“Keep your friends close…but your enemies closer.”Michael Corleone, in The Godfather.
Michael knew that his friends would protect him but he also knew to keep an eye on his enemies and try to anticipate their moves ahead of time. Only then could he defend himself from attack. (It didn’t work so well for his brother Sonny at that toll booth on the Jersey Turnpike.)
“I believe in America…” That’s the opening words to The Godfather.
The America that once rewarded its workers by creating a vast middle class is changing. We are under attack from our enemies; big business and the politicians that they fund. This includes unionized factory workers, government employees, municipal workers including police and firefighters, retail and restaurant employees, or even migrant workers who toil in the fields to pick the vegetables and fruit we eat. We are each being pummeled from all sides by those bent on destroying us by reducing our pay and taking away workplace benefits.
Their goal? Simple. Drive down wages, increase profits, and create masses of people willing to work for almost anything. This is what it’s like in much of the rest of the world, and we are in reverse and heading in that direction.
The middle class is under assault and in danger of disappearing. You’ve heard all the banter about “redistribution of wealth” as a great fear of the wealthy. Many are afraid the government will transfer their money, via taxes and social programs, to the poor. In its most extreme case, this is socialism. In reality, it usually raises everyone’s standard of living, but there can be abuses and it’s a complicated issue.
The new strategy is the reverse of Robin Hood. It’s” take from the middle class and give to the rich.” This is redistribution of wealth in reverse. It goes UP to the rich and business owners and the only thing that trickles DOWN to us is, well, you know!
This isn’t anything done behind closed doors or in secret. It’s right in the open for us to see. Somehow, until recently, many people didn’t believe it was happening. Now look. The trends are disturbing.
As we know, traditional full time jobs with benefits are disappearing faster than doughnuts at the throwback case. Sick leave, vacation time, a fixed-benefit pension, and employer-sponsored health care are like rotary phones or typewriters: quaint relics of the past.
The impetus behind much of this is the plan to take down government and allow corporations and the rich and powerful moguls that run them to control our economy and the country. To them, government is standing in their way. They accuse the government of making its citizens dependent on it. Instead, they want to make US dependent on THEM.
All this talk of Medicare and Social Security reform is part of their plan to dismantle the social programs that government has put in place and served people well for years. They want to repeal Obama Care. They want to defund Planned Parenthood. They want to close down public television. They want to take away things we already have and replace them with NOTHING.
Remember the first presidential debate? Mitt Romney told host Jim Lehrer, who is from public television, that he was going to end funding for it. He said, “I like you, Jim. I like Big Bird. But I’m gonna have to let you go.” He smiled the whole time. This is what these people do. They cut and slash and destroy others for their own profit. How many workers got that “I like you but I’m gonna have to let you go” speech from Romney or one of his minions?
“It’s strictly business…nothing personal.” Sonny to Michael when a crooked cop beat him up.
Listen to the politicians and the talking points that come out of their mouth. We have a spending problem (except when it comes to their pet projects), we are stealing from our children and grandchildren (except when they send soldiers to die in fake wars for pretend reasons so they can get the oil), we are giving our citizens too much in entitlements (except for the tax loopholes for oil companies and other corporations). It goes on and on. Take from US, and THEY benefit.
Watch the Fox news propaganda channel and listen to them berate everything the president says or does. Listen to Rush Limbaugh say he hopes the president fails and that we are all takers from the government. Hear Glen Beck say that cities should default on their pension obligations. Instead of tuning these people out, be aware of what they say and how they want to change society, and us.
Talk show hosts and news commentators can’t hurt you. Politicians can, and will. When governors (Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan) choose to ban unions for state and city employees, when those in Congress try to force postal and other government workers to retire, when people like Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) and John McCain (R-AZ) propose legislation to destroy the Postal Service as we know it, LISTEN TO THEM! Be aware of who they are and what they can do TO us.
Thankfully, these people have been prevented from implementing many of these plans because the American people made other choices in the recent elections, which is frustrating these rich and powerful people. They contributed MILLIONS to the campaigns of those bent on carrying out their plans, but failed.
“Five shots. They hit him with five shots and he’s still alive!”Sollozzo on the failed attempt to kill the Godfather.
And we are not going down without a fight, despite the damage they have already done. Every time we frustrate them, they think of other ways to get us. Now, they want to end Saturday delivery. New employees have a lower starting wage. They want us to pay more for our health care. The battle isn’t over. I don’t trust any of them to do what’s right. Some even want to change the Electoral College system for elections so it will easier for them to be elected.
Listen to our enemies. Be aware of their devious plots. You don’t want to be the one to wake up with a horse’s head in your bed!
By Paul Gereffi
NALC Branch #2550
Fort Lauderdale, FL