Skip to main content

The Race To The Bottom


by Bill Gibbons
PACE Representative, Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR)

Most of us have been around long enough to look back at how our country progressed and the working
class and middle class dream was achieved - most of it through the strength of unions and the collective bargaining process. Remember when one income based on a good job would support the entire family? Remember when health insurance and pensions where being established and improved through negotiations?

Remember when Social Security was looked upon as a great social program to be protected and Medicare was established? Remember when we talked about reducing the work week and a livable wage? If we didn’t have Medicare today, do you think we could get it passed in congress?

What is happening to the American dream? Well, if we pay attention, we can see it being attacked and torn apart by the conservative, right-wing, tea party movement, bank rolled by special interests and corporate money funded through various organizations with friendly patriotic sounding names.

Think about it. The attempts to privatize and eliminate Medicare. The same people don’t believe in Social Security and would like to eliminate workers’ rights and destroy unions and eliminate regulations that protect the general good.

These attacks on workers and the middle class have been going on for years. The difference now is that it has become so obvious. Private sector workers have been fighting to protect their standard of living for the last 30 years. Now, the public sector workers; police, firefighters, teachers and others areunder attack.

It’s a race to the bottom under the premise of budget shortfalls, protecting jobs, etc. while the entries such as the investment banks and misdeeds of Wall Street, that cause the recent economic problems, are unaffected and actually benefiting.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR)

Trump To Cut Social Security

Trump’s Promise Not to Cut Social Security has been Broken by Robert Roach, Jr. President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget is a non-starter. He has betrayed America’s seniors. In fact, $2 trillion in deficit reduction turns out to be just a math error. The budget cuts $72 billion over ten years from disability programs, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Trump promised repeatedly to protect – not cut – Social Security. Yet his first budget does just that, harming millions of disabled Americans.  The Trump budget also slashes $1.4 trillion from Medicaid over 10 years. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), total Medicaid spending was $368 billion in 2016. Almost two-thirds of that was for seniors and people with disabilities, who rely on Medicaid for health care and long-term care. This cut is drastic and dangerous by any measurement. This budget also decimates the Community Development Block Grant, which pro…

The Ship of Fear

My Destroyer, the U.S.S. Walker, was tied up in Pearl Harbor.

The Newspaper headlines for several days along with lengthy articles told of a merchant ship, "the Pomona" that was tied up in Honolulu waiting for crew to take it to the far east. The Captain had been murdered while at sea and the crew was afraid that the murderer was still aboard. The ship finally got underway again and my memory is that it had rudder problems and had to return to port. Then, after getting underway again it had a fire on board and had to return again.

While on liberty one day in Honolulu, I stopped in at a saloon on my way back to my ship. There, I met a merchant sailor who happened to be a sailor aboard the Pomona. He offered to take me back to the ship and let me come aboard her. We did and headed for the bow of the ship where there was a lot of noise. There sitting on the deck were a number of sailors, mostly drunken, talking about their predicament.

This occurred sometime between 1961 and…