Brooklyn, NY – On Saturday, working men and women marching in the 2017 NYC Labor Day Parade will step off at 5th Avenue and 44th Street amidst a sea of red, white and blue because, you know, they’re patriotic and they love their imperfect country. Too bad, the same can’t be said of many of their employers.
How can it be? When everywhere you look corporations large and not-so-large continue to do everything they possibly can to turn the American Dream of earning a decent living through hard work and sweat, into a total impossibility.
What happened to patriotism when driving down wages, junking pensions and skirting healthcare costs are baked into every “successful” enterprise’s business plan?
Last year, Rite Aid did it to its New York City employees. So did Verizon. This past year, we’ve seen Waldner’s Business Environments, Clare Rose beer distributors and Planet Waste Services try it, too. And that’s just the short list — there are more. Lots more.
Right now, for instance, telecommunications behemoth Charter/Spectrum and the cash cow Broadway League are doing their damnedest to separate hardworking New Yorkers from the fruits of their labor. It’s as if the obdurate oligarchs at the helms of these respective mega-money-making machines have all chosen to forget that even that old skinflint Henry Ford knew enough to pay his workers enough to buy his crap.
Those much more schooled in economics might note, of course, that what workers in America are now experiencing, is the inevitable end result inherent in a rapacious capitalist system that preys on the bleached bones of the 99-percent. Whether that, or an increasing dearth of corrective regulations is the reason why nearly 80-percent of workers in this country are now living paycheck-to-paycheck, isn’t really the point for the moment.
More to the present point: what the heck are the fat cats thinking? How does the unlimited accumulation of wealth and power at the cost of society itself (such as it is) benefit anybody?
Maybe 21st century feudalism is the goal? Maybe we’re all living through a real life “Game of Thrones” and the wealthy can’t be bothered about the coming of the “Long Night,” or California wild fires and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Katia and Jose. The most salient social commentary always comes from popular fiction, and that George R.R.Martin dude might just be right on.
At any rate, they’ll be a lot for working men and women to think about when they march in New York City this weekend. And the best remedies to the sad state of affairs enveloping the working class will start by asking good questions — like why isn’t the active destruction of good paying American jobs not considered unpatriotic?