Our organization is distributing this in union circles and beyond in preparation for the AFL-CIO's National Convention in September:
Sisters and Brothers, Fellow Workers;
Uniting People (UP) is a new national organization for Peace, Full Employment,
Universal Health Care and Protection of the Environment. We appreciate
the invitation extended by the AFL-CIO to all people and organizations
to comment on its White Paper, “Prosperity Economics, Building An
Economy For All” by Jacob S. Hacker and Nate Loewentheil, intended to
create discussion about the direction of organized labor and the kind of
country we all want to live in where peace, social and economic justice
for working people prevail.
Democracy--- as well as social,
economic and environmental justice--- require no less than a full and
broad discussion of these important concerns and issues.
agree with the concept of “prosperity economics” by “building an economy
that works for everyone.” There are several very basic facts left out
of this “White Paper” and it is very hazy, vague and nebulous as to what
our concrete and specific goals and objectives are to be and what kind
of movement and struggle it will take for the working class--- organized
and unorganized together--- to create a prosperity economics for us
The “White Paper” does not clearly articulate our main
enemy: Wall Street. The “White Paper” doesn't reflect the fact that we,
as working people, are engaged in a social, political and economic
struggle for power with the intent to replace Wall Street's dominance
over every aspect of our lives--- in our schools, at work and in our
Let's state right up front workers create all
wealth but workers have had no say in how this wealth is distributed and
used. This needs to change. Democracy requires no less.
also put it right out there before the American people that militarism
and wars are squandering the wealth of our Nation to such a large extent
we don't have the resources to solve our many domestic problems. These
dirty imperialist wars are killing our jobs and our standard of living
just like they kill people.
Militarism and wars are a major
contributing factor to the world-wide collapsing capitalist economy. No
nation can continue to endlessly use the wealth of its nation to prepare
for wars and to fight wars. This is sheer insanity.
Wall Street's greedy drive for profits results in wars which exacerbates our problems.
Detroit goes broke; the rest of our cities are sure to follow as Wall Street wallows in profits.
Working people go without adequate health care; insurance and
pharmaceutical companies get fabulously wealthy. Shorter
workweeks/longer vacations with no cut in pay create jobs and would keep
us healthier, too.
Our public institutions like public
education fall apart, crumble and collapse just like our roads, highways
and bridges because we are constantly feeding a war machine intended to
fight never-ending wars waged to protect Wall Street's assets and
Prosperity for all begins with the recognition peace is required to achieve full employment.
Full employment is about the government seeing to it that jobs are
created for all at real living wages. It is about putting people to work
by creating massive universal social programs like Medicare for All,
not job destroying legislation like Obama-care as detrimental to our
health and jobs as wars without providing real health care reform while
pushing the price of health care up instead of its stated intent to push
Eliminating militarism and wars eliminates the
largest carbon footprint contributing to global warming and climate
change as the Military Industrial Complex wastes our precious resources
in a huge, monstrous complex that ruins our environment--- power
generation, mining, manufacturing, the resources like oil and gas
required to fight wars. Preparation for war, and war itself, creates a
mammoth sized carbon footprint destroying our living environment while
creating massive joblessness and poverty and ill health for our people
as our air, water and land gets polluted.
The Wall Street
selected politicians talk about “jobs, jobs, jobs” when their hidden
agenda is really “profits, profits, profits” and “war, war, and more
The time has come to make politicians legislatively
responsible for full employment and peace because prosperity economics
requires: peace and full employment--- a healthy people and a healthy
Therefore, we propose that a central goal of the
American labor and working class movement needs to be the building of an
economy for all that is inseparably linked to peace and full employment
which must include:
A Minimum Wage tied to all cost of living factors indexed to inflation. Jobs or a living income for all.
Medicare for All. Protect, defend and expand Social Security programs.
Legislation prohibiting lockouts and scabbing. Repeal of “At-Will
Employment” legislation--- the primary obstacle to worker empowerment
and union organizing.
Price controls are needed for food, gas, home heating fuels and electricity.
A healthy economy means a healthy living environment and a healthy planet. We need a quality of life index.
The two-party system is a trap for working people. We must free
ourselves from the Democrats and Republicans. A working class based
people's party is required if we are going to have a prosperity
economics that works for all of us. We can learn a thing or two about
health care and politics from our Canadian Brothers and Sisters.
We are now at a crossroads.
We will have an economy that serves Wall Street or we will have an
economy that works for the rest of us--- we can't have both just like we
can't have both war and full employment.
We encourage the use
of the proposed Full Employment Act of 1945 pushed by the CIO unions and
authored by liberal Texas Congressman Wright Patman and the associated
hearing testimonies to broaden this discussion:
We also call to your attention the excellent Op-Ed piece by Bob
Herbert, “Losing Our Way,” his last piece in the New York Times (March
25, 2011), which declares:
"The U.S. has not just misplaced its
priorities. When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth
finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost
impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate
its young, it has lost its way entirely."
We ask: What ever
happened to William Winpisinger's "Rebuild America Act" and the “peace
dividend?” The AFL-CIO should bring back to life its Committee on
Conversion--- from military production to producing for human needs;
swords into plowshares is what was advocated by the International
Association of Machinist's former President, William Winpisinger. Where
is this advocacy for peace and reordering our Nation's priorities now?
Thank you for allowing us to offer our critique of the AFL-CIO's “White Paper” and our alternative perspectives.
In solidarity and struggle. Uniting People (UP) for peace, full
employment, universal health care and protection of the environment.