayers get to pay for Walmart employees' food stamps and healthcare and other government aid, thus subsidizing Walmart's exploitative policies. You call that a bargain?! These disgusting oligarchs also are guilty of wage theft, forcing employees to work overtime without compensation. Walmart even had the audacity to beg customers for charity donations this past holiday season, just so their underpaid, overworked "associates" could buy Thanksgiving turkeys for themselves and their families. Walmart refuses to pick up the tab for reasonably safe working conditions in their factories, costing the lives of thousands of workers in their foreign sweat shops in recent years. Been watching the news, Wendalore?!! Yeah, some bargain. And I can tell you from experience, their stuff ain't that cheap. Walmart makes tons of money by exploiting and abusing poor folks, here and abroad. Companies like that have no right to even exist. In a truly civilized world, companies like Walmart would not be allowed to exist. Everyone would be fairly compensated for their hard work and no one would have reason to bitch about paying a fair price for the goods & services they need.

Why should all these people have to do without the benefit of a decent wage, and/or suffer and die, just so YOU can save a buck or two?! - Aliceinwonderland

Kend's picture
Kend 26 weeks 1 day ago
#29

Alice my son married a American and there is a pretty good chance my three grandchildren are going to end up down there. So just incase I will keep fighting. If you lived a winter like this one or the last two you would know why there is a good chance they will be Migrating down there.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 26 weeks 1 day ago
#30

I am so sick of hearing the tired phrase that corporate CEOs are smart. They are not smart; they are ruthless and greedy--often mistaken for intelligence in the conservative world/playbook.

If they were smart, they would bring their money back to the US where it belongs, pay their fair share of taxes, start the hiring at living wages, stop attacking their customers' wallets with ever higher prices while lowering/stagnating their income, and get things going again. "Smart" CEOs would see that the eventual chokehold they have on the economy is strangling their SOLE source of profit.

The corporations have ALL the money. They are the only ones that can get the economy moving again. We don't have money trees in our backyard. The depressed/oppressed worker/consumer cannot spend what he/she doesn't have--only the entitites with ALL the money can do that.

And if they were "smart," they would learn from ancient Rome, whose downfall can be attributed the conservative wealthy class who used the government for their own selfish purposes (sound familiar?) and stopped maintaining the empire because the wealthy wanted to keep all their gold (sound familiar?).

employed/well-paid workers = monied consumers = long-term business profit = strong economy = strong country

bobcox's picture
bobcox 26 weeks 1 day ago
#31

That's 3833 job applicants per job available! And the GOP thinks the recession is over!

In 1934, when I was a boy and my father lost his ministerial assignment in the Methodisd Episcopal church, he went to Guide Lamp, a division of GM to get a job to support his wife and three boys. He found 50 or 60 men at the dock wanting any kind of a job. The plant foreman would hire five or six each morning and fire five or six every evening, thereby showing his power over the unemployed and keeping them hungry. There was no unemployment insurance in those days. Apparently it is worse today!

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 26 weeks 23 hours ago
#32

Yep, we've spent decades calling for job creation. Since Reagan, several trillion taxpayer dollars have beeb redistributed upward, largely to corporations -- always saying that this is "vital to job creation." Corporations have continued to use this money to build factories and offcies outside the US, shipping out our jobs. We've lost a huge portion of our working class jobs -- and when Clinton declared that "there is NO excuse" for long-term unemployment, the middle class applauded. Reality: Not everyone can work, due to health or circumstances, and there aren't jobs for all who need one right now. You can't get a job without a home address, phone, bus fare -- but you need a job to get those things. You can't buy a loaf of bread with promises of eventual jobs. The longer we ignore poverty, the bigger it grows.We have a surplus population. What should we do about them? This question terrifies liberals.

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 26 weeks 23 hours ago
#33

Actually, what was later known as AFDC was written into FDR's Social Security Act as a response to reality. Even during improved economic times, not everyone can work, due to health or circumstances, and jobs aren't available to all who need one. No one wants to talk about it, but the fact is that when the going gets tough, many American men today get going -- right out the door. This generation looked at the policies and programs that had been in place from FDR to Reagan, which took the US to its height of wealth and productivity, and chose to reverse course. The inevitable happened. The public lacks the will to actually do anything about it, since this would require bringing an end to the scapegoating of those pushed into poverty. We would need to put the rungs back on the ladder out of poverty to rebuild the middle class, and we don't wanna.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 26 weeks 21 hours ago
#34

Isn't it intriguing how this pattern repeats itself, every eighty or a hundred years? Life for most people is good for awhile and everyone gets complacent and takes it all for granted, until a piggish few swipe the money out from under everyone's noses and society gets run into the ditch, and "ordinary" working folks are reduced to abject poverty and lives of squalor... and this goes on and on until the "masses" have had enough, and they rise up and overthrow the pigs. Goes back as far as recorded history, I reckon. But people never learn, and the same thing happens again and again and again, century after century... 'round and 'round we go! Now if that isn't at least indicative of reincarnation, I don't know what is! (Sorry Palin; couldn't resist...) Because I could swear, it's always the same psychopaths pulling the same old piggish tricks on the rest of humanity. Capitalism seems tailor-made for this stupid, ugly drama to keep repeating itself infinitum ad nauseam, until we manage to wipe ourselves off the planet in one big poof. And from the perspective of the whales, tigers and birds, none too soon. - Aliceinwonderland

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 26 weeks 21 hours ago
#35

Here's something that might cheer everyone up. It's a Bernie Sandars for President 2016 T-Shirt you can wear proudly while supporting him:

BERNIE SANDERS FOR PRESIDENT 2016

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 26 weeks 21 hours ago
#36

Kend:

The Waltons are why we should have death taxes. They did not earn the wealth they inherited. (As is true with the second/third generation family company my husband works for that is carelessly run and may close because of poor greedy decisions.) The Waltons filled their father's stores (that used to sell proudly American-made products) with Chinese junk.

American infrastructure is failing because the wealthy and corporations have not paid their fair share of taxes. They whine for tax breaks to locate in a town or county, using "jobs" as blackmail, so the town and county lack the revenue to make improvements. The wealthy/corporations benefit but they do not contribute. They leave taxpaying to working Americans.

The corporations/wealthy do not have their wealth but for the grace of the worker--who makes--and the consumer--who buys. The wealthy are like 100 vampires descending on the last 10 humans. On whom will they dine tomorrow? They are as ungrateful as any monarchy.

As a liberal American, who can agree with conservatives on issues of fiscal responsiblity (I live debt-free and paid all my school loans in full) and taking care of yourself, unless you need help, then you should have it, I do appreciate reading your opinions, because I think it is meaningful to listen to those who differ from me, but I think the one downfall of everyday conservatives is rich-ass-kissing. It remindes me of the King George ass-kissers in the early days of our country.

My father's family came to America in 1650. My mother's family came here in 1659. They had to fight the king and the rich-ass-kissers to make us free. Unless we are ALL, conservative and liberal, unified on this issue, things will continue as they always have:

Don't forget that most men without property would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich, than face the reality of being poor.

--John Dickenson

Also, I am reminded of a passage in Animal Farm by George Orwell, filled with the very ideas my conservative brother-in-law never stops repeating:

...At the beginning they met with much stupidity and apathy. Some of the animals talked of the duty of loyalty to Mr. Jones [the drunken ungrateful farmer on whose farm they lived and worked and sought to rebel against], whom they referred to as "Master," or made elementary remarks such as, "Mr. Jones feeds us...[the wealthy give us jobs]. Others asked such questions as "Why should we care what happens after we are dead?" [heard that gem more than once]....

The pigs had an even harder struggle to counteract the lies put about by Moses,...who was Mr. Jones's especial pet, was a spy, and a tale-bearer...he told tales and did no work.

We are in this together. When wealth is shared, we all do better. I would think that conservatives and liberals could at least agree on that score.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 26 weeks 20 hours ago
#37
Quote Aliceinwonderland:'dianhow"- I'd bet $$ some of the homeless have college degrees.

Aliceinwonderland ~ We have a winner! Pay the lady! Actually, I've spoken with at least three who do have degrees. One was a former programmer. Another, an engineer. Very sad to see them holding a cardboard sign at the intersection and panhandling in the taco truck parking lot.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 26 weeks 19 hours ago
#38

Kend, you mean the dictator steals from his people - a dictator whom we most often installed, i.e., hired, to do just that - and we pay the dictator. That's theft, Kend.

Germany's solar power was 20% of its energy. That's an old figure. It's higher now and ever increasing.

We'll work out the birdie thing, we don' wanna hurt no birdies but if we don't go carbonless there'll be no more birdies

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 26 weeks 18 hours ago
#39

What you're missing, Wendalore, is that people do, in fact, expect a living wage at Walmart. Those are the only kinds of jobs around now and they're not for high school kids anymore, manufacturing is gone and very overqualified people and heads of households are doing them. The fast food restaurant and big box retail outlet are to today's economy what the factory was to the economy of the Grea Depression. Even so, there's no excuse for Walmart's starvation wage. Nobody should work full time or nearly full time (Walmart refuses to give its people a full week and then changes their schedule around so much so they can't get another job) for the privilege of going on welfare.

Also, Walmart destroys more jobs than it creates and because other employers can't compete with its low wage model they either have to go out of business, move to another location or also adopt the low wage model. Whenever Walmart moves into a community Safeway has to leave, Certified has to leave, Schwaggman's has to leave because they are union shops and can't compete with Walmart's low wage model. Those that stay must also pay a starvation, welfare case wage.

If Walmart is allowed to do what it will and run amok then there will soon be no jobs left but Walmart type, starvation wage, welfare case jobs and nobody will be able to afford to shop anywhere but Walmart.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 26 weeks 18 hours ago
#40

Also, Walmart gets its merchandise from sweatshop labor in Asia and backs these nefarious campaigns to do things like eliminate environmental laws and destroy public school systems. It just goes out of its way to be nasty and evil.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 26 weeks 17 hours ago
#41

Aliceinwonderland and Mark Saulys ~ With respect to Wendalore's post #20 God bless you both. You both have way more PATIENCE than I do.

On a living wage, I can't speak for a Walmart employee, however, I did once work for McDonalds many, many years ago. It is typical with this franchise to not only pay minimum wage, but to also short their workers on every pay check. The way they get away with it is with a policy that if you dispute your hours on your check you have to return it to management. Then it gets sent back to the corporate office for evaluation. If the "Big Office" decides you were right you get another check issued. The entire process took about three weeks meaning that you are completely broke for almost a month and a half; and, you have no guarantee that they will add the missing hours to the check when you get it eventually back. The result, no one complains because they so desperately need their money. Any money. Thus the pay is actually less than minimum wage.

I don't know if Walmart does this too; however, I have always thought that such practices should be very illegal.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 26 weeks 16 hours ago
#42

Kend, your son chose to marry an American. If he and his family wind up settling permanently in this banana-republic shit hole, that too is their choice. If you decide to migrate here, that is also a matter of choice. On the other hand I, and most of these bloggers, were born here, and that was not a choice. Sorry Kend, but I'm a little short on sympathy. However I'm assuming your son and his family are white. I doubt they will be subjected to the immigrant-bashing kinds of abuse that Mexicans and other darker-skinned newcomers have had to tolerate in "my country 'tis of thee" as these "huddled masses" struggle to make up for all that NAFTA took from them. No one will be bitching about the American jobs they've taken from more-deserving Americans, because they are white. And as we all know, white makes right!

You don't know doodily-do about economics, Kend. You obviously are clueless about what, or who, caused this country's economic meltdown. You apparently aren't that interested in the facts of the matter either. Yet how sanctimoniously and relentlessly you pontificate about this godawful debt your grandchildren might inherit someday, as if we liberals were to blame! And it gets so old. But go ahead, keep on "fighting" anyway (whatever that means) if it makes you happy. Then maybe someday you can self-righteously preach to your grandchildren about how you "fought" those evil liberals who were so hell-bent on stealing "their" money. - Aliceinwonderland

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 26 weeks 16 hours ago
#43

Yes, Marc!! Bernie Sanders for president!!! Where do I get my tee shirt? Even if he loses in 2016 (heaven forbid!), I'll always wear it with pride. - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 26 weeks 15 hours ago
#44

But then...what do you think of this?

"Although Sanders may have once been a socialist back in the 80s when he was Mayor of Burlington, today, a socialist he is not. Rather he behaves more like a technofascist disguised as a liberal, who backs all of President Obama’s nasty little wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. Since he always “supports the troops,” Sanders never opposes any defense spending bill. He stands behind all military contractors who bring much-needed jobs to Vermont."
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"Sanders is the darling of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee and the right-wing Likud government of Israel. He has done everything within his power to keep the myth of Islamic terrorism alive. He never questions the U.S. government’s unconditional support of Israeli acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians. It is as though these are nonevents."
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"Bernie Sanders loves to rail against Corporate America, Wall Street, and the super-rich, but has nothing to show for it. He’s done little to constrain their power and influence. But everybody on the Left loves Bernie."
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http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/09/30/the-myth-of-bernie-sanders/
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Is Bernie Sanders just another Obama? Says some things we all want to hear but may turn on us later?

Is Bernie Sanders the ruling elite's Plan C?

Of course, these quotes are from a rather old (2011) article.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 26 weeks 15 hours ago
#45

I really don't think it will matter who we vote for, just like Global Warming, we're all cooked no matter what we do.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 26 weeks 15 hours ago
#46
Quote Aliceinwonderland:Yes, Marc!! Bernie Sanders for president!!! Where do I get my tee shirt? Even if he loses in 2016 (heaven forbid!), I'll always wear it with pride. - AIW

Aliceinwonderland ~ Very simple! Just follow this link:

BERNIE SANDERS FOR PRESIDENT 2016

Have your credit card ready, they are $20/ea + shipping. I bought 2

Palindromedary ~ Be careful! You are treading on thin ice if you bad mouth Bernie on this blog. You should know better.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 26 weeks 15 hours ago
#47
Quote Palindromedary:Is Bernie Sanders just another Obama? Says some things we all want to hear but may turn on us later?

Is Bernie Sanders the ruling elite's Plan C?

Palindromedary ~ Bernie Sanders a Corporate shill? Are you kidding me? Are you hitting the catnip a little hard today? One thing I know about Bernie I don't know about everyone else is his segments on this show, "Breakfast with Bernie," that I've listened to every Friday for years now. During that time I can't think of once that I disagreed with him. He has spoken up about the truth at least as much as Dennis Kucinich, who I also admire.

If Sanders is some kind of a shill he is the best shill we could hope for. I don't know about a ruling elite's Plan C; however, if Bernie would ever turn on us it would prove to me that those claims about Presidential hypnosis, drug induced mind control, or replacement by shape shifting aliens aren't such ridiculous theories after all. Perhaps he is the ruling elite's "Plan 9 From Outer Space."

Whatever the case, as far as I am concerned Bernie Sanders is an answer to my prayers. Of course, you wouldn't know anything about that, would you?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 26 weeks 14 hours ago
#48
Quote Palindromedary:I really don't think it will matter who we vote for, just like Global Warming, we're all cooked no matter what we do.

Palindromedary ~ Perhaps you are right. Perhaps it doesn't matter what we do. However, for our own mental wellbeing it is important that we do something. Please do not rain on our parade.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 26 weeks 13 hours ago
#49

I too have listened to "Brunch with Bernie" enough times to have a good sense of where he is coming from, which has no resemblance to whatever Palin is complaining about. And I have to say, I get very tired of the negativity. It seems that no matter who the candidate or media person happens to be and how great that person sounds to me and many other progressives, somebody will trash him or her. And it gets very, very tiresome.

Against this corporatized fascist media backdrop, I find Thom Hartmann an amazing breath of fresh air. Ditto Bernie Sanders, in contrast to a Congress full of self-serving piggies & toadies. But someone always manages to trash them anyway. Sometimes I'd just like to ask, why bother? Why don't we just sit back and do nothing, vote for nothing, believe in nothing and just bitch and complain because nobody is good enough or pleases us 100% all of the time?!! I think some people need to grow up. - Aliceinwonderland

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 26 weeks 11 hours ago
#50

Well, I did say right off.."what do you think of this?" and then I quoted someone on Counter Punch. So, thank you for replying on what that person said. That's not what I said!

I have not listened to Bernie, or read as much as you all have about Bernie. So, I just don't know as much about it as you all do. I have always liked what I heard or read about Bernie, myself. But then, before Obama was elected, I liked everything he said too. I thought he was going to be the one to turn everything around. A lot of people did. And a lot of people even voted again for the guy after it was clear that he had not done much of what he had pretended he'd do in the first term. And now, with the second term half over it is plainly obvious that he has been fooling all his constituents all along. Some people just keep hoping things will change...continuing to play the same old rigged game...and hoping, hoping, hoping. Hope is dead, people! You've all been suckered and you'll continue to be suckers if you think that voting for anyone is going to change things.

Just for shits and giggles, I'll probably still vote for Bernie, if he even runs. But, it looks like we might not even make it to the next election anyway. Poland is asking for 10,000 NATO troops to be stationed in their country. Ambassadors being pulled out. I think we are headed for another very dangerous situation that could go nuclear. And if it goes nuclear, we won't even have to worry about sea ice melting and/or methane causing runaway Global warming. Kerry has already stated that a diplomatic solution is no longer an option.

The damn US and NATO started this whole mess when they started undermining other countries and especially when they helped to overthrow the government of Ukraine. The Nazis are in charge now!

And what do we have in this country anyway to live or die for anyway? Freedom? Democracy? Decent paying Jobs? We've got the government spying on everything we do. We've got NDAA..indefinite detention of American citizens...with the ambiguous terms of "enemy combatants". If they don't like what you say...they could consider you an "enemy combatant" and torture you as long as they wanted. No legal recourse! People have already "disappeared"! The damn KGB Gestapo pigs, I mean the authorities, could come knocking, even as I type, and haul my sorry ass out the door all for expressing myself. HUAC will live again in this country, unfortunately.

Chris Hedges and a number of others have tried to sue* the Obama regime to keep the NDAA from targeting Americans with it. And they have won in lower courts but were set back in higher courts from pressure from the Obama administration. Obama tried to tell us that he was against that part of the legislation but it turned out that he actually insisted that it be included. And the military will be able to use their force against the civilians in the US. And you all voted for the guy...because you were still hoping he'd change! Ha! And, once again, you still have hope that by continuing to play the rigged game at the ballot box it is going to matter? You know, THEY will probably do to him what they did to JFK, don't you, if he fights them?
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* the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA)[4] which permits the U.S. government to indefinitely detain people "who are part of or substantially support Al Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces engaged in hostilities against the United States".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedges_v._Obama

Now, that is so ambiguous that they could interpret what anyone says as being a threat or support to Al Qaeda or the Taliban or associated forces...

Why the Web of Life is Dying...

Could you survive with just half of your organs? Think about it. What if you had just half your brain, one kidney, half of your heart, one lung, half a liver and only half of your skin? It would be pretty hard to survive right? Sure, you could survive losing just one kidney or half of your liver, but at some point, losing pieces from all of your organs would be too much and you would die.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current