Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Party of the People

FDR made the Democratic Party the party of the people by serving the needs of the working person. The working person benefited greatly for a few decades. Then Big Business decided to put labor in its place. It built PACs, hired lobbyists and contributed primarily to the Republican Party. Abetted by the Republican Party, Big Business destroyed unions, made employment precarious, and is now slowly shedding medical and pension benefits. Because the Democratic Party lost its union money it too had to depend upon money from fatcats, which is the main reason it has been in disfavor. Until now. Today the party is returning to its FDR roots, becoming once again the party of the people.

FDR believed in helping the little guy. Here is what he said about American progress:

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little."

So, he gave us the National Labor Relations Board to help labor unions, a Social Security system to help those who retire, a minimum wage for the unskilled among us, and many other laws for improving the working conditions in the country.

Naturally, he was popular. Of course, the people voted Democratic. It stands to reason that most people called themselves Democrats. It makes sense that by and large labor unions contributed to Democratic Party campaigns.

Big Business saw that unions were contributing to political campaigns. They decided they would do the same. It wasn't long before business PACs were contributing more than unions. The big campaign money battle began.

Once Big Business started contributing it started asking for results. And it got lots of results. It weakened the NLRB and then Big Business destroyed the unions. With its constant talk of fierce competition, Big Business managed to keep their employees constantly worried about getting fired and leary about asking for a raise. Though today profits are zooming, raises are hard to come by. They tried recently to get rid of Social Security. They did not succeed, but they will try again. Daily we hear about businesses reducing or eliminating their health plans and their retirement plans. This is what is called the ownership society: you are on your own.

With the weakening of labor, Democrats started seeking money from Big Business. As a result, they had to tone down their advocacy for the little guy. Voters figured that there were no differences between Republicans and Democrats. With their superior fund-raising capabilities, the Republicans were able to take over our government, lock stock and barrel.

Enter Howard Dean. During the last presidential election campaign, Dean and Trippi learned how to collect money in small amounts from average guys. Dean realized that small-money fund raising is the key to the revival of the Democratic Party. Now that he is head of the DNC, he is concentrating on small donations.

Last Sunday, Russert told Howard Dean that he was falling behind in the fundraising race because the RNC was collecting money at a pace of 2 to 1 compared with the DNC. To which, Dean replied:

"Before it was 3:1."

Howard Dean is concentrating on small donors. So much so that big donors are complaining they are not receiving much attention. I don't know why they need attention. If they want to donate, I'm sure the money will be accepted - no strings attached.

Dean has been villified by many. But he is taking the Democratic Party back to where it belongs, helping the little guy. And the only way to do this is to free the Party of the entanglements brought about by big-donor money.

Republicans with their overreaching are helping the Democrats. The Republicans have succeeded in making Big Business lobbyists on K Street part of the Republican Party. So Democrats are not paying attention to these lobbyists. For a long time, House Minority Leader Pelosi has had weekly meeting with lobbyists. No longer.

Many Democratic officeholders still get money from Big Business. But, as you can see from this action by Pelosi, gradually the Democratic Party is returning to its roots of helping the working person.

Eschewing big money and seeking small money will bring the disaffected public back to the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party will once again be the party of the people.

Posted by Paul Siegel at November 17, 2005 6:28 PM
Comments
Comment #93820

Say Paul If the Democratic party is the party of the working man why then did they vote to put social security in the general fund. why did the voted tp tax social security. Why did they vote to increase tax on social security. al gore the man who invented the inter net cast the deciding vote to tax 85% of social security.

Posted by: Thomas at November 17, 2005 7:01 PM
Comment #93829

Paul, you’ve inspired me. I’m going to take all my change and donate it to the Democratic party. Just Kidding. Thanks for bringing up Dean with Russert. That was a priceless moment.

Thomas
That’s all you got? Show me ONE issue where the Republicans are doing something for the working class. Also, why should anyone read you if you make no effort to proof what you write?

Posted by: Loren at November 17, 2005 7:37 PM
Comment #93831

So the fat cats bought the Republican Party and the government. What did they get? Incompetence and corruption and an idiot for a President. In the short term the corruption has been good for them. In the long run they will have to pay the bills because the impovished lower class can’t. If they don’t pay the bills, our card house will collapse and China/India/etc will rule. The question is, will the voters figure that out in 2006 and start the recovery of sanity?
Ted

Posted by: Ted at November 17, 2005 7:54 PM
Comment #93837

Actually, the Democratic Party lost it’s soul when LBJ decided to fight the Vietnam war as a holding action, not a war. Compare the strategy then with the current strategy in Iraq: the purpose of that strategy was to allow the local government to stabilize, assume control of of their defense, and beat back their enemies. Sounds familiar, huh? LBJ, in an effort to win back the base of his party, pushed for very liberal programs that have proven to be ineffective and costly to the economy. Bush II, in an effort to placate his base, has pushed an equally conservative agenda that will also prove disasterous to our economy and social structure. It took 8 years for the country to regain its balance after the fall of Saigon; we can only hope that the impending disaster does not have as long a recovery.
The nation does not need demagogues, on either the left or right. Neither party has ever been a “party of the people.” After all, social security was established in an era when, in order to collect, you would have had to live 6 years past average life-span. The TVA, WWW, and other programs were essentially indentured servitude. FDR also wasn’t a friend of labor; he was a friend of labor leaders (which led to the organized corruption that has imploded most of America’s unions). The last president who actually worked to curtail the influence of corporations, and promote the working class, was FDR’s relation. Teddy was a Republican, by the way, but that was over 100 years ago.
The answer is not to support the Democratic Party as envisioned by Howard Dean, nor to support the Republican Party as seen by Karl Rove. It is to support the initiatives of moderation and sensibilty, as demonstrated by Sens. McCain and Dodd.

Posted by: Ray at November 17, 2005 8:28 PM
Comment #93840

Thomas,
President johnsons means of financing the vietnam war without directly raising taxes but a defered tax increase just the same. a mistake in my opinion. i don’t understand your second point. third point: the increase was to keep the system solvent, a necessary tweek from time to time. just as anyone would look at their stock porfolio and adjust it from time to time it’s reasonable to suspect that the social security system would need adusting periodically. so al gore cast the tie breaking vote. ??? what’s the break down, along party lines, if we must, of the other votes. if there was a single vote from the big business party, to use paul’s terminology, then without that vote, al gore wouldn’t have had the opportunity to cast the tie breaker. then we could say that the big business party cast the deciding vote to tax 85% of social security. seems to be the same logic you used but it doesn’t seem logical.

Posted by: ec at November 17, 2005 8:37 PM
Comment #93842

Ray,
could give you some strong counters to paragraph two, which you probably could do also, but i take this as a lead in to paragraph three, which i particularly like. you might also add, “and others”.
i get weary of hearing about non entities as liberals, conservatives, democrats, republicans.peoples party, big business party. i.e. who said or did what? is he or she one of the non entities? did the entire group of non entities say or do the same thing? i would really like to see specific verbage or actions attributed to specfic people rather than let them hide behind the cloak of non entities.


Posted by: ec at November 17, 2005 8:57 PM
Comment #93849

I agree with the writers who said that neither party has really helped anyone other than big business. I keep thinking that we need to allow registered independents to vote in all primaries. They would have a voice in selecting candidates from both parties, hopefully more folks would register as indies and more politicians would listen to the middle rather that the fringes. Mike S

Posted by: mikesrv at November 17, 2005 10:29 PM
Comment #93854

Paul:

I agree with some of your points. I think the Democratic party is loosing because it doesn’t look like America anymore. In the 60’s you could look at the Democratic party and see liberals, moderates and conservatives, pretty close to the balance of the USA as a whole. 40 years later, and conservatives feel they have no place in the Democratic party. The Democratic party is no longer the party of the little guy, but rather of the Urban guy. Look at any election map of red verses blue by precinct, and it is so obvious that Democrats no longer represent the poor anymore than the Republicans do, you represent the urban non church going voter.

Part of it is cultural. I live in a small city (100,000). We watched with confusion the reaction to hurricane katrina. There is no expectation that the Federal government would help at all out here in a natural disaster. I remember an ice storm where power was out for a week. We had so much fun. We stayed warm with fires. We pulled out the camping gear, made smores, and helped or neighbors. We got to camp out in the winter!! Didn’t think once of the federal government at all!! Expectations are just different.

Kerry looks stupid hunting. The only thing that will look worse is Hillary hunting in Ohio in 2008. I remember visiting a client in an Insurance agency, and all of a sudden all of these New Yorkers came in on the elevator. I looked at my friend and whispered (Having a mortition convention? because of the clothes they were wearing.

Urbanites think like Democrats, rural and small towns think like Republicans. You can scream about issues all you want, but Democrats look strange in small towns. When you don’t stand out in a small town anymore you will be on your way to recovery.

Cindy Sheehan in Crawford Texas was a joke in terms of helping turn the direction of the party. Wow, get some washed out hippies out there just to remind everyone why we don’t live in the city!!

I have a diffent take on your ideas because I separate the differences between our two parties differently. It is why I can agree with you on many issues, but wills till vote Repubican.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 17, 2005 11:00 PM
Comment #93859

I was a union member in college. We worked 12 hour days in the summer. We didn’t work effectively. When a light bulb burned out, I couldn’t change it. That was a job for an electrician. If our conveyor belt got stuck, I couldn’t unstuck it. That was a job for a milright. When cement dusk chocked us, I couldn’t sweep it, because I wasn’t a sweeper. If I went to the bathroom and came back in less than 20 minutes, the union steward gave me a hard time. Everybody got hemeroids sitting on the can too long. Our truck drivers drove 10 hours to Northern Wisconsin. They had to come back with empty trucks. They were not authorized to carry the northern products south. We all worked hard at not working. It was hard. We never cooperated with management. Everything was a confrontation. Our job was to preserve as many jobs as possible. We did it really well, until we got shut down because we weren’t doing much.

Unions have a place in society. They are right about where they belong now.

Posted by: Jack at November 17, 2005 11:30 PM
Comment #93866

I’m gonna go back and read, but what the heck is wrong with the “continue reading” link?

It takes me to a page that looks formatted different, never loads, and locks up my browser!! I would love to read the rest of the original post!!

Posted by: womanmarine at November 17, 2005 11:53 PM
Comment #93867

The link takes my browser to a page that transfers data from rachelforjustice.com??? What the heck is going on? Then it has a link that says “continue with Watchblog Democrats”. It appears to be an ad of some kind, but it locks up and never loads. Then locks my browser so I have to shut it down.

Please don’t tell me I’m the only one getting this.

Posted by: womanmarine at November 18, 2005 12:01 AM
Comment #93872

Okay, it’s one of the dang advertising cookies. I deleted all my cookies, and got in here, and when I tried again, I got the redirect again. I give up.

Advertising is fine as far as it goes, but this is too much. It’s apparently one of those rotating ads from whereever watchblog gets them. Please check with your advertisers and get that one pulled.

Posted by: womanmarine at November 18, 2005 12:50 AM
Comment #93873

I cant speak fancy language and I dont remember many specifics like some.But this country is going down fast just like a banana republic.Let me give you some fact to chew on.
1. We are like a toothless man running down the street waving a gun. We have no Army because the prospective soldiers are not idiots
No armor, understaffed, no plans,and killed, and no reasons, nothing but our macho pose and A-Bombs to wave at people we dont like.
2. The Presidents of many corporations make 1000 times more than their Engineers with very little intelligence or savvy. Just old friends of the right people.
3. Abortion wasnt in the Bible so why cant everyone agree to say “Im against needless abortions.” We dont seem to agree on anything important.Religeon and the State are bedfellows
4. The Country is tipping into insolvency and the Republicans cant even pass a bill that starts emergency Avian flu Vaccines for America unless we cancel Head Start.
5. Social Security is in danger of disappearing due to pillaging of its trust fund
and lack of caring for the people of America by its leaders.
6 The secret police FBI Et al love the patriot act and its dirty provisions.
7 And Im not one whit safer than I was on Sept10. Many more to follow later.

Posted by: Robert Mendel at November 18, 2005 12:53 AM
Comment #93877

We’re testing out a new advertising network, and one of the new ad types is called an “Intermission”. I’m not totally happy with the way the ads are being delivered, so I will get in touch with the company tomorrow and have them remove this ad from rotation. Sorry for the inconvenience.

You’re only supposed to see the ad once. If you are deleting cookies, you may se it more than once.

- Cameron

Posted by: Watchblog Publisher at November 18, 2005 1:46 AM
Comment #93879

John Kerry a many mansioned sailboarder, Theresa Heinz as aristocratic dilletante dabbling in betterment of the lower classes, and of course wealthy John Edwards touting his “up from working class” background as a thin thread that connects him somehow to guys/gals who work and worry about health bills, second mortgages, etc. Baloney! No wonder those guys/gals went red not blue. Add a host of Hollywood luminaries and other cognoscenti, illuminatie, literati, etc. moralizing at “us” out here with, let’s face it, condenscension. Like, what qualifies Barbra Streisand to interpret foreign policy with almost national audience?

My point: These people become icons for the Dems….and all those working class little people with Country Western values and few graduate degrees see through the pretension and posturing and go Republican…a party which cares little for them either. I wouldn’e celebrate Democrats just because they’re “Not-Republicans”.

Posted by: David K. at November 18, 2005 2:40 AM
Comment #93888

If John McCain is the voice of moderation in this country, we’re all in trouble. He voted for that lobby-concocted Bankrupcy ‘reform’ bill, for limitation of citizens ability to sue negligent corporations (tort ‘reform’), threw the gun lobby a very big bone by limiting suits of gun manufacturers and gun dealers, voted for another corporate “free-trade” extravaganza via CAFTA, and to cap it all off, helped confirm one of the biggest pro-business jurists in America (John Roberts). He is a card-carrying member of the plutocrat party—unashamed to throw great gobs of money at rich folks,corporations and the defense industry, and is out to lunch for the rest of us peons. If I hear another blogger call this man a moderate….

Posted by: Tim Crow at November 18, 2005 5:43 AM
Comment #93890

Great post, Paul. The average Joe and Jane really made an impression on the Democratic Party in the last campaign. It’ll be interesting to see how the $25 donation changes politics.

Democrats support fair-play capitalism, and I personally don’t have a problem with Democratic politicians accepting corporate donations, but (to misquote Reagan) “Business buys into our agenda, we don’t buy into theirs.”

Posted by: American Pundit at November 18, 2005 5:55 AM
Comment #93891
I wouldn’e celebrate Democrats just because they’re “Not-Republicans”.

David K., don’t forget that Republicans have controlled Congress since 1994. We haven’t seen a real Democratic agenda for over a decade. Republicans don’t even let Democratic initiatives for better/cheaper healthcare, fiscal responsibility, and reduction of our dependence on foreign oil reach the floor for a vote.

What we have seen under Republican governance is a decline in the middle-class, stagnant wages, and tax breaks that disproportionately benefit the wealthy elite.

Posted by: American Pundit at November 18, 2005 6:04 AM
Comment #93898

Interesting post Paul, that’s pretty much what Noam Chomsky was saying in his book, “Hegemony or Survival”. But I believe that many Americans consider Chomsky to be a raving lefty. I have to say that I found his book compelling and convincing.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at November 18, 2005 7:40 AM
Comment #93903

The Democrat Party the party of the people?

HOGWASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 18, 2005 8:34 AM
Comment #93905

Tim,

Although McCain may lean towards the conservative side fo the moderates you can not classify him by cherry picking a few issues that he voted on without looking at the overall voting pattern. Try this:

http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/John_McCain.htm

Posted by: Mike P at November 18, 2005 8:46 AM
Comment #93912

After reading many of the posts it’s easy to see why people are so disillusioned by party politics. We call ourselves a democracy but neither party gives a rats behind about people, because that’s really what a democracy does, cares for its people. We are governed by money plain and simple. Until we decide that human life is more important than money we will never have a party that works entirely for the people. If the Democratic Party is leaning more towards “small money” than perhaps they waking up to the reality that it is people who are important not contributors to their campaign. Unfortunaltely I do not see the same signs of the Republican Party ever coming to its senses since they have always held the belief that a two tierd society is easier for them to manage. A society where only rich and poor exist. Those that blindly follow that party should hope that that never becomes this country’s reality. The basic foundation of our country is this “of the people for the people and by the people” we seem to have lost that tradition and basic value in our politics. We need to recapture that foundation to return to our roots as proud Americans.

Posted by: Vic R at November 18, 2005 9:16 AM
Comment #93919
Unions have a place in society. They are right about where they belong now.

I don’t disagree with you very often Jack, but this is one time I do.
Unions WERE usefull at one time. But not anymore. they need to be put out of business.
When labor first started to organize unions were necessary to speak for their members and bargin with the employers. They did a good job of getting better pay, working conditions, and benifits.
Then the government passed labor laws and that pretty much eliminated the need for unions. But the unions decided it was their job to cost business as much money as possible. And they’ve done an excelent job of that.
They soon stopped representing the membership and started representing themselves. They have become a business themselves and care less about their members than any other business ever did about their employees.
Just a couple of examples of the great job unions are and have been doing for their members.
One of my uncles worked for the railroad as switchman in the yard in Chicago. The union was having a problem getting more money out of the railroad. They sent the members out on strike for 4 weeks until they got a 5 cent an hour raise out of the railroad. The union then raised it’s dues $15 a week for doing such a good job. What did the membership benifit from this? NOTHING!
One of my brother-in-laws out in Califronia is an elecrtic motor machanic. He repairs industrial motors. These things cost a fortune and it’s cheaper to repair them than to replace them. He’s also a dyed in the wool union man.
The shop where he worked for 21 years went out of business last year because it went bankrupt. The union kept demanding more and more money and the shop had to keep raising it’s prices to keep up with the payroll. Customers started going to other shops that charged less because they didn’t have the union. My brother-in-law will admitt that these shops were doing just as good a job as his shop.
But you cann’t get him to see that it was the union that out his shop out of business by demanding more money all the time. He’ll tell you it was the greedy owners fault because they kept raising prices.
Maybe if I can get him to see that it was the union, I can get him to leave the Democrat party also. He’s really a Conservitive but he just don’t know it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 18, 2005 10:13 AM
Comment #93971

Just for clarification: The Republicans represent the avaricious rich who are unafraid of giving a damn about the poor; The Democrats represent the rich who make a profit off the poor, but don’t quite have the guts to say we should scrap the entire oppresive mess. Why? Because they’re too busy as lawyers getting parasitically rich by supposedly defending the rights of the poor within the same corrupt system.

Each election “cycle”, those of us who actually work and produce something in this society are asked to make a choice between whether we liked getting screwed “hard and nasty”, or whether we’d prefer it with KY.

Keith

Posted by: Keith at November 18, 2005 2:22 PM
Comment #93974

Keith

Go to the Green side of the blog. There’s a post there you might like.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 18, 2005 2:33 PM
Comment #93987

The Democrats certainly should become the Party of the People once more, because what the Republican’s are doing isn’t at all popular with the average American. Hopefully they will pay for it in ‘06.
I say hopefully only because America can no longer trust our elections to be run fairly and accurately, and that is a problem that Democrats have been inexplicably failing to address.

Posted by: Adrienne at November 18, 2005 3:14 PM
Comment #93997

Adrienne
I would love to see ANY party become the party of the people. I don’t care what they called themselves. Democrat, Republican, Constitution, Reformed, or Pea Pickers. Just so SOME party would accually represent the people.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 18, 2005 3:49 PM
Comment #94014

Mike P. Thanks for pointing me to that site—I was unaware of it. But I must stand my ground on Senator McCain. His postions on trade and health care alone disqualifies him in my eyes. So he’s not a neocon loony—small comfort. Conservatives and their pro-business stances have been fully discredited, where every tax cut is a “pro-jobs stimulate-growth” charade. Average worker salaries are not keeping up with inflation, jobs are hemorrhaging overseas at an alarming rate, large corporations over the last five years are making obscene profits hand-over-fist and none of it is being used to improve infrastructure, worker benefits or wages. Democrats and Repubs are equally guilty, although, who’s controlled all three branches of government (for the most part)for the last eleven years? The greed for power and wealth in both parties, and the ever-present corruption inclines me to think that if a adverse economic downturn, terrorist incident, or some unforseen cataclyism happens within the next 6-12 months, this whole rotten house of cards that has become this government will collapse. Katrina alone stripped the wool from most of the American peoples eyes—and you felt this administration teetering and swaying, at a loss to adapt to the emergency. And they are going to protect us from terrorists and flu pandemics? God help us, because they won’t.

Posted by: Tim Crow at November 18, 2005 5:07 PM
Comment #94019

As you are trying to decide which political party is the most advantageous for you to associate with please remember this: The derivation of the word “politics” is thus—-
poly is the Greek word for many and ticks are blood sucking parasites. Notice I did not differentiate between Republican or Democrat. Think about it!

Posted by: Gary at November 18, 2005 5:31 PM
Comment #94047

Tim,

Just pointing out that when you look at McCain’s overall view he much more of a moderate than you initially claim. Do much of your post just seems to be a very partisan outlook.

Average workers salaries don’t usually keep up with inflation since cost of living increases are inflation based. Many companies just give a very basic raise but that is normal. You can argue whether it is fair or not but it has been that way for many years. Large corporations make obscene profits for much more than five years. Which companies are making the profit may vary by industry and economic cycle but to say it is only over the past 5 years so you can blame it on Republicans seems kind of short sided.

I do agree that both parties are to blame and it has always been that way.

Posted by: Mike P at November 18, 2005 8:59 PM
Comment #94053

That you consider McCain a moderate is an indication to me how far the political discussion in this country has tilted to the right over the last 25 years. As for partisanship, who’s had the majorities for the last eleven years, and who has occupied the White House for five of the last seven terms? If the Republicans are not going to be responsible for what they have wrought, then I ask why not? Within the last five years, job creation (or lack therof) has been one of the worst records in the last 60 years. Worker production and efficiency has risen, wages have stayed stagnant, in fact, are even losing ground. Minimum wage today, because of inflation is 40% of what it was in 1967. The minimum wage has been frozen since 1997, largely by big-business Republicans, including Mr. McCain. They haven’t been too bashful to take seven pay hikes for themselves in that time. Yes, the Dems are not much better, frankly, but the pro-corporate, union-busting, belligerence of the GOP, not to mention the bellicose nature of their foreign policy is starting to alienate large groups of people in this country—including the independents.

Posted by: Tim Crow at November 18, 2005 9:29 PM
Comment #94071

Tim,

It is not just me who calls McCain a moderate but anyone who looks at his overall voting record will probably come to the same conclusion. Maybe you are just not looking at his record with an unbiased eye?

I think I would have to see an unbiased link to support your claim about minimum wage now versus 1967. Since minimum wage has increased several times over the past 40 years that claim does not seem valid.

Of course Republicans - and all politicians - should take responsibility for their decisions, voting records and actions. Where did I say otherwise? It is of course human nature to avoid taking responsibility for unpleasnt decisions as you know. It does not matter which political party they are from - they all try to avoid.

I do not think Democrats are any better as a whole although there are individuals from both parties who do have some credibility.

Mike P

Posted by: Mike P at November 18, 2005 10:53 PM
Comment #94143

Tim,

It is interesting that you do not consider Sen. McCain moderate. That he has more conservative views than Democratric moderates, such as Sen. Dodd, is to be expected; the man is a Republican. Still, by any stretch of the word, both men would be considered moderates. They do not hew to their party lines, they are willing to discuss options and ideas, and keep a (relatively) open mind. By the way, conservatism and liberalism has nothing to do with one’s views on business; those are social issues which are totally irrelevant to political discourse. Those social issues are best left to the committed fringes on either side, since the rest of us really don’t care. The point is this: to live on one extreme, be it the side occupied by either Sen. Kennedy, or the side represented by Sen. Brownback, is to live beyond what your fellow citizens care about. Abortion, religion, etc, etc, are private matters best left to individuals-not the government. Government intervention on either side always leads to disaster. Policies will not succeed, because the political will to succeed will be lacking. Carter found this out in the 70’s, and Bush is discovering the same now. This is a nation that needs to be governed by consensus, our very make-up demands it. Of course, partisans will never be happy with centrist policies. However, allowing 20-30% of the population to determine the course for the rest of us smacks of elitism…any wonder the typical American is tired of partisanship? We are looking for those who represent moderation, thoughtful discussion, and reasoned policy. Not policy driven by idealogy, but policy achieved through thoughtful debate. That’s where men like McCain and Dodd have a chance to lead our nation back to the center.

Posted by: Ray at November 19, 2005 7:32 AM
Comment #94264

I am a uniom carpenter. We bust our butts at work and the contractors we work for make plenty of money. We get paid well and have benefits. The non-union carpenters in our area also get paid decent if they are ant good. Not as well as us,but decent because of us. We set the standard.
If you look at the so called”right to work” states where it is easy to bust unions you will find that they are all low wage states.Workers,allworkers get a crummy deal. They are also economically poor. People do not have the money to keep a robust economy happening.Thats why my state(California) pays more to the Feds in taxes than we get back.If you live in one of those states you should thank unions.
Ever wonder why you have Saturdays off. Thank the labor movement.
Now we have laws so do not need unions anymore. Where do you think those laws came from and who do you think protects them from the annual attack they get from the Republican Party? Unions ,thats who.
We do not need unions any more? How about the Farmworkers. Have you ever heard of Ceaser Chavez? Working conditions are as bad in the fieds now as they were inthe 30s only now there is more pesticide exposure. Do not want to believe me. Try it. You probably would not last a hour.
If you work for wages and vote Republican you are being played for a fool.The Democrats can and do represent working people better. They should stop their silly gun control stuff and some of us are working on that but your gun will not help you if it is in the pawn shop.

Posted by: Bill at November 19, 2005 7:21 PM
Comment #94269

Keep dreaming Bill, and when your job goes down the tubes because the nonunion shops are doing just as good, or better, and cheaper. Go cry to the Union leaders and see if they give a crap.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 19, 2005 8:08 PM
Comment #94290

My, my. It seems like we touched a lot of sore places this time around. And, both sides have some good points. However, I would like to add my two cents worth about political philosophies.

In today’s America there are no organized liberals or conservatives. No matter how hard you try, they are just not there.

Basuc differences are these: Conservatives believe in small government. They see government as the enemy of the people. They believe that the Constitution is a document that the framers intended to protect the people from government. And, for much of our history, it has worked.

Liberals believe in more government involvement. The attitude is that government can do things better than the people. Along with more government involvement comes more taxes. You have to pay for all those programs some way.

If we look at the record, very few of our recent government projects have worked. LBJ’s “War on Poverty” has been going on, in one form or another, for nearly 40 years and untold billions of dollars. Yet today there is more poverty than ever. The U.S. Department of Energy has spent billions of our tax dollars and has yet to produce one barrel of gasoline or any other usable fuel. The Department of Education is designed to interfere as much as possible with the education process so that school systems waste untold manhours every year keeping up with the paperwork, at a cost of several billion dollars. In the meantime, test scores go down, dropout rates go up, high school girls have more babies, and the average high school graduate can’t make change for a dollar without a calculator.

Face it, whether the label is Democrat or Republican, there is not that much difference in the parties. As Shakespeare put it, “A pox on both your houses.” I am, and will continue to be, a Libertarian.

Posted by: jback814 at November 19, 2005 9:30 PM
Comment #94294

Ron
I will be sure to tell that to BechtalCorp., A good union shop and all nearly all the other big players in the construction bizz. You can keep freeloading.

Posted by: Bill at November 19, 2005 9:45 PM
Comment #94310

Look at the the legislation that helps people and provides justice since reconstruction Womans suffrage,social security,medicare,public education,the civil rights act, clean air act,clean water act. family leave act etc. and you will find they came from the Democratic Party,usully when there was a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress.That is a great difference between parties .Please,just look at history.
Libertarians have some good ideas. Government should not be intrusive. Most Libertarians I have met agree that women are smart enough to decide about abortion and the government has no business in peoples bedrooms for example. This is not too far from what real conservatives(ie. Goldwater) believed.However there are some things government does well that would be impossible for individuals to do. Fire departments, the common defense,sewer plants for example. The founders wanted to limit government clearly but they also understood the need for government. Where the line is drawn is subject to debate and of course we have to pay taxes for these services. When we all chip in together to pay for a fire dept. it is a pretty good deal even if your house never catches on fire. If your nieghbors does it could catch yours. You could apply this to public schools,health dept. and most government services including law enforcement.
What I as well as others concerned for individual rights right now is the acension of the neo-cons. They are not really conservatives but use the jargon to gain political support. They believe in an intrusive,controlling government(Patiot Act, State religion etc. They are part and parcel of the military-industrial complex Ike,a real conservative, warned us about. Their goal seems to be a two tiered society,the rich and everybody else and they are quite willing to put in the control mechanizisms to make this happen. The Democrats have the best chance of stopping them. Sure there are problems with the Dems but this is a power game and voteing Libertarian or Green for that matter is an impotent act.It is an arrogant disregard of political reality.

Posted by: Bill at November 19, 2005 11:00 PM
Comment #94311

STRAIGHT DEMOCRAT
I noticed in the recent election that democrats took almost every office — school board, mayor, etc. It looked like a lot of people pulled the straight Democrat lever, probably being totally sick of what is going on. Let’s hope that happens in the real election in 2006, inspite of the 2 to 1 spending the Republican Noise Machine puts into attack ads. Shazam! A two party system again.
Ted

Posted by: Ted at November 19, 2005 11:04 PM
Comment #94323

As Jim Hightower once said “The only thing in the middle is yellow stripes and dead armadillos.” Progress is not aided by centerists- all they do is preserve the status quo, usually to the detriment of anybody making less than $75,000 a year.Any change for the better that has come for the American people has been consistently blocked and fought tooth-and-nail by government, churches,political parties, the military, the courts and unions (in their corrupted form). It has been the so-called radicals, the witches, the malcontents, the troublemakers, and the revolutionaries that have dragged this country kicking and screaming into the future. Consensus canidates are what we have now—a cold bucket of pablum, devoid of ideas,courage, and vision.

“By the way, conservatism and liberalism has nothing to do with one’s views on business; those are social issues which are totally irrelevant to political discourse.” Say what?! This statement
is beyond belief. If you don’t think business is politics, you haven’t been paying attention. What do you think Supply-side economics is, or free-market agendas are? They are about rich folks getting a whole hell of a lot richer and the middle class and poor getting nothing. The majority of Americans in just about every economic poll I’ve seen aren’t Libertarian in viewpoint, they’re progressive. Libertarians aren’t in the political center, they are another lunatic fringe.

Here’s my final partisan take on Mr. McCain. There’s not a pubic hair’s width of difference between his political views and those of the center-right members of the Republican party.
At the end of the day he may be a millimeter towards the center of other neocon Repubs, but that’s not far enough for me to consider him centrist-he’s a plutocrat elitist in sheep’s clothing.

Posted by: Tim Crow at November 20, 2005 2:57 AM
Comment #94364

To Bill the union carpenter,Wage Law:

The “Right to Work”

(This is a revised version of an essay that originally appeared in The Detroit News on January 30, 2005.)

Michigan is suffering from a sluggish economy – and it’s about to get worse if labor unions and Democratic lawmakers in Lansing have their way.

The AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union are pushing state lawmakers to pass legislation that would raise the state’s minimum wage rate 40 percent over the next two years. Their claim is that a minimum wage increase will help the poor and disadvantaged — but nothing could be further from the truth.

Regardless of the rhetoric concerning the minimum wage, its economic history is crystal-clear: minimum wage laws hurt the poor and raise unemployment among the most unskilled members of society. By setting an artificial minimum on wages, lawmakers inadvertently raise the unemployment of the most disadvantaged and make it much more difficult for teenagers and other unskilled citizens to enter the labor pool.

But don’t let the labor unions fool you. That’s exactly why they want a higher minimum wage. It helps eliminate market competition for their much higher paid members. Well-meaning politicians get tricked by union bosses into believing that raising the minimum wage will help the destitute. Lawmakers inadvertently hurt the very people they are trying to help by tinkering with market prices. They’d be wise to recognize that supply and demand determine wages, not government edicts.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution for lawmakers who are looking for a way to dramatically improve Michigan’s economy and to help the poor. They can end compulsory union dues and make Michigan a “Right to Work” state.

Right to Work means that every worker can choose to pay — or not pay — union dues in order to get or keep their job. It sounds simple, but the positive effect it has on workers is truly amazing.

According to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research of Springfield, Virginia, employees working in Right to Work states enjoyed a 42 percent higher increase in their real personal income from 1993 to 2003 than workers in forced-unionism states (37 percent, as opposed to 26 percent). Growth in non-farm employment is a whopping 69 percent higher (24.1 percent compared to 14.2 percent).

In the manufacturing sector, Right to Work states have enjoyed a 7 percent increase in plant growth from 1982 to 2001, while forced-unionism states have suffered a net loss. People are simply choosing to live, work and invest in states that allow them to keep more of their earnings. Forced-unionism states like Michigan are losing jobs to states that are providing people with the right economic incentives. Twenty-two states now have Right to Work laws.

Michigan’s economic and labor policies benefit the few at the expense of the many. Lansing’s attempts to subsidize businesses to invest in Michigan have actually caused other businesses to leave or avoid our state. Forced-unionism has made it even less desirable for entrepreneurs and workers to risk their capital here. Bad government policy is slowly killing what once was the most vibrant economy in the world.

It’s important to realize that labor unions are not the solution to lower income; they are the problem. Each year, they siphon hundreds of millions of dollars out of the pockets of workers and then spend it on manipulating the political process. Unless proper steps are taken, labor unions will continue to cause serious damage to Michigan’s economy.

If union bosses really cared about the wages of all workers, they wouldn’t be pushing for an increase in the minimum wage; they’d end their practice of forced-dues collection and stop playing politics.

Michigan’s unemployment is already far too high. Raising the minimum wage will only make it worse. It’s time to let workers keep more of what they earn and free them from the shackles of organized labor. State lawmakers should do something that will truly help workers: Scrap the notion of raising the minimum wage and make Michigan a Right to Work state.

Unions have outlived their usefulness.

Posted by: Gary at November 20, 2005 1:45 PM
Comment #94369

Ron
I will be sure to tell that to BechtalCorp., A good union shop and all nearly all the other big players in the construction bizz. You can keep freeloading.

Posted by: Bill at November 19, 2005 09:45 PM

I’m an employer with 3 businesses (2 mine, 1 I’m a partner in) and a total of 50 employees. I made the mistake of letting the union in one of these businesses. I finally got it out, and I will NEVER allow another union in any business I have any intrest in. I had to double my employees to get anything done. I couldn’t fire the dead weight (and there was plenty of it) because the union wouldn’t let me. I had to have someone different to do everything. The guy that swept the floor couldn’t change a light bulb, the machine opperators couldn’t adjust their machines, Forklift dirvers couldn’t get their asses off the lift to move a broom that might have been leaned against a pallet. I had to use seniority for over time. Even if the person staying over couldn’t do the job because the union wouldn’t allow him because it was his job discription. And the whole time the union kept hounding me for higher wages.
I finally got rid of it by doing the samething Reagen did with the Air Traffic Controlers. When the Union went out on strike I replaced ALL those that struck. The best move I ever made.
I don’t care how many unions my employees join, that’s their business. But I WILLNOT withhold the dues, They can pay them out of their OWN pockets. And I WILL NOT negotiate with the uniion. If they go out on strike, they can pickup their final checks on the way out the door and not let it hit them in the ass.
I beleive in treating my employees fairly, paying them good. The adverage pay in this aera is $8-$10/hour. Most my employees make $11.50-$13/hour. Thats more than I make if you break my salary down to an hourly wage (About $9.35). If they were union they might be making $12-$13/hour and the union would be getting most the extra money.
I belive in a safe work enviroment. This includes machines that run properly. The union didn’t care if the machines ran properly or not just as long as the opperators didn’t adjust them.
Unions are for the lazy that don’t want to work and still wants a pay check.
BTW, RE: your comment about my not lasting an hour on in the feild. I’m also a farmer and grew up on one. What do you want to about farm work?

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 20, 2005 2:50 PM
Comment #94370

Gary
Excellent post!

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 20, 2005 2:53 PM
Comment #94395

Ron, You sound like a decent business owner. But if you truly are, you are in the minority. Business cares about nothing but maximising profit. They have to take that tack because of shareholders. So they pollute because it cheaper, they outsource because it’s cheaper, replace people with machines because it’s cheaper, etc. Very short sighted but then that’s not their job. Making a few people rich is their job.

Classic example, I just talked to a programmer today and he told me big companies are panicking because fewer and fewer people are graduating with computer degrees. Why? Because big companies are outsourcing programming,help desk etc to guys in India who are getting $2.00 and happy for it. I just laughed. Big business shot itself in the foot again.

I may be wrong, but I get the feeling your business’ are smaller than IBM and Halliburton. You can afford to care about decent wages because you answer to yourself. The way big business is set up it doesn’t have that luxury. So the poor pay for their mindset.

Posted by: cass at November 20, 2005 6:08 PM
Comment #94604

Cass,
Most every business produces only what the market wants. This country has shown time and time again that it wants cheap products. The cheaper the better. When the majority of the country decides that it only wants products made in the U.S.A. with union wages or better you will see manufacturing jobs come flying back to this country and the unemployment rate drop to virtual zero.

By the way how many items in your home say Made in China, Taiwan, Viet Nam etc?

Reminds me of when the Ford Motor Company’s employees were on informational picketing a few years ago. They were primarily deriding Ford because of the lack of job security. While being interviewed in frot of the employees parking lot you could see a tremendous amount of foreign made and competitor made autos and trucks.
Dah!

Posted by: Gary at November 21, 2005 4:14 PM
Comment #95884

The claim of being the party of the people would require more than 1/6 of the eligible voters voting for that party in order to be a justified claim. A whole LOT more. But, 1/6 of the eligible voters are all Democrats can claim in 2000 and 2004. Hardly a party of the people. More like a party of a minority much like the GOP who also garnered only 1/6 of the eligible to vote, voters.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 25, 2005 6:02 PM
Comment #96020

21 Ways to be a good Democrat

1. You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion on demand.

2. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.

3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than U.S. nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese and North Korean communists.

4. You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.

5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical documented changes in the earth’s climate and more affected
by soccer moms driving SUV’s.

6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural.

7. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.

8. You have to believe that the same teacher who can’t teach 4th-graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

9. You have to believe that hunters don’t care about nature, but loony activists who have never been outside of San Francisco do.

10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.

11. You have to believe that Mel Gibson spent $25 million of his own money to make “The Passion Of The Christ” for financial gain only.

12. You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.

13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.

14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Gen. Robert E. Lee, and Thomas Edison.

15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides are not.

16. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is normal and is a very nice person.

17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn’t worked anywhere it’s been tried is because the right people haven’t been in charge.

18. You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and a sex offender belonged in the White House.

19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag queens, transvestites, and bestiality should be constitutionally protected,
and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.

20. You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party funding by the Chinese Government is some- how in the best interest to the United States.

21. You have to believe that this message is a part of a vast, right wing conspiracy.

Posted by: Gary at November 26, 2005 11:22 AM
Comment #96022

SOCIAL SECURITY:

Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the
Social Security (FICA) Program. He promised:

1.) That participation in the Program would be
completely voluntary,

2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual incomes into the Program,

3.) That the money the participants elected to
put into the Program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year,

4.) That the money the participants put in would go into the independent “Trust Fund” rather than into the General operating fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program, and,

5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.

Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month we discover that we are getting taxed
on 85% of the money we paid to the Federal
government—who were supposed to “put it away,” for us.

You may be interested in the following:

Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the independent “Trust” fund and put it into the General fund so that Congress could spend it?

A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the Democratically-controlled House and Senate.

~~~~****~~~~

Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?

A: The Democratic Party.

~~~~****~~~~

Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social
Security annuities?

A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the
“tie-breaking” deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was Vice President of the US.

~~~~****~~~~

Q: Which Political Party decided to start giving
annuity payments to immigrants?

MY FAVORITE :

A: That’s right! Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party. Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65, began to receive SSI Social Security payments! The Democratic Party gave these payments to them, even though they never paid a dime into it!

Then, after all these violations of the Social Security contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away!

Actions speak louder than bumper stickers.

Posted by: Gary at November 26, 2005 11:48 AM
Comment #96026

For those of you who continue to deride “Corporations” as little more than greedy, money driven enterprises I would like you to consider this.

The total amount of assets stolen from business and industry by employees on an annual basis is $660,000,000,000.00.

I would venture to say that the number of greedy and dishonest employees far far outnumber the same in corporate leadership positions.

If you are an employee—the last thing in the world that you want to see is a boss who is broke.

Posted by: Gary at November 26, 2005 12:09 PM
Comment #350490

commen value toward hearsay an daily awareness of recognition toward stupitity such as roaming war statements of existing awareness apeares illitaret

Posted by: gary at August 11, 2012 3:46 AM
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