Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Where are Today's Labor Leaders?

Will labor ever have modern day leaders like William D. Haywood, Eugene Debs, Mother Jones, Daniel De Leon, Father Thomas J. Hagerty, Frank Little, Gurley Flynn or Joe Hill? Some of these people were members of the International Workers of the World also known as “Wobblies.” Some were also called “soapboxers” because they were the people who fought for freedom of speech and won the right to stand on a street corner and just talk about whatever they wanted. Most of these people were the voices of labor and talking about all workers in all industries the world over. So, today we should be using these hard earned rights to point out that the rich are getting richer and refusing to understand or respond to the growing disaster that they are creating. Today’s low-wage workers working full time earn a combined$14 billion while Wall Street took in $28.5 billion in just bonuses. We must take a page from history and look at the Gilded Ages of the oligarchies, which was turned around by the wage slaves, people supporting the New Deal, higher taxation on the 1 percent, good rules and regulations on the Market. Think of today’s banks and Wall Street, and good rules of politics. There has to be a change for our democracy here and worldwide is at-risk from a combination of lopsided wealth and power. This is where and why we, today, need modern soapboxers, Occupy Wall Street, Anonymous and the Arab Spring. I hope they are out there planning, organizing and training for this is the year to beat back inequality with the minimal of $15 to $18 an hour minimum wage, free education, universal healthcare, pensions and do not forget about payments for our Commons, which the corporations have free use of. It is time to pay up. But first we must stand up. Voting is one way to send a clear message. Republican candidates for president, such as Rand Paula and Chris Christy, are coming out of the woodwork advocating the cutting, privatizing or abolishing of Social Security. If they succeed, where will that lead us? They have almost everything already and now they want to take Social Security, too. It’s up to us collectively to put a stop to it.