Looking back: In the early part of the last century.....
American was a land of haves and have-nots. The average citizen had an eighth grade education, worked long hours during the week and a full day on Saturday.
Concepts like weekends and retirement were unheard of, as were unemployment checks or Social Security or the minimum wage.
Just one in twenty Americans finished high school. Less than half of Americans owned their own homes.
Working class wages were so stagnant in the years before the stock market crash of 1929 that the gains in industrial productivity far outran the purchasing power of American consumers, and helped bring on the Depression.
The Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties had served best to make the rich richer.
The New Deal rescued capitalism from its own excess.
The above are excerpts from John Farrell's book, "Tip O'Neill and the Democratic Century."
By 1977, mostly due to the Democrats, the American landscape was transformed.
Farrell goes on to say that Roosevelt's Social Security, welfare, minimum wage, and then the GI Bill, and then the Great Society's Medicare and Medicaid, food stamps, federal aid for education, Head Start, and grants and loans to middle American, the growth of unions, glued the nation together. Poverty was cut by two-thirds. Now 9 out of 10 Americans finished high school, one out of four got college degrees, and two out of three owned their own homes. A 5 day forty hour work week became standard.
What view do we have of America, what do we want this country to be? Are we going to go back in time, and give up so much of what we have gained?
Are we to allow those in the White House and Congress to take us back to a time in this country when there was something called the "Poor House" that poor people feared being sent to when they had lost everything?
Is President Obama missing what is happening in this country? Have those in Congress turned a blind eye, in their zeal to think only in terms of their perks, pay-offs, being re-elected and their future job offers after leaving the government, all too ready to sell their access to the highest bidder?
We must step up and make our voices heard. I just called again today and spoke with the Democratic Senator for Florida, Bill Nelson's office, who told me that Nelson will support President Obama's tax deal and vote for it, as is.
Nelson will not be a part of working to make it better. He feels it is the right thing to do. The staff member then went on to read off a list, basically parrotting Obama's talking points as to why Nelson supported it and why it was so important to the country. I gave my arguments to all those. Nelson and I have a different view of where this country needs to go. Will I be voting for Senator Bill Nelson again. No, I will not.
Call Senator Bill Nelson. 202 224-5274 Fax: 202 228-2183
Contact the White House and let the President know how you feel:
Comments: 202-456-1111 / Switchboard: 202-456-1414
I urge you to call/contact Congress and make your voice heard.
And if you want to post your Senator or Congress person's stance to let us know what we can hope for, or those representatives that offer no hope for a country that seems so much to be going backward.
We have come so far in this country, we must not allow politicans in congress to take us back to those dark years, those who would put their own interests above our country.