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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/8/11

America's Road to Fascism?

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Union workers are being replaced with prison labor under Scott Walker's collective bargaining law:   "While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) law dismantling collective bargaining rights has harmed teachers, nurses, and other civil servants, it's helping a different group in Wisconsinites -- inmates.   Prisoners are now taking up jobs that used to be held by unionized workers in some parts of the state."    Read the Article .   That's right:   as a result of Scott Walker's assault on public employees, prisoners are now replacing union workers in Racine , Wisconsin .   I t once might have been perceived as an hysterical exaggeration to predict that the GOP attack on the value of labor would lead to not just low-wage jobs, but to no-wage jobs.   One commentator calls it the "new slavery."   But this is not the first use of what is, in essence, modern slave labor in the US.   Some of the Pentagon's military contractors already use prisoners to assemble military equipment at slave wages (e.g., 23 cents an hour).   And, with the loss of illegal immigrants as farm workers, prison labor is soon to follow in the agricultural fields of the South.


It was one of the great advances of modern civilization that workers were granted livable wages and that their labor was recognized as having inherent dignity.   But now we seem to be moving back to a kind of antebellum society that believes the lowest cost labor should be no-cost labor, i.e. slavery.   The only cost, then, would be the price of providing the newly enslaved with cheap food and the least expensive shelter.   And there is plenty of potentially dirt-cheap labor stored up in our prisons, whose populations, per hundred thousand American citizens, now outnumber the prison populations of Europe by about 7:1, which is to say that per hundred thousand population, the US now keeps seven times the number of people behind bars as do most of the countries of Europe!


Michigan Guts Democracy and Now Takes Aim on Workers' Paychecks


It's not enough that Michigan's crypto-fascist Gov. Rick Snyder abolished the basic democratic rights of cities and towns by imposing a 'financial martial law' that can replace a local government with an unelected Snyder appointee.   Now, extremists in the state are pushing for passage of a so-called right to work law that would limit the ability of the workers to maintain or attain the middle class."    Read this Article about the continuing destruction of America's great middle class.


Obama's secret advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Warns that the Wealth Gap May Lead to Uprisings in US Streets.   Here's a quick review of why the uprising may well happen soon:


  • President Obama is negotiating with the GOP to impose a $4 trillion deficit reduction package over the next ten years.   This will severely cut into the benefits, education and wages of American workers nationwide.
  • Because of tax revenue shortages, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker took away union jobs and replaced them with contractors,
  • National Bureau of Economic Research report shows Medicaid recipients stay healthier, but Medicade is about to be taken to the deficit-reduction chopping block.
  • And yet FDIC regulators will allow fat-cat CEOs to take their huge fat-cat paychecks and bonuses even if their bank collapses.


In short, the downward spiral for America's great middle class is being forced to continue, so that ever more of the nation's capital and wealth can be directed to the top 1% of income receivers and wealth holders, who already own an unprecedented share of the nation's wealth and assets.   This process, which now seems almost unstoppable, will inevitably and eventually lead to open rebellion, if not to outright fascism in the clampdown and repression that will follow.  

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Several years after receiving my M.A. in social science (interdisciplinary studies) I was an instructor at S.F. State University for a year, but then went back to designing automated machinery, and then tech writing, in Silicon Valley. I've (more...)

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