Recently, in the budget speech of Governor Scott Wlaker of Wisconsin, he justified his attack on Public Sector Unions with these remarks:
"We must work together to bring our spending in line with reality.We were elected -not to make the easy decisions to benefit ourselves - but to make the difficult ones that will benefit our children and grandchildren."
I am reminded of the founders of our nation, who also sought to preserve the "benefits of freedom" for their children and grandchildren. Their approach was one that accepted slevery of Africans in America, and counted slaves as "three-fifths of a person" (The Three-Fifths compromise was a compromise between Southern and Northern states reached during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in which three-fifths of the population of slaves would be counted for enumeration purposes...).
The powerful and the rich have recently -- over the past 40 years -- made significant additional strides to benefit their children and grandchildren. The most visible actions have been the lowering of personal tax rates for the rich from 70% in 1979 to 35% in 2003. Over this same period the income gap between the top 1.0% and the bottom 90% has grown wider. Translated: while the rich have preserved the "benefit" of increasing income to their children and grandchildren, the real income of the middle class is flat or declining.
Our children are already living in a generation that is less well off than their parents. The attack on the Public Sector unions is headed toward another "three-fifths compromise" where public sector workers will lose more than three-fifths of their bargaining rights -- to preserve the benefits of the rich.
I don't need to tell the readers of this blog who is getting the worst end of this disparity in income and wealth. No longer is there a need to specifically count the descendants of slaves as three-fifths of the population, other code words are being used to attack the middle class in general, and poor people specifically with these policy recommendations.
African Americans need to awake to these political maneuvers. We still have a chance to fight back with our votes, and through active demonstrations that unveil these attacks for what they are. We need to join the fight of public sector workers to preserve what fargile gains we have made.
The real battle will occur in the 2012 Presidential election. We can reverse the "shellacking of 2010" as the real motives are revealed in the actions of people like Governor Walker. b We should prepare now for the battle to re-elect President Obama, and also to elect respresentatives that will fight for the values that we hold in c0mmon with the working class people of this country.
We need to fight for benefits for our children and grandchildren also. This is a different side of the issue than the position held by the current Republican elected officials swept into office by the Tea Party in 2010. Get prepared to answer the call to arms to win back our benefits that they are trying to take away.
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