People came from all over Ohio to support public workers battle former Fox News host/Lehman Brothers executive John Kasich's assault on the middle class. The bill Governor Kasich and his right wing accomplices have launched seeks to enact many of the same draconian provisions that Governor Walker is attempting to push through in Wisconsin. Ohio's workers stood up today to tell Kasich they would not take it lying down.
This fight is not about public employees. This fight is not even about unions. It is about Americans standing up to defend the American Dream from soulless multi-national corporations and their political goons.
Who is destroying the American Dream?
Executives of the financial industry, and the politicians that work on their behalf, have worked hard to make America a source of cheap labor that could "compete" with China and other countries that don't value their workforce. They have decided that "winning" this race to the bottom was more important than preserving the things that made America great in the 20th Century.
Being a Republican AND a former Wall St. executive, Kasich has the perfect resume to take this assault on the middle class to the next level .
First he managed to get the state of Ohio to invest the pension in Lehman Brothers' mortgage backed securities. Then he capitalized on economic fears to get himself elected governor. Once elected, he used the very crisis he created to try and eliminate a critical piece of Ohio's union membership.
There's no empirical link between Kasich and the Koch brothers that I am aware of, but I do know that Kasich benefited heavily from independent expenditures from the types of groups that the Koch brothers have been known to fund. Since these groups are not obligated to disclose who is funding them, we don't know who specifically got Kasich elected, but there's little doubt in my mind that the money behind those groups came from parties interested in destroying the middle class.
How are they destroying the American Dream?
Those who understand how critical unions are to the American Dream will fight for their right to form one. Knowing this, the plutocrats resort to a divide and conquer tactic. They try to pit the public employee against the private employee.
So they've been demonizing the public employees. First they manufacture a crisis, then they blame the crisis on the public employees, and add in some messaging about being overpaid and lazy.
Who are public employees?
and police officers, nurses, social workers, civil engineers, etc. Highly trained or educated people working in stressful situations. If we decide that these beacons of our community are unworthy of the American Dream, then it may already be dead.
How do we restore the American Dream?
The Great Robbery of 2008 has left the American middle class emaciated. However, the decline of the middle class began long before Lehman Brothers closed its doors. Presently, around 11% of Americans belong to a union. When adjusted for inflation, non-supervisory private sector workers are making 83% of what they earned in 1972, when union membership was at 28%. That doesn't even factor in the massive unemployment we're experiencing.
So how do we reverse these trends? Paula Voos of the Economic Policy Institute laid out a framework for reinvigorating America's middle class. Implementing this kind of plan would dramtically change the trajectory of our country. No longer would we be competing with China. Instead we would be competing with Germany, who has a vibrant economy and strong middle class.
We'll never be able to implement the kind of plan Ms. Voos laid out unless we start by fighting back. We need to send a message to the plutocrats that they can't just walk all over us. And we need to WIN. In doing so, we send a message to people all across the country that the American Dream is still alive.
Get involved now!
If you live in Ohio, call your State Senator at 888-218-5931 and tell her/him to vote NO on Senate Bill 5. There are phone banks throughout the state and we could really use help urging others to contact their state reps to vote NO on SB 5.
If you are driving distance from any part of Ohio, there will be events over the next several days all over the state. Unfortunately, I don't have a complete list of events. I do, however, know the details of the events I am coordinating. They're in Lorain County, just outside of Cleveland, on Thursday:
Elyria, OH - Ely Square at 12 noon
Lorain, OH - City Hall at 4pm
If you're interested in attending or organizing for the event, please send me a Dkos message (if you're not familiar with the new feature, go to the top of the page, on the right you should see my profile - name, photo - underneath you should see 'Send New Message') with your name and email address and/or phone#.
For more info on the events or the phone banking, please call the Ohio AFL-CIO: 614-224-8271. I will update this diary with a list of events when I get details for them.
If you're nowhere near Ohio or Wisconsin or Indiana, please sign up for MoveOn's statehouse rallies happening all over the country this Saturday.
You can also get text message updates by texting 'ohaflcio' to 313131.
This is the moment where our action or inaction will determine what kind of country we live in; what kind of country we'll pass on to our children. Join the fight for the American Dream now.
Si Se Puede!