Nel's New Day

November 24, 2012

Conservatives Don’t Get It, Don’t Quit!

One of my wonderful friends lives in Wisconsin, the anti-union state of the nation. She’s even a school librarian who has lost almost 10 percent of her salary since Scott Walker became governor through wage cuts and increases in her payments for health insurance and pension. Her following story clearly points out the class warfare between workers and the elite, sometimes called business owners.

“While I was waiting for my friend for dinner, I met a woman at the bar. Something about Obama came on the television, and she revealed to me that she was very sad that Mittens lost. I told her that I was on the other side of the aisle, and we had a moderately civil conversation. She said she was for Mittens because she owned a business and couldn’t afford Obama.

“As she was leaving, we got to talking about her boots that made her look much taller. She said, ‘Look at this,’ and she lifted her foot to show me the red bottoms of her boots, expecting me to be impressed. She did comment that the cost of the boots was equal to a mortgage payment. She asked about my footwear, and I held up my foot clad in my ancient but very sturdy Ecco sandals. She laughed.

“Later I Googled “red soles” and discovered the boots were Louboutin boots. I realized that our conversation was the race in a nutshell: Louboutin boots being afraid that the Ecco sandals were going to cost her too much money. It was an enlightening conversation.”

To save you the time of price comparison, Louboutin boots run about $2000; Ecco sandals can be purchased for under $50. The discussion shows the values of the wealthy in the United States who consider themselves to be far superior to the people who are educating their children.

Another story about insensitive superiority comes from Linda McMahon who poured $100 million into her two failed political campaigns for Connecticut senator. According to New Haven (CT) News 8, election campaign workers were not paid during the two days following Election Day. After they complained, they received checks that bounced. Twaine Don Gomes, who reported the problem, said his bounced check was accompanied by a little extra in the envelope. “Basically he handed me a check with a condom in it, told me I was screwed,” Gomes said. Maybe this means McMahon won’t be running a third time.

Stupidity meets superiority when Fox News pundit Andrea Tantaros dismissed the plight of hungry Americans, claiming that she would “look fabulous” if she were forced to live on a food stamp diet. Tantaros ignores the fact that the average Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) household has a monthly income of $731, and 76 percent include a child, elderly or disabled person. Without SNAP, even more Americans would go hungry.

Twinkies will be gone—at least temporarily—after U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain gave Hostess permission to wind down and sell off its assets. The decision means the closure of 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, approximately 5,500 delivery routes, and 570 bakery outlet stores along with the loss of 18,500 jobs. Hostess said about 3,200 workers are needed for a year to help with the liquidation. The sale of $2.4 billion would equal about one year in sales.

As might be expected, the company blamed union members for its failure. Yet earlier this year, the CEO received a 300-percent raise (from $750,000 to $2,550,000), and other executives almost doubled their exorbitant wages. Unions had already cut thousands of jobs and transferred or totally cut benefits while the company raided the retirement fund for easy funds. Flowers Foods (Georgia) and Sun Capital (Florida) appear to be interested in buying Hostess, putting the Twinkies back on the market. (Sun Capital CEO Marc Leder threw the party where Romney talked about the 47-percent moochers last May.)

So all the people who worked for Hostess lose their jobs and probably most of their pensions, the CEOs make out like bandits, and the company is reincarnated in a “right-to-work” state where the new workers will be paid minimum wage and get no pension. It’s another failure of the American Dream and another blow against the middle-class workers.

According to Josh Eidelson at The Nation, “For about twenty-four hours, Walmart workers, union members and a slew of other activists pulled off the largest-ever US strike against the largest employer in the world. According to organizers, strikes hit a hundred US cities, with hundreds of retail workers walking off the job (last month‘s strikes drew 160). Organizers say they also hit their goal of a thousand total protests, with all but four states holding at least one.” Walmart’s communicator, Dave Tovar, disagreed. “We are aware of a few dozen protests at our stores today.” Addicting Information has a sampling of photos and videos showing the protests.

Several other company CEOs are supporting poverty for the majority of people in the United States so that the highly-paid executives can pay less in taxes. Toward this end, they are lobbying Congress to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits.

Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren is part of a coalition with the campaign called “Fix the Debt” that spreads the myth that the country’s biggest problems are long-term debt and deficits rather than long-term high unemployment. The latter problem is actually appealing to company CEOs because it keeps the employees in line. Other members of the coalition are from Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Morgan Stanley; JPMorgan Chase & Co.; General Electric; Bank of America Corporation; Bain Capital; Delta Air Lines; JetBlue Airways; United Parcel Service; Marriott; and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Fix the Debt’s website had more information.

The election honeymoon is over: it’s time to get back to work because the conservatives haven’t stopped.

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