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Strikers: Know The History & Plan For Everything

How will the GOP try to stop the new teachers’ movement? The recent strikes are emboldening other states and city workers. Arizona teachers just voted to strike statewide, they were emboldened by Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky teachers. When considering going out on strike, organizations must have a plan, research their history and that of their opponent. In 1934, anti-union forces used Roy Zachary, a goon, who was the leader of the Silver Shirts, the U.S.’ equivalent to the German Brown Shirts, to try and break Minneapolis Teamster Rebellion, as portrayed in a book of the same name by Farrell Dobbs and a participant in the rebellion. The lessons learned from the Teamster Rebellion are as important today as they were then. The lessons included the “importance of rank-and-file control of the struggle, the benefits of socialist influence in the labor movement, and the necessity of militantly opposing the bosses--and, if need be, the government--in order to win.” The strike starte…
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Research Before Voting

In 1797, Thomas Paine wrote, “Every individual is born with legitimate claims on natural property or its equivalent.“ With all that is going on in Washington, D.C., that has all our attention, we should not forget what is really important to the 99 percent, which is the economic inequality. What we need to do to fix it is a new bill of right or sorts that would include, such things as universal basic income (UBI), minimum wage of $15 to $24 an hour, universal healthcare, free education, more unions, and to rebuild the wealth of the 99 percent. We need a housing plan like the old G.I.Bill, which paid G.I.s to go to school and made it easier to buy a house with very little costs upfront. We need to vote in people who will support this bill of rights for the 99 percent. We are never going to have enough jobs for everyone and even the jobs we have or will have will not pay enough to live on. Most jobs will be part time with no benefits and most people will have to work two to three job…

Tipping Point

Labor needs to back causes that the middle class and the Have Nots’ need to better their lives, like minimum wage of $15 an hour, free healthcare and college, right to form a union and a healthy world to live in. Unions also need to stand up with the students who want safe schools to go to. Let’s not make the same mistake labor made during the Vietnam war. Labor sided with the war and against the protesters, who were also mostly young people, and some unions members even participated in beating these protestors. This was a shameful day for labor. This time we need to get it right. These young people are our new leaders and will soon be able to vote. So far, these young people look like fighters, which is what unions need—voters and new blood, who know how to fight for their rights and what is fair. Labor missed its chance when Occupy Wall Street was protesting. Now we have March for Our Lives. Let’s not let this chance slip by. This is ready made for labor’s support. Unions are …

West Virginia's Brave Won

The time is right for unions to organize and rebuild unions that will take the fight to the GOP anti-union/anti-worker machines. We should just look at how the West Virginia teachers won their fight for a wage increase. The teachers were organized, they planned every detail of their walkout in advanced to ensure the success of the walkout. The organizers worked with students’ parents and local businesses to ensure the walkout would not harm those in need. Daycare centers and meals were organized in advanced so the students who were dependent on the school lunches would not go without. This walkout was not just a single school, but the entire state. Had the organizer organized one school, the board of trustees would have beat the school employees back, but organizing the entire state, the sheer number of employees standing together against a single state entity, allowed the employees to win. If union workers follow the example of the West Virginia workers’ wildcat strike or what the …

Class Divide

The class divide is creating a class warfare that is pitting your children against the rich children, who will have more money, better healthcare, education, food, housing, entertainment, vacations and finding a rich, well-educated mate than their poorer cohorts. If the rich should run afoul of the law, they can hire the best attorneys and not have to rely on court appointed attorneys. HBO had a documentary by Marc Levin called “Class Divide” which looked at this phenomenon with the perfect example — 10th Avenue and 26th Street — which showed an elite school, called Avenues, on one side of the street, and on the other side was the public housing development, Chelsea-Elliot Houses, home to 2,500 people, most from the working poor. Now, the “Used to be Middle Class” children and their families are facing a similar situation as the government looks to cut funding to education, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, unemployment, disability insurance, government aide programs, geography an…

If We Don't Stop the GOP

So, we let the GOP have a tax bill that gave the very rich at the top billions and us at the bottom very little. The tax gives away to the rich was a win-win for the GOP to pay back their large donors, and now they can say there is no money for safety net programs or returning the money to Social Security that Congress and presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush “borrowed” or used as a piggy bank to fund their bad policies: Johnson and Bush the war, Reagan tax breaks for the wealthy who didn’t need it. They raided the program we paid for, and Medicare/Medicaid. Congress needs to pay the people back and with interest and then keep their hands off our money. The GOP likes to call Social Security and Medicare entitlement spending, but if you check your pay stub you’ll see the deductions for these programs and that we pay taxes on the Social Security as we receive it. The GOP also lie and say that these programs are the root of the worsening federal fiscal problem…

Even Monkeys Know Inequity Is Wrong

You cannot use the gross domestic product (GDP) as a barometer of how a country is doing as a whole, and the well being of the people. The GDP deals in averages and aggregates. Aggregates hide the nuances of inequality, which is one of its prime faults. The GDP looks at the stock market and unemployment to gauge what is good or bad, but unemployment, which is currently at 4.1 percent is not a true number as many people are working at gig jobs and being paid in cash just to survive while hoping for a full-time job with healthcare and a pension, which by today’s standards are a pipe dream. Ten years ago, the French president Nicolas Sarkozy wrote that the gap between reported well-being and people’s lives experience was creating a gulf of incomprehension between the expert certain his knowledge and the citizen whose experience of life is completely out of sync with the story told by data of the GDP. The gulf, Sarkozy put into words, summarizes the anger that is currently tearing so…