Labor Laws

America Will Never Be A “Socialist” Country, But We Have “Socialist” Ideas Americans Want To Keep: Social Security, Medicare, Environmental, Labor, Consumer, Health Care, Education, And Civil Rights Laws, All Which Make Capitalism Work Better!

Donald Trump attacked “Socialism” in the State of the Union address, knowing full well that is simply a code word to attack progressive reforms that have become part of the American tradition and system of social justice.

“Socialism” in America is Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Federal Environmental Laws, Federal Labor Laws, Federal Consumer Laws, Federal Health Care, Education and Civil Rights Laws.

These laws are the hard, years fought for, efforts of primarily Democrats and some moderate Republicans over the century since Theodore Roosevelt, including Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and even contributions of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush, and innumerable Senators and Congressmen and state governors who saw these laws as essential for American advancement.

We are a nation of capitalism but with “socialism” mixed in, due to the promotion of such legislation by the Socialist Party of the 20th century, and its leaders, including Eugene Debs and Norman Thomas, and most Americans support and see the need for the laws we have.

We are not going to go back to the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, as the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the 1960s, and the Obama era have made our nation better, and the right wing attack on all these reforms will be fought bitterly and defeated!

The Survival Of America As We Know It Depends On A Massive “Blue Wave” This November!

Donald Trump has thrown down the gauntlet, in informing Congressional Republicans that they should abandon any legislation on immigration until after the “Red Wave” he predicts is coming in the midterm elections of 2018 this November.

God forbid any such “Red Wave”, which would defy history, as the record shows the party in the White House always loses seats in the first midterm election after a President has been inaugurated, with the one major exception being FDR and the Democrats in 1934, but Donald Trump is no FDR!

If people stay home and do not vote, or if people continue to believe the lies of Donald Trump and the Republicans, then we as a nation, not those of us who care, but everyone else, will get what they deserve–a return to the 19th century Gilded Age before federal government played a role in the lives of the American people.

It will mean the end of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, labor laws, environmental legislation, consumer protections. civil rights for minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and the disabled, and the loss of the Bill of Rights.

We will live in a nation controlled by the super wealthy in every sense, and we will be influenced by autocrats in Russia and other totalitarian dictatorships, and we will be threatened by the loss of our traditional foreign allies, and we will face dire poverty after a Great Depression that would make the 1930s depression look like a minor event.

Some reading this might think I am using hyperbole, but seriously, even if one thinks they have heard this before, the reality is as follows: There is no more crucial election for the long term future of our nation than this midterm election.

The Democrats are far from perfect but even many conservative commentators, such as Jennifer Rubin, George Will, David Frum, Bret Stephens, Steve Schmidt, among others, have repudiated the Republican Party and Donald Trump, and warn us of the need to kick the Republicans out of control of both houses of Congress, and many state governorships and legislatures.

Donald Trump is the most dangerous person in American history, and the process to start taking away his destructive influence is NOT to say it is hopeless, and why bother voting?

It is, rather, that if we do not fight for our future, then there is no future!

Trump Tax Cuts Already Undermining Budget, And Threatening Social Safety Net Of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

The Trump tax cuts are already, just as they are going into effect, causing a massive shortage of government funds, and threatening the stability of the Social Safety Net of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and as well as educational, environmental, consumer, and labor laws.

This is precisely what the Republican Party of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the Trump White House wants, to destroy the entire social and economic reforms and regulatory laws of the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Great Society of the Lyndon B. Johnson, and the reforms of Barack Obama, along with lesser reforms of Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

The Republican Party is now an extremist right wing party controlled by the Freedom Caucus and evangelical Christians, who will not be satisfied until they take America back to the 1920s and the Gilded Age.

And this past week, the beginning of the end of what is now 88 months of economic expansion and job growth is evident, as today, the stock market collapsed with a 670 point drop, and a 1,000 point drop over this entire week. This is the biggest drop in two years, about 2.5 percent in the past week. It is also the biggest drop since the financial crisis of late 2008, which led to the Great Recession.

This was predictable, as no market or economic growth can continue to expand forever and already, the seven years and four months of expansion, since the last months of 2010, is an all time record.

We will go through very rough times from now on, and yet the wealthy top one or two percent will continue to gain massive tax cuts, while the rest of America suffers.

We are on the road to potential social uprising, as the American people realize that a President who lost the popular vote, and has engaged in illegal acts, works to undermine the investigation of Russian collusion, money laundering, abuse of power, violating the emoluments clause, and obstruction of justice, at the expense of the American people, but makes sure his class of wealthy people continues to benefit.

The Trump public opinion rating in the mid 30s is likely to collapse into the 20s at this rate, but will the Republican Party try to rectify itself in Congress, or will they continue to collaborate in treason and corruption, and destroy their historical legacy long term?

We shall see in the months leading up to a likely massacre in the midterm elections this November.

54 Percent Of Voters Against Trump On Election Day, Same Percentage After 100 Days Of Trump Presidency

On Election Day 2016, 54 percent, a clear strong majority, voted AGAINST Donald Trump.

The Electoral College system elected Donald Trump, NOT the American people.

Now, 100 days into his administration, the same 54 percent, a clear strong majority, has condemned and rejected Donald Trump’s record.

What else is needed to know?

The American people, counting one person one vote, have rejected Donald Trump and his despicable domestic and foreign agenda, and no President has ever had such a rejection in the era of public opinion polls since Harry Truman to now.

The American people have voted no confidence in a President who is:

a loose cannon;

a mentally deranged leader;

a person who lives in an alternate reality;

a man who is racist, misogynistic, nativist, and associates with antisemites;

a man who consorts with authoritarian leaders who deny their own people basic human rights;

a man who is totally ignorant of history, science, and basic morals and ethics;

a man who is out to promote the elite wealthy over the middle class and poor population of this nation;

a person who is out to destroy all labor, consumer, environmental laws in favor of the interests of corporations;

a President who is undermining our relations with our allies and friends in the world;

and a man who is truly the LIAR IN CHIEF, rather than the Commander in Chief of this nation, and never admits any mistakes or errors, and tells mistruths multiple times a day.

Donald Trump is a total disaster and embarrassment as our 45th President, and undermines respect for the office, and definitely raises the stock of our worst Presidents and most controversial Presidents up a notch!

Evaluating Woodrow Wilson A Century After His Election To The Presidency, And On His 156th Birthday Commemoration!

Woodrow Wilson, our 28th President, was born on this day in 1856, and was elected President in the four way race of 1912, running against Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Eugene Debs, arguably the most exciting Presidential election in American History.

The President with the least government experience, only two years as Governor of New Jersey; the only earned PH. D. to become President; the first President elected who grew up in the South (Virginia) since the Civil War; the President to face the greatest war crisis since Abraham Lincoln; the President who emphasized the importance of international affairs and the need for an international organization to promote peace; the President who was the culmination of the Progressive reform movements of the early 20th century; and the President who promoted successfully his domestic agenda, and then took on Theodore Roosevelt’s even more advanced progressive ideas and made them his own—this President has also been bitterly attacked by many for his shortcomings in many areas, and particularly has been viciously attacked by right wing conservatives, including Glenn Beck and George Will, who have torn his image to shreds.

Well, the question is whether the attacks on Wilson are fair and just, so that requires a careful examination of the positive and negative aspects of his Presidency.

Let’s start with the negative points that can be made about Wilson, and they are plenty!

1. Wilson was a white supremacist, despite his stellar education, and failed to treat people of African, Asian, and Latin American heritage in a dignified way, whether in the nation or with foreign nations overseas. His treatment of China, Japan, Mexico, Haiti and governments of other nations outside of Europe were treated in an insensitive and unacceptable manner, and he issued an executive order mandating segregation of the races in Washington, DC, and failed to recognize the contributions of soldiers of other than the Caucasian race during World War I. He legitimized and set back mistreatment of African Americans for another thirty years, until progress was made by President Harry Truman after World War II.

2. Wilson, inexplicably, opposed the woman suffrage movement, and had suffragettes arrested for disturbing the peace in their marches on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House. Theodore Roosevelt had proposed this constitutional change in his 1912 Progressive Party campaign, but Wilson never moved in that direction on his own. Despite his opposition, the 19th Amendment was added at the end of his term in 1920.

3. Wilson had a horrible record on civil liberties in wartime, promoting passage of the Espionage Act, Sedition Act, and numerous other laws violating freedom of speech and press. He displayed total intolerance toward critics, once America was at war, and is regarded as one of the absolutely worst Presidents on the subject of civil liberties overall for his eight years in office.

4. Wilson was intolerant of opposition in Congress, refusing to work with Republicans when events worked against him, and tended to see things in religious terms, with him having God behind him, and often invoking religion in his speeches and comments. So he was seen as manipulative and deceitful in his actions and words that took us to ultimate war in 1917, and refused to negotiate on the Versailles Treaty after the war.

5. Wilson had a supreme, and self righteous ego, and this made him blind to reality much of the time, as when he had a severe paralytic stroke, but refused, along with his second wife, to keep Vice President Thomas Marshall informed, or to consider resigning in 1919-1921 so that the nation would have a President capable of leading the nation in the difficult post war days, when Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer led the Red Scare or Palmer Raids, another massive violation of civil liberties, which helped to spur the creation of the Civil Liberties Union in 1920. The nation was basically leaderless for a period of 18 months, as Wilson slowly recovered and even thought of running for an unprecedented third term despite his poor health.

Now to the positive side of Woodrow Wilson!

1. Wilson was the most successful President in domestic policy achievements up to his time in office, and only surpassed later by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s and Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s. He accomplished all of his original domestic agenda, including legislation that has stood the test of time, despite criticism by conservatives and Republicans over the years, including the Federal Reserve Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and the Clayton Anti Trust Act, as well as the first attempt at so called “free trade”, the lowering of tariff walls on foreign goods.

2. Wilson also accomplished the passage of laws originally promoted by Theodore Roosevelt in 1912, including the temporary end of child labor, protection for some workers on hours, workers compensation, and the protection of the merchant marine workers who are employed on ships offshore. Also, the first real attempt at agricultural aid to farmers to encourage expansion of acreage and the buying of new equipment, was also an idea promoted by TR. Basically, Wilson adopted much of the Populist Party and Progressive Party agenda of earlier times, and brought Progressive reform to its peak in the period before the conservative 1920s.

3. Wilson dealt with a war that was the most massive for America in 50 years, and was skilled enough to keep America out of war for two years and eight months after World War I began in Europe, but his role in the eventual entrance of America is still highly disputed even today, seen by some as dishonest and deceptive, but praised by many others as the best one could have expected.

4. Wilson had a vision of a peaceful post war world, and saw an international organization, the League of Nations, as the most important accomplishment of the Treaty of Versailles, and was stunned by the rejection of the US Senate to any international commitment, with America going into isolation. But his vision came to fruition a generation after his passing, with the establishment of the United Nations, but with many conservatives and Republicans bitterly opposed today in the US involvement in that international organization.

5. Wilson comes across, despite his many faults and shortcomings as worthy, in the minds of most experts, to be rated in the top ten of all Presidents–number 6 in the C Span 2000 poll and number 9 in the 2009 C Span Followup poll, and this despite bitter condemnation by so many right wing sources who only emphasize the evil side of Wilson, and give him no credit for his accomplishments. There is no question, however, that he had an important impact on the growth of Presidential power, the exact reason why the right wing hates his guts.

This blogger and author understands the mixed legacy of Woodrow Wilson, but still sees him as an influential President, who still impacts America a century after his first election to the Presidency!

So Happy Birthday, President Wilson, a man we will hear a lot about as we commemorate the major events of his administration over the next eight years from March 4, 1913, to March 4, 1921!

History Of Major Social And Economic Change And Presidential Reelections

When one examines American history, in times of major social and economic change, often very controversial, the American people have chosen every time to endorse those changes, no matter how divisive, by reelecting the President who brought about the reforms.

Witness Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, followed by a reelection victory in the midst of the Civil War in 1864.

Witness Woodrow Wilson, and the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, Clayton Anti Trust Act, Federal Trade Commission Act, and several labor reforms, and being reelected in 1916.

Witness Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal, and the passage of the National Labor Relations Act and Social Security Act, leading to reelection in 1936.

Witness Harry Truman vetoing the Taft Hartley Labor Act and promoting integration of the the military and Washington, DC, and then winning election in 1948.

Witness Lyndon B. Johnson promoting the Civil Rights Act in 1964, and then winning election to a full term the same year.

Witness Republican Richard Nixon, going along with Democrats, and signing into law the Environmental Protection Agency, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Occupational Safety And Health Administration, and Affirmative Action, and being reelected in 1972.

Now Barack Obama has accomplished major reform on health care, ObamaCare, something millions of Americans already benefit from, so to imagine the American people rejecting it this November, would defy American history, that when major change comes about, it becomes permanent!

Corporate Bully David Siegel Threatens To Fire Workers If Obama Wins: The Plutocracy Out Of Control!

News has come that some corporate bullies, most notably David Siegel, owner of Westgate Resorts, the largest privately owned time share company in the world, has threatened to fire his workers if they do not vote for Mitt Romney in the upcoming election, and if Romney loses the election to Barack Obama. This could, in theory, affect the election results, and Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor in the administration of Bill Clinton, has condemned it!

This is plutocracy run amuck, as somehow, people like Siegel seem to think they have a right to threaten their workers, as if they run a dictatorship!

There has to be some way to hold these corporate bullies accountable for their behavior, as they are nothing less than hoodlums in their approach to their work force, as if the workers are the slaves of their owners!

Slavery was outlawed in 1865, and we have passed labor laws and corporate regulations and taxes on the wealthy before, and we cannot allow corporate bullies to think they can do whatever they wish to their workers, and get away with such outrageous abuse!

Labor Day: Its Meaning

Tomorrow is Labor Day, a moment to commemorate the role of America’s working people, and to mourn the rapid decline of American labor unions, under constant attack by corporations and the Republican Party.

If it were not for labor unions, the kinds of benefits that America’s workers have had—including minimum wage, maximum hours, holidays, sick leave, vacations, occupational safety and health, the end of child labor, promotion of equal pay for women—and others, would not have existed.

But it has become much more difficult for labor unions to overcome the ignorance and hate that has emerged since Ronald Reagan fired the air traffic control controllers who went on strike in 1981, and has continued to face attack by Republican Governors, including Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Chris Christie of New Jersey, and others, who have managed to propagandize that public labor unions are an evil that must be destroyed. It is extremely ironic that the only President to be the head of a labor union—The Screen Actors Guild—-was the one who started the rapid decline of labor organizations in America!

Despite all this, this is a time to reflect on and remember and honor the labor movement, which has had such an impact on America, and to understand that the labor movement is in trouble, but not ready to give up the struggle for America’s workforce over the coming years!

Wisconsin: The Home Of Progressivism, Now A Center Of Right Wing Conservatism

Wisconsin was the birthplace of modern progressivism, with the Governorship of Robert La Follette, Sr. from 1900-1906.

Regarded by scholars as the greatest Governor in the history of all states throughout American history, La Follette promoted regulation of corporations, labor protections, environmental conservation, the direct primary, and the role of women and intellectuals in government policy making.

A Republican, when many believed government was good, he would go on to the US Senate, and be regarded as one of the top five US Senators of all time, and his son Philip would promote progressive reform as Governor in the 1930s.

Others would be in state government and in Congress promoting what La Follette believed in, including Democrats such as William Proxmire, Gaylord Nelson, Russ Feingold, and Herbert Kohl.

But two years ago, Wisconsin took a sharp turn to the right, defeating Russ Feingold for reelection to the Senate, and putting into office a Tea Party activist, Ron Johnson.

At the same time, Scott Walker was elected Governor, and declared war on labor rights, women, and education, and was able to win a recall election through the power of the funding of the Koch Brothers and other right wing interests.

Reince Preibus, the Republican state chairman, succeeded Michael Steele as Republican National Chairman.

And Paul Ryan, in the House of Representatives since 1998, became head of the Budget Committee, and promoted the Ryan Plan, which wishes to destroy Medicare as we know it, and calls for major cuts in Pell Grants, the end of ObamaCare, privatization of Social Security over time, the gutting of Medicaid, and massive cuts in Food Stamps, among other aspects of the plan.

And now, Ryan could be a heartbeat away from the Presidency next January 20, were Mitt Romney to win the Presidency on November 6.

The battle between progressivism and conservatism is in full heat, and Wisconsin is the center of the battle, and one wonders what Robert La Follette, Sr. is thinking in the afterlife, as he realizes what has happened in his beloved state!

The Republican Party Again Doing What They Are Best At: Self Destruction!

The Republican Party has suicidal tendencies since the years of the Great Depression.

When the Great Depression began in 1929, the party in Congress refused to abandon laissez faire economics, and some even fought President Herbert Hoover’s attempt to provide some public works projects and federal aid through the Reconstruction Finance Corporation.

During the New Deal years of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the party stood in the way of reform and change and continued to decline.

As World War II came on, most Republicans were isolationists who failed to see the threat of Fascism and Nazism.

As World War II ended, Republicans set out to to weaken labor unions and set back the New Deal, and after two brief years in control of Congress in 1947-1948, they lost control and saw Harry Truman stage an upset victory in the Presidential campaign.

The party pursued the Joseph McCarthy anti communist agenda in the late 1940s and early 1950s, undermining America’s effort in the Korean War, but with a popular World War II general, Dwight D. Eisenhower, they were given another chance in 1952, and won back control of Congress, but with their conservative agenda, lost control again after two years.

From that point on, the party failed to gain control of Congress for 40 years in the House, and 26 in the Senate, and after six years of a divided Congress under Ronald Reagan, lost the Senate again in 1986 and for the next eight years.

Despite Eisenhower’s personal popularity, it did not transform into party control after two years, and while Richard Nixon won over a divided Democratic Party in 1968, he could not translate his victory into a Republican majority, and Watergate damaged any hope again of a soon to occur change in party loyalties and success.

Ronald Reagan managed a divided Congress with Republican control of the Senate for six years, but again it did not change party loyalties and success in the long run, and the party was bitterly divided during the administration of George H. W. Bush, with Pat Buchanan helping to divide the party and lead to the defeat of Bush in 1992.

Then in 1994, the Republicans gained control of Congress for the next twelve years, but Bill Clinton, despite personal problems leading to impeachment, was able to control much of the political agenda.

After the Republicans won the battle over Florida’s electoral votes with George W. Bush in 2000, it seemed as if finally they had become the majority party, but September 11, two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the economic collapse of 2008, took away any gains it seemed that the party had made.

While they won the House of Representatives in 2010, the emergence of the Tea Party Movement has now destroyed any chance of Republican success, as again they are seen as obstructionist in so many ways, and public opinion polls still see the party as to blame much more for the economic recession we are suffering through, rather than to hold Barack Obama accountable.

With an image of negativism, concern only for the rich and powerful special interests, isolationism, corruption, and obstructionism, the Republican Party is again in the process of committing political suicide, and relegating itself to minority status in American politics!