“Money Talks”

“Tailored suits, chauffeured cars
Fine hotels and big cigars
Up for grabs, up for a price
Where the red hot girls keep on dancing through the night —
Come on, come on, listen to the money talk.”

AC/DC — (1990) — From “The Razor’s Edge”

Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker’s multimillion dollar victory in Wisconsin has blessedly assured President Barack Obama’s reelection in November with commanding Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate.

There are lots of moving parts here, perhaps including loose screws in my head, but I firmly believe that the American people are finally starting to get it. Having dramatically witnessed an undeniable demonstration of arrogant, self-serving, primarily inherited riches — unleashed without reservation or restraint by a few against the many, recognition is at last being given that — when a handful of billionaires can dominate mass media with their exclusive message by an eight to one margin — the voice of the people can no longer be heard. Such silence is our deadliest enemy.

Nobel Prize Winning Economist Joseph Stiglitz, in his latest New York Times Best Seller, “The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future”, categorically states that economic injustice is killing the American dream. Stiglitz cites irrefutable data showing that in the “recovery” of 2009-10, the top 1% of US income-earners captured 93% of growth. The trend is one of concentrating income and wealth at the top, the hollowing out of the middle and increasing poverty at the bottom as the five Walton families (of Walmart fame — not John-Boy’s folks) enjoy greater wealth than the bottom 30% of the rest combined — all one hundred million of us.

And those who believe we still are THE land of opportunity should kindly notice their environment. Bootstraps have broken and many a Horatio Alger can’t find work. I include this arcane observation by way of also stressing that, for the first time in my seven decades on the planet, young folks have a better shot at rising to the top elsewhere than right here at home — almost anywhere else in the free world. But I’m not going anywhere and they’re not either. This is all fixable, but that means not pretending everything’s fine except for “big government” ,“taxes”, “regulations”, and mindless devotion to a “free market economy” — all of which are just part of the big lies designed to keep us powerless, poorer and in our proper places. Markets are “free” only as paid for.

My Great-Great-Grandfather, Thomas Newcomb, lies buried in a cemetery in Upstate New York, beneath a large grave marker prominently displaying an American Flag under which can clearly be seen the words, “Soldier – Revolutionary War.” Drafted into George Washington’s Army at the age of 16, Thomas was a Rebel — a Renegade — a Traitor against the King. Quoting from official documentation, “On 5 Aug. 1781, Thomas rendered service near Peekskill, and in a whale-boat on Long Island Sound; captured a sloop, and, immediately after, another armed with ten guns, making her a prize, with three other sloops, loaded with wood and forage for the British army; carried them into Stamford, Connecticut.”

I am pleased to report that Thomas was also a man of committed social conscience. Again from the archives, “Following his discharge from the Army, Thomas became a farmer and wagon maker. In 1821, Mr. Newcomb moved to Onondaga Valley, New York, and from there canvassed the country in supporting The Anti-Slavery Movement.”

The Fourth of July is but four weeks away, when we celebrate our freedom with fun, frolic, festivities and fireworks.

Political Conservatives in 1776 were Tories, also known as “Loyalists” or “The Kings Men” — supporters of the status quo and unquestioned British rule. How ironic that many who will be adorned in all sorts of red, white & blue attire this 2012 Independence Day, wearing breeches, woolen stockings, leather shoes and those iconic three corner hats dangling gayly festooned Lipton bags, will be sporting historically verifiable rebel wear from an otherwise Conservative era. Yep. That was the LIBERAL LOOK!

There is no doubt in my mind that, without question, my patriotic Tea Party friends have their hearts in the right place. I remain ever hopeful their heads will soon follow.

15 Responses to ““Money Talks””

  1. Charles Walker Says:

    non sequitur (ˈnɒn ˈsɛkwɪtə)

    — n
    1. a statement having little or no relevance to what preceded it
    2. logic a conclusion that does not follow from the premises

    [Latin, literally: it does not follow]

    Peter, Father Monan would not be pleased with your logic. You conveniently forget the 17+ million the AFL/CIO dumped into this travesty. 40% of union members voted for Walker. And most telling, since Walker ended the State’s function as “dues collector” for the public employee unions, membership has plummeted by more than 50%

  2. Charles Walker Says:

    PS: Hope your pump is back in high gear. Now maybe we can work on your gourd….

  3. petercavanaugh Says:

    Nurse! Check Walker’s oxygen hose! The Wisconsin AFL-CIO contribution was $1.25 million, not $14! See — http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/03/wisconsin-recall-bucking-the-super-pac-trend.html. Charlie! You’ve proven my point!
    Listen to the money talk! And I ALWAYS got “A’s” from Monan. From Dr. Hanley, too!

    • Charles Walker Says:

      The nurse better check your nitrous oxide feed, big fella. I’m talking the AFL-CIO Super Pac. And then there is the union front; Greater Wisconsin Committee. Come on Peter, Limousine Liberals crying poor mouth makes as much sense as Mikey Moore flying to Cuba for medical treatment. Dickie Trumpka’s expense account is more than 14 million.

  4. petercavanaugh Says:

    All in all, it was pretty much 40 million to 5, counting all players. That’s 8 to 1. And, exit polling among those actually voting still showed Obama leading Mitty Mouse by 9 full points IN WISCONSIN. http://leanforward.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/05/12075346-wisconsin-exit-polls-show-voters-still-back-obama?lite

  5. Charles Walker Says:

    All Scott and I can do is remember our lineal ancestor, Jimmy: “Walker won re-election by an overwhelming margin in 1929, defeating Republican Fiorello La Guardia and Socialist Norman Thomas. Walker’s fortunes turned downward with the economy – due to the stock-market crash of 1929. Patrick Joseph Hayes, the Cardinal Archbishop of New York, denounced him, implying that the immorality of the mayor, both personal and political in tolerating “girlie magazines” and casinos, was a cause of the economic downturn.”

    The unions are just as delusional as the Cardinal. Life isn’t always fair, but a win is a win.

  6. petercavanaugh Says:

    A win is a win except when it’s a loss.

  7. cassie Says:

    Hi Pete, just curious and wouldn’t know where to find the info, how much did the recall cost the state of Wisconsin? Just because the democrats were sore losers and the unions don’t want to be told what to do.
    I’ll send you some articles I found on one of my German relatives who had something to do with the public employees becoming unions, because they were making half what the private employees were making. The real reason for unions, not the overpaid slackers around today ( that’s mostly the upper echelon).

    You and Charlie must have been hell on your teachers, lol.

  8. cassie Says:

    I’m sure they started out for a very good reason. I will look around.

  9. Charles Walker Says:

    From Wikipedia:

    The first strikes by government employees took place in the 1830s, but the unions generally bypassed government employees because they were controlled mostly by the patronage system before the arrival of civil service. After the fiasco of the Boston Police Strike in 1919, which was suppressed by Governor Calvin Coolidge, and the opposition of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to labor unions in the federal government, unionization remained uncommon among government employees. Roosevelt once described that:

    “All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters. Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.” [FDR sure had it right!]

    The Wagner Act of 1935, and subsequent legislation, applied only to employees in the private sector, since the federal government could not interfere in state government.The major exception was the emergence starting in the 1920s of unions of public school teachers in the largest cities; they formed the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). In suburbs and small cities, the National Education Association (NEA) became active, but it insisted it was not a labour union but a professional organization.

    Change came in the 1950s. In 1958 New York mayor Robert Wagner, Jr. issued an executive order, called “the little Wagner Act,” giving city employees certain bargaining rights, and gave their unions with exclusive representation (that is, the unions alone were legally authorized to speak for all city workers, regardless of whether or some workers were members.) The first U.S. state to permit collective bargaining by public employees was Wisconsin, in 1959. Collective bargaining is now permitted in three fourths of U.S. states. By the 1960s and 1970s public-sector unions expanded rapidly to cover teachers, clerks, firemen, police, prison guards and others. In 1962, President John Kennedy issued Executive Order 10988, upgrading the status of unions of federal workers.

    After 1960 public sector unions grew rapidly and secured good wages and high pensions for their members. While manufacturing and farming steadily declined, state- and local-government employment quadrupled from 4 million workers in 1950 to 12 million in 1976 and 16.6 million in 2009. Adding in the 3.7 million federal civilian employees, in 2010 8.4 million government workers were represented by unions, including 31% of federal workers, 35% of state workers and 46% of local workers. As Daniel Disalvo notes, “In today’s public sector, good pay, generous benefits, and job security make possible a stable middle-class existence for nearly everyone from janitors to jailors.”

    In 2009 the U.S. membership of public sector unions surpassed membership of private sector unions for the first time, at 7.9m and 7.4m respectively.

    In 2011 as states faced a growing fiscal crisis and the Republicans made major gains in the 2010 elections, public sector unions came under heavy attack especially in Wisconsin, as well as Indiana, New Jersey and Ohio from conservative Republican legislatures.

  10. cassie Says:

    the AFT in NYC is a joke, a very expensive joke. I have several nieces and nephews that are all teachers and they told us old folks about the rubber rooms long before they hit the newspaper. My relatives were worried because they were part of the last in, first out policy. Now they have some years in, so they are not as worried.

    Roosevelt was right that gov’t. workers shouldn’t be unionized. But what do they do when they are underpaid? I was going to say overworked, but we’re speaking of gov’t. workers. Maybe they can have a social group to work out their grievances? They’re good on parties.

  11. cassie Says:

    I forgot to mention, I went on the internet and put in “beginning of unions in Wisconsin” and all I got was articles on “the beginning of the end of unions” because Walker won. Thanks to your friend Charlie, we got a little bit more than that.

  12. Charles Walker Says:

    Yah! How about that, PC?

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