I’ve just finished my morning reading on this Labor Day and it’s all bad. If you’d like to join in on the Depression (Yes, a written double entendre. The joys of being an uneducated, amateur sans editor -- blogger.) I can’t think of a better place to start than a blog post entitled 1937.
Yes, I followed the links and read about Europe falling apart (all over again) in the Financial Times. For those new to Get the Flick, I am skipping down the lane to my own personal working model of the world’s current events -- that history repeats itself. And we are indeed repeating 1937. And 1938. And 1939. If our potential destination remains unclear to you, you need to remember what happened in 1939. (I’m going to assume you know what happened in 1941.) One mustn’t believe that all the actors get to play the same parts. In this reenactment, we (the U.S.) might be Germany. Or England. China might be Japan. Mexico might be Spain. Brazil might be America. I could go on but then I’d have to rename this blog entry. (Don’t think it hasn’t happened.)
Whenever I think of Labor Day, my thoughts turn to The Uprising of ‘34.
(This blog entry will point the curious in the right directions.) That film was such a shocker to me. That an entire culture -- the land of “Forget, Hell!” license plates -- could suppress such a significant event, so completely, doesn’t seem possible. But it happened.
The point is that masses of people can be stirred to action. For good or bad, they can and will be motivated at some point. Currently, 14 million Americans are unemployed. This a good place to insert one of my favorite old sayings (just ask the controllers at ZTL).
Idle Hands are the Devil’s Workshop
14 million is a lot of idle hands. Nothing good will come from allowing them to remain idle. I sincerely hope that President Obama will announce a plan to put them back to work. I’m with Robert Reich on this, start another CCC or WPA if we have to. But, at all costs, we need to find them something productive to do.
In that vein, I have an idea on how to motivate the Republican Party to compromise on the issue. If they reject whatever proposal President Obama makes on Thursday night, (and they will) I think he should ask the unemployed to come work for him. Not as President of the United States -- Congress has to fund that -- but as head of the Democratic Party.
Imagine if just half the unemployed volunteered for a political campaign. That would be 7 million campaign workers. Yeah, I know it presents all sorts of problems. But that’s the advantage of being a blogger -- I get to float “stupid” ideas.
Barring that, I think American Labor needs to explore creating a 3rd party. Think of it as the anti-Tea Party. (I guess that would make it a 4th party.) And conjuring up the Tea Party is intentional on my part. The consternation that the Tea Party causes the
I don’t know about you but I’ve had enough of this. I would like to see a Party dedicated to the American worker. One that welcomes immigrants to our country of immigrants. One that makes the process legal and respectful. A Party that stands for equal rights, human dignity and a fair wage. A Party that puts people before corporations. A Party that believes in regulations for the sake of the common good. Clean air, clean water and a decent healthcare system for all. I would love to see a Party that believes life should be about more than work and profit. One that creates an economy where both parents don’t have to work. One that supports decent housing, public education and the arts. I would love to see a Party that recognizes you can’t be a great country with poor workers. One that recognizes you can’t be that shining city upon a hill without the muscle that builds it.
I want that Party to be the Democratic Party, Mr. President. And no one knows better, how hard the battle is, than Labor. We don’t want to stand alone. But if we are alone, we shall still stand.
September 5, 2011