I appeared on RNNTV News last night at about the three minute mark. I hope I came off well. The segment features Emily Crockett from Campus Progress and Margot Paez from InsightOut News. The two reported from D.C. and Los Angeles while Richard French and Kim Lengle discuss the activity in New York.
I wanted to further some of thoughts I tried to portray on my brief appearance. Think Progress’ Annie-Rose Strasser posted from great charts yesterday that help visualize the point. Protesters carry signs with a multitude of messages. Anything from universal health care, taxing the rich, or ending corporate personhood. All of the issues though are part of a system designed to further harm the working and middle class Americans. This is a system bought and paid for by the rich. Lobbyists, campaign donations, and leverage are all investments for future gains. Everyday working people find themselves as expendable parts in the machine. One that strives for lower costs, efficiency and productivity. Yet, that productivity does not pay off for the workers. The Economic Policy Institute shows in the chart below the steady increase of productivity. Compensation remains nearly stagnant.
Workers cannot get ahead. It causes the income inequality we see now. The record profits that are fueling Wall Street’s recovery come at the expense of worker. They see lower wages and feel the ragged road that is their recovery. Maybe the New York Times can demonstrate it well enough for you.
Do you find this troubling like I do? Then the answer is an easy one. The road to get there though is not. But at least you will have proper company.
Organize. You feel the pinch as a middle class household, don’t you? That’s because the share of national income for the middle class dropped over the last 45 years alongside union membership. Having someone fight for and with you helps. Power in numbers sort of logic.
Unions are not perfect. Nothing is perfect because of our own humanity. So get over that part. Get on board with organizing your co-workers. I am not telling you to go start a union in your office… at least not yet. The first step is informing others. Having the knowledge drives one to seek the tools to fix the problem. Start there… then we can talk about a union in your office.
© Aaron Krager 2008-2013 | Have any questions? Send me an email.