I certainly didn’t expect to see the denigration of working people in my lifetime or ever. I grew up in an era where everything was possible. Where “a chicken in every pot” was a promise, fulfilled.
I remember listening to my folks as a young girl, discussing whether they could meet the $50/month mortgage payments on our home in Elmont, Long Island. A three bedroom house with a huge front and back porch. It was a house for partying and gathering with the family for meals and discussion about our day and our concerns.
My Dad never graduated from College and took night classes to graduate from High School. He could have gone to College on the GI Bill . Work came first with two kids and a wife to support. My Dad worked tirelessly to provide more than a Middle Class existence for us. He was outgoing, honest, competitive, competent and preserved.
He always said, if you want something, pursue it daily. He did and built a Flooring Contractor’s Union Shop. He used to brag, that at one time , he had as many employees as Estée Lauder, the Cosmetic company. He employed 125 union employees, affiliated with the Carpenters Union on Hudson Street, NYC.
His life was constant movement, getting up early , making sure labor was allocated and visiting job sites and developers, than coming home, 12 hours later, after drinking with the men or the young distributors of materials. Everyone still remembers my Dad fondly and their evenings spent in his shop discussing business and each other.
That was business from the end of WWll , through the 70’s. One happy family, people moving up the socioeconomic ladder, even the African Americans who worked for Dad.
Capitalism wasn’t always greedy, self centered, winner take all business like today. The old days were fun. Everyone cared about each other, even competitors, shared a drink and a sense of Community , a sense of belonging.
This dystopian world we’ve been plunged into was developed strategically by the monied few. It was sold as Conservatism and doesn’t resemble any values I can identify with?
The old time Republicans were fiscally conservative, they cared about debt and were interested in their constituents needs. This evolved into a self centered pro business lobby that caters to the needs of Big Business and the newly emerging Billionaire class. They have cleverly crafted draconian Laws to take away the rights of “we the People”.
We can fight back with our willingness to see each other and fight for each other’s right to live and to prosper. We are human, imperfect and malleable, do not believe today’s Gig Economy and Late Stage Capitalism will last. It won’t because we’ve “woken” and understand our new roles as advocates for change. We will #RockTheVote in November for Democrats & Democracy. (Be mindful, based on Winner take all Politics, Democrats must capture more than 53% of the vote to stay even!) However, by our numbers and our determination, we will overcome our State of Inequality. We merely have to persevere and want the good life for ourselves, our families and our neighbors.
Let’s take our goals one step at a time. First we change the Local and State Houses and Congress. Then we can begin to fine tune Government to reflect the needs of “We the People” and not Big Business and the Billionaires. I’d like to look back at this struggle to save our Democracy and marvel that “The age of Inequality” only lasted 30-40 yrs! Enough was enough! #NeverAgain
See you Monday and we’ll chat.
“The heart and pulse of the Middle Class”