We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...

http://peaceandsocialjustice.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-progressive-program-for-real-change.html


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.


"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Contact information

You can contact me...

By Phone:

651-587-5541

By E-mail:

alan.maki1951mn@gmail.com


My FaceBook page when I am not being blocked or censored by FaceBook:

https://www.facebook.com/maki.alan





Tuesday, March 28, 2017

This was posted on my Facebook page as a comment...

From Sharon Neumann LeMay:


Doctors, nurses, technicians etc., should be public employees working for a fair wage the same as every other public employee. The buildings in which they work should be public buildings. Drugs should be researched and developed by public university medical departments, and then manufactured in publicly owned facilities. Get all the profit out of every step of the process and let medical professionals do their jobs based on what each patient needs. Eliminate the need of overpriced care due to having to meet overhead and profit margins.


We already do this for fire, police, schools, etc. for the most part.


We need medical personnel who are in it for the love of the job and the compassion they have for people, not just to earn mega bucks. Take the brightest interested kids and give them a free education to become an MD or other medical profession of their choice. Eliminate any need to gouge the system to repay student loans.


The only hurdle I see towards achieving this is to deprogram American's from their number 1 religion of worshiping the almighty dollar and judging the goodness of each other by their net worth.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Don't let the Dumb Donkeys do your thinking for you.

It never ceases to amaze me and boggle my mind how willingly the well-heeled, muddle-headed, upper-middle class intellectuals--- which includes the party hacks and over-paid media pundits--- are willing to accept as "reforms," for the rest us, "baby steps" and "incremental" reforms knowing that people can't wait decades for health care when they are sick today or wait to eat until "tomorrow."

For being such smart people they don't understand that the basic necessities of life can't wait.

But somehow they are able to rationalize "baby steps" and "incremental" reforms while refusing to act to confront and act to put an end to imperialist murder, mayhem, savagery and barbarism which is the price we pay for these much ballyhooed "baby steps" and "incremental" reforms never materializing except as "promises" at election time.

These people will tolerate racism and attacks on women claiming, "We have bigger fish to fry."

They view affirmative action as a remedy for racism and discrimination as a threat to their cozy life-style.

They don't view the need to include Planned Parenthood's services as rights to be included as part of a National Public Health Care System.

These people say we are are being "argumentative," "brash" and "inconsiderate" in demanding three meals a day, a decent place to live, a job with real living wages and health care to keep us well and take care of us when we are sick yet they have access to all of this--- and much more--- in return for telling us we must "be patient."

For these people a vacation is a luxury we don't need but a requirement they deserve to "get away from it all."

These people will try to tell us we need single-payer universal health care because a National Public Health Care is too much to expect. They then try to confuse the issue by claiming single-payer universal health care is the same as a National Public Health Care System. They will talk up single-payer without saying it leaves much of the administration and all of the delivery in the hands of greedy profit gougers when a National Public Health Care System means:

Public financing.

Public administration.

Public delivery.

Honesty and ethics mean nothing to the well-heeled, muddle-headed, upper-middle class intellectuals whose intellectualism stops short of action because it is through lies, deceit, dishonesty along with sowing division and confusion they assure their place in society--- serving the Wall Street parasites who we must challenge for political and economic power; they want no truck with such radical thinking because it requires an honest assessment of our problems leading to united, militant action.

These people will push the writings of one of their kind, George Lakoff, down our throats and they begin to sweat just thinking about those intellectual activists like Frances Perkins, Harry Bridges, Paul Robeson, W.E.B. DuBois, Wyndham Mortimer, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, William Z. Foster and Claudia Jones.

The Democratic Party is full of such people who lack the most basic empathy and compassion for working class families that they will even deny, under the pretense that the "economy is strong" because there is a bull market, the fact that working class families are mired in a Cost-of-Living Crisis a big part of which is fueled by the private, for-profit health care system and these dirty imperialist wars... both of which they are afraid to acknowledge.

It is time to tell the Dumb Donkeys to go to hell; a new working class based peoples party is required.

What kind of health care system do the American people want?

I suggest the people be asked if they want a health care system that is:


Publicly financed.


Publicly delivered.


Publicly delivered.


I think the politicians and the foundation-funded outfits along with the party hacks are afraid to ask.

With computers and the Internet it would be easy to ask the people what kind of health care system we want.

The cost of war

The U.S. military uses 350,000 barrels of oil per day. That doesn't come cheap at $48.00 a barrel. A "mere" $16,000,000.00 per day... but who is counting? Just $5,696,000,000.00 a year.
Anyone know any better uses for this oil and its cost?


And in addition to the waste of a valuable natural resource this is, think of all the human and environmental murder, mayhem, and havoc it raises.

This figure doesn't include the cost of shipping and refining, either. Nor does it tell us who profits and how much those profits are.


But this carbon footprint doesn't come cheap no matter how one figures.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

For a socialist solution to this health care mess.

We have now seen how Donald Trump and the Republicans "solved" this health care mess.

And we saw how Obama and the Democrats "solved" the health care mess.

Pay very close attention here...

The Democrats told us "other steps" would have to follow Obamacare...

Now, listen up because this is very important:

The Democrats have never stated what the "next steps" would have to be.

Why not?

Because nothing can "fix" Obamacare.

If the Democrats were the least bit sincere about real health care reform they would have ended all the co-pays with Medicare and imposed price controls on drugs plus they would have regulated the fees doctors can charge for their services and they would have imposed regulations on hospital charges.

In addition, the Democrats would have properly funded the VA and the Indian Health Services according to the Congressional mandate.

Anyone who still believes a bunch of Wall Street bribed politicians--- which includes both the Republicans and Democrats--- who are beholden to those like the insurance industry, the American Medical Association and the hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry for their campaign contributions will come up with and advance a health care system which has its goal and objective to provide health care as a right for every single person in this country is living in a make-believe fairy-tale world.

The solution to this health care mess is going to have to come from those of us who view health care as a basic and fundamental human right just like an education... and a good-paying decent job.

We can not solve this health care mess through a long protracted series of "incremental baby steps" simply because such an approach is an uncaring approach lacking in the most basic empathy and compassion for human beings. Such an approach is unethical--- although ethics mean nothing to a bunch of politicians who think nothing of cutting the budget to the tune of fifty-four billion dollars for social programs and then transferring this money for war when the decent thing to do would be end this insane militarism and these dirty imperialist wars, as Mark Twain called them, and use this money to create a National Public Health Care System based on the model of public education which would solve this health care mess once and for all.

Certainly common sense should tell us we need a network of public health care centers in our communities and neighborhoods providing the American people with free health care more than we need to revamp the nuclear arsenal or a boon-doggle like the USS Gerald Ford aircraft carrier which has gone way over budget and was needed like we need holes in our head and a far-flung network of over 800 U.S. military bases dotting the globe protecting Wall Street's interests.

It is going to take a huge grassroots and rank-and-file movement to win the kind of health care reform required. A big part of such a movement is the need for a new political party--- a working class based party that is both anti-monopoly and anti-imperialist not afraid to state as one of its goals that it is challenging Wall Street for political and economic power because Wall Street and its junior partners is the common enemy of all humanity.

Make no mistake:

Not having a decent health care system is the price we pay for these dirty Wall Street imperialist wars and for putting up with a bunch of Wall Street bribed politicians.

Donald Trump who boasted he was so smart he would solve this health care mess is dumber than dumb and more crooked and corrupt than the politicians from both political parties he has been bribing for decades to get his way.

Come on, really; is this the best we can do to let people suffer because these Wall Street bribed politicians can not see any further than where their next bribe comes from?

This is the United States of America which is touted to the the peoples of the world as the greatest bastion of democracy...

Does not democracy imply the people have a right to articulate solutions to their own problems?

If anyone knows a better solution to this health care mess than a National Public Health Care System based on the model of public education....

Publicly financed.

Publicly administered.

Publicly delivered.

... I would like to hear from them.

And, keep in mind; a National Public Health Care System financed with a huge Peace Dividend derived from "beating swords into plowshares" would provide us ALL with free health care.

Wouldn't you rather see a public health care center in your community or neighborhood instead of paying for over 800 U.S. military bases dotting the globe?

Let the politicians and right wing bastards call me a Communist or anything they want to but none of them can come up with a better solution to this health care mess.

This health care mess must be solved in the tradition of working class morals and ethics:

"An injury to one is an injury to all."

Help circulate this petition:


Campaign for a “21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity”

We are fed up with politicians campaigning on promises of “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” and then failing to make themselves legislatively responsible for attaining and maintaining full employment.

We are fed up with our tax dollars being squandered on militarism and wars instead of being used to create jobs by solving the problems of the people and defending our living environment… its time to beat swords into plowshares. Put people to work solving the problems of the people.

A National Public Health Care System would create over twelve-million new jobs paying real living wages providing people with free health care---  general medical, eyes, ears, dental, family planning and mental health--- through a network of neighborhood and community health care centers; this is a better use of our tax-dollars than wasting our human and financial resources on a far flung empire of over 800 U.S. military bases around the world. Or, it could be financed the same way Social Security is financed. Or paid for with  a tax on Wall Street transactions. Or financed with a combination of these methods. Public funding. Public administration. Public delivery… nothing controversial; just like public education.

A National Public Child Care System would create over three-million new jobs providing working class families with free child care.

We need to restore the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (C.E.T.A.), Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

“At Will Employment” legislation in states across the country needs to be rescinded and repealed to expand democracy in the workplace and provide workers with the right to freely participate in the communities where they live.

All attacks on immigrant workers, documented and undocumented, need to end.

Planned Parenthood needs to be defended and programs expanded.

We insist Congress and the president enact full employment legislation which makes them legislatively responsible for attaining and maintaining full employment; assure everyone who wants a job employment at real living wages in line with the actual cost-of-living.

Full employment would provide stability for Social Security; everyone paying in; everyone getting something out. A Basic Income for All must be guaranteed. Pensions must be honored and protected. The Wall Street swindle of pension funds must end; restore the Glass-Steagall Act.

Turn Habitat for Humanity into a massive public works project to create jobs and assure everyone has a decent home.

Free education through university; cancel student debt. End military recruitment in the high schools.

Unemployment and lack of a National Public Health Care System is the price we pay for militarism and wars. We are entitled to a Peace Dividend……... Let’s talk about the politics and economics of livelihood.

Name                                 Address                               City                                   State                    E-mail
1.

2.

3.

4.

Tony Benn, the anti-imperialist socialist from the Labour Party in Great Britain was right...



Friday, March 24, 2017

All Out for May Day!

All out for May Day 2017!


According to a story broken by Buzzfeed over the weekend, it looks like the first May Day of the Trump era could be a record-breaker.


A coalition of unions, worker centers, and alt-labor organizations, including SEIU United Service Workers West, Restaurant Opportunities Center United and the Food Chain Workers Alliance, have announced plans for a general strike on the internationally recognized day of workers.


The May Day strikes come on the heels of the “day without an immigrant” and “day without a woman” strikes on February 16h and March 8h respectively, but is expected to dwarf both of them. The coalition leading the strike has estimated that 300,000 food chain workers and 40,000 unionized service workers will walk off the job in multiple states.


“We understand that there’s risk involved in that,” David Huerta, president of Service Employees International Union- United Service Workers West told Buzzfeed, “but we’re willing to take that risk in order to be able to move forward in this moment, while the most marginalized are in the crosshairs of this administration.”


May 1 will mark the 100th day of the Trump administration.


I would suggest you do this on May Day...


Prior to May Day (like right now) write a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper stating the need for a National Public Health Care System... when your letter is published, print it on one side of the paper and the petition below on the other side of the paper... don't forget to print some contact information so people can get in touch with you (phone number, e-mail address, etc.) At the bottom of this post you will find the Letter to the Editor I wrote which was published in the Austin American-Statesman, the main daily newspaper in Austin, Texas--- use it as a guide.


I would suggest you circulate the petition below at May Day events in your community...


Campaign for a “21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity”


We are fed up with politicians campaigning on promises of “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” and then failing to make themselves legislatively responsible for attaining and maintaining full employment.


We are fed up with our tax dollars being squandered on militarism and wars instead of being used to create jobs by solving the problems of the people and defending our living environment… its time to beat swords into plowshares. Put people to work solving the problems of the people.


A National Public Health Care System would create over twelve-million new jobs paying real living wages providing people with free health care--- general medical, eyes, ears, dental, family planning and mental health--- through a network of neighborhood and community health care centers; this is a better use of our tax-dollars than wasting our human and financial resources on a far flung empire of over 800 U.S. military bases around the world. Or, it could be financed the same way Social Security is financed. Or paid for with a tax on Wall Street transactions. Or financed with a combination of these methods. Public funding. Public administration. Public delivery… nothing controversial; just like public education.


A National Public Child Care System would create over three-million new jobs providing working class families with free child care.


We need to restore the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (C.E.T.A.), Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).


“At Will Employment” legislation in states across the country needs to be rescinded and repealed to expand democracy in the workplace and provide workers with the right to freely participate in the communities where they live.


All attacks on immigrant workers, documented and undocumented, need to end.


Planned Parenthood needs to be defended and programs expanded.


We insist Congress and the president enact full employment legislation which makes them legislatively responsible for attaining and maintaining full employment; assure everyone who wants a job employment at real living wages in line with the actual cost-of-living.


Full employment would provide stability for Social Security; everyone paying in; everyone getting something out. A Basic Income for All must be guaranteed. Pensions must be honored and protected. The Wall Street swindle of pension funds must end; restore the Glass-Steagall Act.


Turn Habitat for Humanity into a massive public works project to create jobs and assure everyone has a decent home.


Free education through university; cancel student debt. End military recruitment in the high schools.


Unemployment and lack of a National Public Health Care System is the price we pay for militarism and wars. We are entitled to a Peace Dividend……... Let’s talk about the politics and economics of livelihood.


Name                 Address                     City                               State                                      E-mail
1.
2.
3.
4.



My Letter to the Editor...


Re: Feb. 9 article, “Trump looks to stabilize health insurance market”


So, the “health” — read: profits — of the health insurance industry supersedes the human right of access to health care?


Left out of the discussion is the real solution to this health care mess, which would eliminate the health insurance industry: national public health care based on the public education model. Publicly financed. Publicly administered. Publicly delivered.


It makes more sense to finance a network of publicly funded neighborhood and community health care centers across the country dispensing free health care for everyone instead of squandering the precious wealth of our nation maintaining over 800 military bases dotting the globe protecting Wall Street’s interests and wasting trillions of dollars on these dirty wars from which only the Wall Street merchants profit.


ALAN MAKI, LAKEWAY


About May Day...

New Masses, May 6, 1941

By: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn 1941

May 1st: The Sun of Tomorrow

“Primo Maggio, il sole dell’ Avvenire” – May First, the sun of tomorrow! as our Italian comrades so beautifully it, is here again. It links ancient traditions, these modern times, and the future. Always a people’s natural holiday, since time immemorial it was the occasion for the gathering of the of the poor and lowly for one gala day of festivity. For the last fifty-five years it has been universally recognized and cherished by workers around the world as an International Labor Holiday. It is actually the only holiday celebrated internationally. It obliterates all differences of race, creed, color, and nationality. It celebrates the brotherhood of all workers everywhere. It crosses all national boundaries, it transcends all language barriers, it ignores all religious differences. It makes sharp and clear, around the world, the impassable chasm between all workers and all exploiters. It is the day when the class struggle in its most militant significance is reaffirmed by every conscious worker.

This day is to the enlightened worker an augury of a new world, a classless world, a peaceful world, a world without poverty or misery. It is the glowing promise of socialism, the real brotherhood of mankind. On this day in 1941 the wise words of Lenin; “Life will assert itself. The Communists must know that the future at any rate is theirs,” will light up the lonely jail cells of Browder and Thaelman and countless others. Lowhummed snatches of revolutionary song will be heard in concentration camps. On the sea, in military barracks, in the forced labor of factory or mill, the hearts of the driven workers will beat to unison with those far away who parade joyously behind gleaming red banners, to stirring music on Moscow’s Red Square. “Do your damnedest to us!” they mutter between clenched teeth, the conscripts in European trenches, the prisoners in Franco’s dungeons, in Hitler’s hell holes, in Mussolini’s prisons; “Your days are numbered. You can’t stop the final victory of the people!"
International? That must be “foreign,” many folks mistakenly infer. But what could be more international in its origin and population than these United States? Proudly we declare May Day is American. It is not a foreign idea. Many good ideas come from abroad, but this is an American idea exported to all other countries from America. May Day as an official labor holiday was born in the fierce struggles of the eighties to establish an eight-hour day. Workers of all nationalities, immigrants, political refugees, exiles, from every foreign land; native born grandsons of the American Revolution and Civil War veterans made a common, determined demand: “Eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s work from and after May First, 1886.” The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor of the United States and Canada (later to become the American Federation of Labor) called upon the workers to down tools. Enthusiastic, they poured out in the first American general strike. It spread from city to city, over 3,000 miles. The whole continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, was astir: 192,000 won the demand. The employing class, appalled at the solidarity of the workers, struck back viciously. Six workers were killed and many wounded at the McCormick Harvester Works in Chicago.


May Day was baptized in the blood of American workers. A protest meeting Haymarket Square May 4, 1886, resulted in another bloody battle and a bomb frameup. It caused the railroading to the gallows of Albert Parsons (whose ancestor had been at Valley Forge) and three of his comrades, Engel, Fischer, and Spies. "Let the voice of the people be heard!" cried Parsons, as the noose tightened around his neck. It has been, it ever Will be on May Day, brave martyred hero of yesterday! This year the newly organized, victorious strikers of the International Harvester Works in Chicago will hallow your names on May first.


The struggle for the eight-hour day was renewed. The AFL decided to reinaugurate it on May 1,1890. To widen its effectiveness they sent delegates across the sea to Paris to the International Labor Congress. They proposed that May first be officially declared an international labor holiday. This was done amid great enthusiasm, on July 4, 1889, the 100th anniversary of the Fall of the Bastile, after the delegates had heard recounted the struggles of the brave American workers. With the passing of the years the growing needs of international labor expanded the significance of May Day far beyond the eight-hour demand.


Rosa Luxemburg, brave woman Socialist of Germany, who was later brutally murdered by the militarists, sounded the alarm against a World War in 1913. She called upon the workers to make May Day a mighty demonstration for peace and socialism. “Workers of the world, Unite!” became the insistent cry on May Day. Every vital issue was pressed, more and more militant slogans raised in each country and internationally.


Are you a bad member of your family because you go out of your home to be a good citizen of your state? Are you a traitor to your state because you are equally concerned shout your country? Are you betraying your country if you are also an internationalist – dedicated to the brotherhood of man? Only workers are forbidden to be internationalists. It’s perfectly proper for J. P. Morgan and Henry Ford; for the bankers, the munitions trusts, the chemical companies. It’s proper for scientists, stamp collectors, athletic associations, musicians, spiritualists, people who raise bees, to be internationalist – but not workers. Only the clasped hands of the workers across the boundaries are struck down in every country. It will pass for all anthropologist to say in abstruse language, “There is but one race – the human race!” But let a worker say, “Brother, fellow worker, comrade” – and there’s hell to pay. He should be sent back from where he came from! He should be deprived of his citizenship; he should lose his job; he should be jailed! If a Christ-like voice should challenge them: “But what about loving thy neighbor as thyself?” the wild man from Texas would roar: “Who said that? He’s a Red, subversive, a trouble maker!” Let us not be dismayed in the slightest by all this frenzy. Let us remember the cool words of Lenin: "Acting thus the bourgeoisie acts as did all classes condemned to death by history." Every beautiful May Day of solidarity, triumph, and hope is another reminder to us to take “the long view” – the Bolshevik view of passing events. The road ahead may be rougher but it is shorter than the road behind.


Once they laughed at us, these rulers of America. We were still, small voices, crying in the wilderness, we were dreamers of idle dreams, Utopians; we couldn’t change human nature. What would the world be without the profit incentive? Answer that now, you agitating soap boxer. We were as Vanzetti said: “Talking at street corners to scorning men!” But this was two decades ago. Now they know, the rulers of the world, that the era of socialism has begun. They have been tried and found wanting. The Union of Socialist Soviet Republics not only guarantees a peaceful, happy, secure life on one-sixth of the earth’s surface to nearly 200,000,000 people. It is a constant inspiration to downtrodden and exploited workers in every capitalist country in the world to “go thou and do likewise!” On May Day we salute the Soviet Union – land of socialism – land of peace and plenty, the great ideal of labor since time immemorial, the cooperative commonwealth of all who toil. “It works, brothers!” they say in the deep, dark mines; “It works,” they say by the blazing furnaces in the steel mills; “It works,” says the tenant farmer; “It works,” says the sailor in the hold of the ship and the truck driver rushing through the night. No bosses, no landlords, no bankers, no munnitions makers, no loan sharks, no employment agencies; no child labor; no prostitution; no unfinished educations; no broken old age; no long hours; no low wages; no speed-up; no unemployment; no rich, no profiteers, no capitalism. Organization is the stage we have advanced to now. Music to the ears of all old time agitator is all the justified scorn and contempt the average worker expresses uncompromisingly of the boss class. These workers don’t take off their hats; they don’t say “Sir!” They are unafraid. There is a fighting class spirit abroad in this land today among the people.
MAY DAY traditionally celebrates victories won; makes new demands; presses forward slogans of immediate action. Have we won victories in 1941? You tell it, you hundreds of thousands, union men of Bethlehem Steel; US Steel; Allis Chalmers; International Harvester; New York Transport Co.; Ford Motor Co. Ten million organized workers in America today and more to come. Skilled and unskilled, black and white, native and immigrant, man and woman, young and old – shoulder to shoulder. Let the war mongers shout; let the profit-mad rave. “We shall not be moved!” retort these millions of American workers on May Day. There is nothing to be despondent about; nothing to be weary about – not so long as we are organizing and fighting. Not so long as we are holding what we have won in an iron grip; are moving forward, getting more. Not so long as there is unswerving resistance to the Roosevelt-Willkie war party among eighty-six percent of the American people. Organize. Fight. Press Forward – that’s the spirit of America’s May Day in 1941.


Organize and fight, to stay out of war! Against all imperialism and fascism, including American!


Protect labor’s rights to organize, to make demands, to strike. No blackout of the Bill of Rights. Defend the rights of minority parties – the Communist Party – vital test of the people’s rights to free elections. Stop war profiteering. Lower the cost of living. Resist wage cuts and longer working hours. Free all fighters against imperialist war. Free Earl Browder! End Jim Crowism and anti-Semitism in our country. Cement a friendship with the Soviet Union. These slogans are aloft, the fighting slogans of America’s May Day everywhere. For peace and socialism is in the hearts, in the minds, on the lips of millions around the world May First, 1941. The “sun of tomorrow” shines upon us. The future is ours.



May Day - 1951

Howard Fast

IS IT SUBVERSIVE
to march on May Day? Well, by now you know that anything which does you some good and takes a nickel out of the boss's pocket is subversive. A dollar raise is "subversive," and it's "subversive" to want your kids to grow up instead of becoming corpses in Korea.
But how "subversive" is May Day? It just happens to be the most American holiday we have. It was brought into being in 1886 by the Chicago workers, in their struggle for the eight-hour day. Remember their slogan:
"Eight hours of work, eight hours of sleep, eight hours of recreation!"
The kept press, the bosses and the sellout artists screamed that it was "subversive," but the American working class fought it through, and the eight hour day became an accepted thing.
Not without the workers paying a price. There was never a time when good things came easy. Even then, the bosses worked with the time-honored pattern of frameup and lies, and four of the best and bravest leaders of American labor were framed for a crime they never committed; and then they were sentenced, and executed.
And one of them, a brave and honest man, August Spies, said, as he stood on the gallows:
There will come a time when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today!"
And his words have come true. This May Day, millions of workers will march in every corner of the earth. They will march on that day which our working class ancestors won with their courage and militancy.
James Turnbull's drawing (above) and Fred Ellis's (opposite page) deal with the historical and international aspects of May Day. Turnbull and Ellis are not only among the best of America's labor cartoonists, but fine graphic artists as well. Fred Ellis is the foremost cartoonist of America's labor press.
WHY DO THEY FEAR
the worker's holiday? Why, when a hundred days in the year are celebrated, is the one day that the American working class has chosen as its own day hated and maligned?
Why do they scream that May Day is subversive, a foreign importation, an "un-American" plot?
What are they afraid of? They have many sweet words about organized labor, but on that one day when organized labor marches through the streets of New York City, the corrupt press, the bosses and the sellout artists scream with rage and fear. Why?
We have some answers, good answers. Answers which mean life and peace to you, as workers, and to all the millions of good and decent people in our land – people whose only hope of happiness lies with the working class.
Here are some of them – good reasons why you must march for life, for peace, for freedom on May 1st.
WE MARCH FOR PEACE
on this May Day. Back in Civil War days, the Confederate soldier summed up his position in these words:
"A poor man's fight and a rich man's war."
A lot of truth in that. You never saw war profiteers in the infantry. The workers do the fighting and dying; the bosses grow rich. Only this time, they're playing with atom bombs. Your boss can buy himself an atom-proof shelter in the Sherry Netherlands Hotel. You and your wife and kids are supposed to fry and like it.
More than any other group, the working class suffers from war; and only the working class, in all its strength, can lead and win the fight for peace.
That's what we march for this May Day, for peace, for a decent world where our kids can look to a future other than death. The whole of the human race looks to the American working class to win its fight for peace.
For a peaceful co-existence with the Soviet Union!
For an end to the Korean war!
For peace, friendship and trade with China!
The struggle and desire of the worker for peace is a new theme in American graphic art; but it will yet be one of the great themes of our time. Here, Charles White (opposite page) and Philip Evergood (above) render this theme graphically as a tribute to the working class on this May Day. Evergood has long been considered by many critics as one of the best of all living American artists, and Charles White is a talented and outstanding graphic artist.

I conceive of labor as a giant. This giant has the power and strength to do almost anything. His history as you know has been exploitation, betrayal and misleadership. He has been blinded and hypnotized by this poison propaganda to the extent that he is not fully aware of what goes on about him. He does not want war, yet he works for war, pays for war, and sends his sons to a war he does not want. He produces all the necessities of life, yet he has a difficult time getting some of these necessities for himself and his family, and so with his education, culture, amusement.
When this giant finally stands up and lifts his head out of the fog, it will be then that we will have no hysteria, loyalty acts, McCarran Bills, wars, persecution of the minorities, lynchings, rats, inflation, gangsterism, corrupt politicians, Peglers, and what not, but a wonderful MAY DAY.

WILLIAM GROPPER
In the history of the American labor movement very few artists share that place of honor and integrity and consistent service occupied by William Gropper. For three decades American workers have found their hopes, their dreams and their bitter anger mirrored in the magnificent drawings and paintings of William Gropper. Gropper's integrity has become a by-word in the field of American culture. He cannot be bribed or bought, nor can he be swerved from his chosen arena of struggle in the defense of the workers and oppressed people of America. Gropper's reputation is an international one. Not only has he drawn for the labor press in a score of lands, but his paintings have an honored place in the galleries of Europe and Asia as well as America.
WE MARCH FOR FREEDOM
from want on this May Day. There was a time when our great labor unions could look with pride and confidence on the gains they had won under honest and militant leadership.
That is not the case today. We have come through a period when the sellout artists did their work well. The Taft-Hartley Act has crippled organized labor. President Truman has broken strike after strike. Supporting the war makers, the Murrays and the Reuthers split the CIO. And honest and militant labor leaders, such as Harry Bridges and Julius Emspak, are thrown in jail.
Wage freezes, phony escalator clauses, and skyrocketing prices – these add up to misery for the American people. There can be no freedom and no peace in America without a free and powerful and courageous trade union movement. Recent strikes in coal, railroad, textile and packing house have demonstrated that labor will resist the war profiteers. This resistance must be directed into the building of a great peace movement of the working class. Only the struggle for peace can defend the hard-won gains of the workers.
There can be no freedom for American workers if the Communist Party is outlawed and the Communist leaders jailed. This meant fascism in Germany and in Italy, and it means fascism here. And under fascism, workers are slaves.
Above all other things, it was to enslave the working class that the fascist McCarran Bill was passed.
Down with the Taft-Hartley Act and the McCarran law!
We march for freedom from want on May Day.
Robert Gwathmey has often been compared to Picasso; and certainly as a colorist and linear designer, he has no peer in America. His superb paintings of Negro workers hang in many galleries. In his drawing (above) he depicts a Negro worker laying aside his tools to March on May Day. His worker is gravely calm, deliberate and conscious of his role.
WE MARCH FOR EQUALITY
on this May Day, and in defense of our Negro brothers. "Labor in white skin can never be free, while his brother in black skin is branded!"
It is almost a hundred years since those words were written, but they were never more true than today. The same Truman government that is smashing organized labor has instituted a veritable blood bath among the Negro people.
Because the Negro people are overwhelmingly workers, and because the Negro people understand and oppose the injustice and horror of the Korean war.
The Hitler-like murders of the Negro people must stop! John Derrick and the seven Martinsville martyrs already dead – the Trenton Six and Willie McGee to die – the bloodbath must end!
On this May Day, we march shoulder to shoulder, Negro and white – for democracy and equality. We march with full understanding and bitter memory of the murder of six million Jews by the fascists of Hitler Germany, and we take a sacred vow that this will not happen here.
We demand an end to segregation! We demand an end to Jimcrow in every form and manifestation! We say:
"Hands off the leaders of the Negro people! Hands off Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Du Bois and William L. Patterson! Free Lieutenant Gilbert!
We call for unity of all Negro and white workers!
The above drawing by Hugo Gellert was chosen as the poster for this May Day. Hugo Gellert is a muralist, painter, and graphic artist of note.
WE MARCH FOR THE CONSTITUTION
of the United States and for the people's Bill of Rights on this May Day.
The Truman government has torn the Constitution to shreds. For the first time in a century and a half, our jails are crowded with political prisoners, Negro and white. Artists, writers, film workers who have taken their stand on the side of the working class are either in jail or facing imprisonment – as are Communists and trade unionists.
Leaders of people's organizations are being jailed daily. Guilt by association or through the testimony of stoolpigeons is becoming the legal pattern of America.
Leaders in the peace movement are being terrorized and jailed. The greatest of all American scholars, W.E.B. Du Bois, leader of the American peace movement and of the Negro liberation movement, has been indicted and faces five years in jail – in spite of his 83 years.
The un-American Committee has become the fascist inquisition of America. Workers, artists, professionals – all who fight for peace and freedom are hailed before it. The Smith Act and the McCarran Bill round out the fascist work of this committee.
Great peoples' leaders, like Paul Robeson, are denied passports and virtually imprisoned in America.
Only the working class can restore the Bill of Rights to the American people. Freedom for all Americans to assemble and speak!
We march for the Constitution on May Day!

Ten of America's fine artists have joined together in the making of this pamphlet. They undertook the task as a tribute to our working class and as a manifestation of that unity of workers and intellectuals which is our only guarantee for free expression and democratic culture. Each of the drawings was made expressly for this pamphlet, and the result is a splendid achievement in working class art.

March on May Day – Tuesday, May 1st FOR PEACE
FOR FREEDOM
FOR NEGRO EQUALITY
FOR THE BILL OF RIGHTS
FOR ECONOMIC SECURITY
This pamphlet is published by the
United Labor and People's Committee for May Day
Hotel Langwell, 123 W. 44th St., N.Y.
Telephone: JUdson 2-5067
Pamphlets may be ordered in bulk at $7.00 per hundred, at $5.00 per
hundred in quantities over a thousand.
Pictures or text may be reproduced without permission.





1919 May Day Speech.
by Eugene V. Debs
https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/parties/spusa/1919/0501-debs-maydayspeech.pdf

In Major Defeat for Trump, Push to Repeal Health Law Fails

Trump-Ryan health care scam is withdrawn for lack of support.

Good riddance!

Now is the time to launch a struggle for a National Public Health Care System.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The rotten apple didn't fall far from the tree



Anne Gorsuch Burford.
Anne Irene McGill Gorsuch Burford (April 21, 1942 – July 18, 2004), also known as Anne M. Gorsuch (/ˈɡɔːrsətʃ/), was an American attorney and politician. Between 1981 and 1983, while known as Anne M. Gorsuch, she served under President Ronald Reagan as the first female Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Gorsuch based her administration of the EPA on the New Federalism approach of downsizing federal agencies by delegating their functions and services to the individual states. She believed that the EPA was over-regulating business and that the agency was too large and not cost-effective. During her 22 months as agency head, she cut the budget of the EPA by 22%, reduced the number of cases filed against polluters, relaxed Clean Air Act regulations, and facilitated the spraying of restricted-use pesticides. She cut the total number of agency employees, and hired staff from the industries they were supposed to be regulating. Environmentalists contended that her policies were designed to placate polluters, and accused her of trying to dismantle the agency.

What kind of U.S. Supreme Court Justice will her reactionary son make?

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/Neil_Gorsuch_February_2017.jpg

What kind of health care reform?

People continue to ask me, of all existing forms of health care, including the many varieties we have and those being proposed, do we have a model in existence for the National Public Health Care System you and other socialists are advocating?


Yes; I think we have such a model of socialized health care in the VA (Veterans' Administration).


But, more importantly, most people identify with public education because they have experienced it constantly as student, parent, grandparent.


I think we should be pushing for a National Public Health Care System based on the model of public education--- even those who are trying to undermine public education in order to weaken it to the point where they can destroy it (think Trump and Betsy DeVos) don't dare to come right out and oppose the concept of public education.


A National Public Health Care System would be just as popular, if not more so, than public education which has been under constant attack by the right wing ever since it was brought into existence.


Our public schools are an integral part of our lives and our communities.


We should seek a health care system that will be just as popular because it really works for the benefit of the people.


And even when discussing the problems with public education, people can relate to under-funding, parasitical elements of profiteers who disdain taking their own advice to provide a fair day of work for a fair day's pay and end up feeding like gluttonous pigs at the public trough through which public education is financed, and everyone hates the over-paid public school administrators who view their jobs as keeping students and teachers in line with the backwards Texas Text Book Commission's idea of history and how public education is supposed to create people trained for specific jobs turning out profits for the few and cannon fodder for these dirty imperialist wars biding time until slavery can be re-established and we are free from integrated public schools.


Of course we don't want the problems now plaguing public education for health care. These problems can be solved:


Get rid of the for-profit free-loaders.


Fire the worthless over-paid bureaucrat administrators.


Get rid of the Texas Text Book Commission and the private, for-profit text-book publishers.


Fully integrate our public schools.


Bar and ban military recruiting in our public schools.


Focus on teaching reading, writing, math and science while providing a good solid liberal arts education. And teach history free from ruling class bias.


Most people understand that you can not have proper funding for schools while the government funds militarism and wars. The same goes for health care.


The millionaire labor leaders are content to say they are for single-payer universal health care out of one side of their mouth when their intent is to keep us mired in a health care system run by the insurance industry because they get extra pay for sitting on health insurance boards.


And Congressman Conyers can maintain a posture of being progressive with HR 676 as he and his wife take corporate bribes like the rest. Conyers has no intent to push forward HR 676 or he would be doing so now. Do you see him pushing his HR 676 in response to this Republican scam? No, he is defending Obamacare, the Democrat's own scam.


Like with anything, we all go through learning experiences on the way to real health care reform... Like most of my fellow socialists, I am confident most people will come to understand a National Public Health Care System is the only way to go. And it will make the road to socialism all the more smoother in a bigly way.


If we go forward into socialism with a good solid system of public education and a National Public Health Care System the transition from capitalism to socialism will be all the smoother with people confident socialism really works based on the education and health care they are receiving.



I have never met one single public school teacher willing to give up their tax-payer derived pay-check for a job in one of these private "charter schools." We can educate and train a core of doctors from the ranks of working people who will feel the same way about staffing a National Public Health Care System--- and this can be done quickly. All kinds of young people would rather be providing health care for their communities and neighborhoods instead of working at McDonald's or Wal-mart if we offer them a free education with a good job at real living wages at the end.


A National Public Health Care System would also be the very best job creating program... 800 Public Health Care Centers spread out in neighborhoods and communities across the country with thousands of satellite centers--- twelve-million jobs for far less than what the more than 800 U.S. foreign military bases protecting Wall Street's interests are costing us now.




Campaign for a “21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity”

We are fed up with politicians campaigning on promises of “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” and then failing to make themselves legislatively responsible for attaining and maintaining full employment.

We are fed up with our tax dollars being squandered on militarism and wars instead of being used to create jobs by solving the problems of the people and defending our living environment… its time to beat swords into plowshares. Put people to work solving the problems of the people.

A National Public Health Care System would create over twelve-million new jobs paying real living wages providing people with free health care---  general medical, eyes, ears, dental, family planning and mental health--- through a network of neighborhood and community health care centers; this is a better use of our tax-dollars than wasting our human and financial resources on a far flung empire of over 800 U.S. military bases around the world. Or, it could be financed the same way Social Security is financed. Or paid for with  a tax on Wall Street transactions. Or financed with a combination of these methods. Public funding. Public administration. Public delivery… nothing controversial; just like public education.

A National Public Child Care System would create over three-million new jobs providing working class families with free child care.

We need to restore the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (C.E.T.A.), Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

“At Will Employment” legislation in states across the country needs to be rescinded and repealed to expand democracy in the workplace and provide workers with the right to freely participate in the communities where they live.

All attacks on immigrant workers, documented and undocumented, need to end.

Planned Parenthood needs to be defended and programs expanded.

We insist Congress and the president enact full employment legislation which makes them legislatively responsible for attaining and maintaining full employment; assure everyone who wants a job employment at real living wages in line with the actual cost-of-living.

Full employment would provide stability for Social Security; everyone paying in; everyone getting something out. A Basic Income for All must be guaranteed. Pensions must be honored and protected. The Wall Street swindle of pension funds must end; restore the Glass-Steagall Act.

Turn Habitat for Humanity into a massive public works project to create jobs and assure everyone has a decent home.

Free education through university; cancel student debt. End military recruitment in the high schools.

Unemployment and lack of a National Public Health Care System is the price we pay for militarism and wars. We are entitled to a Peace Dividend……... Let’s talk about the politics and economics of livelihood.

Where have all the flowers gone?

A lot of activists from the 60's and 70's seem to have become alienated and estranged from the struggles of today even though they remain intellectually connected but their activism ends like that of most liberals in that it doesn't go beyond empathy for those who suffer... and sometimes it doesn't even seem to reach the level of empathy... in fact, some seem to even be against empathy. I think this is too bad because many of these people have been through a lot and would have a lot to offer in helping to build and forge a massive all-people's coalition or some kind of people's front to oppose and stop Trump while re-shaping the priorities of our Nation.


And the once "super left wing revolutionaries" of the "New Left" who so despised those of us whose political home was in the "Old Left," are now supporting the likes of Obama and Hillary Clinton; their extreme far left ideas have morphed into counter-revolutionary ideas backing the very Wall Street imperialism they so despised in the past.


I'm thinking about Trump's proposed budget which is a Wall Street imperialist budget in that it transfers the 54 billion dollars slashed from social programs responding to human needs to militarism and war and will be used to fuel a new nuclear arms "race" even though this race has no opponent.


Obviously the Democrats are deathly afraid of a resurgence of left wing working class activism and they are doing everything possible to thwart the American people--- especially the working class, the youth, the seniors, and people of color--- from getting a good strong dose of anti-imperialist education that goes like:


The price we pay for these dirty imperialist wars is not having a decent National Public Health Care System based on the model of public education befitting the people living in the wealthiest country in the world.


Winning the peace and the reordering of our Nation's priorities is going to take all hands on deck and I sure hope my old friends from the 1960's and 1970's will begin to rethink their withdrawal from the struggle because we are up against a very powerful Wall Street enemy and we need them... but, if need be, I guess we can muddle our way through this without them, or even as adversaries supporting their new found Wall Street imperialist friends like Obama and Clinton and whoever they toss our way next, as they continue to bark and hide as the caravan passes.


Perhaps, from among the former activists, we will see a revival of activism this spring--- kind of the way dandelions pop up after a warm spring rain.

Corruption and scandal will continue to plague Trump and his Administration...

I guess what goes along with Donald Trump being the worst president in U.S. history is that his Administration will be plagued with scandal upon scandal... I wonder how many of Trump's partners in crime will be willing to keep their mouths shut to protect him and do his time?


It's time to give Trump and his cronies a taste of their own jails...


Throw these crooks and liars out.


Impeachment.


Then jail.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

AFL-CIO Analysis of President Donald Trump’s FY 2018 Budget

Notice: The AFL-CIO addresses Trump's intent to slash $54 Billion from human needs but does not mention this fact reported by National Public Radio:

"Trump wants lawmakers to boost military spending in the coming fiscal year by 10 percent, or $54 billion. Rather than raise taxes or increase the deficit, the president is calling for equivalent cuts in other areas."

How is it the AFL-CIO ignored this?



AFL-CIO Analysis of President Donald Trump’s FY 2018 Budget

 AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka made the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s proposed budget: 
“Working people in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin didn’t vote for a budget that slashes workforce training and fails to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. President Trump’s proposed budget attempts to balance the budget on the backs of working families. The $54 billion cut to programs that benefit working families is dangerous and destructive. Huge cuts to the departments of Labor, Education and Transportation will make workplaces less safe, put more children at risk and make improving our failing infrastructure much more difficult. The administration can and should do better.”
The budget abandons the future—slashing investments in workers, communities, young people, protecting our environment and building democracy. There are major cuts in job training, education, health programs, the environment, the arts and foreign aid. Research programs in science and medicine are slashed. Sixty-two government programs/agencies are slated for elimination.
Here are some key highlights:
Department of Labor: Overall cut $2.5 billion (-20.7%)
The budget makes it harder for workers to get the training they need in order to advance in their industry and to compete globally.
  • Major cuts:
    • Job training/employment/re-employment
    • Senior Community Service Employment Program eliminated
    • Job Corps
    • Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) grants eliminated
    • Safety and health training grants eliminated
Department of Health and Human Services: Overall cut $12.6 billion (-16.2%)
People suffering from terminal diseases will be affected by lack of new medicines, and low-income workers will not receive assistance to heat their homes during the cold months of winter.
  • Cuts National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding by 18.3% (-$5.8 billion)
  • Eliminates the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides assistance to help low-income people heat and cool their homes
  • Eliminates $403 million in health professions and nursing training programs
  • Restructures the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and directs money to states through block grants
  • Increases funding for opioid prevention and treatment services by $500 million
Department of Education: Overall cut $9.2 billion (-13.5%)
This budget would destroy public schools and eliminate much-needed training for teachers. It also makes it harder for young people to go to college.
  • Increases funding for school choice by $1.4 billion
    • Redirects $418 million to private/charter schools
    • Eliminates $2.4 billion for Supporting Effective Instruction state grants
    • Reduces or eliminates funding for teacher-preparation programs (State Teacher Quality/Supporting Effective Instruction grants)
    • Eliminates federal funding for before- and after-school and summer-school programs
    • Eliminates the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, which provides grants for students with the greatest need
Department of State: Overall cut $10.9 billion (-28.7%)
The budget would harm workers around the world who are standing up to multinational corporations and repressive governments that restrict workers’ rights and lower wages.
  • Cuts funding for U.N. programs
  • Reorganizes and consolidates U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs
Department of Treasury: Overall cut of $0.5 billion (-4.4%)
These cuts allow the super-wealthy and corporations to get away with not paying taxes and allow big banks to crush small community banks.
  • Cuts IRS by $239 million
  • Eliminates funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund
Department of Transportation: Overall cut $2.4 billion (-12.7%)
This will mean less investment in railroads and airlines at a time when our nation has an infrastructure deficit of over $4 trillion.
  • Privatizes air traffic control 
  • Restructures and cuts federal subsidies for Amtrak
  • Cuts funding for the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant Program
Commerce: Overall cut $1.5 billion (-15.7%)
This will mean more resources to enforce our nation’s trade laws. Our current trade policy has put corporations ahead of workers—resulting in jobs shipped overseas and lower wages.
  • Strengthens International Trade Administration’s trade enforcement/compliance assistance
  • Eliminates the Economic Development Administration, the Minority Business Development Agency and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership
Environmental Protection Agency: Overall cut $2.6 billion (-31.4%)
These cuts will make our drinking water less safe and our air more toxic.
  • Claims to maintain funding for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure
  • Discontinues funding for Clean Power Plan
  • Reduces funding for Superfund cleanup
  • Eliminates 50 EPA programs
  • Cuts enforcement programs
Veterans Affairs: Overall increase $4.4 billion (+6.0%)
These funds provide much-needed resources for our nation’s veterans.
  • $4.6 billion increase for VA health care to improve access and timeliness of medical service
  • $3.5 billion in mandatory budget authority to extend and fund the Veterans Choice Program, which provides the option to see a private provider. The program was set to expire in August 2017.
Selected programs proposed for elimination
The budget targets for elimination arts and music programs and legal aid for the poor. Planning a future for the communities of Appalachia and protection from hazardous chemicals are also on the chopping block.
  • Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program
  • Chemical Safety Board
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • Legal Services Corporation
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
Contact: Carolyn Bobb (202) 637-5018

Richard Trumka and labor leaders met in San Antonio, Texas... but what do they intend to do about Trump and his reactionary agenda?

 Richard Trumka • March 10, 2017 • San Antonio, Texas
Thank you, Brother Mike [Sacco]. It’s great to be with you, and all the folks from the Maritime Trades.
Listen, these are challenging times for our labor movement and our nation. Pay is too low. Inequality is too high. Good jobs are few and far between. But over the past four or five years, something has changed. Working people are speaking out. We are shaping the debate. We want better. And we are making one thing abundantly clear: we do not work for any politician or political party. We will not be an ATM for the Democrats or a rubber stamp for the Republicans. We will lead with our issues and our values. We will put our members and families first. Political independence is the way forward. It will strengthen our credibility and effectiveness. And that’s how we build an America that works for working people.
Political independence allowed us to take on a Democratic president and defeat the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership. Political independence empowered us to stand up to a Republican president and defeat a no-good, wage-stealing, robot-loving nominee for Secretary of Labor. In both cases, we rallied in towns and cities across the country, flooded Congress with calls and e-mails and made our position clear. And we won. Remember that. We won.
Working people are leading the way. We’re building a political movement for good jobs and better lives. There is nothing more important in America right now. For decades, our economy has been tilted to favor the wealthy few at our expense. The vast majority of Americans want the rules of the economy to benefit us, not the rich, not the wealthy, not Wall Street. That’s what we are pushing for.
Good jobs and raising wages is how we will measure the Trump Administration. President Trump promised throughout his campaign to make life better for American workers. But talk is cheap. When the president does something good for working people and good for the economy, we’ll say so, and we’ll work for it. When he does things that are bad for working people and bad for the economy, that lower our wages and make our workplaces less safe, that threaten our pensions and health care, we will fight him every step of the way. President Trump gets to choose his path. In us, he will either have a constructive partner or an unrelenting, resourceful and tough opponent.
Brothers and sisters, the unions of the Maritime Trades show us all what solidarity looks like, and I want you to know that your priorities are my priorities. You’ve made a powerful statement by standing strong with the Bakery Workers who’ve lost jobs at Nabisco. You’re shoulder-to-shoulder with my union, the United Mine Workers, who are fighting to make sure America keeps its pension promises.
We are there for you, too, whether it’s protecting the Jones Act or getting the Export/Import Bank back up and running. We’ll stand with our Canadian sisters and brothers to win a stronger economy and a better tomorrow, and we thank you for your work blocking the bad trade agreement between Canada and Europe.
You know, a moment ago I mentioned our success fighting the TPP. I want to be clear about that. Never for a moment think America’s labor movement is flat-out against trade. It’s simply not true. We’re FOR good trade. We want to open new markets for American products made by American workers and businesses. Done right, trade can create jobs, lower costs and lift up working people. Done wrong, it can unleash a wave of economic devastation no family or community should ever have to endure. We’re for fair trade. We’re for pro-worker trade. Give us a seat at the table for the next trade agreement. We’ll make sure it works for working families. And then we’ll fight to pass it. But otherwise, forget it. The days of corporate-written trade deals are over.
We know firsthand how trade can produce good jobs with strong wages. Shipbuilders, longshoremen, seafarers, you name it, those are careers to be proud of. Union members in Philadelphia and San Diego are building new tankers and container ships. American workers right now are producing the world’s most modern ocean-going propulsion systems — liquefied natural gas. LNG power is cutting-edge, and it shows that North American labor and know-how remain the best in the world.
All we need is a chance.
In his speech last week to Congress, President Trump proposed a massive infrastructure investment — $1 trillion dollars. We’ve wanted that for years. It’s an ambitious proposal, and America needs it, but it had better come with Davis-Bacon and powerful Buy America provisions. We’ll gladly partner with President Trump for every single thing that working families need. But I had to wonder about all of those Congressional Republicans who stood up and cheered for investing in infrastructure. Where were they for the last 8 years when President Obama was proposing the very same thing? This is the type of partisan politics that drive our members crazy. So my message to Congress is this: Cut the crap. Pass a bill. Do it the right way. Put America to work.
Let me tell you something we don’t need: the so-called Cadillac Tax. This is a solidarity tax, plain and simple. We have given up wage increases time and time again to preserve our health care. We fought for it. We bargained for it. This tax was a bad idea when Democrats included it in the Affordable Care Act. And it’s a bad idea now that Republicans want it as part of their ill-advised repeal efforts. For more than a century, the labor movement has fought to make health care a right for every American. Congress should focus on improving and building on the Affordable Care Act, our current employment-based system, Medicare and Medicaid. Brothers and sisters, if you come after our health care, we will fight you tooth and nail.
We can, and we will, win a new set of rules for the American economy. It won’t be easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. And if for a minute you think it can’t be done, just consider that two years ago everybody and their brother thought the TPP was a done deal. And just a few weeks ago Andy Puzder looked like a slam dunk to be the next Secretary of Labor.
But working people had a different idea. We mobilized. We educated workers, and in the end, we came out on top. We learned a powerful lesson: nothing is inevitable. We saw activism work.
America wants more of that activism, not less. By a margin of two to one, registered voters want to increase Social Security benefits. By a margin of 3 to 1, folks want to tax companies on overseas profits and increase funding for public schools. People overwhelmingly support higher wages and more investments in infrastructure. And a growing number believe in unions! Make no mistake, momentum is on our side.
Brothers and sisters, America remains the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. We can support middle-class jobs and succeed. We can be pro-worker and pro-business. We can trade fairly and form unions freely. That’s what America is all about. But it will take hard work and solidarity.
Any economist will tell you consumer spending drives 70% of the American economy. When workers earn a living wage, we are more likely to buy a new washing machine, replace the tires on the car or take a long-overdue vacation. That’s why the best way to build a strong, sustainable economy is with wage-driven growth. When I help you up, it gives me a boost. When you help me up, the way gets easier for somebody else. It’s not easy. When it counts, solidarity is hard. We’ve got to stand together during the long night, when it’s cold, when the outcome is uncertain. That’s when it matters. Solidarity. Arms locked. Shoulder-to-shoulder. To win a better life!
That’s the American way. It’s the union way. It’s solidarity, and it works, brothers and sisters. You know how to win for America’s hard-working families. You’ve done it many, many times, and you’ll do it again tomorrow. When we stand together, we win together.
Thank you, God bless you and the work you do.