Minimum wages nationwide.
Image via Wikipedia

Back in the Reagan days Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman asked, “Why do the rich need incentives but the poor need desperation?”

Once upon a time, employee compensation was linked to the earnings of the company for which they toiled. Public employees were linked, yes, to a community standard. That was considered a way to lift everyone’s standard of living.

Then came offshoring. Corporations, trying to squeeze another nickel out of someone for greater profits, found that lowering wages was a great and good source of phony “profits” – and shipping jobs to countries that paid pennies was even better. How did they rationalize paying so little (while keeping prices on US good pretty much the same)? They said – well, a dollar a day is a good wage for those people since the standard of living is so low.

Now we bring it back home. We justify paying less and less, no matter what the company earns, because it’s the “community standard”. And we justify paying public employees less and less because, after all, they have no industries so community wage standards are much, much lower.

This apparently does not apply to top management. Nooooo – they need to be paid top incomes “to get the best talent”. They get high – exorbitant – salaries and their public equivalents do as well. “Best talent”. Have to pay kazillions.

We don’t apply this standard of course to prices. If house prices in your community have plummeted, that certainly does not mean that megamansions have to ask less, does it? They are still selling at top dollar because – gasp – that’s what the industry can ask. No community standard for that. And we sell things at whatever we can command even if someone, somewhere, is selling it for less because we don’t believe in community standards for capitalism – we can justify “service” or whatever to keep prices higher. Otherwise car prices would be much lower. Dealers and manufacturers agree – yes they collude – to keep prices high even in the face of lower demand.

What I want from those demanding that working people make sacrifices is to have a benchmark – what is the status and dollar value at which any one of us become so essential that we can demand huge wages and bonuses in the middle of a massive economic downturn? Where is the dividing line – I want the dollar amount – between desperation and incentive?

Who is it whom we value? And why is it the rest of us don’t matter? It’s a small question – but I just want to know. Why is a good teacher “inessential” but a raft of superintendents “essential”? Why is a line worker in a factor “inessential” but a CEO whose company falters and fails “essential”.

I just would like a dollar value of worth – mine and everyone else’s. I think it would clarify SO much for us if we just knew who was worthy and who was not.

Just asking.

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coffeegod
Member

I saw a program on the History Channel that wasn’t about pawn shops or couples who rabidly breed. It was about the history of hillbillies. A good portion of the program dealt with the redneck uprising in the coalfields of northern and central Appalachia between 1912 and 1936. (Yeah, it’s lifted from Wikipedia but I researched past that)

Those folks knew how to throw an uprising. I’m gonna work on channeling my inner redneck/hillbilly and see if I can’t open a can o’ whoop ass on some corporations.

I believe a small, polite revolution might just be in order here.

JackRusselTerrier
Member
JackRusselTerrier
Chernynkaya
Member

Nice, JRT.

PocketWatch
Member

PBS is now airing a special on the Triangle Fire of 1911..

Republicans must be having fits of ecstasy that we are going back to conditions like that.

Unions… bah! Working conditions… phhhht!

ADONAI
Member

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING RICH!

If wealth and material possessions are what makes you happy, who am I to judge?(until you die. then you’re going to Hell)

What pisses Mr. Carlin off and so many like myself is that many are not satisfied with that. They can’t just have more, others must have less.

You don’t HAVE to sacrifice your humanity to have the life you want. Many successful companies treat their employees like human fucking beings and they still do just fine.

But you don’t have a right to it. You don’t “deserve” to be rich. No one does. And I see stories of rich people who, through a series of bad investments, are now inching toward the poorhouse. And sometimes I feel bad for them. Because many of them didn’t hurt anyone to get their money but they took a gamble and it didn’t pay off. That is tough luck.

But if you’re being led out of large building in handcuffs I got no sympathy for you. Look at where you “work”! You make more than any of us will ever see! And that wasn’t enough?! What were you going to do with it?! Make yachts out of cocaine?! Unfortunately, these kind of people fair much better than the assholes I mentioned before.(WHAT!?! They’re still assholes.)

Artist50
Member
Artist50

Adonai- I so agree. I have nothing against the rich and there are many fine people who do many good things with their money. The quest for money was never a goal of mine – i should have “quested” a little more for my old age! There are also employers who pay fair wages and truly want the best for their emplyees.

Unfortunately, they seem to be getting swallowed by large corporations that don’t know their workers names or families – that makes it so much easier to depersonalize them – then they’re just a number not a human.

My god, in the case of the shirt factory fire they locked the doors afraid someone might get an extra break – letting a hundred forty some people burn alive or jump to their deaths! Those owners were later fined again for the same infraction. A century later and nothing gained? I can’t really believe humans are like this until I’m confronted with the facts. I’m always sure if we talked to them they would be reasonable- because I admit for the most part my world has been reasonable.

ADONAI
Member

Artist, I think it has a ton to do with entrenched power and nepotism.

The people at the very top NEVER want to leave that position even though the “nature of the market” dictates that everyone eventually will.

So they change the nature of the market or circumvent it entirely. Create “empires” littered with yes men, random family, and “favored” friends. Subtle manipulation of over decades to constantly “game the system”. Bury any reason under a pile of “lawyer talk” and opaque corporate bureaucracy.

But the people have to take some responsibility. It’s so easy to “buy Washington” when we keep electing their politicians over and over again. So easy to skirt the law when the people are clamoring for their goods and services without any question of how they get this shit.

cyrano1
Member
cyrano1

And what we need is more CFO’s and CEO’s being led out of buildings in handcuffs. Wasn’t the reasoning on the bailouts that our plutocracy is so systemic, we’d tank if we took them all down overnight? I think the grace period should be declared OVER!!!

jkkFL
Guest

WooHoo Cyrano.. You called That!

ADONAI
Member

“But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, there’s a reason education SUCKS, and it’s the same reason it will never … ever … EVER be fixed. It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it, be happy with what you’ve got. BECAUSE THE OWNERS, OF THIS COUNTRY, DON’T WANT THAT! I’m talking about the real owners now…the BIG owners! The Wealthy…the REAL owners! The big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. They are irrelevant. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice…you don’t. You have no choice! You have OWNERS!

They OWN YOU. They own everything. They own all the important land. … They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying…lobbying, to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that.

That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting FUCKED by a system that threw them overboard 30 FUCKING years ago. They don’t want that! You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork…And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shitty jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you sooner or later cause they own this FUCKING place! Its a big club, and you ain’t in it! You, and I, are not in The big club. By the way, its the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head with their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care! Good honest hard-working people.

White collar, blue collar it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-working people continue, these are people of modest means continue to elect these rich COOK SUCKERS who don’t give a FUCK about you. They don’t give a FUCK about you … they don’t give a FUCK about you. They don’t care about you at all . . . at all . . . at all, and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that’s being jammed up their assholes everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth. Its called the American Dream, cause you have to be asleep to believe it . . .”

~George Carlin

(sorry. He already said it so much better than I ever could have)

KillgoreTrout
Member

Adonai, I just posted a video of him doing that bit. Truer words have rarely been spoken.

ADONAI
Member

KT,Indeed. One of the better rants from his “Angry Years”.

The knowledge of a man who has lived a long life and seen a lot of fucked up shit.

I first became aware of him in the mid 90’s when he was transitioning from crazy observational humor to more social commentary.

I remember thinking he was the first person on TV to say what I was thinking. This shit is fucked up!

KillgoreTrout
Member

Adonai, I’ve been a big fan of Carlin’s work since the early 70s. He’s gone through many changes in all those years, like we all have.
What I liked about him most was his courage to really tell it like it is. Plus, the man was just incredibly funny.
He went through a pretty dark, pessimistic period for a while, after his wife died. They were very devoted to each other.
What amazes me is that after all the drug use and his being in his late 60s, his mind was still razor sharp.

ADONAI
Member

KT, I love his material from the 80’s. Just taking all the silly things from everyday life and riffing on them in hilarious ways. “Stuff” is still one of my favorite all time bits of his.

And I agree on both the loss of his wife and the drug use. Truly an amazing man who had experienced life to the fullest. The ups and the downs.

We should all be so lucky to live. Not just exist.

Artist50
Member
Artist50

I loved his “stuff” routine!

KillgoreTrout
Member

Adonai, yeah, “Stuff,” is a great bit. He had a knack for talking about things that we have thought of from time to time, yet never really talk about.
I really like his early stuff too. The Hippy Dippy Weatherman…etc. Funny stuff.

david p canada
Member
david p canada

George Carlin really knew how to appeal to the unwashed masses and put tens of millions of dollars in his pocket at the same time. It was his shtick.

He was an entertainer. Charlie Sheen is an entertainer. Lewis Black is an entertainer. The WWE provides entertainment and has a rabid following.

George Carlin never gave a FUCK about me, either. He wanted my $40 to hear him bitch about the rich, and he was one of them.

Artist50
Member
Artist50

So what? That’s what you do with talent, I don’t begrudge him that – he was a comic genius an should be recognized. We all have to make a living and George was destined to be successful or probably homeless – he struck the big time yet I don’t think it changed his values – he still wrote like a “little”guy.

Gransview
Member
Gransview

I liked him. A lot. And he deserved my $40.00

BigDogMom
Member
BigDogMom

Mr. Penner, what Carlin says is true. I’m not sure about your Country, but in our Country there is an elite group of people that hold the all the power. They are made up of Corporate/Wall Street big wigs and Political Elites. They run this Country and have an agenda for us that dates back to the 50’s.

If you look over the last 35 yrs., our tax code has been structured so that Corporations/Wall Street benefit financially and it also reduces competition from small to mid size companies. Putting the tax burden on the middle class and small to mid size businesses.

All done with the blessing of our Congress who talked sweetly to us, lulling us into believing that they have our best interest in mind, all the while making tax laws that would benefit the wealthy.

Eisenhower warned us of them, but we did nothing, we were trusting that our government would do right by us….they haven’t, we have been sold to the highest bidder.

KB723
Guest
KB723

BDM, I think and Agree that you are correct. Maybe this could be Why????

david p canada
Member
david p canada

We have the ultra-rich in this country and the dirt-poor. However, there doesn’t seem to be the level of animosity between the classes that appears to exist in the US.

Could be that government mandated redistribution of wealth (taxation) is not resisted to the degree that your wealthy do?

Even the unions in Canada don’t have quite the gimme, gimme, gimme attitude of your unions. There is an acceptance that to make the system work all sides must work together. No “lines in the sand”, so to speak.

Polarization will always hurt a country and the fault for that lies with both sides. No one can claim the moral high ground.

Abbyrose86
Member

@David, and the very rich in Canada don’t treat the masses and their employees, like the rich in the US do, either.

Are you familiar with Frank Stronach, and his biography?

Look up the ideals espoused by Frank Stronach and the CHARTER of the the company he founded, as well as the ideals his company goes by to this day…and you show me a comparable US company of that size which does the same.

KillgoreTrout
Member

In America, there is a general distain for any sort of class system. As there should be.

BigDogMom
Member
BigDogMom

Mr. Penner, not all Unions fit the “Gimme, Gimme” profile, that is a Right Wing propaganda meme, similar to the “Welfare Queen” that was started by Reagan.

We have a history of violent Union bashing in this Country by the Corporations to stop people from organizing because the bottom line is affected when people ask for a living wage.

Lives have been lost because of it, therefore certain Unions who were effect more than others by this violence are more sensitive and aggressive because of it. But not all Unions are what you describe. I suggest you read about the history of our Unions and workers in this Country.

The Corporate influence in our politics dates back centuries, he who has the most money can buy anything, especially our politicians….who in turn write favorable legislation for them.

We are a divided Country, no two ways about it, it is “us” and “them” and they are the ones who created this divide…not us.

All we want is a fair playing field, is that too much to ask?

Chernynkaya
Member

So well said, BDM!!!

KillgoreTrout
Member

BDM, here is a perfect example;

Artist50
Member
Artist50

What year was this KT?

KillgoreTrout
Member

Artist, I’m not sure, but I think it was in the late 90s or early 2000s.
Judging by the grey hair and beard.

KB723
Guest
KB723

KT, This was AWESOME!!! I never seen this skit by Carlin. I sure miss that guy.

KillgoreTrout
Member

I agree. George was a very observant guy. I miss him too.

DawgBone
Member

Exactly right, BDM! Our republic is largely an illusion at this point. Our government is in fact a soft form of corporate fascism.

Transnational corporations own our supreme court, our congressmen and our media.

I personally don’t see much hope for the American Republic, and the Orwellian Nightmare is a genuine possibility.

KillgoreTrout
Member

That is quite a harsh thing to say, and your language reveals a certain bias. Really, “unwashed masses?” Really?
And for your information, Carlin didn’t rake in tens of millions, then you fault him for bitching about the rich? Isn’t that what you just did in your claim that he pulls in tens of millions?
Carlin worked hard at his craft and was one of the best in his business.
Carlin was also about being true to his beliefs and being true in his observations.
Your comment is very disappointing.

david p canada
Member
david p canada

Perhaps my language could have been a tad more diplomatic, but I’ll stand by my comment.

Just because someone fills my ears with what I want to hear and puts a clever spin on it doesn’t mean I ignore his warts.

I lean to the Right, but I don’t hang on every word or joke that falls out of Dennis Miller.

jkkFL
Guest

david-perhaps the problem is that you don’t understand the US as well as you think. I am willing to admit, I know little about the workings of Canada, therefore I will refrain from commenting on their internal struggles..

KillgoreTrout
Member

david, who said anything about hanging on every word. Carlin was not really political. He was pretty much unsatisfied with the government as a whole.
He was a great observer of the world around him and he blended those observations with laser like comedy.
Miller couldn’t hold a candle to the brilliance of Carlin.

BigDogMom
Member
BigDogMom

@Killgore-Agreed, Miller is no Carlin, not even close…

ADONAI
Member

I do love Charlie Sheen and the WWE though.

KillgoreTrout
Member

I always liked Sheen, but he has sunk into the madness of addcition, and really does have some serious mental health issues.
Just look at his recent interviews.

KB723
Guest
KB723

KT, Nice to see You as well. 😎

KB723
Guest
KB723

KT, Good Evening… Another prop to take people’s eye off the Ball. I saw him this morning. Poor Guy really has some issues. Aren’t actors also part of a Union? Actors Guild or something, I can’t remember.

KillgoreTrout
Member

Good to see ya KB.

Moist Robot
Member
Moist Robot

!!! M/A/N/I/A !!!

BigDogMom
Member
BigDogMom

Ya think? 😕

ADONAI
Member

KT, I did see his most recent interview.

I kept waiting for him to ask the guy for some cocaine.

Khirad
Member

I almost jumped off my seat with the last one – his disheveled hair and crazy eyes, looks like he just woke up from a bender — which he probably did.

ADONAI
Member

Barking up the wrong tree my friend.

No one forced people to go to his shows. His books weren’t mandatory reading.

He did not kill people for an extra profit. He did not hire slave labor to produce his comedy routines.

I think someone is just bitter about George Carlin.

*EDIT* and the “he’s just an entertainer” or”he’s just a comedian” thing doesn’t sit with me either.

I could say the same of Oscar Wilde or Samuel Clemens. People still took what they said to heart. They were still correct.

david p canada
Member
david p canada

I have every “album” George Carlin released. He was hilarious, usually spot on, and obviously a great talent.

However, with that talent he could have succeeded no matter which political stripe he chose. If he would have swung to the Right, all that talent would have simply meant loathing from the Left.

I can laugh at both Carlin and Miller.

Artist50
Member
Artist50

David- IMO Miller doesn’t hold a candle to the genius of Carlin. He has no originality whether it’s left or right. But you are missing the essence of Carlin – he was not political – he hadn’t voted since McGovern – it’s like he saw then what we are seeing now. Everything he said is coming true! He detested both parties – he wasn’t a liberal just because he had a ponytail!

ADONAI
Member

david, you assume that Carlin was political at all. He hated the Democratic Party as much as the Republican. He had no political affiliation and did not vote.

He simply hated the wealthy who run us down everyday and the stupid people who wanna be “just like’em!”.

If that automatically equates with Republican in your mind, then that’s on you. Not him.

ADONAI
Member

david, 2 choices is the reason why he didn’t vote.

Move past the Party thing. He wouldn’t have voted PERIOD with a gun to is head.

Believe me when I tell you that he saw no difference in Republicans or Democrats because, as he said, they are irrelevant. It doesn’t matter.

david p canada
Member
david p canada

No, not automatically.

However, given only two choices, I suspect Carlin would not have voted Republican with a gun to his head.

AuntieChrist
Member

How interesting that the ONE state with a minimum wage below the federal level happens to be Kansas, home to Koch Industries:

Based in Wichita, Kan., Koch Industries, Inc. is one of the largest private companies in America according to Forbes magazine. It owns a diverse group of companies involved in refining and chemicals; process and pollution control equipment and technologies; minerals; fertilizers; polymers and fibers; commodity trading and services; forest and consumer products; and ranching. Koch companies have a presence in nearly 60 countries and employ about 70,000 people. Since 2003, Koch companies have completed more than $32 billion in acquisitions and investments, and nearly $11 billion in capital expenditures.

http://www.kochind.com/factsSheets/KansasFacts.aspx

jkkFL
Guest
PocketWatch
Member

Auntie – Given the Koch Industries and affiliated companies’ interests in forest and consumer products (paper), it is no surprise that the asset sale approval at no bid is buried in Senate 11 in Wisconsin. That would give Walker the permission to sell off about 25% of the state (state forests) at firesale prices and say that it’s because Wisconsin needs the money.

Nice!

PS: It’s not ALL about breaking unions. There’s more there than people are talking about.

david p canada
Member
david p canada

Yet they have many thousands of unionized employees who are paid far in excess of the minimum wage. Also, thousands of non-union employees who are paid well.

It might be interesting to see if there is even one single Koch employee that makes only minimum wage.

jkkFL
Guest

You might want to peruse this statement from KochInd.
http://www.kochind.com/kochFacts/
I am in a ‘right to work state’ -this statement is in Every employee handbook in FL:
“•We think the best workplace relationships are directly between the worker and employer. It is a mischaracterization of our principles to say this means we want to dismantle all unions.”
That is usually followed by this statement:
“Any employee who engages in, or is in posession of union materials, or activity, will be terminated without notice.”

Chernynkaya
Member

David, you know us– we need to see some verification of that. You see, we (I’d guess most of us anyway) mostly read the blogs that are Left-leaning, so what Auntie Christ wrote resonates with us. we have read similar assertions. But what you write sounds untrue–or unconfirmed. So if you can, links would be appreciated. If they are from a reliable source (you know what I mean–not Fox) I will stand corrected. Honest!

david p canada
Member
david p canada

Alas, sometimes I make a comment based on common sense without consulting with the omnipotent Google-God.

I will admit that every statement in my above comment could be completely false. However, Koch Industries employs 80,000 people. Many of their companies are enterprises involved in traditional union-type labor, hence my assumption.

Talented and qualified employees are critical to the Koch Bros success. You’re not going to find many of those people in the minimum-wage pool (no disrespect, just reality).

I don’t believe there are too many burger-flippers on the payroll over there.

Chernynkaya
Member

Sorry, David. That is only what you believe–just your opinion. You are welcome to it, but then you cannot then be taken seriously. It is not only NOT “common sense” to think that the Kochs

have many thousands of unionized employees who are paid far in excess of the minimum wage. Also, thousands of non-union employees who are paid well.

it is specious.

It is factual that they are huge employers. Ditto that they have well-paid people working for them. That’s is not at all the issue at hand.

They are union busters–it’s a fact. Are you promoting that? And if so, is it because you want Koch –and ALL–employees to make less than union wages? (Because it has already been proven that union employees make less than private sector wages.)Why do you want workers to make LESS? So the Koch can make more?

Are you under the impression that we should work for Third World wages in order to keep industries here? If you are, then I ask, “WHY do we need those employers in the first place? So we can become China? No thanks. If they want us to become China, I’d say that is pretty anti-American. Industry is supposed to make America great–not tear it down.

jkkFL
Guest

Sounds like david is displeased with the colonies..

JackRusselTerrier
Member
JackRusselTerrier

Great info. Thanks!

AuntieChrist
Member
JackRusselTerrier
Member
JackRusselTerrier

A true American hero.

bettybp
Member
bettybp

Couldn’t agree more, Bernie is a real patriot!

JackRusselTerrier
Member
JackRusselTerrier

Wake up America! The Robber Barons are stealing your hard earned money!
http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph

cyrano1
Member
cyrano1

Oh my gosh!!! JRT!! Yay! And I love the graphs!! What we need is the means to get the word out. We keep preaching to the choir!!

Chernynkaya
Member

Well, Mark Karlin says it for me:

How comfortable Marie Antoinette would feel with Scott Walker and the Koch Brothers.

Let them [the masses] eat cake, indeed.

As BuzzFlash has noted before, a key technique of the plutocracy is to consolidate wealth in the hands of a few, while dividing and conquering those who work for ever-decreasing hourly wages. A recent Truthout reader email recounted a conversation of two workers at a food store in Wisconsin who were “disparaging greedy public workers.”

Remember that the corporate and individual wealth today is actually increasing because of a combination of cheaper labor in other nations, resulting in cheaper labor in America, and the increased percentage of business profits that come from sales overseas.

Meanwhile, the former middle class – the hardcore poor don’t even get but a scintilla of media recognition anymore – is left to fight over scraps, or week-old pieces of cake.

Walker and his radical, plutocratic, modern-day economic royalists want to return to the days when the lower class fought each other over a few crumbs.

That is what was revealed in that conversation in what was probably a nonunion supermarket. The logic is clear: Walker represents the ideology that everyone but the richest Americans should be resigned to more work for lower pay.

This divide-and-conquer strategy is reinforced by the right-wing media echo chamber.

What we end up with are organizations of the rich pushing people who labor for a living into a race for the bottom.

Mark Karlin
Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

JackRusselTerrier
Member
JackRusselTerrier

We need to talk. I am working on a few projects you might be interested in…

If you have facebook, please contact me on my profile. There are a lot of people there with the same name. You’ll know it’s me because my pic is the same as the one I have on HP. Please tell me who you are if you use a different name on FB. I don’t friend people I don’t know.

Chernynkaya
Member

JRT– you can get my email address by contacting [email protected]. I have let them know it’s OK. I’m not on FB.

Kalima
Admin

Cher, if it’s ok with JackRusselTerrier, I could sent you their address now.

Chernynkaya
Member

Sure– thank you! Sorry for the bother.

Kalima
Admin

Ok Cher, as soon as I have confirmation from JRT, and no bother, I’m here.

JackRusselTerrier
Member
JackRusselTerrier

Cool.Will do.

Kalima
Admin

Would you like me to forward your email address to Cher?

Kalima
Admin

Done.

JackRusselTerrier
Member
JackRusselTerrier

Yes. See KAB.

Chernynkaya
Member

There is a vast gap between what we as a society SAY we value and what we show through our actions that we actually value.

We do not value families.
We fight against Family Leave legislation. We have one of the highest divorce rates. We put tremendous pressure on families through our economic policies that contain minimal safety nets. We have few consumer protections. All these things impact families. We encourage the dissolution of families through our welfare system. (See Children and Education.)

We do not value children.
Who will bear the brunt of spending cuts? America’s children. S-Chip is funded, but not without fierce resistance. WIC funding is cut. We allow anti-abortion laws to be strengthened while we refuse adequate birth control and then minimal child protection in the form of financial assistance or health care. There is no money to oversee foster care facilities and child protective services.

We do not value our elders.
Social Security and Medicare cuts are always threatened. Try finding a job after age 50. We spend vast sums on cosmetic surgery—and while most is vanity, there are also economic reasons we have to appear young. We cut spending on Home Health Care providers.

We do not value education unless it directly teaches money-making technology.
Teachers are one of the first cuts we make when the budgets are overdrawn. We denigrate “egg heads” and call them elites. We don’t fund community colleges or higher ed. grants for the working class or the poor. When we are not decimating the teachers, we cut the arts

We do not value women.
Planned Parenthood is threatened. This includes a variety of health services for women. We still don’t have an equal rights amendment. The Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed only in 2009. Small percentage of our legislators are women.

We do not value service to the community.
Lowest paid workers. And considered “not real jobs” by half this country. Obama was ridiculed for being a community organizer. We believe these should be volunteer jobs—discounting their value. ACORN was de-funded.

We do not value saving.
We encourage predatory lending practices—or at least don’t curb them. We promote consumerism and credit cards. We barely regulate banks and mortgage lenders so they can misrepresent their products. Our economy is based on debt and consumer spending.

We do not value hard work.
In a world that valued hard work, day laborers, trash collectors and farm hands would be the highest paid. See Wall St.

We do not value justice.
Those who ruined our economy—and therefore worked to ruin our country, get bonuses instead of jail time. Same for the Bushies who lied our way into wars and who tortured. More African American males in prison as a percentage of their demographic.

We do not value health.
We all know this—tens of millions with no access to health care. Fast food nation. Corn syrup. (Also, see below.)

We do not value the Earth.
We deny climate change and will do nothing to ameliorate the effects of carbon emissions on our atmosphere. We have to fight to keep our air, water and oceans moderately clean. We clear-cut forests. We frak gas. We insist on our dominion over nature.

We do not value the United States of America.
We are getting our clock cleaned by Chinese state capitalism. “We,” in this case, is the American economy. We don’t mind if domestic industry gets hollowed out. We don’t want to pay for infrastructure or for governing.

What we DO value–based on our actions– are greed, hegemony, power, and money. Period.

Abbyrose86
Member

Exactly!

Our nation is so hypocritical. WE pay lip services to these concepts…but that’s it, actions speak louder than words!

Artist50
Member
Artist50

Fantastic list!

To me this list is connected to your post today “Crisis of Reality” – how can we expect to further our spiritual life personally without caring about each of these items and how they effect every citizen, and yet the GOP professes their faith constantly and has no intention to help their fellow Americans.

I try not to judge others, but it’s difficult not look at the GOP and question their core values. For me individually, I have to feel like the party I support (my government) shares the values that I do. I can’t separate my self, my work, my family, and how I vote.

Gransview
Member
Gransview

I still think the majority of people hold these values. it’s the corruption in our government that has it’s taint on every aspect of our lives.

Abbyrose86
Member

@Gransview….I would like to think what you say is true…but I’m not so sure.

Think about the way people vote or don’t vote…or how they shop. Actions speak so much louder than words. While many may CLAIM to value such ideas, they often actually DO things that contradict the values they claim to hold.

I’m not just talking about politicians or corporate execs…I’m talking about average people as well.

DawgBone
Member

Bingo!

But it’s not so much that we don’t value these things as it is The Powers That Be who do not value these things. For example:

1) Big Pharma does not value health because it makes money off of illness.

2) Transnational corporations don’t value the Earth because environmental protection impacts their bottom line.

3) The Elite do not value education because a dumbed-down population is easier to exploit and control.

4) Etc.

I still have some faith in the American People despite the fact that we are mostly asleep, if not comatose. I still think that we are the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave –> strong resourceful people.

It is just a matter of waking people up.

cyrano1
Member
cyrano1

And the only life they value is that of the unborn. After delivery, that baby had better have great bootstraps!!

DawgBone
Member

Exactly C!

jkkFL
Guest

Cher,
What a powerful post.
You are tragically correct, and it’s getting worse.
What a sentence to hand to our progeny.

coffeegod
Member

* groveling * I am soooo not worthy.

AWESOME post…just awesome.

Chernynkaya
Member

Coffee!! I was just reading YOUR post right below, and was about to say the same to you!

coffeegod
Member

Great minds, ma’am, lie in the same gutter. 😉

coffeegod
Member

I was widowed 6 years ago. My son was 3 at that time. Instead of being able to stay home and care for him, I had to work, not because I need the money but because I need the health care. I simply could not afford to insure both me and my son and maintain our moderate life. I could live on SSI and raise my son but I wouldn’t have health insurance. Social Security allows me to make 14k a year gratis then takes one dollar away for every two I earn over that. Between daycare, parking, clothes, gasoline, reduction in my SSI benefits and summer camp, my yearly take home pay is about $1000.00. I am paid well and I like my job but I would really rather be home, caring for my kid.

I tried to get my kid on the CHIPs program but I made $36 a month too much. Were I still living in Tennessee, we would have qualified for CHIPs but not here in Mississippi.

I’m not complaining but it would have been wonderful to be able to stay home and raise my son rather than turn that responsibility over to counselors and daycare workers. I don’t really know if this is even germane to the topic but I needed to vent. Please pardon.

jkkFL
Guest

Youur statement about making too much to get into the CHIPs program ($36!)
reminded me of something else. They legislate ‘safety nets’, but if you’re one of the ‘working poor’, they cut holes in the bottoms so that many people fall thru! Just another way to keep the poor desperate.

Moist Robot
Member
Moist Robot

coffeegod, this story is germane! Life has become too complicated not to be recompensed in a manner which would be way more than enough if we lived in a more, say, tribal culture.

Too bad cyber-sitting can’t be viable. I’d gladly look after your son a while!

My thoughts are with you on your loss. Six years is just six years.

coffeegod
Member

Awww, thanks, ma’am. He is a good kid and very self-reliant. He started staying home after school by himself this year (age 9). Oddly enough, his grades are better and his homework is done before I get home.

I miss my husband every day but you just gotta keep on keeping on.

jkkFL
Guest

Coffee- you’ll find a good support system here!!
Smiley

coffeegod
Member

That I have, jkk, that I have.

* beam *

PocketWatch
Member

When I interview people for a job of any kind, I always ask the following question pretty early in the conversation:

“How much do you need to get up and come into work every day? Nothing fancy, but what will cover it for you?”

I believe in paying a living wage, and that seems to be fairly individual to people and scales differently depending on where you live.

I also ask the company ahead of time what the pay range is for the position they want to fill.

Interestingly, I have never had anyone tell me a number that was way out of line with what the company was going to offer.

Since I also believe in compensation for performance, I think this whole notion that “the best” of these fools and narcissists that are hired to run these companies into the ground are basically “hit and run” artists that go from company to company and leave havoc wherever they go.

How they con anyone into believing they are the best or the brightest is a mystery to me.

2ndClassCitizenPundit
Member

But their resume looks *so* good! And they have letters of recommendation from an astronaut, Gandhi, and Idi Amin! And their last company paid them 7 figures as a severance package!

How could they not be perfect CFO, CEO, or COO material?

citizen477
Member
citizen477

This is exactly what I’ve been asking, but — of course — you have articulated it much better than I ever could.

I have been asking for years why we worship rich people so much. Usually, the overwhelming response is, “Well, they fund the corporations that get us jobs” But, my question is do we really need corporations? Frankly, I believe the current corporate structure has outlived its purpose. The plutocratic form of production, which Adam Smith warned against, is becoming not only untenable but unsustainable.

Your post is right on the money (no pun intended), Choicelady, because the structure of the corporation is exactly why the economy is failing. We need a new way of producing things more sustainably and fairly. Maybe the answer could be found in cooperative economics. I’m not sure, but the old-fashioned corporate structure is tiresome, bloated, uneven, unfair, unsustainable and no longer useful.

Finally, it’s funny how people criticize large government institutions for being wasteful, overreaching and inefficient, but the same can be said about the corporation. The only difference is, at the very least, I can vote out of office the politician who nominated the person to run a given public agency, but I can’t vote a CEO out of his post.

Abbyrose86
Member

Thank you Citizen, I was trying to find the words for how I felt on the subject, but you pretty much had already summed up my feelings, as well!