The Holiday Gift This Country Needs...

gift imagesThe gift our country needs this Holiday season is an economy that serves us instead of us just serving those who own or control most of the economy.

Professor Thomas Kochan at MIT’s Sloan School of Management is reporting that economic productivity of the American worker rose by 8.1 percent in the third quarter, but pay did not. Instead, at this holiday time - and pretty much continuously since Reagan declared war on working people in 1981- wages are stagnating and workers are stressed out with larger workloads while fearing for their jobs.

We need policies that bring our jobs back home and make it possible for us to return to buying American.

American's often judge George Washington harshly because he kept slaves. At least he looked into the eyes of his slaves.  He knew their names. We here in American still have slaves, but we pretend we don't because we don't see them.  We instead have sociopathic CEOs running our largest companies and political hacks like Tom Delay who lock OUR slaves away in overseas, unsafe, grimy factories, working under conditions that we would never inflict on our children or our neighbors. We haven't ended slavery in the United States - we've merely exported it. And we should end it, while returning our jobs to America.

We also need to invest in our infrastructure, and not just the obvious physical things like our old bridges and trains but more importantly our human infrastructure.  Like most fully industrialized countries we must go back to times before Reagan ended free college in California and make it, at the very least, affordable again so our children aren't graduating with the chains of decades of debt repayment around their necks.

We must "cool our planet's fever" with the introduction of a carbon tax to help save the planet.

We must continue to push for "Medicare Part E - Everybody" - so we can rebuild the social safety net to encourage entrepreneurialism - and along those lines let's fix the bankruptcy bill, and strengthen social security.

Finally, we need to think of work differently. Lincoln once said that labor is superior to capital because it precedes it. Nobody gets rich until somebody makes something. We once had an economy that valued laborers - the true producers of wealth - and the middle class. Because of our income tax code in the years before Reagan, the lowliest worker rarely made less than 30 or 40 times the top person.  After Reagan's draconian tax cuts on millionaires and billionaires, we now have CEOs who routinely make hundreds to thousands of times what their workers do.  We must roll back the Reagan tax cuts to restore fiscal sanity and fairness.

And don't forget to help pass the Employee Free Choice Act -- it's coming along soon, and labor needs your help.

You know. almost everything on this gift list was, in their day, enthusiastically endorsed by Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower.   And Barry Goldwater.  And Richard Nixon. Somehow this country went insane in 1981 when Reagan took power and declared that "greed was good" and America was to be reinvented.

Now we've seen the results of 30 years of Reaganomics, and it's been a disaster.  It's time for some real change that we can believe it... change consistent with basic human values and the core teachings of all the world's religions.  Happy holidays to you and yours...

Thom

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