June 15, 2015
By By Thomas J. Mackell, Jr., Ed.D.
Imperial CEOs with limos, first class restaurants, corporate planes, gold plaited toilets, $3,000 Armani suits, multi-million dollar apartments in Manhattan, helicopters to their opulent beach houses in the Hamptons, arm-candy super olympic-style world-class shopper wives: all symbols of lives of unabashed excess. The kind of excess that existed in the 90s and early 2000s before the financial crisis.
The ostentatious opulence is still with us loud and strong. The 1 percenters are still living very high on the hog and their wealth continues to grow beyond all dreams of avarice. Meanwhile, the 99 percenters are struggling to make ends meet, put food on the table, gas into the car, pay for rent, tuition and general living conditions to keep the wolf from the door. while they have constant angst over the prospects of holding onto their jobs.
These are the folks who work like dogs to raise the productivity with no equivalent financial reward. Those whose wages have been stagnant since the 70s. Those whose benefits have been emasculated. Those who have very little saved for a decent retirement. Those who are are virtually a pay check or two away from poverty. Those whose home values eradicated since the crash.
And Congress and our Democratic President want to pass Fast Track! What is wrong with this picture? NAFTA wasn't enough, promoted by another Democrat, Bill Clinton, that emasculated 7 million jobs and obliterated 60,000 U.S. manufacturing facilities over the last 20 years.Lord knows what Fast Track would do!
If the President and those supporting the bill in Congress would just open their eyes they would have the vision to see what happened in Baltimore this past spring.
The young African-American who was killed by the police was the catalyst in initiating the rioting, but the undercurrent was the long-term festering of a once-proud manufacturing city with good-paying jobs that harbored the hatred that had been building.
Mr. President, how many more Baltimores do we have to experience before the elitist members of Congress recognize that this is the formula for the destruction of America?
Mr. Mackell, Jr. is special advisor to the International President International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO