Friday, March 28, 2014
The stagnation of wages fits the narrative of class polarization. One of the reasons is the loss of unions. Our union workers were at 11.3 percent in 2013 versus 20 percent in 1983. This loss of good union paying jobs has taken money of out the economy. It is what the big nonunion box stores call “Merchant Capital,” which is the spendable income of the workers. As wages stay low or go even lower there is less and less merchant capital, and what money that is left then goes to the top 1 percent. Think Walmart’s $2.53 trillion, yes, Walmart, low pay, so-called “low prices,” and union-free business model delivers huge riches to the Arkansas Waltons. So, the day of denying the impact of rising income inequality is over. It is now destroying families. It is destroying other businesses, our democracy, and our country as we used to know it when we had a good robust middle class, a middle class that drove the consumer economy. To get this back, organized labor here and abroad must play a role in pushing policies and practices for shared prosperity for all workers. In order to make this work we need to get an amendment to the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. The amendment would be card check, which would boost the changes of workers winning the right to be represented by unions. With card check the workers would have the choice of an election or just 51 percent of the card signed indicating the workers want a union. This would prevent companies from using stall tactics and intimidation of workers to kill the union. Businesses should support labor and better wages for without the earners who spend their wages for goods and services, without the merchant capital; there will be no jobs, which means no spending, while the top earners are spending a small fraction of their income on goods and services. They spend and invest their money in gold, oil and mortgages around the world, which is short sighted with short gains and long-term disaster of the consumer capitalist system. The USA and other countries must make it unprofitable for the oligarchies to make their money off the backs of their workers and then not invest it in their own country. This is very unpatriotic and they should either pay up or move to where they have stashed their money or be made to pay their fair share for the commons they use to enrich themselves. No one gets rich without the use of our people and the use of our commons, such as our natural resources, armed forces educational system, roads, police, and fire departments, in fact, most all public infrastructures. Raise the minimum wage to $15 to $18 an hour or guarantee everyone older than the age of 21 a wage same as Social Security, which will, in and of itself, resolve a host of other social ills impacting our country.