Saturday, October 04, 2003

The anti-labor people are out in force.

When Arnold says "business friendly" he means "management friendly." As in right-to-work state. As in, the Bush plan. Trickle-down. Supply side. Tax cuts for the rich in hope that they will re-invest. Well, when you dis-invest in people by cutting wages, isn't that like a tax hike? Isn't it worse, really? When your kids will paying off the debt of a stupid war, when the feds stick states with billions in unfunded mandates, those are tax HIKES on the middle class. When they deregulate everything, but especially energy, you get more pollution and less control over the price of the energy.
"Deregulation will leave a lasting legacy for California." -- then Governor Pete Wilson (Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign manager)
I get a lot of letters with very smart people who want to argue this. They blame "illegals" for their woes, and yet they fail to see the connection to the Wal-Mart mentality.

Most often, the explanation is that their business has been ruined by illegals who under price them. And yet these same people shop at wal-mart. I shop at Target, which has union employees and costs about the same. Apparently, their CEOs don't make as much as Wal Mart's. But the people who support these CEOs with Wal-Mart mentalities are invariably Republicans, who are anti-union. Arnold has said unions are ruining Hollywood, as have Bruce Willis and others. They envision a Hollywood without IATSE or Teamsters. They envision the Wal-Martization of America.

When someone under-cuts you on price in America, Republicans have told us, that's because they're more competitive. It's good for everybody. It keeps inflation down.

What it really does is put small business out of business, puts union workers out of business, imports tons of crap from countries that have slave labor conditions (which further puts mostly union manufacturing jobs out of the country), and rewards greedy CEOs like Ken Lay and Dick Cheney who avoid paying taxes and move money offshore.

At the same time, in order to keep your blame off them, they point to immigrants. "Illegal Immigrants." Yes, the same ones who work for very little money, get no benefits, AND PAY TAXES. And who do they work for? Large agri-businesses and construction businesses (big Republican supporters), for starters. While no doubt some small businesses have found it hard to compete with immigrants in some areas, for the most part they just don't see the bigger picture: where rich Republicans use the "illegals" for the cheap, non-union labor with no benefits in order to run people who do it "legally" out of business. They get people to blame the immigrants instead of blaming their rich campaign contributors and fellow back-room cigar smokers and womanizers.

And that's not to say that Democrats are a whole lot better. They take plenty of money from people who want something in return. But they also take more money form working people who believe in the right to collective bargaining, the right to a livable wage, the right to health care, the right to a clean environment. The last one is dearest to me because we all need a clean environment. Even Republicans need clean air and water. And while Arnold will probable do some Jeb Bush kind of song and dance on off-shore drilling, he'll be quietly pushing for the same kind of cross-your-fingers, voluntary approach that worked so well for W when he was Governor of Texas. For the record, only three of the 8,645 most polluting companies in Texas have signed up for W's voluntary plan. For the record, Pete Wilson was the God-father of California's deregulation which, along with Enron (Bush's biggest 2000 contributor), was the real culprit in the "energy crisis."

All the crap that Arnold and all the other Pete Wilson Republicans tell us about costing too much is the same ploy they use on a national level to take away people's right to overtime pay (like Bush is trying to do). They keep telling us that if we make it cheaper for businesses and the rich people who own them, then there will be more for all. Supply side. It just doesn't work. How many times do we have to watch a supply-side president run the economy into the ground, run up the deficit, and then try to blame everyone but himself? And why do so many people, especially union workers, fail to see the connection between Bush and the people who are putting Arnold in office?

There should be help for small businesses and small business owners. Think of what small businesses would save if we had universal health care. Ask Peter Camejo about that one. It will boggle your mind, and even the right-wing-nuts I know would wonder why the Republican Corporation of America fights that one so hard... While you're at Camejo's site (Peter used to be an economist), check out the actual tax rates on Californians and you'll see that the tax burden is shifting from wealth to work, and that's just not fair.

When Bush, or Pete Wilson, or Arnold try to tell you that their tax cuts for the rich, or their "renegotiations of union contracts" are going to save the economy, remember that this is coming from the people who brought you Enron, deregulation, increased pollution, increased poverty, 3 million jobs lost (and counting, first net loss of jobs since Hoover) and the largest deficit in the history of America. When will we learn that the only thing that trickles down from these people is the crap on their chin that just spilled out of their mouths?

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