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Building Alliances and Voting for Change in 2008

08.10.08

Building Alliances and Voting for Change in 2008

The American nation has an excellent opportunity to change the nature of politics in our country this year. We have a real chance to build lasting alliances that will re-define the political landscape at every level of government and permit us to take back our government by the average citizen.

For decades, the political power of the largest international corporations and the wealthiest of the Super Wealthy have been tightening their grasp on governments in America. They have effectively bought their way to power by giving billions in campaign donations and buying up the media. The effect has been passage of laws that undermine the power of average citizens to control their own economic futures, have an effective voice in government policies and to hear opposing political viewpoints.

It is no accident that most Americans think that their children will not have as high a standard of living as they currently experience. It was economic policy on the national and international levels that forced tens of millions of families to have both parents working to maintain a decent standard of living.

Your rights to sue corporations when they abuse you as a worker, investor or consumer are being stripped away by Republican politicians like George W. Bush, John McCain, Dick Cheney and your allegedly “moderate Republican” member of Congress. The same bunch of Republican politicians are and have been for decades falling all over themselves to pass legislation that ships high-paying jobs with healthcare benefits to Third World nations where the high pay and employer provided healthcare vanishes while corporate profits explode! Yes, Bush, McCain and Cheney love NAFTA, the WTO, CAFTA and the rest of these deals. They have been a goldmine of campaign cash for the Republican Right and the alleged “Republican moderates” in Congress.

By appointing corporate thinking federal judges and government regulators, American workers have seen their rights to form labor unions effectively undermined and often destroyed. The public fiction of “free elections” in the workplace is there for these deceitful Republicans to “defend.” However, in most workplaces, the reality is that these giant corporations make real free elections impossible by intentionally breaking the law (the penalties are a joke), firing pro-union workers, preventing union organizers from talking to workers or distributing material, issuing threats and the like.

The reality of these “free unionization elections” is that they are no more free and fair than the “free elections” in the former Soviet Union, communist China or Nazi Germany! Still, the Republicans vehemently oppose passage of the Employee Free Choice Act which would return effective workplace democracy when it comes to unionization votes. The decline of labor unions has meant the decline of the American Middle Class both economically and politically and corporate forces know it!

An effective labor movement has meant real economic opportunity for tens of millions of working class and poor Americans. Labor unions have been the vehicle for millions of racial and ethnic minorities to join the mainstream, Middle Class majority in experiencing the American Dream. Corporate controlled politicians like Bush and McCain are simply killing that Dream. Will we let them?

The wealthiest of the Super Wealthy control our mainstream media but not our votes. We all should know that racism has an economic purpose. It is the tool most often used in America to get the working class whites and Middle Class majority to put in power politicians who vote against the economic interests of working class and Middle Class whites. Racism is the tool used to divide the non-economic elite majority so that all working class and Middle Class Americans do not demand government policies that provide real economic opportunity for the vast majority. Racism is a sucker bet for all poor, working class and Middle Class Americans!

If all poor, working class and Middle Class Americans vote in favor of their real economic interests, we all will have a very bright future. We can take control of our government. We can return manufacturing jobs to America. We can pass the Employee Free Choice Act and make the right to unionize a Constitutionally protected civil right.

We can have government guaranteed universal healthcare for our citizens like every other industrialized nation in the world. We can restore our rights as workers, investors and consumers. We can replace the corporate clowns, corrupt Republican partisans and right wing fanatics in our government bureaucracy and court system with honest, mainstream Americans.

We can preserve our basic freedoms from those seeking to undermine the Bill of Rights, legal due process and the U.S. Constitution. United as citizens, we can halt unjust political prosecutions like that of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and jail those responsible. We can expose and prosecute all illegal abuses of power by highly-placed, powerful government officials.

We can stop war-profiteers from getting us involved in more unnecessary aggressive wars that get our brave soldiers killed for the private profit of large international corporations. We can make sure that the American people are never lied to in order to launch a war that should never have been started in the first place. We must defeat politicians like John McCain who simply put love to threaten wars all over the world for little or no reason.

We can break the power of Big Oil to price-gouge us at their whim. We can create a real alternative energy economy that will not promote global warming. We can break up the media monopolies, restore the Fairness Doctrine in broadcasting and protect the Internet from corporate control.

We can make our American Democracy work for the little guy! All we have to do as individuals is to reach out to our neighbors and co-workers to educate them on issues and the importance of basic political involvement, like voting against those abusing them and for change in 2008.

Written by Stephen Crockett (Host of Democratic Talk Radio http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com and Editor of Mid-Atlantic Labor.com http://www.midatlanticlabor.com ). Mail: 698 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, Delaware 19702. Phone: 443-907-2367. Email: demlabor@aol.com.

Feel free to publish, post or reprint this column in full without prior approval.

Representative Chris Carney introduces made in America legislation

08.10.08

August 2008 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Representative Chris Carney introduces made in America legislation

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsswb@aol.com

August 3rd- Christopher Carney, Democratic United States Representative 10th Congressional District, introduced the bipartisan “Made in America Act” which will create tax cuts to support American companies that keep their jobs and businesses “made in America.”

Mr. Carney is serving his second year of a two-year term in Washington. He is being challenged in the November 4th election by Republican candidate Chris Hackett, who operates a Luzerne County job agency which specializes in finding nonunion workers for employers.

“We live in the greatest country in the world, and we know that America must stay competitive in the global market. We currently have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world at thirty-five percent. We need tax cuts for jobs and businesses that are made in America. That is why the made in America Act commissions a study to determine ways to stop our younger generation from leaving our rural areas for larger cities,” said Mr. Carney.

Mr. Carney defeated incumbent Republican Congressman Don Sherwood in the 2006 election despite only around 38 percent of the district is registered Democratic.

Mr. Carney received most of the labor organization endorsements during the 2006 campaign and promised to support labor’s agenda while serving in the House of Representatives.

Voting to raise the federal minimum wage in January 2007 was the first opportunity Mr. Carney had to vote in favor of labor legislation. The House of Representatives voted 315 to 116 in favor of raising the minimum wage.

On July 24th the minimum wage increased to $6.55 per hour. The increase was the second of three provided by the enactment of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. A third minimum wage increase to $7.25 an hour will become effective on July 24th, 2009.

“I hear from families across northeast and central Pennsylvania that more needs to be done to prevent the brain drain in rural and small town America,’ said Mr. Carney about his introduced legislation.

The Made in America Act reinstates the Research and Development tax credit that expired in December 2007, and makes it permanent.

Mr. Carney voted in favor of passage of the organize union supported “Employee Free Choice Act” (EFCA) in 2007. The legislation would replace how union representation elections are conducted in workplaces with a “card check” system. Congress passed the legislation 241-185 but it failed in the United States Senate.

The legislation will likely be re-introduced in 2009.