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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Class War in America

The Class War in America

By Rick Kepler
Dissident Voice.org
December 04, 2012

Just years before the start of the French Revolution, which resulted
in the overthrow of the “royalists” and their sycophants, a French
journalist wrote the following:

"The distance which separates the rich from other citizens is
growing daily and poverty becomes more insupportable at the
sight of the astonishing progress of luxury which tires the view
of the indigent. Hatred grows more bitter, and the State is
divided into two classes; the greedy and insensitive, and the
murmuring malcontents."

As a Union organizer for the Teamsters, consider me among the
malcontents as those words from 1783 ring just as true today in
the United States as they did 230 years ago in pre-revolutionary
France.

During his time as president, FDR rightly named the very rich of
his period “economic royalists.” Today we call them the 1 percent.

The sycophants of today are those who worship the “greedy and
insensitive” and assist them in their destruction of America’s
middle class.

Today, much talk and print is devoted to the downfall of America’s
workers.

Never was it mentioned what the “economic royalists” of today
mutter under their breath until one of their own, Warren Buffet,
let the cat out of the bag, declaring that, “There is a class war
going on, my class started it, and we are winning it.”

To put the class war in stark relief, a multinational corporation
CEO was quoted in a local newspaper as saying to a roundtable
of corporate owners the following:

“Until we drive the wages of the American worker down to those of
the Mexicans, we cannot remain competitive in this global economy.”

Warren Buffet and that CEO know that it isn’t automation,
computerization and other “breakthroughs” in the production
process that have caused workers’ incomes to slide downward,
but attacks on collective bargaining, right-to-work laws,
corporate lockouts, Wall Street cannibalization of profitable
companies, and way, way too much political and economic power
for that greedy 1 percent.

While corporate profits and executive pay go through the roof,
the workers are forced to take wage cuts and to pay dearly for
their corporate-sponsored health care.

Other hard-won benefits are being trimmed or taken completely
away, and the corporate philosophy on providing a decent retirement
after years of loyal service by the workers is considered a relic from
another age.

The harder the American worker works, the more he or she is
being skimmed by that top 1 percent, who amassed 93 percent
of all income made since President Obama took office.

This is absolutely Robin Hood in reverse.

As long as this class war persists, and it will not end until we
the workers end it, you are going to have a polarized country.

A divided country is beneficial to the economic royalists. Their
“scorched earth, screw the workers” philosophy is working.

The top 400 families amassed just this year $1.7 trillion in
wealth, 5 times more wealth than they did 10 years ago.

Their patrons and cheerleaders in Congress, especially the
"Teabaggers" with their no-compromise mentality, assure us
that this country will remain divided.

Civility, bipartisanship and tolerance are considered
weaknesses by these mouthpieces for the ultra-rich.

As in any war including the class war, sides are taken.

You are either for the American workers, and their hopes and
dreams for a better life for themselves, their families, their
friends and neighbors, or you are for Wall-Street, private-equity
owners, hedge fund owners and corporate America chieftains,
who are waging this class war against the American workers
and who are determined to take even more for themselves and
their class at our expense.

Our government is supposed to mediate this natural friction
between capital and labor. It has failed miserably to do this
over the past four decades.

With few exceptions our elected representatives from both
parties have chosen to honor wealth over work.

These politicians have been kissing the asses of Wall Street,
and as a result the American workers, who built this country,
fight its wars, and daily work their butts off, have witnessed
a very sharp decline in their family’s standard of living.

Until the workers of this country rise up and put aside those
differences that the 1 percent use to keep us divided, racism,
sexism, classism, homophobia, religion, etc., we will continue to
slide down the economic ladder with all the hardship that entails.

Our top priority in the Unions should not be getting politicians
elected, but educating our own members about the class war
that is being waged against us, and enlisting all workers, Union
and non-Union, into this life-and-death struggle for the middle
class.



Rick is a Teamster organizer in Ohio.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/12/the-class-war-in-america

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