The Nov. 18 front-page article about the rise and fall of America’s workers failed to mention what the economic royalists of today muttered under their breaths until one of their own, Warren Buffett, publicly stated the truth, declaring that, “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
Buffett knows that it isn’t automation, computerization and other “breakthroughs” that have caused workers’ incomes to slide downward, but attacks on collective bargaining, right-to-work laws and way too much political and economic power in the hands of the 1 percent.
While corporate profits and executive pay go through the roof, workers are forced to take wage cuts and pay dearly for their corporate-sponsored health care. Other hard-won benefits are being trimmed or taken completely away, and the corporate philosophy on providing a decent retirement after years of loyal service is considered a relic from another age.
The harder the American worker works, the more he is being skimmed by the top 1 percent, who amassed 93 percent of all income gains made since President Obama took office.
As long as this class war persists, there will be a polarized country, beneficial to the economic royalists. Their patrons and cheerleaders in Congress, especially the tea partyers with their no-compromise mentality, assure a polarized country. All talk of civility and tolerance are considered weaknesses by these mouthpieces.
In such a society, you are either for the American worker, or you are for the Wall-Streeters, private-equity owners, hedge-fund managers and corporate America chieftains who are waging this class war.
Our government is supposed to mediate this natural friction between capital and labor. It has failed miserably over the past four decades. With few exceptions, elected representatives from both parties have chosen to honor wealth over work. As a result, American workers have witnessed a sharp decline in their standard of living.
Until the workers of this country rise up and put aside those differences that the 1 percent use to keep them divided, such as racism, sexism, classism, homophobia and religion, we will continue to slide down the economic ladder.
The top priority of unions should be to educate members about the class war, enlisting all workers, union and nonunion, in this life-and-death struggle for the middle class.
In the mainstream
This is in response to the Dec. 7 letter, “Obama’s record of failure,” which begins, “If your only source of news was the Beacon Journal (or the rest of TV and print media, for that matter) ... .”
This absurd sentiment is one that has been echoed ad nauseam by the right wing for years. It decries the “mainstream liberal media” as some sort of Orwellian machine whose tentacles reach into and infect every quest for information.
I have compiled a short list of right-leaning and conservative media outlets for those who seek to escape what seems to be the unyielding onslaught of liberal rhetoric.
Here are just a few: the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, the New York Post, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. I certainly wouldn’t consider any of those to be “underground” news sources. In fact, most of them are, yes, mainstream.
I have waited for years to hear one politician or member of the news media announce that it was stupid to reduce taxes while fighting two wars. Since when does a country not pay for its wars?
Now the right says we can’t tax the job creators. Was it not the youth of the poor and middle class who shed their blood to protect the job creators? Do you see the youth of the wealthy on the front lines?
I don’t know when the middle class will wake up and unanimously demand that the wealthy pay at least what they were paying before the Bush tax cuts. In the 1960s, I paid a higher rate on capital gains, and I don’t recall having a recession.