Ten Years!

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Ten Years!

By David Glenn Cox

“Republicans approve of the American farmer, but they are willing to help him go broke. They stand four-square for the American home–but not for housing. They are strong for labor–but they are stronger for restricting labor’s rights. They favor minimum wage–the smaller the minimum wage the better. They endorse educational opportunity for all–but they won’t spend money for teachers or for schools. They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine–for people who can afford them. They consider electrical power a great blessing–but only when the private power companies get their rake-off. They think American standard of living is a fine thing–so long as it doesn’t spread to all the people. And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.”
― Harry S. Truman

Amazing how after 60 some years Harry Truman could be so accurate about today’s Russian; I mean Republican Party. Harry raised the minimum wage twice in seven years. John Kennedy raised it twice in three. We remember these as the good old days, but I also remember the Reagan Revolution. It was Reagan who turned thousands of mentally ill out on American streets by doing away with involuntary commitment laws. It helped the bottom line. Got them off Medicaid and VA benefits. Poor Reagan was so concerned with their freedom.

Yes, as Harry says the Republican Party favor the minimum wage…the more minimum the better. Reagan is the only two term modern President not to raise the minimum wage. Bill Clinton raised the minimum wage by .90 cents over the course of a year but only once in eight years. So, in sixteen years the minimum wage went up…once.

So, why is the minimum wage so important, you might be saying to yourself? I don’t work for minimum wage, why should I care? So, if Congress raises the minimum wage, don’t you want a raise too? Say Boss, I was making ten dollars an hour over the minimum wage and now I’m only making $9.50 over the minimum wage. So, do you want a raise too? Damn right you do, and you’ll get one too! Amazon is opening warehouses advertising for workers at $15.00 to start. Ain’t that great? Watch let the economy go into the tank and it will soon be $12.50.

In my Inaugural I laid down the simple proposition that nobody is going to starve in this country. It seems to me to be equally plain that no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By “business” I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers, the white-collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level-I mean the wages of decent living.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

How far we have come and how far we have gone down the same road to ruin as in Roosevelt’s day. Business is business. I recently heard a Republican say that venture Capitalist’s had worked to save Minority owned businesses. In my mind I saw Lucy Van Pelt holding a football. Venture Capitalists are in business for only one reason…to make money! They will spit on their mother’s grave to make money. They have no interest in minorities or their businesses. This fable of the good-hearted Capitalist, but back to Ronny Ray gun.

Ronny was America’s first reality show President, funded by General Electric. Ronny toured the country on the rubber chicken circuit making speeches promoting “Good Old-Fashioned Americanism” and nuclear power. He was an actor playing the President and for Ronny good Old-Fashioned Americanism meant more for me and less for you. The minimum wage frozen the air traffic controller’s union broken.  Reagan declared war on the middle-class cutting taxes for the rich and taxing waiter’s tips and Social Security declaring ketchup a vegetable to screw a couple million hungry school kids out of a decent lunch. You know, those good old American values.

But now forty years later… not just the mentally ill are homeless on the street. Today, the working poor the victims of the paltry national minimum wage sleep in their cars unable to pay rent. The value in real dollars of a 2009 minimum wage in 2019 is 70 %.

Forty years of the Reagan revolution has brought us to this, billionaires who pay no taxes and working families with no place to live struggling to eat. Crumbling infrastructure mimicking a crumbling society. Ronnie Reagan was going to get big government off your back and instead he turned the wolves loose upon you.

I read once about a German princeling during the crusades. The Crusaders showed up at his castle asking him to join the Crusade either in person or with monetary support. The Prince an obvious Republican told them to go get stuffed and locked the gate. The crusaders laid siege to the castle and eventually sacked it. In the basement buried beneath the stones the Crusaders found a million pieces of gold. The local people didn’t raise a hand to protect the prince and why should they? The prince had gold and castles and the townsfolk had only struggle and poverty.

Those who oppress and impoverish society have no right to air let alone support.

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

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