More of the Same Won’t Save the Economy

Labor Day has always been a day of celebration, of appreciation for the hard won achievements of previous generations of workers. The eight hour work day, the five day work week, ending of child labor, a start on gender equality — in short a recognition that workers had rights, and most fundamental, that they had the right to organize, claim and protect those rights.

Not much to celebrate this Labor Day. Workers rights are under assault, unemployment continues to climb and Labor Union members have been declared De facto terrorists by the wave of Republican legislators swept into office in 2010. They have lost and continue to lose the hard won gains of generations of union activists.

I have never belonged to a union and have, I suppose, been jealous of their solidarity, their ability to work together for their common good. Farmers have never been much for organizing, never been able to form that mass movement to claim their rights, demand a fair wage for their labor.

Wisconsin has been the at the center of the current assault on union rights, worker rights and in the big picture, human rights. As union members gathered daily to protest WI Governor Scott Walker and the Republican controlled Legislature’s attempt to bust the State’s Public Unions, it was clear that it was more than a union struggle.

Farmers, students, the unemployed all recognized that what the government was doing was wrong, everyone who worked for a living, or wanted to work, would be pushed further down the economic ladder as wealth continued to be shifted upward.

Those who gathered to protest in Madison had been, in general, supporters of President Obama. They had believed his campaign promise of marching in solidarity with them to protect their rights. Their pleas for for a Presidential visit to Madison were ignored, even Vice President Joe “the union guy” Biden was a no show in Madison.

The Administration continues, and in effect has even ratcheted up, the Bush agenda of supporting Wall Street’s every wish. It continued to bail out the big banks and investment houses while ignoring the average worker, those workers who were crushed by Wall Street’s sinking the wold economy .

The Administration vowed to create new jobs and they didn’t.

They continued to support and push for more Free Trade Agreements, insisting the trade deals would create jobs while it was crystal clear these agreements had done nothing but export jobs to increase corporate profit while America and the world economy burned.

The Trans Pacific Partnership   (TPP) will be bigger and more destructive to workers and the economy than the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but President Obama insists that it must be passed.

More jobs shifted to cheap labor in Southeast Asia, a flood of dairy products from New Zealand and a further increase to the trade deficit,— that should help America get back on its feet.

By refusing to raise taxes on the rich, and giving corporations carte blanche to do what they will in search of profit, the President continues the failed agenda that began under the Reagan Administration—shift wealth upward, bust unions, cut social programs, wish the poor good luck and let Wall Street party on.

More of the same won’t save the economy. Yet, that seems to be the plan. Obama, by his continuation of failed economic policy and lack of nerve to stand up to Wall Street and the Republican agenda, is clearly showing us who runs the country.

A real unemployment  rate of over 16%. Not much to celebrate on Labor Day 2011. Even a Presidential address will do little more than offer hopeful promises— and sadly, President Obama has a bad history on promises.

Jim Goodman is a dairy farmer from Wonewoc, Wisconsin.

More articles by:

Jim Goodman is a dairy farmer from Wonewoc, Wisconsin.

December 17, 2018
Susan Abulhawa
Marc Lamont Hill’s Detractors are the True Anti-Semites
Jake Palmer
Viktor Orban, Trump and the Populist Battle Over Public Space
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Fights Proposal to Keep It From Looting Medicare
David Rosen
December 17th: International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers
Binoy Kampmark
The Case that Dare Not Speak Its Name: the Conviction of Cardinal Pell
Dave Lindorff
Making Trump and Other Climate Criminals Pay
Bill Martin
Seeing Yellow
Julian Vigo
The World Google Controls and Surveillance Capitalism
What is Neoliberalism?
James Haught
Evangelicals Vote, “Nones” Falter
Vacy Vlanza
The Australian Prime Minister’s Rapture for Jerusalem
Martin Billheimer
Late Year’s Hits for the Hanging Sock
Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael F. Duggan
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas