Monday, February 21, 2011

Why I'm Going to Trenton

I’m going to Trenton on Friday to support the unions. Why? I’ve never been a union member. I’m retired on a fixed income, so taxes matter to me.

This nation is at a crossroads. The Koch-funded Tea Party is undermining the very foundations upon which America is based - the tenet that, as Benjamin Franklin so eloquently put it, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

America’s best economic times were when the unions were the strongest. Fair wages help the economy; safe working conditions save lives and reduce health care costs, and standards of quality that are recommended by unions help consumers.

Our governor’s attack on public-sector employees has nothing to do with the fiscal problems in the state. Unions, whether in the public or private sector, have always agreed to concessions when necessary. If the governor were sincere, he would not have vetoed the extension of the modest tax on millionaires. The governor’s appointments of his cronies to various state commissions has created more jobs than his tax veto did.

America’s greatness depends on the middle class. And the middle class depends on unions. Unions are the only effective counterforce to the unlimited amount of corporate funds that are propping up Tea Party politicians and Fox “News.”

Today, hedge fund managers are taking home billion-dollar annual incomes by gambling on stock prices - activity that adds absolutely no value to the economy. On the other hand, union members who build things, who teach our kids, who make our streets safe, are being robbed of the pension dollars that they contributed (all because that money went to the Wall Street speculators), and are struggling to make ends meet. The disparity between the rich and poor is greater in this nation than in Egypt. What does that say about the American Dream?

If Governors Christie and Walker and their ilk are able to eviscerate the unions, the decline of the American Dream that was started by Reagan and accelerated by Bush, will maintain its downhill momentum. Strong unions mean a strong America. We must defend the nation from the greed and selfishness that permeates Republican ideology and their union-busting ambitions. Given the power and wealth of the Republican Tea Party, and their predisposition to destroy government services, this will be a difficult struggle, but we have to start somewhere. We need to rescue the American Dream. That’s why I’m going to Trenton on Friday.

1 comment:

  1. FYI: many/most of those hedge fund managers operate their businesses as "small businesses" and would be oh-so-horribly burdened by having to pay Reagan-era taxes on their incomes.