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Usually things can be easily grasped if you avoid the details and look at a broader picture…  Of course, I’m not saying never look at details… That would be silly…  But I’m saying that if you approach all situations from the bottom up, you really don’t have a clue unless you luckily enough to reach the summit and look down…  It is like climbing a mountain… If you just walk uphill… you may get there… or you may hit a wall that cannot be climbed… But looking at a satellite photo of the mountain first, you can easily track a general path, then deal with the details discovered on the ground when you get there….

What politics all comes back to, is what I first heard while making the rounds with my dad. That old man on the porch who said between cigar puffs…. “Kid… politics is about who gets the money and who controls it…”

That held for my county then, for our counties now, for our state, and federal too… Understanding  that politics is all about money, makes one understand ahead of time what will pass legislature in any given session, and what will not…

There are many ways to divide the pie…  one can base it on color of skin which has been tried in our history.  One can base it on gender, which has been tried in our history… One can base it on land ownership which as been tried in our history…  But over the course of time, each of those distinctions have fallen.  And good riddance.

Now, thanks to mass media, there is a new distinction… Between those who can buy ads to threaten lawmakers, and those who can’t…  (For simplicity more than accuracy, we will from henceforth, call them the 1% versus the 99%…..)

If one looks at the 1%’s slice of pie, prevailing wage bites into it… They have to pay a higher wage than what they could find in cheaper labor…  I mean who could not be against prevailing wage if it meant you had to pay more money which you could, if the trend were gone, keep to yourself?    So these guys do have motive, one that is dear to each and all of our hearts. Keeping their money.

But even rich people know that an argument saying:  make these people suffer more so I can become EVEN richer does not hold water in any forum.  In fact that argument is the kiss of death… So instead they find a third party to portray as victim… which is the government…  Their argument:  our government is paying more than it has to which is a waste catches more flies especially during hard times….

There are some mis-truths here that need pointing out…

One is that doing away with prevailing wage does not cut cost for government…  It does nothing like that at all in our system of bids …. Our government asks for bids, and it chooses one…. Most often there is only one bid.  That bidder gets what they ask… And with prevailing-wage-principles now gone, the owners pocket that extra incremental which was previously blamed on Prevailing Wage…

So whereas on paper one can anticipate all the labor being used on government contracts and take several dollars off every total and call that a potential savings…. it does not show how other mysterious costs will bite into and suck out those alleged savings, funneling the money over to the 1%’s bank accounts.

In other words, there will be no savings because the 1% will steal them… WE THE PEOPLE will still pay $65 million for a construction job, but instead of 53% going to wages which get spent in our state, now only 43% goes to that place… Losing prevailing wage takes money like a giant vacuum cleaner right out of Delaware’s economy… Instead of funding projects to benefit people working, we are funding the same projects to benefit those who take the money immediately right out of the state’s economy which quickly gets locked up and we will never see it again…..

Bottom line of losing prevailing wage?… A.) No money is ever saved by our government.  B.) Our Delaware local economy suffers net loss. C.) The top 1% grows 10% richer with every project the state funds….

In very surprising language from a very Conservative Pope, (Pope Francis’s predecessor)  Pope Benedict lays it out very clearly…

Today, budgetary policies, with cuts in social spending often made under pressure from international financial institutions, can leave citizens powerless in the face of old and new risks; such powerlessness is increased by the lack of effective protection on the part of workers’ associations. Through the combination of social and economic change, trade union organizations experience greater difficulty in carrying out their task of representing the interests of workers, partly because Governments, for reasons of economic utility, often limit the freedom or the negotiating capacity of labour unions. Hence traditional networks of solidarity have more and more obstacles to overcome. The repeated calls issued within the Church’s social doctrine, beginning with Rerum Novarum[60], for the promotion of workers’ associations that can defend their rights must therefore be honoured today even more than in the past…

Hence, by degrees it has come to pass that working men have been surrendered, isolated and helpless, to the hardheartedness of employers and the greed of unchecked competition. The mischief has been increased by rapacious usury, which, although more than once condemned by the Church, is nevertheless, under a different guise, but with like injustice, still practiced by covetous and grasping men. To this must be added that the hiring of labor and the conduct of trade are concentrated in the hands of comparatively few; so that a small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the laboring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself. 

So, if you read the above you can plainly see  we have a head of the largest Christian denomination the Roman Catholic Church, calling for the continuance of policies like Prevailing Wage, and endorsing it…. “What God has brought together; let no man cut asunder.”

What just happened June 30th, was that the total economic pie of Delaware, the one that gets divided up between the haves and have-nots, just got a little smidgen taken from the Have-Nots and  added to the side of the Haves which already own over 50% of the pie .

  • A.) No money gets saved by the Government.
  • B.) Less money now filters through our grocery stores, our restaurants, our small businesses, our handyman our landscapers, our repair shops, or our mechanics….
  • C.) The noose for 99% of us becomes tighter by another notch, which with a one way slit knot, can never be undone except by cutting away the noose altogether..

The good news is that some form of prevailing wage still stands for larger contracts.   The bad news is that we have less pie than we did a week ago, to feed all 1 million of us living today in what once were the three former counties of Pennsylvania….

But the effects of reducing prevailing wage can be countered by a government and local economy…. If we would just create an excessive tax on the top one percent while giving them the option to write off everything they spent on capital investment that year…. they themselves would have the incentive to pay more and government would not have to step in and support wages with a minimum floor… Pictorially, If the top 1% had to continuously give back the slices of pie they continuously stole from us, they would stop stealing, is basically the point of taxing excessively those only in the top tier.

Or, if we could again legally protect every American worker from being fired if they stopped workage as long as their work stoppage was linked to getting higher wages, then those wages would increase through bargaining under that threat, and laws supporting prevailing wages would no longer be necessary…

But since 1980 we have cut back on those two forms of balance so until they are restored, today’s current political climate which is controlled by the owners of excessive money , demands the necessity of continuing prevailing wage just to keep all wages higher, both private and public, since all wages have to compete for labor against the highest one on the market…

But it is ultimately our failure as a state to jump-start massive local investment by levying huge taxes on all monies the top one percent won’t spend on local capital improvements here within our state’s boundaries,  that causes us to have to defend the concept of prevailing wage.. We NEED prevailing wage just for the simple reason that all of its well-spent money comes straight to us… to all of us in the local economy when those receiving it in their paychecks, spend it!… Without prevailing wage,  it’s the Caymen Island bank accounts which swell with yours and my money…………  instead of our local economy.

Prevailing Wage like every thing in politics… is only about who gets to get their hands on the money….. Why shouldn’t it be you?  There is no reason.  Just that you didn’t ask for it; You didn’t defend your rights to it; you elected people paid for by the other side… Your lack of having enough money today comes down to your own damn fault….

Isn’t it time you did something about it?

  • it is how our nation was founded.  Groups of people gathered to say “this is ridiculous and we need to do something about them.”
  • It is how the Anti-Slavery movement was begun… “this is ridiculous and we need to do something about it.”
  • It is how the Civil Rights era began….”this is ridiculous and we need to do something about it.”

It is the foundation of America… Sometimes the organizers are right, and other times they aren’t.. But in either case they force an issue and it becomes resolved… For example in the Whiskey Rebellion  when George Washington himself led troops into Southwestern Pennsylvania and it dissolved upon the sight of him…. Because of that, our government is allowed to levy and take taxes.  But it was caused by groups of people gathered together…..

We are now about to have the TPP forced upon America…. It directly curtails the power of people to gather together to say:  “this is ridiculous and we need to do something about them.”

That will no longer be allowed… The proponents of the TPP are saying that this is good, because the same standard will now hold world-wide. The good side is American companies will not be bothered by Chinese organizing to raise labor rates.  But the balance also holds true.  They will not be bothered by Americans organizing to raise rates here on home turf…

The TPP is a game changer with consequences directly pertaining to the foundation and function of democracy…  The whole idea behind democracy is that if you provide an option to create change within the status quo that is supported by a majority of ones citizens…. you don’t have rebellions.  Rebellions are costly on both economic and societal scales. Democracy prevents those disruptions and prosperity continues unabated ….

The TPP stands to disrupt that process… Now,  instead of democratically elected nations, new feudal barons (not representing everyday people) will decide what is best; . Those privileged to own the horses and knights, will fight among themselves while we serfs try to stay out of their way, and pay our dues just in order to have the right to survive in this location for another year.

If we as the newfound serfs were to try to gather and say… “This is ridiculous” , this new law put in place will allow us to be suppressed, just like similar laws exist in areas of our country where cops feel they can freely shoot black people and get off with no charges…    We see signs of this already, where masses of police show up to monitor anti-corporate policies, while yet little or none show up to rallies supporting policies officially sanctioned by Corporate America against “The Government” : yet both have the same numbers of  angry people.
But fighting authority is what Americans do best .  It is what is in our genes.  It is how our nation was forged… The land of opportunity came with the clause, “accomplish whatever you can”… not “accomplish only what we tell you to”….

Our forefathers grasped this notion. and struck against  large employers in the 1890’s and early 20th Century…  Those strikes were often put down by force… But in all situations when scabs were not immediately  forthcoming to fill the empty spots of those on strike, the owners capitulated… Better to share the profits with labor than have none at all….

Today’s organized labor is bogged down in the mire of ancient rhetoric such as  “protecting the worker”; instilling “American values”; and “protecting the Middle Class”…  This is obfuscating and dodging the real issue…

Striking is simply a power play to get one’s fair share of the profit.  Essentially “going on strike”, is the “TPP “for organized labor.   Why should a company make billions, while it’s workers starve?  Without them, those companies can make nothing… So where then, is the workers “fair share” of the products?  It truly is no different than going after Chinese counterfeiters to get “your” fair share of what you invested into your product.  Workers deserve the same right; they do with their hands, what some dude or dudess does when creating an idea in his brain. They deserve and should have the same “share” of all profit put forth by that business or corporation…

Why should a billionaire have only minimum wage people working for him? Why don’t their employees simply stop work, until they too get a fair share of what they put in?

The simple reason is that rules are stacked against them. Those feudal barons, have made it either illegal or economically impossible for anyone to strike. It is like slave owners making it illegal to escape and making the penalty for doing so death.  There is no fair or reasonable moral grounds for doing so; it is just like another Taft-Hartley Act to preserve feudal barons’ self interests…  The serfs have no rights… Power plays have been enacted against them.

Yet the tactics derided by corporate barons against the strike, are the exact same ones use by them in their interactions with government or their competitors.

Therefore actions need to counter actions. Their adage of “We forbid you to strike” needs to be responded by:  “humph, we then will forbid you to resume production…. ”

it is interesting to note that in American the most successful recent national strikes have been undertaken by millionaires…

The NFL, NHL, NBA, and MBA have all suffered strikes in recent memory… And the players held out (because they didn’t need the money to live on) and won.  The owners capitulated..  Their argument was none of those  listed above.. They did not strike to “improve the Middle Class”. They did not strike to “improve the safety of the American Worker”.  The did not strike to “preserve American values”…..

No, they struck because they greedily wanted more of the profits… nothing more, nothing less, and the American people though grumbling, supported them over the owners who were saying they wanted to keep all the profits they had….

When American products go forth, they carry the work of American Labor… Those products could not be fabricated without labor, just as it could not be done without capital… It requires both and any system that benefits one side at the expense of the other, is no good…

WE have this unfair system in place, outlawing the employee’s only weapon:  forcing a strike ….

We made our own bed by supporting capital’s interest over employees, and now after laying in it for a while, we realize it is not the best way to go… Yet the TPP sets this feudal baron way as a new world order, since all trade partners will allegedly be part of it.  If we can’t strike, which is nothing more then forcing our play, we are nothing more than serfs…

Striking needs to be redefined as holding out for our fair share of profits… After all, under the new world order beset by the TPP… the accumulation of profit, is the only good thing…..

Workers simply are not receiving their fair share… What makes up “fair share” needs to come through negotiation… and barring that, a strike… The TPP makes strikes illegal which by default, makes all negotiations null…  The TPP must be voted down and we must again see more strikes…

Our forefathers who grew up with no protections, knew this very well.  Unfortunately their children who unknowingly grew up taking for granted all the support that strikes provide, disregard it…  Now, the next generation needs to step up and realize that it is all about getting one’s fair share of the profit… After all, how much are you indeed worth?   Too little?  Well we’ll see how you investors and profit-takers feel about that after you go through a long period of being shut down while your competitors are not…..

Any piece of legislation preventing organization is simply un-American…..