Do not be misled by the biased reporting of the Mainstream Media on the fight for democracy. No, I am not, for once, talking about the Mideast...but about the right of public workers in the U.S. to bargain collectively. Make no mistake about it: this is not an argument over money; this is about power. Either the ruling elite (which, in the U.S., can fortunately be changed--at least in theory--at the ballot box), which includes both politicians and millionaire supporters, has the power or the people have the power. Millionaires who would like a subservient working population are using the thin excuse of a budget crisis to gain control over their employees. Public unions are the first target in what will surely be a broader right-wing effort to turn the clock back a century and cripple the ability of those who receive a paycheck to fight back against not just government employers, but, more to the point, corporate employers. If teachers, firefighters, and police are labeled successfully by the right wing as enemies, which of you thinks you will end up being considered a friend?
How many people in this poorly educated, history-challenged land recall that before unions, we had child labor and ten-hour work days? Do we all need to sacrifice in this time of adversity? OK, let's start by seeing some sacrifice by the billionaires, including those who pay no taxes at all, including even those whose names begin with the letter "K." Let's start with a federal investigation into unpaid taxes by any corporation whose earnings are now at an all-time high (it will be a long list - there is no recession in America, only a recession for people who work for a living).
The attack on union bargaining rights, if you think about it, fits right in with the neglect of Main Street while the government gives your tax dollars to those poor guys on Wall Street. In the U.S., we have been fairly lucky: the rich may have made the country for their personal benefit but enough usually trickled down for the rest. In the new world symbolized by Wall Street bailouts, BP poisoning of the Gulf, the packaging of your mortgages for gambling by high-rollers, and massive long-term unemployment while the stock market booms, you would not be wise to bet on very much trickling down from now on. It is, in a word, time to start thinking about wealth redistribution.
Now, those of you who don't agree with this argument have a problem: you really cannot get accurate information about this issue from normal U.S. media sources. Frankly, unless you have access to GRIT TV, which the major broadcasting corporations don't want you to watch, you are going to have a hard time finding out what is really happening. Maybe you should start by demanding that your local cable company provide you with access to it! Good luck. Protecting democracy takes effort.