From: Finbar McMullen, FSC
All the talk of minimum wage is fitting at this time. Economists can give all kind of reasons why the economy is growing so slowly, but the simple fact is that the slow growth is simply due to the fact that people do not have the money to spend. There is no mystery about this. When Exxon-Mobile can post a profit of 44.9 billion dollars, and the word is that the major corporations have a surplus of 2.3 trillion that they do not need for operations, there is a lot of money that could be put into the hands of workers. While workerís wages have been stagnant for the past 20 years, their productivity has been increasing steadily at a great rate. All during this time there has been a concerted effort to destroy the effective influence of unions. People talk with a forked tongue while stressing the importance of helping the middle class, and at the same time doing everything they can to destroy unions. It is a plain fact of history that there would be no middle class were it not for the unions. I donít know how economists define the middle class, but my guess is that it is the group of people who make $4,000 - $5,000 more than they need for the basics of food, clothing, housing, and health insurance. There arenít enough small business owners to make a dent in the middle class. So that leaves union workers. The spinoff from union wages is that all other workers benefit from their efforts. Until the electorate wakes up to all this and puts into office legislators who want to correct the situation, this mess will continue. There is no point in blaming the legislators. They are just being who they are. Until people get over their hatred for Obama, this impasse will continue. I just finished a book about how we got the Louisiana Purchase, and, of course, Thomas Jefferson was a key player. He was a slave owner, and this gets interesting. After Jeffersonís father-in-law lost his third wife, he took up with a mulatto slave, Elizabeth Hemings, and had six children with her. These kids were ĺ white, but still his slaves. When his father-in-law died, those slaves, one of them Sally Hemings, passed over to Jefferson. His wife had died some years before he became president. It was much later that he took up with Sally Hemmings, his deceased wifeís half-sister, and had children by her. Even though those children were 7/8 white, they were owned by Jefferson as his slaves. As ridiculous as that situation was, it is no less ridiculous these days to brand a person as inferior with any degree of blackness. It is a sad commentary that people are not capable of seeing prejudice for what it is, whether directed at blacks, browns, red, gays and lesbians, or whatever category.
By the way, as for the economy, what about 400 filibuster?