Minimum Wages

Bernie Sanders Is Running For President! A True Champion Of The Average American, A La FDR and Hubert Humphrey!

Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders is running for President as a Democrat, and the nation will benefit from his candidacy in so many ways.

It will make at least one competitor against Hillary Clinton, an essential step, as no one should ever be unchallenged for a Presidential nomination.

It will force Hillary Clinton to move to the populist left, and to take bold stands on many issues, and if she fails to do so, do not think that it is impossible for Sanders to win the nomination.

If Barack Obama could win, a real long shot, it is conceivable, although not likely, that Sanders could go all the way.

The Iowa Caucuses could favor Bernie, as Clinton only ended up third behind Barack and John Edwards in 2008.

The New Hampshire Primary will again be crucial, and Sanders being a New Englander, could have a shot at winning in this neighboring state to Vermont.

Were Hillary to lose both the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, she could be in trouble.

The campaign will allow people to see that Sanders, an independent Socialist who caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate, is not a “monster” because he is Socialist; that he is perfectly harmless and simply speaks for people who are not rich, and cares about the middle class and the poor, the environment, and reviving the “American Dream”.

Sanders is the longest serving Independent member of either house of Congress in all of American history—16 years in the House of Representatives, and 10 in the Senate by 2016, making him one of the most experienced people in government ever to run for President.

Sanders will be able to show that Socialism brought us so many of the programs we accept as normal in America–Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Compensation, Minimum Wages, Maximum Hours, Sick Leave, Vacation Time, Labor Unions, Aid to Farmers, Public Education, Environmental Protection, Consumer Protection, Civil Rights, and so many other great initiatives that have made America a better place. And it has not led to dictatorship, loss of civil liberties, or any other ridiculous fear that the right wing loves to promote.

Bernie Sanders is a very genuine, kind, gentle man, who is gruff in his voice and rhetoric, because of his passion for those who are not connected to the corporate interests; but he will refuse to run a nasty campaign of attacks or allow himself to be corrupted by corporate money.

Sanders is a true man of the people, and he will elevate the discussion and the tone of the upcoming Presidential campaign of 2016!

Sanders would also be the second Jew to have announced for President, after Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut in 2004, although Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota was reported to be planning to run the same year had he not been killed in a small plane crash in 2002.

Bernie Sanders is in the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Hubert H. Humphrey!

The Gap Between Rich And Poor Greatest It Has Ever Been!

President Barack Obama yesterday drew attention to the massive and growing gap between rich and poor., which has reached its greatest extent in American history, more than in many European democracies, Canada and Australia.

The middle class reached its greatest prosperity in 1973 during the administration of Richard Nixon, after the years of the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, the fruition of the expansion of the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Since then, with the rise of conservatism under Ronald Reagan, and reaching its greatest abuses under George W. Bush, we have seen a stagnation in the economy which is shocking, to such a point that the top one percent now owns about 40 percent of all wealth, and the pay for CEOs of corporations has risen 725 percent, compared to workers and 5.7 percent growth in wages in the past four decades.

And yet, the Republican Party and conservatives are out to cut Food Stamps further; refuse to renew unemployment compensation; reject any increase in the minimum wage, which is down 35 percent in inflation adjusted value since 1968; and refuse to consider any increase in taxes on the wealthy at any time in the future!

At the same time, any thought of caring about the millions of people who had no health care, but are covered under ObamaCare , does not cross the minds of the right wing!

If people are forced into bankruptcy by medical bills, so be it is the attitude, and of course, the bankruptcy laws were made more difficult in recent years after the Great Recession of 2008 hit the nation!

And education, the major way for people to have social mobility, has been made more difficult too, and students are burdened with such debt from attending college that there is no hope ever to advance in economic status, while banks and corporations and their stockholders always know that they will be taken care of by Republicans, as they fight any regulation or accountability for bad behavior and reckless actions.

The future is extremely gloomy, unless one is from the top ten percent of the population, and the threat to democracy and social order is massive, if this situation of total deprivation of such a large portion of the population continues without any action or concern by Congress and the courts!

Labor Day: A Day To Celebrate Workers And Unions Which Gave Us What We Have Today!

Today is Labor Day, first declared by President Grover Cleveland in 1894, to commemorate the contributions and sacrifices of American workers in the age of unbridled industrial capitalism in the Gilded Age.

Too many Americans are unaware or uninformed of what labor conditions were like in the Gilded Age, and how the formation of labor unions brought about the basic labor rights that we all have today, nearly 120 years later, due to the blood and sacrifices of workers who were brutalized by corporations and government in the process of bringing about reforms.

We do not appreciate how much better our work conditions are now than they were back then, although labor unions have declined, and corporations and state and local governments have done everything they can to stifle worker freedom and decent conditions, as the minimum wage has not gone up with the cost of living, and many millions of workers have no sick leave, overtime pay, and lack health insurance benefits, due to conservatives and Republicans who have always fought against working people and labor, in the name of big business monopoly, both then and continuing to this moment.

We cannot thank labor enough for having built up this nation to the greatness it has today, and we need to honor their sacrifices and contributions, and resist corporate encroachment, which would love to return America to the Gilded Age!

Paul Ryan’s “Takers,Not Makers” Comment

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, the GOP Vice Presidential nominee in 2012, keeps on using the term “takers, not makers” to condemn the poor, who are one of every six Americans, blaming them for being poor, and “taking, not making”!

Does Ryan understand that most poor people are single women with children, and white, or disabled people, or elderly people?

No, it is easier to leave the impression that it is minorities, African American and Hispanic, who are “living off” whites!

So Ryan has no problem in cutting food stamps and other so called “benefits”, which in total are far less than any advanced industrial democracy in the world offers to its lower class, to help their lives to be more tolerable.

But Ryan talks about “takers”, as if these poor do not work, which most do, but at a minimum wage which has NOT kept up with the cost of living, which if it had, would now be $22 an hour, not $7.25 nationally!

And of course, Ryan would not describe himself as a “taker”, although he “took” Social Security benefits when his father died, not that he should not, but by his definition would be something, if he had principle, to refuse to accept.

This man, as all in government, has been “taking” a salary for years on the public payroll, higher than 98 percent of the American people, and what has he contributed except to promote his own aggrandizement, helped along by his wife’s great family financial inheritance!

It is easy to pontificate when government is supporting you, and you have the fortune to have a wife who has a financial inheritance!

Imagine if he had not had these advantages? Maybe he would see things differently!

Minimum Wage Goes Up In Ten States, And Only Seventeen States Are Above Federal Minimum Wage

The minimum wage, a concept passed into law under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal, was designed to provide a wage that workers could survive on, starting at 25 cents per hour.

During many periods, the minimum wage never went up, or only belatedly during the administration of a particular President, and the abuse was worst under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Is anyone really surprised? So inflation was greater than the increase in the minimum wage over time!

As a result, four to five million workers are paid only a guaranteed $7.25 an hour, as Congress has refused to raise the federal minimum wage in recent years. If the federal minimum wage had been indexed to inflation, that wage would now be close to $11.00 an hour!

Instead, as indicated, it is $7.25 in 33 states, plus these amounts elsewhere:

New Mexico–$7.50
Rhode Island–$7.75

So these workers are the true “working poor”, and are expected to live on a wage that for forty hours work, is only between $15,000 and $19,000 a year! And that is assuming full time work, which it often is not. And just because young workers are maybe a majority of the workers, along with less educated workers, does not justify people working for such lowly wages in a society which promotes “equal opportunity”!

George W. Bush To Rick Perry: The Potential Further Deterioration Of The American Presidency In The Election Of 2012!

Much has been written about the faults and shortcomings of the George W. Bush Presidency, but we are now faced with another Texas Governor who could, if elected, make us wish for the “good old days” of Bush 43, and certainly for the “very good old days” of Bush 41, and even to wish for a “Bush 45 (Jeb Bush)”!

The Bush family and their supporters are clearly vigorously opposed to a President Rick Perry. Jeb Bush has been indirectly critical of the GOP Presidential field, saying instead of just attacking President Obama, real alternatives to his policies are needed, a swipe at Rick Perry. His son, Jeb Bush, Jr. has formally endorsed Jon Huntsman, and Huntsman met with the elder President Bush at his home in Kennebunkport, Maine, before entering the race. Bad blood has existed between the second President Bush and Perry, who was his Lieutenant Governor and succeeded him when Bush became President in 2001. Karl Rove, adviser to the second Bush, has been vehemently against Perry, as he and the Bush family were when Perry ran in the 2010 GOP primary for another term against Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

George W. Bush promoted “compassionate conservatism”, and while that is often ridiculed, in fact, for all its faults, Bush’s administration DID promote a prescription drug plan for seniors, although it was not funded by taxes and has added to the national debt. Bush also was not, and his family are not, supporters of the Tea Party movement, which in many ways, are a reaction against steps taken by Bush in the economic crisis of 2008–2009.

Now we have Rick Perry, who has threatened Ben Bernanke of the Federal Reserve Board, an appointee of Bush. He has had the gall to say Barack Obama does not love America, even though Obama’s record of going after terrorists successfully far outdoes the eight years of Bush and Dick Cheney. Perry has also attacked Social Security, calling it a Ponzi scheme, and is trying to stir younger Americans to rise up against paying the Social Security tax, which effect would be to bring the whole system down and deny senior citizens the safety net that has worked well for 75 years, and is in good shape, even without any modification, for 25 more years, and with some tinkering, will be just fine for the long run!

Under Perry, the number of poor Texans, growth in minimum wage jobs, decline of educational funds and standards, and percentages of people with no health care coverage, has magnified, while under Bush, many of the statistics showed much more positive results. And one cannot just say that the Great Recession beginning in 2008 caused these downturns, as they were occurring all along during the past ten and a half years of Perry’s Governorship!

Perry has also had more people executed, including those on which there was doubt, than under Bush, and he is proud of this, as if that is an accomplishment! And the people around Perry make Bush’s “people” look brilliant by comparison!

The only virtue Perry would bring to the White House would be to make us “appreciate” George W. Bush for the first time, as the further deterioration of the Presidency would be in full swing!