The Mason Missile, January 29, 2019

Greetings!

The shutdown of the federal government-and the forced unemployment, or employment without pay, of approximately 800,000 federal employees- is AT LAST over. The almost 800,000 federal workers included air-traffic controllers, TSA agents screening bags at airports, EPA and OSHA technicians inspecting the safety of the environment and worksites, inspectors of food and drugs, Coast Guard personnel and FBI agents; civil servants (like I was for the City of Philadelphia), not well paid but earning a living, sustaining our families and ourselves, working people like you, the focus of vilification by right-wing propagandists for decades; like the school teachers in Michigan under Scott Walker-how many bought into the slander that Walker put upon them, that they were such horrible people because they (allegedly) had such great pay and benefits, sue to their having a union-so, instead of breaking their union and taking away their benefits, why don’t such people JOIN a union, so THEY can get such goodies? There are people like this, who are in a miserable situation, and instead of joining others to alleviate their situation, they want others to also be miserable. (I grew up among people like that.)

THESE are the horrible federal “bureaucrats”  the right-wing propagandists have for decades, have vilified as oppressing the American people-particularly the entrepreneurs who just want to do their capitalist thing and make all Americans prosper-a myth typified in the ravings, uh, writings of Ayn Rand, and which they tried to implement into public policy-weaken workers’ unions; hamper regulations on their activities-pollution, investments, workplace safety, equal opportunity and discrimination; lessen taxes on corporations so they “can invest in new equipment and hire more workers”; and diminish welfare benefits, even those for the elderly, children, and retirees.

It never works out like that in real life. Taxes are cut for corporations and the uber-wealthy, and they invest their extra money in offshore bank accounts- as was shown in the cases of the Paradise Papers and the Panama Papers. The environment is mangled due to greater pollution from car exhaust, chemicals spilling into rivers (thus contaminating sources of drinking water), excessive mining creating earthquakes, polar icecaps melting, and other forms of meteorological disasters. Factories, instead of hiring more workers in THIS country, set up in low-wage regions that have no real worker protections-and finally end up in nations with repressive governments who happily accommodate the companies’ anti-union mood.

In the new model of capitalism-as was practiced my Mitt Romney and his alma mater, Bain Capital- a hedge fund purchases a corporation, loads it up with debt it could not possibly pay off, then sells off parts of it, increasing the profit for the investors-and leaving workers without pay, without work, and without hope-except for some raving maniac who wants to float into office by telling jobless workers that their REAL enemy is the dark-skinned “inferiors” who live off welfare, who commit crimes, who use the government for their advantage (like no one should?), and who want to rape your sister.  

I always wondered why conservatives and other corporate apologists have a hatred for welfare: it can’t just be their whining about “lazy welfare bums who don’t work”-cutting their welfare benefits would never close any federal deficit, and sick, elderly people and children, aren’t in any shape to work some jobs.

Plus, with the globalization of the economy, with the shifting of investments, and factories, from one low-wage regions of the country to the next-and even from one low-wage country to the next- jobs aren’t always available, with factories closing down, leaving workers unemployed, and so they’re not able to purchase goods at local stores, closing them down in turn; and local governments can’t collect as much as before in taxes, thereby having to cut back services.

There are several factors to this conservative welfare bashing;

With a welfare system and a labor movement, workers could maintain a level of independence-not complete, but some-from corporate managers, who believe their own propaganda about their own infallibility in managing the economy.

It creates a scapegoat like I said earlier, a THOSE PEOPLE for working people only slightly higher up the economic scale, who are also trying to pay bills and get by.  Throw race into the mix, and you get a source of division which politicians, subsidized by corporations, love to exploit-and working and low-income people of BOTH races remain in the same difficult economic situation. For the white working class, the false drug of “racial superiority” does no good.

As a working person, a trade unionist, and as a Democratic Socialist, I must continue to point this out and work to correct it. Bye!

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