ONE NATION RALLY-WASHINGTON D.C.


  On October 2, 2010, we came together as one voice, letting all who would listen know that we will always stand up for justice and fairness.  They came from every state.  The old came with their walkers and people with disabilities, with their wheelchairs.  Families with their children as witnesses of that day, that moment, when our grievances, ideas and voices came together to make that declaration of purposefulness.  The young, beginning to understand the outline being presented to them by the guest speakers, such as singer, actor and social activist, Harry Belafonte Jr., host of syndicated radio show and host of “The Ed Show” show on MSNBC, Ed Shultz, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka, just to name a few.  Each person having arrived with the wonder and anticipation of what lied ahead.  We really didn’t know what it would be like or what stimulus being there would provide us.  But none the less we came, bus load after bus load, by car and by train.  When we heard attorney, educator and President of AFT ( American Federation of Teachers) speak with such adhesion to our root.  When attorney, civil rights and environmental advocate Van Jones, NEA (National Education Association) President Dennis Van Roekel, and Rita Darragh-Conners, who came from Allentown Pa. to march and be a voice for her middle school students, we then knew we could rise and we could uplift by renewal. We came to create a new voice and new agenda, for the purpose we already knew. We already knew the familiar faces, such as civil rights leader and activists Rev. Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and Radio talk show host and activist Joe Madison, who are a constant in the reminding of the dream.  But this time we added the plan on how to rebuild our dream of what America could and should be.  We came to remind those who thought we had given up, that today gives us great confidence that we will make America what it needs to be, because we [ ARE ] worthy of such an analogous, great and just America.  We stood up and let them know how proud we were to be there protecting and advancing the legacy that was passed on to us by the generations before us. They fought, sacrificed and some with their lives so that we could be here today to reveal the portrait of America today and the plan we have for America tomorrow.  We walked in footsteps of giants and with us walked giants to be. And now the task begins with our open minds ready to absorb the lessons we need to push forward through the maze of deceptions that are placed along our paths.  Ever seeking and never getting tired but perhaps recognizing that when we pass that inevitable baton, it must contain invaluable lessons that we have packaged for the new recipients not to REBUILD but TO BUILD UPON with the knowledge,conviction and willingness to participate.  LEARN, DISCUSS AND VOTE!

                              Penny McQuaig

 

           

 

 

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RETIREMENT IS ONLY FOR THE RICH!


     Our first day of work on a permanent job, was usually the day that we kind of put it in our minds that we would work approximately 30 years, around the age of 50, and then retire.  We would be secure with our lifetime income (our pension), our supplemental savings {401(k)}and our company-paid healthcare benefits.  With the addition of the 401(k) plan, that was sold as a wealth building tool, where the employee could invest PRE-TAX dollars taken directly from their paychecks before they got a chance to spend it, we just knew that this was the best chance to live at least 1/4 of the life style that they [the employer] lived. This 401(k) plan was the new revised edition of the former Defined Contribution Plan which allowed the employee to invest AFTER TAX dollars and the employer could match the amount with their own TAX FREE profits.  Those plans also allowed the employee to determine how much or how little they wanted to invest, but that changed Sept. 2, 1974 with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act [ERISA].    But the 401(k) plan was marketed as the “modern retirement plan.”  For every company that wanted to dump the traditional defined-benefit pension plan, this was a god-send.  The employer contributes a specific amount(defined-contribution plan), and the worker assumes all risk of investing that money.  If the employee is a savvy investor, they will end up with a lot of money.  But if they invest too safely, aggressively, or is not free to change investments when markets shift, then there will not be enough money when they want to retire. 

From the executive view, the deal is sweet.  First of all by switching from defined-benefit pensions to defined contribution retirement savings, it improves the appearance of their financial performance.  Less cost, more profit.  They also can sell the idea that if an employee has to rely on the stock of a company to fund their retirement, then they will work harder and oppose work rules of the union,which management believes impedes profits, or they will resist union altogether.  They could then vote out union or vote not to have union.  Wages could then be held down and workers could be pushed to work longer hours without overtime pay.  As the percentage of union workers declines, the wage levels can be held down or pushed back further.   

The companies already had a model for this line of thinking.  They had Microsoft.  Microsoft’s value rested on its monopoly status over the operating systems of at least 9 out of 10 desktop computers.  Microsoft hired contractors in order not to share profits and rising stock prices.  The message that companies like  Frontier(which was previously Rochester Telephone Company) and other companies were sending,  was that you could become rich if you just stop listening to your union.

The chief executive of Rochester Telephone had a plan from the onset to take his company into the big leagues.  He was aware of the developing strands of glass at Corning Glass and persuaded his board of directors to invest.. .the fiber optic network was born.    He also bought an independent long-distance company in Detroit.  The employees of the Detroit company were paid less and had less benefits than the union workers at Rochester Telephone.  He promised to keep the monopoly and the competitive Detroit company separate and renamed the entire company Frontier.  When revenue exploded in 1995, he then predicted he would double in size by 2000.  In 1996 Congress then passed  the Telecommunications Act.  Frontier was now unhampered by state utility regulators.  But despite steadily rising stock prices and huge percentage gains in dividend checks, the chief executive was determined to pay less to Rochester Telephone workers.  He thought that their wages should be more in line with the Detroit workers.  When their contract expired and the union refused to accept the lowering of wages and benefits, the chief exec. established them anyway as the new Telecommunications Act allowed him to do.  Then on Dec 31, 1996, He froze the pension plan and told the workers that the company could not afford to put anymore money into those un-rewarding pensions….the newly unregulated and competitive industry no longer came with guaranteed profits. 

Getting rich by being paid in stock, like executives was pitched over and over again.  What they neglected to tell the employees was that the conditions of stock ownership was different from those of the executives.  The executives had much more freedom to sell when their inside knowledge told them to, in order to increase their profits.  When the market price was higher than the fixed price they had paid, they made a huge cash profit, and used the cash to buy stocks and bonds from other companies, diversifying their portfolios.  The employees couldn’t sell for 5 years.  Some companies required the worker to keep their stock until they turned 55, when the federal law allowed them to slowly begin selling to diversify.  It is too late then to make up the sharp drops in the company shares.  The worker was never given the financial planning advice that the executives routinely received because it was forbidden by Congress.  If the worker wanted advice, they would have to pay for it themselves with after tax dollars. 

Many companies not only received professional advice with the company but the company also paid the taxes on the value of that advice.  The cost of which was more than most workers made yearly. 

Other companies, such as IBM, Eastman Kodak etc… that were required to keep much of their wealth in the company, were rewarded handsomely for the increased risk.  These rewards came in the form of huge compensation packages, so large that even if the company failed the executive would remain rich. 

When Rochester New York became the first city in the country to with open competition for local telephone service.  Rochester Telephone employees were told to expect layoffs and their pensions were frozen while the top executive’s pay rose 50 percent.  Along with other senior executives, the top executive was exempted from the pension freeze.   Just weeks after the pension freeze, on Dec 31, 1996, the members of Local 1170 voted on a new contract.  Not only did it include a pension freeze, it also included a wage freeze for 3 years and a cap on retirees health benefits.  The union voted it down and was accused by the company of being interested in entitlements instead of competition.  The important word propagandistically repeated over and over  is entitlements,(which the republicans use today to describe Social Security benefits)  as Frontier and other companies continued their push to reduce compensation for the workers, while dollars flowed even more generously to management, especially those at the top.  They labeled pension and health care benefits as entitlements and union members were like lazy welfare recipients who collect a check because they are entitled to them, except the union members show up to work.

When the company gave Rochester Tel. employees stock in Frontier, the value equal to 1/2 percent of their wages, approximately $1.oo  per work day.  This amount was less than 1/4 of what the company had been putting into the traditional defined-benefit pension, which carried no risk for workers and since 1974 had been guaranteed by the federal government.   If this plan was in effect from 1960 thru 1995, an employee would have retired with a lump sum (which they push) of about $17,500.00 instead of a pension of $19,000.00 per year.  When the company gives its match to the 401(k) in shares, those shares are counted at the current market value despite the  5 year restriction on their sale.  So that even with the match, the company is spending far less than in the traditional pension plan.  Had the plan been in effect with the match plus the 1/2 percent since 1960, after 35 years, the shares would be worth less than $71,000.00.    Had that same 3.5 percent been invested in diversified portfolios (instead of forced to stay in company stock) that grew a healthy 10 percent per year, it would be worth $122,000.00 which would be about the defined-benefit pension plan would pay in the first six years.

The workers were never given these comparisons, instead they were constantly sold on the idea of a rich future if they took this plan as the union (CWA Local 1170) tried to get the members to stay with the traditional pension plan.  With the company’s sales pitch and the stock doing well, these factors re-enforced what the company was saying, even though the union thought that the plan was a huge give back.  They warned the members that stock prices goes up and down and that the executives could cash out and the members couldn’t (and the members didn’t get any additional compensation to make up for the risk). They heightened executive retirement plans, with millions of dollars and stuffed their plans even more through tricks, such as adding years that they never worked and crediting their salaries with amounts that they did not make, to boost their pensions?  Most pensions are based on base salaries, but executives are based on base plus bonus.  Also the pension formula is higher for executives.  This is what is called “the eternal wealth syndrome.”  Their pensions alone provide executives with more than is needed for retirement so that they never have to touch any of the millions put away during their working years. 

This diversion of extra monies puts a huge strain on budgets for personnel.  Congress helped by passing a series of laws that allowed the companies to balance their budgets by taking away from the retirement income from lower salaried workers.  The worker had no way of knowing that their pensions will be reduced by part of the amount that they would  collect in Social Security benefits.  This hurts the low wager earner and those who leave after they become pension eligible years before they become eligible to collect that pension.  It reduces their benefits in some case by 1/5.  The law that Congress passed allowed the companies to apply inflation in two ways… reduce the workers benefits who switches jobs long before retirement freezing benefits in the dollars of the year that the worker left the job and giving full credit to the inflation adjustments made over time that boost the size of Social security benefits paid years later, offsetting the pension by that amount.

While companies have been increasing executive pensions, known as supplemental executive retirement plans (SERPs), the pensions for the worker has decreased by over 22 percent.   

All those years of contributing less to pension plans cost the plans $400 billion in assets by 2003 when the bubble burst on wall street.  Congress had listened to the donor class, did not enforce the rules requiring pensions to be solely and exclusively to benefit workers and retirees and allowed 60 percent of pension assets to be invested in stocks and other equities instead of fixed income assets like bonds.  During the stock market bubble rising stock prices made these pension plans appear more sound so little actual cash was put into them.  Not spending money on pension obligations made companies appear more profitable than they really were which pushed stock prices even higher.  This enriched those (executives) who were able to cash out their stock. 

Congress allows companies to exclude 30 percent of workers from pensions.  They also allow companies to count Social Security benefits as if they were provided by the company.  They skew the benefits so that lower paid workers get less and higher paid executives get more. 

The fact that these companies use their own stock to fund the modern retirement plans brings a company tax-free cash, cuts in taxes and makes the executive stock options more valuable by making finances appear stronger than they actually are. 

You save 3 percent of your pay in the 401(k) plan to buy company shares, the company gives you an equal number of shares.  For example, you save $100 that the company paid you and each share sold for $100.  You take that $100 that the company paid you and give it back to the company for a share of stock.  The company takes that share off the shelf but it’s still unissued stock and it now becomes capital for the company which is un-taxable income.  The company then issues a second share of stock (matching).  The company has zero cash expense at this point.  The $100 salary it paid you came back to them tax-free and the second share was declared to be worth $100 also because that is the amount it was trading for that day.  The company gets a tax deduction for both the $100 salary and the matching share of stock that it declared worth $100 when it put it into the 401(k) plan.  No money has flowed out but the tax break money has flowed in.

Those who cash out early (executives) walk away with lots of money.  Those who hold onto their shares for the long run as workers are required to do, end up paying inflated prices for their shares and get less in the end.

Another advantage for the company is that the plan has different voting rights.  The stock is held in a trust that the company controls.  In most cases the worker doesn’t vote their shares.  The trustee then votes them in proportion to how everyone else voted.  This is why your union will ask for your proxy in order to vote on your behalf. 

Frontier was then sold to Global Crossing.  Global Crossing used shares of its stock valued at $11.5 billion, [even though Global Crossing had no operating business and huge losses], to purchase Frontier.  They just sold the idea of fiber optics.   

Global crossing was the child of Gary Winnick, who was a former partner to Michael Milken, the junk bond king of the eighties. After  Enron filed for bankruptcy,  Global Crossing amended its executive retirement plan.  All but 15 of the 80 eligible execs converted $15 million of unsecured stock into $13 million of cash. This continued until $5.2 billion of stock in 41 months had been unloaded.  During that time Winnick bought politicians with millions of dollars.  In 2002 they filed for bankruptcy.  Later that year it  was sold to Citizens Utilities. 

The modern pension plan that was to make the worker a millionaire but instead was frozen in 1996 dollars will be worth about $100 a month in todays dollars when they retire in 2029.

This worked  well for the companies and without a fight from the employees.  In fact it worked so well that now they want to do away with pension altogther.  They already told you that you needed to work harder [you are now doing the work of 2 people for the price of one].  They still want to take away pension, your healthcare and they want you to wait to collect your Social Security benefits [they haven’t figured out a way to get you okay to privatize it yet].  They want you to believe that it will run out of money if you take it too soon.  Well that is because when they raised the amount that we pay into Social Security each pay period [the amount tripled] they told us that the would lock the box and the money would only be used for retirement and disability.  Well that didn’t happen.  They used it to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and capped amount that the wealthy paid into Social Security to the first $76,200 of wages. 

All of this occurs without our knowledege because we have not paid attention or have fallen prey to the suggestion that we are deficient in understanding such matters.  When we neglect to pursue our own interest DEMOCRACY FAILS and the power of the donor class increases.

We must become INFORMED and ENGAGED or we will LOSE!  The fight is ours to win or lose, but the loss is guaranteed if we are afraid or unprepared to fight!

 Penny McQuaig

HUMAN DYSFUNCTION-CONFRONTING INHUMANITY


Sometimes in our effort to stand tall in the midst of a sea of giants, we tend to pick out what and who we perceive to be our smallest and weakest.  This is why I chose to speak out about our inhumanity to one another. 

There was an incident that happened in my office that made me recognize the need to expose our mistreatment of one another as proof that the powers that be [the giants] have succeeded in their system of division and suppression of our minds and influence of our actions.  

A few years ago, the corporation that I work for(stating it’s name  is unnecessary because they all basically do the same things) advised us (it’s workers) that they would no longer supply us with bottled water.  Instead they put water fountains in the hallways.  They never took into consideration (perhaps they did but decided that the value of human life was not as valuable to them as the amount of money that they would save, similar to the strategy of BP) that we are two[2] and three[3] levels below ground and right next to the rebuilding of the World Trade Center Towers.  The constant smell of the Hudson River and when it rains the constant smell of the waste and the Hudson are obvious reminders that no matter how pretty they make it look, we are still in the bowels of Manhattan.  I said then that we should fight this decision.  Water is basic. Confidence in clean water is indispensable.  How would this change [in where we access our water from] alter how often we drank water?  Well no one wanted to take on this fight, instead we started a Water Club-purchasing our own water by contributing a certain amount (7 dollars for us) a month.  This seemingly went along okay for those who chose to participate.  For those who didn’t want to pay for their own water while they sat working on the corporation’s Property, talking to their customers until parched,  were never monitored as to how their water drinking habits were or were not altered and were never asked.  Not drinking enough water can become a medical problem for some.  I have never been much of a water drinker, but as I age, I understand that I must drink water so I chose to participate in the Water Club so that I could help keep something so essential to everyone that I worked with, essentially easy accessible to everyone.  For those who chose not to pay for something that they and I believe should have been supplied by the corporation, I concur,  and would never deny them access to the water that the Water Club kept in the office.  There was plenty of water, because all of those who paid for it could not drink it all. There were and are days that I forget or get so busy that I don’t get a chance to get water.  There are days that I am not there to get water.  And as I stated before, water is basic.  But for the days that I and others in the Water Club did not drink the water, no one came and offered nor did I request a rebate for those days.  In addition no one requested or charged any of the Water Club members,  including him,  any additional monies for those who drank water and were not a member of the Water Club.  The fee was still 7 dollars[$7.00] a month.     

Just as with BP, a crisis occurred, a flood happened, water from the Hudson and raw sewage water rained down from the ceilings.  Just like BP, the managers bought in fans and said the next day it was safe to return.  Four days later (fans still blowing) we found it was not safe.  Bacteria from raw sewage (being constantly blown) was in the air.  All those who were drinking from the exposed water fountain were getting additional risks of contamination.  We were moved to another floor until the clean-up was completed.

But in the midst of the crisis we somehow managed to gain a Water Police.  We didn’t have an election nor was there a notice posted.  He decided we needed one and he had the best qualifications for the job-PETTINESS.  This is a person who never challenged the decision made by the corporation, but wants to police who is a member of the Water Club and do they really deserve to get a cup of water.  This is a person who is not a steward where he can monitor what management does,  but quickly became adept at monitoring his fellow union members drinking of what became his water. 

When we step out of humanity into acting inhumanly, nostrils flaring with indignation at the revelation that I hadn’t paid for water since November(because the collector hadn’t collected yet as they have always done with me), that I was stealing water and threatened to call Security on me.  In doing so he is also assuming that when the collector collects, that I would refuse to pay or that the collector had complicity in my stealing water.  I then realized that he had a hole in his soul.  He wanted to bend me to his will and when he couldn’t, he threatened me with a report to Security.  Me who he had nothing to gain from, I don’t employ him, I don’t pay him, give him benefits or job security, but he chose me to challenge.  I can’t offer him a pension, medical benefits or any retirement packages, but he chose to challenge me because he saw me as small and weak and decided that is where his attack should take place not with the corporation who denied him conveniently accessible water.

I am here to tell you that we have a much bigger task at hand.  For when he chose me to fight, I who am his sister in union, I who could and would stand up for him and union, he showed me that he had no commonality with me.  He chose to disrespect and abuse me as if I were the enemy.  I realized that my job as a union member and our purpose as union members has not been defined, nurtured, and implemented in a way that serves our cause. I who wanted the corporation to not only give me clean and safe water while I am doing their work, but him also.  I know that I deserve to be treated with respect because not only am I a human being but I am an American citizen as he is also,  living under the American Constitution.   In the Preamble to the Constitution  it states in order to promote the general welfare to ourselves(we the people).  That general welfare to me includes clean and easily accessable water for him and I and anyone who is there doing a job.  If  7 dollars[$7.00] is a hardship for him while working for this corporation or any employer, I am not the problem.  The Preamble to the Constitution speaks about securing our Liberty and Prosperity.  We have work to do.

http://www.senate.gov/civics/constitution_item/constitution.htm

If we do not understand as of yet that we are our brother’s keeper, we have a lot of work to do…. so let’s get started.

A LETTER TO MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN UNION


Dear Fellow Union Members:

If you know anyone who has taken the Verizon IPP/Surplus package, please let them know that this letter is for them. 

I salute you.  I saw you when you got your babies out of bed at 5am to drop them off by 7am so that you could make it to work by 8am.  I want you to know that I understand the days that you sat at the desk working for Verizon when you should have been home securing your families, fixing something your spouse or child asked you to fix or do.  I felt your sadness knowing how you sat at those desks, feeling that you should be home teaching and playing with your child, or soothing that child when they were not feeling well.  I know how it felt to you men and women who sat at the desk when your child had a recital or school play.  I know it wasn’t easy and I know you were stressed.  I remember you sitting there on Christmas day not being able to see your mothers eyes well up with tears over the thoughtful gift her son, her daughter gave her.  I know that you were not in the family picture opening Christmas gifts.   I remember you sitting there on Mother’s day.  I recall hearing you say on the telephone I love you Mom.  I was there Father’s day when you said I made dinner last night.  All I have to do is make the rice and heat up the rest when I get off at 5 o’clock.  I remember the list of things you made last night, from the greens to the casserole, from the ham to the turkey..and the deserts sounded so delicious.  I saw you exhausted from being up until 4am just to prepare everything ahead of time because you had to work on that day.  I saw you so tired that you couldn’t even enjoy what you cooked.  I still remember you running to the store each break and lunch period in order to get all the things that your child needed for the first day of school, Easter, graduation, summer camp or their wedding.    Just for the memories, I salute you.  For you were there when you should have been home in bed  sick.  You were there when the snow was 2, 4, and 6 inches deep.  You were there when the storm came and you worked extra hard because the customer needed service.  For even though I still remain, I have sat there too.  So even though Verizon nor CWA said goodbye, we’ll miss you and thanks for all you gave.  I SALUTE YOU BECAUSE YOU GAVE ALL OF YOU and miss you we will!

 

Penny McQuaig

WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR? DO WE ACQUIESCE OR DOES UNION HAVE THE COURAGE TO LEAD THE REVIVAL OF THE MIDDLE CLASS?


                                                                                                                                      

     There were two eras that elevated the middle class.  The first was the period from 1700 to the mid-1800s.  This period was propelled by the transfer of land from the Indigenous Americans to the settlers, who got the land for practically nothing.  With cheap land as capital, regular citizens began to have an adequate standard of living.  They were literate and suitably  informed about politics and international affairs. 

    This lasted through the Civil War when land was becoming scarce and the industrial revolution drew workers to the cities in search of work.  By the late 1860s, big business grew and the middle class collapsed.  This was due in part because the early inheritors of companies like Cargill (agriculture)  of today gained control of the sale and the distribution of farm products.  The farmers fought back by creating farming rules (industry standards) known as the Grange movement.  This fraternal organization made it possible for families to join together for their common good.  So what are we waiting for?  

    The country was moving away from agriculture and towards  industrialization.  This augmented the farmers loss of power.  As the industry continued to grow, the wealthy obtained monopolies over new technology and the resources that was required to run the technologies, such as the railroads , steel and oil.  This allowed them to accumulate massive amounts of wealth.  This period became know as the Gilded Age or the Era of the Robber Baron because the wealth did not trickle down to the workers.

    Soon the twentieth century had arrived with the average income of working class Americans being less than $10,000 per year in todays dollars.  But the Americans still did not give up.  They fought back through Progressive and Populist movements, and gained important economic and political reforms.  So what are we waiting for?

    The first thing they did was  limit the size of corporations to limit their power.  This was the SHERMAN ANTITRUST ACT OF 1881.  This law is still in effect but the decision not to enforce it was made by Ronald Reagan.  Jimmy Carter was the last president to use it significantly when he broke up the AT&T monopoly.  So what are we waiting for?

    The second thing they did was to force the special interest out of politics by enacting legislation to prohibit corporations from “directly or indirectly” making contributions in federal elections.  On Jan. 26, THE TILMAN ACT OF 1907 (which is still on the books)  was signed into law by Pres. Roosevelt.   Other changes were made politically, such as changing to electing instead of appointing senators, and the woman’s suffrage (19th amendment ratified Aug. 18, 1920).  Still they struggled to bring together the developing union movement.  Once an aristocracy is in place, it is very hard to dislodge.   So what are we waiting for?

    The Depression was the catalyst that precipitated the second era of the middle class.   By 1929 after a number of massive tax cuts for the wealthy by successive Republican presidents, the division between the wealth of the investor class and the working class in the country was wider than it had ever been.  (It has again reached those dimensions).  The end result was the October 1929 stock market crash and the Great Depression.  Sound familiar?   So what are we waiting for?

    Herbert Hoover tried to continue on this path of destruction by running his re-election campaign idea of more tax cuts for the wealthy to stimulate the economy (Prosperity Is Just Around The Corner), but the public had had enough of him and the extremist Supreme Court that had recently voted down minimum wage and other protection laws for workers saying that they were unconstitutional.  So what are we waiting for?

    It took President Roosevelt to make sure that the citizens had money in their pockets by using the progressive taxation code, starting Social Security, passing fair labor laws, regulating businesses and vigorously enforcing the antitrust laws.  In 1935  he pushed through the National Labor Relations Act (the Wagner Act) which protected workers right to form a union and in 1938 the Fair Labor Standards Act which set a minimum wage.  So what are we waiting for?

    During World War II, the President passed a progressive income tax which took up to 90% of the income after a person earned what would be more than $2 million in today’s dollars.  That rate remained in effect under FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Johnson and Carter, and America’s debt was small and monies was in the hands of We The People who were most likely to spend it and keep the economy stimulated.  So what are we waiting for?

  FDR set the stage for a middle class with spending programs blended with unionization, antitrust laws and the most importantly the expansion of citizen participation in our democracy which happens when a middle class grows.  So what are we waiting for? 

     In a time of crisis, FDR instead of giving tax cuts to billionaires like Reagan and the Bushes, he went to the working class to stimulate the economy, like Obama.  The infrastructure projects were started giving workers a living wage which provided a direct stimulus to the economy and the work improved the commons.  Social Security made sure that all working and disabled citizens had something for retirement and he set up the FDIC to insure that the citizens money would be safe.  So what are we waiting for? 

    If we do nothing the results are clear:  corporations will determine our fate.  We can take a different path and fulfill the promise and vision of our founders.  The conservative view will not meet the needs of the majority.  it can only lead to aristocracy and feudalism as history has taught us.  So what are we waiting for?

    President Barack Obama ran on a campaign for change, but change cannot happen unless we change.  As you can see from history, the citizens need unions.  And as in the words of  Samuel Adams, it does not take a majority to prevail. But rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brush fires of freedom in the minds of men.”  So what are WE waiting for?  No really, WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR?

GOV. PATERSON WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?


Not only does he  undermine the state workers with the exploitation of the temporary worker, he now boldly disrespect the state worker by giving his staff raises in the wake of furloughs for the state workers.

Who caused the states fiscal troubles?  It certainly was not the state workers, so why must all problems be solved off of the backs of the workers?  When is Gov. Paterson, the assembly and senate going to give up a days pay each week?  They certainly can afford it.  When is the Governor going to increase the taxes on the corporations in-order to increase revenue?  What he is telling the worker, the person who keeps things going,  is that only the lifestyle of the rich is important.  The lifestyle of the worker is insignificant. 

When does the nys public get a chance to sit down and negotiate with the Governor like the CEO’s of the corporations do. 

We have got to stand up for each other and take our democracy back.  Those who have the least are paying the most!  The decisions for the many are being made by the wealthiest few.  This is neoliberalism operating as a political system.

Well I say to Gov. Paterson, when they get finished using you as their pawn[coding frame] will you still be a part of the inner circle?  I doubt it.  

This profit over people syndrome has taken hold and we must let them know that democracy will prevail.

     WAKE UP EVERYBODY-  IT’S TIME FOR THINKING AHEAD!

Penny McQuaig

FYI: FREE PRESS SUMMIT TOMORROW


Tomorrow, May 11, 2010 is the Free Press Summit: Ideas To Action in Washington D. C. 

If you cannot attend you can listen:

http://www.freepress.net/summit