Friday, September 23, 2011

The value of work

Recently, I defriended someone because after tolerating years of their right wing rants, they went over the edge and started harassing people who didn't agree with them. In the same week, I limited access to my wall to someone else who was bashing immigrants, and was proud of it. This week I was appalled when someone thought it okay to criticize day care workers who might want to organize. They were surprised when I disagreed with them. Let me be clear about a few things, so I don't have to continually argue the same points over and over again on my wall.

I believe that our faltering economy was caused by corporate greed and is now being balanced on the backs of workers. The GOP is driving the car over the cliff and the Democrats are too afraid of their shadows to truly challenge them. The American public is inexplicably unable to discern the truth.

Our nation depends on the low wages of undocumented workers. Anyone who eats fruit; eats at a restaurant; lives in a new home; hires a gardener; etc., etc. has probably reaped the benefits of an undocumented worker.

Most of us descend from immigrants, yet this nation has persecuted immigrants almost as long as there have been immigrants. If you don't believe this, ask the Welsh, Irish, Germans, Italians, Jews, Chinese, Japanese, etc. This doesn't include forced immigrants from Africa. Demonizing immigrants isn't the answer, to any of our nation's problems.

Anyone who doesn't believe in organized labor, or the value of unions, hasn't been paying attention to the assault on workers orchestrated by the corporate class. Worker protection laws exist only as long as people care. If you look at what happened in Wisconsin earlier this year you'll see that the GOP stripped workers if their rights as soon as they thought no one was looking. Today is different. People have forgotten the struggles that won the protections for the workers. I invite you to sit with me for day here at the Department of Labor and answer some of the heartbreaking calls we get from people who people who need help. Many of them could use a Union.

Someone has to pick up the garbage, pick the fruit, take care of small children, etc. Not everyone can be a surgeon or an investment banker - but everyone deserves a chance to make a living with dignity and the ability to have a better life.

I’m fed up with the b.s. of people arguing on my FB wall. So, today I'm throwing down the gauntlet. Please, find a way to disagree with this: Proverbs 14:23 “In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” If you do disagree, how would you work to make things better?

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