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.

Weekend Edition
June 22, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Karl Grossman
Star Wars Redux: Trump’s Space Force
Andrew Levine
Strange Bedfellows
Jeffrey St. Clair
Intolerable Opinions in an Intolerant Time
Paul Street
None of Us are Free, One of Us is Chained
Edward Curtin
Slow Suicide and the Abandonment of the World
Celina Stien-della Croce
The ‘Soft Coup’ and the Attack on the Brazilian People 
James Bovard
Pro-War Media Deserve Slamming, Not Sainthood
Louisa Willcox
My Friend Margot Kidder: Sharing a Love of Dogs, the Wild, and Speaking Truth to Power
David Rosen
Trump’s War on Sex
Mir Alikhan
Trump, North Korea, and the Death of IR Theory
Christopher Jones
Neoliberalism, Pipelines, and Canadian Political Economy
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Why is Tariq Ramadan Imprisoned?
Robert Fantina
MAGA, Trump Style
Linn Washington Jr.
Justice System Abuses Mothers with No Apologies
Martha Rosenberg
Questions About a Popular Antibiotic Class
Ida Audeh
A Watershed Moment in Palestinian History: Interview with Jamal Juma’
Edward Hunt
The Afghan War is Killing More People Than Ever
Geoff Dutton
Electrocuting Oral Tradition
Don Fitz
When Cuban Polyclinics Were Born
Ramzy Baroud
End the Wars to Halt the Refugee Crisis
Ralph Nader
The Unsurpassed Power trip by an Insuperable Control Freak
Lara Merling
The Pain of Puerto Ricans is a Profit Source for Creditors
James Jordan
Struggle and Defiance at Colombia’s Feast of Pestilence
Tamara Pearson
Indifference to a Hellish World
Kathy Kelly
Hungering for Nuclear Disarmament
Jessicah Pierre
Celebrating the End of Slavery, With One Big Asterisk
Rohullah Naderi
The Ever-Shrinking Space for Hazara Ethnic Group
Binoy Kampmark
Leaving the UN Human Rights Council
Nomi Prins 
How Trump’s Trade Wars Could Lead to a Great Depression
Robert Fisk
Can Former Lebanese MP Mustafa Alloush Turn Even the Coldest of Middle Eastern Sceptics into an Optimist?
Franklin Lamb
Could “Tough Love” Salvage Lebanon?
George Ochenski
Why Wild Horse Island is Still Wild
Ann Garrison
Nikki Haley: Damn the UNHRC and the Rest of You Too
Jonah Raskin
What’s Hippie Food? A Culinary Quest for the Real Deal
Raouf Halaby
Give It Up, Ya Mahmoud
Brian Wakamo
We Subsidize the Wrong Kind of Agriculture
Patrick Higgins
Children in Cages Create Glimmers of the Moral Reserve
Patrick Bobilin
What Does Optimism Look Like Now?
Don Qaswa
A Reduction of Economic Warfare and Bombing Might Help 
Robin Carver
Why We Still Need Pride Parades
Jill Richardson
Immigrant Kids are Suffering From Trauma That Will Last for Years
Thomas Mountain
USA’s “Soft” Coup in Ethiopia?
Jim Hightower
Big Oil’s Man in Foreign Policy
Louis Proyect
Civilization and Its Absence
David Yearsley
Midsummer Music Even the Nazis Couldn’t Stamp Out