This week, in honor of the recent AFL-CIO Presidential Forum in Chicago, I was planning on putting up a good old Woody Guthrie union song. In looking for one I came across a video by Tom Morello (aka The Nightwatchman and a member of Rage Against the Machine) performing at The House of Blues here in Chicago. He was at a victory party for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW).
Here is a song by The Nightwatchman called The Road I Must Travel. I have more stuff to say after the music.
If you eat tomatoes they were more than likely picked by Immokalee workers. The victory party in question was because the CIW got McDonalds to agree to pay a penny more per pound for their tomatoes. The workers went from being paid $0.014/pound to $0.024/pound. Earlier they had won a raise from Taco Bell.
It is hard to believe that people need to fight so hard to make an extra penny for their labors. But the victories of the CIW are proof that we still need unions. Multinational corporations and even local groups will not listen until the workers rise up and demand they get paid a living wage.
We need to stand up as consumers to these corporations, too. We need to start buying local. We need to let them know we do not accept their paying sweatshop wages for workers overseas. We can not let them get away with polluting our rivers and destroying species that have been here long before us.
We need to support our Union brothers and sisters by avoiding business they are picketing. We need to write letters of support to those businesses letting them know we will not be there until they treat their workers with respect.
Our economy is being destroyed by globalization, and they only way to bring it back is to create new jobs and return jobs that have been shipped overseas. The more money we pay our workers the more money is returned to the system. This is what happened during the dot com boom of the 1990’s. This is what happened to get us out of the Great Depression. We need to return jobs to America so we as individuals and as a country can begin to climb out of the mountain of debt that is crushing us.
We, as a country, must begin to pay back the debt created by this war. China has basically financed this war by buying treasury bonds from the US government. Presently they they hold nearly $1.33 TRILLION in US Treasury bonds. Meaning we owe them that much in cash. They are threatening to begin selling off those bonds if we implement trade sanctions against them. If they sell off those bonds, the US dollar will become useless and lead to serious inflation, and something that would make the Great Depression look like the greatet economy the country has ever seen.
The only way for us to prevent this from happening is to pay off our debt. The only way to pay off our debt is through taxes. The only way we can do that is to raise taxes. The only way to raise taxes is for us to have more income. The only way for us to have more income is to create more jobs. The only way to create more jobs is to stop corporate tax incentives that reward companies for outsourcing jobs.
We must take action and write our congress people (here and here) and let them know you want jobs to be created here, and you want companies punished for sending jobs overseas. We need to look at presidential candidates who will fight for the people not the corporations. We need to support our union brothers and sisters who are on the front lines of this fight. We need to follow the examples of the CIW and not be afraid of big corporations. We are the ones who pay for their product. If we stop they will listen.