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Economic Justice is the 2006 Election Issue

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Economic Justice is the 2006 Election Issue


Immigration, minimum wage, trade policy, oil prices, health care, taxes, unionization, monopoly business practices, corruption, national debt and budget deficits are collectively taking on a common theme for the upcoming elections. This theme is economic justice.

For the past six years of Bush Republican rule and to a lesser degree since the rise of Ronald Reagan, working class and middle class Americans have seen their share of the economic pie declining as government policies tilted strongly in favor of the richest of the very rich. This is the essence of the economic policies of the Republican Party.

Adopting such policies opened a floodgate of campaign cash for Republican candidates. It biased the Corporate Mainstream Media in favor of Republican political figures, policies and organizations. It corrupted the entire political process and undermined democratic government. It pushed the American standard of living down.

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This economic war against the poor, working class, middle class and, now, even the slightly affluent was a stealth war. Any attempt to reveal the extent of this economic assault on the American Way of Life was falsely labeled "class warfare " by the Republicans actually engaging in class warfare by government policy.

The Republican political ascendancy was sold to American voters largely based on lies or by using social wedge issues. Republicans lied about Democratic candidates concerning the gun issue in rural communities everywhere. Reasonable gun regulation was always falsely called "the first step in taking away your right to own guns. " It was always a lie and still is! Gay-bashing or beating the abortion drum will not lower your tax burden, make fuel prices reasonable or provide you with adequate health care.

Frightening Americans using the terrorism issue will no longer work in favor of Republicans. Americans have seen that Republicans will ignore national security concerns whenever the profits of huge corporations or big Republican campaign donors are at stake. This has been clearly demonstrated in the Dubai Port Deal, in Iraq, in the awarding of government contacts, in appointments to various Homeland Security positions from FEMA to the CIA, in trade policy with China and recently on the immigration issue.

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Republicans in the White House and elsewhere in national leadership positions are now pushing for yet another war. They want to attack Iran. This is a stupid policy and will not save Republican election chances in the Fall elections. It might trigger a World War III. It will completely bankrupt our nation. It will kill thousands of Americans and many more innocent Iranian civilians. The American public does not want such a war and will not support it. American voters understand that a war with Iran would be a blatant, domestic political move by Bush Republicans to divert public attention from economic justice issues. It will fail as both a military move and as a political ploy!
Americans want help for our manufacturing sector. We need to reduce the cost to businesses of health care by creating a single-payer, government funded program under Medicare. We need a Marshall plan to rebuild our automobile industry, steel production and other heavy industries essential to our national security. We demand more good paying jobs. We want our right to unionize strengthened. Adopting the Employee Free Choice Act would be a step in the right direction.

Americans want the rash rush to globalization brought under control. We should halt immediately efforts to expand free trade agreements to more poor Third World nations. Current agreements such as CAFTA, NAFTA and WTO should be reviewed and at least modified to reduce trade deficits and halt downward pressure on American wages until we can shift health care costs from American businesses to all Americans by government policy. Without doing this, our industries are facing an unfair position in terms of being globally competitive.

Minimum wage increases are going to be on the political agenda everywhere. State after state and city after city have already raised the minimum wage in their communities. Recently, Democratic leaders in Maryland overrode the veto of a minimum wage increase by the Republican Governor Bob Ehlrich. They did the same on the requirement that really large employers provide more health care for their employees instead of the taxpayers. Ehlrich is unlikely to win re-election. His positions are hurting the chances of the likely Republican Senate candidate Lt. Governor Steele. Steele is supportive of Ehlrich and closely tied to Bush Republican positions nationally.

Economic justice issues are threatening Republican officeholders in all parts of the nation. Democratic prospects from Georgia to Texas to Nevada to Ohio have not been better in recent years. American voters understand that they are paying what amounts to a forced campaign contribution to Republican candidates everywhere when the buy gasoline, diesel fuel and home heating oil. The Republican Party under the leadership of Bush, Cheney, Rice, Frist, Rumsfield and Delay simply stinks of oil and corruption.

Katherine Harris in the Florida Senate race, Ken Blackwell in his bid for Ohio Governor, Ralph Reed in his bid for Lt. Governor in Georgia and hundreds of other Republican hopefuls are facing both corruption scandals and demands for economic justice. Corruption scandals are inherent in the political actions of those opposing economic justice.

Government economic policies that hurt the vast majority are adopted because of corrupt deals. American voters want a change in direction for government policy. They are demanding an end to corruption at all levels. They are demanding economic justice.

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Written by Stephen Crockett (co-host of Democratic Talk Radio http://www.democratictalkradio.com ). Mail: P.O. Box 283, Earleville, MD 21919. Phone: 443-907-2367. Email: midsouthcm@aol.com . Feel free to publish at no charge without prior permission.

 

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Stephen Crockett is co-host of Democratic Talk Radio and author of the Democratic Voices opinion column.

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