Friday, February 20, 2009

Don't Worry About The Dow, Or Real Estate. Worry About Jobs.

Since 1980, the federal government, the richest people in this country, the CEOs, Wall Street, and the Bankers have largely been working together to make themselves richer and make the rest of us poorer. They've been remarkably successful in their quest, by freezing wages, cutting funding for every social program including education and healthcare, packing the courts with right-wing hacks who rule against workers, injured consumers, defrauded investors, in all lawsuits, eliminating job security, passing laws to encourage businesses to send their work overseas to be done by slave, child, or prison labor, and by authorizing businesses to import cheap, shoddy, defective, sometimes poisoned products and food into this country without any restrictions or limitations.

Every single law that is passed is designed to take more rights away from working people, and give more control to a small group of the wealthy elite. If there is a conflict between the working people of this country, and the elite of some other country, our government and our upper classes always side with the rich people from the other country. They are traitors.

For example, when George W. Bush took office, he went to Mexico to his good friend President Vincent Fox, another corporate elite insider. Fox wanted to send millions of the citizens of Mexico to the U.S. to do work, because the rich people in Mexico steal all the money for themselves, and leave their own people with nothing. Bush said fine, and as a result, at least 20 million, possibly as many as 40 million illegal immigrants were brought into the U.S. with the specific approval of the Bush administration, to take jobs from Americans. One of Bush's last big pushes was to try to get a law enacted that would have allowed Mexican truckers to come into the U.S. and take all the trucking work away from the Teamsters, to bust the unions in this country, and to further enrich businesses by allowing them to pay very little money for trucking.

But Bush wasn't alone. They even have a name for it, a model. This is all intentional. The goal has been to crush American workers down to the point that they are the same, same income, same level of poverty, as all other workers throughout the world. In other words, if you think things are bad now, just wait and see what it's going to be like for your kids.

If all workers live on starvation wages, work day to day with absolutely no rights, then the rich people are free to roam the world, set up shop wherever they want with no unions, no environment controls, no worker protection, no goggles or hardhats or protective shoes required. Just rape the people and the resources of any country, and at the first sign of rebellion, move on. If the people are poor and desperate, they will take whatever the corporations are willing to give them. That is what the U.S. corporations are doing to the people of this country. On purpose. With the assistance of much of the federal government.

Bill Clinton got various trade laws passed to let the corporations do just that -- send jobs to third world countries, import crap and dump it here in the U.S. With no rights for workers. Bush extended and expanded what Clinton set up. In the recent stimulus bill, there was a huge ruckus over language saying that we need to use this money to buy materials here in the U.S. In other words, there is no point in spending billions to re-build our infrastructure to try to help our country if the materials (i.e. steel) are all bought from China, and the labor is all brought in from Mexico. That does not help Americans at all.

Yet everyone in the federal government said we can't have "buy American" provisions, because it would anger some foreign country. Screw the foreign country. If our government says we legally can't have provisions requiring buy American and hire American, then we need to rescind those laws. Who will stand up for American working people if our own government won't? Yes Bill Clinton and George W. Bush (and Reagan, and Daddy Bush) have set up a terrible system. But we need to start undoing that. Now would be the right time.

The people who own everything in this country have a very sophisticated PR machine to fool the public while our lives are being destroyed. For awhile we had the tech bubble. Remember, everybody owned tech stock, all we heard about were secretaries becoming millionaires overnight with stock options, everybody was investing in tech. Then it all collapsed, the CEOs and the financial media walked away with all the money the public had invested, and the public lost a bundle.

Then we had real estate. Suddenly the public was told: Don't pay attention to your frozen wages, ignore the fact that you have no job security, that your employer no longer pays for your health insurance or pension, that you have no employment future: buy a home, get rich. And the media started telling us that all you had to do was buy a home, no matter how tough it was to make the payments, no matter how expensive the house was. Get in, survive for a year or two and you can refinance, take out a bunch of money, pay off everything else. It would never stop. And don't worry about the no pension problem, because when you're 55 you can retire, sell the house, and take the money and buy something cheap, live on the rest.

Who was building all these houses? Real estate developers financed by banks, hiring illegal immigrants at $8/hour, and selling homes for two to three times what they had sold for 5 years before. Developers got rich. The entire building trades unionized American workforce was thrown out of work and replaced with poor and desperate illegal immigrants. Banks got rich making huge loans and then selling them to Iceland. And then that bubble burst too.

And now we all spend our days fearful of Dow. Dow is holding its breath and turning blue. Dow is angry that Obama's stimulus package didn't include even more billions for Wall Street. Dow is angry that some suggest hearings to question what in the hell these Wall Street Criminals did with the $350 Billion they stole from us last year. Dow is angry that some suggest every single employee above clerical from Wall Street should be thrown in Attica for life. So Dow is having a fit. I say let them. Because Dow is just another diversion. Unless you're a multi-millionaire, your problem is not Dow. Besides, they've already stolen half our money, what more can they do?

It's all about jobs. All Americans, at least 90% of us, work for a living. We need to work in order to have shelter, food, clothing, medical care. We will likely work our entire lives, from very young until slightly before we die. We need job security. We need to have rights in our jobs, to prevent employers from moving to China to use slave labor. We need a living wage. We need health care, education, and fully-funded pensions. As consumers, we need safety in all products. As investors, we need protection against those who would defraud us, and who do so again and again. And we need an honest government, and we need to stop our politicians from taking bribes.

But mostly we need jobs. All the obsession about Dow is a diversion. It's like saying the Queen is unhappy with her pearl necklace and wants diamonds. Most people have more concrete worries, like how to pay the bills, buy food, get through another day. Jewels are the trivial obsession of the rich, not a proper concern of most working people. The same is true of the Dow. Look over here (while they steal more jobs). Look over there (while they loot Social Security). Look behind you (while they start more wars to allow the oil companies to steal more resources).

My suggestion is that people keep their eye on the ball. We need jobs. If Dow was at 20,000, but we have 20% actual employment, most of our lives will be horrible. A few rich people would be happy, but the rest of us will be desperate. Ignore Dow. We need jobs.

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