Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Working For a Living (11/26/08)

People who work for a living deserve a fair shake. Communities often pay taxpayer dollars to support business in many ways: tax breaks, education of the workers, infrastructure, and contracts with government. It really is only fair for business to return some of this payment with living wages for workers. That's just good ethical business.

Communities benefit from living wages in many ways. They lower the cost of community services by allowing people to move out of poverty. Services of people impoverished by poverty wages include emergency medical care, food programs, housing programs, drug and alcohol programs, and much more. Living wages make communities better places to live. With living wages there is less poverty, less crime, less homeless and less addiction. There would also be more selfrespect if people knew they could support a family with one full time job. People would have more community pride, and better kept communities. When communities improve, more people want to live there and more businesses want to locate there. Living wage benefits spread positively across entire communities.

Living wages also benefit businesses. Businesses benefit from living wages with increased morale, increased productivity, and increased worker retention. Because workers stay where wages are good businesses save on recruitment and training costs.

Occasionally some businesses may face lower profits. Well run businesses can deal with these moral limits on profits. Effective business owners have coped without slavery, child labor, and other moral benefits given to workers. Competent business owners should be able to cope without below-poverty-level wages.

The cost to business of paying living wages has been found to be extremely low. Between payments by the community and the benefits of increased productivity and lowered costs, living wage costs should be easily absorbed when accounting practices make the trade-offs clear. Businesses can both do good and do well.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bailout who??

Working For A Living (11/25/08)

The American Dream - the idea that if you work hard you'll be rewarded with a decent standard of living, including the opportunity to own a home. It is a human ideal that everyone inherently deserves to have basic needs met. Working a job should pay enough to at least meet basic needs. Yet many people have to work two jobs just to make ends meet.

It is immoral for anyone working for a living at a full time job to be stuck below the poverty line. Working for a living includes being able to support a family. Anything less is a failure to live up to the American Dream.

This is an issue of morality - an issue of justice. Markets have rules structured by morality. We no longer allow child labor because it is immoral. We no longer allow slavery because it is immoral. We no longer allow employees to be beaten because it is immoral. Increasing profits of a few by decreasing pay to below poverty level needs to be outlawed because that too is immoral! Impoverishing people consciously is very immoral!

Markets have been set up to serve special interests. Energy subsidies to oil and coal are good examples. These so-called "subsidies" are really just payments from taxpayers to these corporations. They help to make us think that oil and coal prices are allow so we become dependent on them. This serves those companies because we don't see that we pay at the pump or meter and pay again through our taxes!

Markets need to serve the public interest!

These tax breaks take money out of our pockets and give them to corporations. The fair thing these companies can do is to pay living wages to employees. That's a responsibility they need to live up to.

As the new administration starts its stimulus plan hopefully they will make sure that the books balance for working people as well as the corporations. It will be up to us to keep pushing that message. It will be up to us to organize and be the active people that democracy needs.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Purpose of the Market (11/24/08)

We've been living in a fantasy land about markets. This fantasy land of markets and irresponsible government has been showing that the only things that move with unlimited growth are cancers that devour the hosts. With all the jobs vaporizing along with retirements and the American Dream of home ownership we are realizing that democracy was replaced by corporatocracy right before our eyes.

Markets are there to create our common wealth. Markets should serve democracy and the people - not the other way around. Strong unions and worker's rights supported by an open democratic society will provide a win-win for all involved.

Markets should be part of making people free. That' what the vast majority of people want - FREEDOM! Freedom from want, freedom from harm, freedom from fear. We want freedom to meet our needs and fulfill our dreams.

The market is there to serve the common good. It is not to make us all slaves to a corporatocracy created by irresponsible government that has given away its responsibility to protect and serve all. Markets and government are there to serve us and democracy!

Everyone who works deserves to earn a decent living. Everyone who works deserves to be free from want. Everyone deserves freedom from illness, harm, bigotry and fear.

The natural world deserves preserving and protecting. It is the heritage that we will pass on to future generations. The market needs to support that as well.

It is our responsibility to ensure that government works to allow the markets to succeed in serving the common good. The common wealth belongs to all of us. Those who benefit most from the common wealth need to pay their fair share! No more tax giveaways!

We can move toward a market that serves the common good and not giving it away to the rich by organizing, voting our values and holding government accountable!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

First Meeting Since Election

Had a great first post-election meeting for Raza Unida. We decided to begin having "Join the Party Parties" and the first is January 17, 2009 at 5:30.

We have a great communications team and an awesome voter registration team. There are three of us thinking about running for offices and the whole group was willing to work on a campaign.

The website and the literature need to be redone and the communications team will be dealing with that.

We talked about presenting our values comprehensively and working for people power moving beyond one issue at a time politics. I'm excited because it was clear to all of us in the room that voting out W means nothing if people aren't willing to get involved and hold government accountable to protect and empower people to have safe, healthy and thriving lives!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

¡Feliz Dia de La Revolución!

Orale Familia!

This blog is being created today for posts related to La Raza Unida and politics. Today being Dia de La Revolución seems like a perfect day to start this.

La Raza Unida exists, and I am a member of it, because people care. They care about what happens to them, to their families and their communities. Many even care about what happens to the whole planet. That's why the title "Nuestra Familia" was chosen.

Like a family you take action on your caring. We're all in this together so that action, that responsibility, is often political. It is often organizing, advocating, and building relationships.

That responsibility leads us to hold our collective - government and society - responsible as well. Responsible to protect everyone - our children, our neighbors, and those in need. That responsibility also requires us to provide the best opportunities for a fulfilling life. From education to health care, decent paying jobs to quality housing - we have a responsibility to help everyone thrive.

Have a wonderful day! Being generous usually makes people feel better about themselves so take time to share a smile, a handshake, or a hug with people today.