When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. - Edmund Burke
By: sp34n119w , 2:58 AM GMT on September 01, 2012
Last night at the RNC, Marco Rubio told us that if we work up to 16 hours a day for 70 years, like his dad, then we, too, may have a child at the front of the room one day. Unlike his father, he wants us to do it without looking forward to Social Security and Medicare, without significant unemployment benefits, without any chance of affordable health insurance or any other worker protection, and we'll do it with a minimum wage that is far less than a living wage. And our child will have to make it on stage without having had a quality free public education and its attendant after-school programs, etc., and without an affordable college education at a publicly supported university, such as that put to excellent use by Marco himself.
Do the Republicans mean it when they say they will bring jobs back to the U.S.? Sure. If you're willing to work like an uneducated immigrant. Or, if you want to work 14 hours a day, 6 days a week, living in a dorm with hundreds of others, far from home, for very low wages, as do the Chinese workers who make iCrap. Many Chinese and other workers are desperate and don't yet have the economic power to fight back. We do, or did, and did, but seem willing now to give all that up. Are we that desperate? The Republican Party thinks so and it may be true.
But that message is not meant for the people who will do the work and pay the price of serfdom.
The largest voter/consumer demographic is now over 60 years old. The largest demographic in the Republican Party is also over 60 years old. They are done raising their families and are retired or near retirement, so schools and wages and other employment issues are not their problem. They are worried about Social Security and Medicare so the promise is made that those social programs will be there for them, while keeping their taxes low by cutting programs that benefit everyone. Their kids and grandkids will be on their own in old age or if they get sick, but, so what? The folks who will vote for the end of social programs will be dead soon. In the meantime, they will be courted by those who most benefit from turning American workers into desperate job-seekers.
Sacrifice. Republican Party leaders talk a lot about sacrifice. Not their own sacrifice. Not your sacrifice. No, they mean Other People's sacrifice. Immigrants, teachers, previous generations, the next generations, firefighters, our soldiers ... all these people who sacrificed so that you – yes, you! - could live the American Dream (tm). Goodness. Where do all these lambs come from? What happens when you run out? No worries. The important thing is that you – yes, you! - get what you deserve from your government while excluding those who you just know do not deserve a thing. Other People sacrifice so that you, special you, exceptional you, don't have to. How can that message not appeal?
Hmmm. I wonder where they get the notion that someone else can and should sacrifice himself for nothing more than an occasional mention.
I dunno. I'm rambling in an effort to understand these folks, my fellow Americans, and their willingness to toss hundreds of years of human progress into the sewer for an ideology they don't need and don't live by, all for the promise of a drug-induced erection at someone else's expense.
Oh. I guess that follows.
Somewhat related – a couple of years ago I wrote up a post about disappearing farm workers. It had been going of for awhile and it has continued. There was an article in last Saturday's paper about the dearth of pickers in Ventura County and I link it here as follow-up to the previous blog post, and as general interest. I don't have much to add to what I wrote back then, in the post and eventually in comments, but may write what I'm currently hearing around town in the comments. May not ;)
Oh. Happy Labor Day. Enjoy it while it still almost makes sense.
For the bigger picture, have a look at the NE Pac WVloop.
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Santa Paula, CA
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Updated: 7:15 AM PDT on April 27, 2015
Santa Paula, CA
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Updated: 6:34 AM PDT on April 27, 2015
Port Hueneme, CA
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Updated: 6:23 AM PDT on April 27, 2015