Stroke Victim at 49

31 October 2011

The Economic Bill of Rights by FDR circa 1944

Excerpt from President Roosevelt's January 11, 1944 message to the Congress of the United States on the State of the Union:
It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure. This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.
As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.
We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.”[2] People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.
All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.
America's own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for all our citizens.
For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.

The Great Depression of the 2010's musings part 5-Occupy Wall Street, Hand-Outs, and Freebies

I am so amazed by the argument I hear from dear friends of mine that accuse protesters of being slackers, wanting hand-outs, wanting freebies. Especially when these friends are union members in the public sector doing heroic work everyday. Let me just say, the protesters are not asking for freebies, just their future being sold out to bail out corporations and banks. 

Below is an example of expectations and freebies:

You take a job a for $20 an hour. The union that covers your area of work has negotiated health care premiums that only cost you $50 a month. This union also negotiated a cost of living increase every year for you as well as a 4% raise every year. You have accepted the job for $20 an hour. When the pay increases come in, do you accept them for doing what you committed to do, your job? Or do you consider it getting something for free? To me it sounds like, based on the logic I have been told about the protesters, that the person working should be happy to make that $20 an hour because that is what they agreed to. Taking anything over that $20 an hour is getting something for free. 

It is all ridiculous. Of course people should get raises. They should also thank their unions that those raises have been fought for and won. I hate to see good people whom I care for and love be so mislead by the talking heads that have big business to answer to and promote instead of the truth and the citizens of this great country.

This country was founded on protest. Our founding fathers encouraged it. How can good American people allow themselves to be led like sheep to the slaughter by corporate greed?

The Great Depression of the 2010's musings part 4-The 99% Occupy Wall Street Movement

It still blows my mind when people don't get the 99% movement. So many people seem to think it is about getting a hand out (like the banks were given in the form of our, your children's, and grand-children's tax dollars and future). The 99% movement is about being given the opportunity to provide for yourself and family. As long as American jobs are sent to other countries for a few more profit points then more and more Americans will be unemployed, dying from lack of medical care (which all other industrialized nations have figured out, a healthy population is a productive one with universal health care), homelessness. What will it take for people to wake up and see it is not just a "bunch of whiners on their iPhones and laptops" but a desperate American population that wants to survive and see this country great again, for all. Maybe a repeat of the soup lines in the 30's will be the wake up.

Social stratification is real. The circumstances people were born into DO factor into how this recession will be  ridden out. Some people are lucky enough to have a place to call home, family that will help when needed, offer a roof or food. There are so many others that do not have that security net. For those people, it can be depressing, hopeless, and bleak. I try never to pass judgement on people. Much less on a large group of people. I wish other would stop passing judgement on the 99%ers. True there are some rabble rousers in the crowd. When is there not "one apple spoiling the whole bunch"? But to paint your fellow Americans, vets, patriots and citizenry as a detriment to society is not the way. We are all the 99%. Unfortunately others take advantage of those bound in a lower cast. Read up on the real reason for this movement, starting with the discipline of Social Stratification. When I was at university I minored in Sociology and it really opened my eyes to how we as a citizenry got to this point. To be honest, I am surprised it took this long.