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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/19/12

Small Business Owners and Labor: The Backbone of the Nation

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Given these realities, there is very little effective contact between small business owners and labor unions; however, there is a very high degree of shared interests between most small business owners and workers in America.

Suffering.

Small business owners and workers share the anxiety of economic uncertainty, including the difficulty or impossibility of obtaining health insurance, saving for retirement and providing education, food and shelter for their families.

Small business employers and their employees travel to work over the same unrepaired roads, and they send their children to the same rundown schools that suffer from a lack of teachers, funding and direction. Their homes have negative value, they live in the same environment, drink the same polluted water and breath the same poisonous air. Their food supply is dangerous, and they all pay more than $4 a gallon for gasoline.

Failure of Representation.

Whether they vote democratic or republican, the interests, aspirations and needs of workers and small business owners are ignored by their political parties, both of which are indebted to and controlled by large corporations and the wealthy elite.

With its decision in Citizens United, the Supreme Court reversed two hundred years of progress toward a democracy for all of the People. The U.S. Government no longer represents the voters who elect it, including the workers and small business owners of every political party.

Two thirds of small business owners revealed in a recent poll that they have been hurt by Citizens United, and 88% viewed money as playing a negative role in politics. (Lake Research)

The rallying cry last heard during the American Revolution, "no taxation without representation," is once again on the lips of American workers and small business owners.

Solution.

The bipartisan outrage over the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United has led to a number of proposals to reverse it through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The best known of these is the effort by Move to Amend, which restricts constitutional rights to natural persons only and which disallows the equation of money and free speech.

The Move to Amend proposal is a good start; however it does not go far enough. In fact, after a long and difficult amendment process, it only returns the electoral process to where it was the day before the court decision, a time when things were not so great for working people and small business owners.

The Voters' Rights Amendment (USVRA) includes the Move to Amend proposal, but goes further to clearly establish that the right to cast an effective vote is an inherent right under the Constitution. In addition, it provides for a national paid voting holiday, a national hand-countable paper ballot, and a process for the people to have a more direct role in the formulation of public policy. Finally, it mandates voter registration and prohibits voter suppression.

Transformation.

The USVRA will transform the U.S. government into a more representative democracy in which the power of money and corporations will be curtailed -- one in which the opportunity for small business owners and their workers to live the American Dream will be encouraged, rather than denied.

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William John Cox authored the Policy Manual of the Los Angeles Police Department and the Role of the Police in America for a National Advisory Commission during the Nixon administration. As a public interest, pro bono, attorney, he filed a class action lawsuit in 1979 petitioning the Supreme Court to order a National Policy Referendum; he investigated and successfully sued a group of radical (more...)
 
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