Obama, the Dems in congress-- they've sold out the middle class.
If you're making more than a million a year, go ahead, celebrate labor day.
Otherwise, get off your butt and use the day to get active and fight for the future of the middle class, because it is at great risk, already drawing its last dying breaths. Don't kid yourself if you think otherwise.
Forget about Labor Day as the day to celebrate the worker. Workers have been so screwed, it's time to take the paid day off to do all you can to fight for the survival of the American worker, of the American middle class, of jobs that pay living wages.
David Letterman joked, on his show the other day,
Folks have big plans for Labor Day? Labor Day, of course, is the one day a year we honor our workforce. Do we still have a workforce?Arianna Huffington's newest book, Third World America, chronicles, in painful detail how corporations and the congress, and the White House and their appointees have been systematically undermining, literally wiping out the middle class.
We go out and we buy a lot of products made in China. That's how we celebrate Labor Day.
We'd hoped that a strong Democratic congress and Obama in the White House would stanch the bleeding.
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It didn't happen. The Whitehouse rescued big finance and the auto industry but did nothing for millions of homeowners facing foreclosure. Congress pretended to pass financial reform while simultaneously gutting real reform, with the White House helping to weaken things like auditing the Fed or building in real, tough regulations.
The result is, the middle class is worse off now than it was in 2008. Pathetic, suck-up apologists for spineless or sold out Democratic legislators are telling us that Obama did what he could. The poor legislators were hamstrung by filibustering Republicans.
Obama and the Democrats were given historic powers-- a filibuster-proof majority in the senate, even. And they threw the power away. They wasted time, they made excuses. They were weak when they had to be strong. They sold out the middle class again and again.
So now, we have labor day for a skeletal working force. We have laws that allow, even encourage corporations to out-source jobs, not just low level jobs, but high-paying ones. No wonder there are millions of unemployed. No wonder the word is that those millions of jobs may never come back.
It used to be that labor day was a day to celebrate the worker. Perhaps now, we should seeing labor day as a memorial for the short time in American history when workers were honored and through their salaries and living wages, respected.
Perhaps, as David Letterman suggests, we should make Labor Day a celebration of the Chinese worker. Or maybe we should celebrate the worker in America before Bill Clinton signed globalization agreements like WTO and NAFTA, which, as Ross Perot accurately predicted, created that great sucking sound of millions of lost jobs.
I don't understand why the millions of unemployed have not rised up and made a lot of noise-- a hell of a lot of noise. Where are their spines? Have they been beated down so badly that they can't speak up, stand up and insist that the White House and congress do at least as good a job rescuing them as they did the banksters.
How about a labor day that gets people out in the streets? Reading Huffington's book, Third World America, I had a hard time, repeatedly, putting the book down, getting really angry. Why aren't the mainstream media telling the story of the death and dying of the middle class? During WWII there were Nazi horrors, mass murders that were reported after the fact. Now, we have mass firings, rapid destructions of major American Industries causing losses of hundreds of thousand or millions of jobs. These are American Disasters-- a job holocaust afflicting tens of millions of Americans.
It's probably too late this year to turn Labor Day into a day of protest but we should be planning now for next year, to make it a day of activism. If you and your family members all have jobs, great. Go out and protest to support your neighbors and relatives who have been hit by the recession. Protest for the neighbors who lost or who are about to lose their homes-- causing your home to drop in value. Protest against Democratic frauds like Chris Dodd, who gutted the financial reform while claiming to champion consumers.
Throw a labor day party for candidates who are making strong commitments to pass real legislation. Push those candidates to throw out the sell-outs who chair the house and senate committees. Push to end the seniority system in congress that contributes to a legislative system which has consistently worsened the plight of the middle class.
This year, on Labor day, take a few moments to write a letter and mail it. Or draft a few thoughts to say when you call your legislator's office the day after labor day.
The time to celebrate labor day is over. It's time to use the paid time off to fight for fellow workers and for your own job. We should have been doing that for years, but now, the writing on the wall is so clear, we need to be sure next year is the first year that Labor Day is known as a day of strong protest.
Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect,
connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune
500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered
first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and
Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful
people on his Bottom Up Radio Show,
and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and
opinion sites, OpEdNews.com
more detailed bio:
Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.