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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/7/12

Pension Envy Promotes Serfdom

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The votes in Wisconsin and San Jose are depressing examples of we, the 99%, are cutting off our nose to spite our face.   Instead of advocating and demanding that all Americans have a good education, a good job, and a good pension, we are the foot soldiers chipping away at the last bastion of the progressive state that provided us with years of humane life and even a comfortable prosperity.

In the golden years of the last century, corporations such as GM, IBM, etc,"   adopted a covenant with their workers.   We train you, you work for us 40 hours a week for 30 years, and we provide you with a reasonable pension after your retirement.   Yes, it does cost us some profit--but we still make enough profit to sustain our company.   Cutting worker benefits to increase our profit margins would be greedy and inhumane.   We're a team.

We all know how the last thirty years have seen a devolution in these corporate agreements and in companies' support of their employees.   Even without outsourcing, private sector workers today face layoffs, unemployment, stolen or lost pension funds, brutal work hours and expectation, and a climate of fear and exploitation.   Instead of turning against the corporate moguls and their Wall Street and Congressional henchmen, struggling and suffering private sector workers are being manipulated (by the corporately-owned media and politicians) to vent their anger towards those who are still fortunate enough to serve the public such as police, nurses, teachers, firefighters, etc,"; fellow 99%ers who have made many sacrifices for the common good and are still fortunate enough to have advocates such as unions for their rights and working conditions.  

Simply put, you live in a state where big bullies steal your money, your health, and your life, forcing you into indentured servitude until you die--preferably in your 60's or younger.   Just across the border is a state where the motto isn't "profit uber alles", but "a decent life for all".   There, progressive taxation funds good schools and healthcare, workers collaborate with enterprise leaders to achieve modest goals, and a lifetime of hard work is rewarded with a secure pension for comfortable retirement years.     No, the neighboring state doesn't have castles and mansions, but everyone has a good and humane life.  

So what do you do?   You fight the bullies who are turning your state into a feudal serfdom, right?   You advocate and vote to regain your rights and reinstitute the benefits you deserve from the fruits of your labor, yes?

No, brainwashed by the bullies, you take your torches and pitchforks and attack your neighbors in the social democratic state next door, aiming to destroy their working environment, conditions, and lives until they too are suffering as badly as you are.   Hello, you've just been drafted as a foot soldier on the front lines for corporate bigwigs and their allies--to fight their battle.   You no longer need envy your neighbors' pensions and benefits--now both you and they are working for minimum wage, with no job security, no health insurance, and no pension.   Isn't that better for everyone?   The bullies certainly think so.

Wake up, people.     The tea party and the bullies are not your friends.   Your friends, your allies, are the other wage earners in the 99% with whom you should partner to protest the economic exploitation and disparities that have brought you to the edge of poverty and beyond--while the 1%...fiddles.

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Jill Jackson is a practitioner of kindness and common sense. Unlike her cat, she prefers to think out of the box.

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