Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Winning Elections While Rebuilding America

Winning Elections While Rebuilding America
By Jerome Grossman

The Democrats must renew their bond with the working class. Listen to Peter Canellos:"During the five decades that the New Deal coalition governed national politics, from the 1930s to the 1980s, the relationship between the Democratic Party and working-class voters was an economic bond. Generations of Americans took it as an act of faith that Republicans represented the moneyed elites while Democrats stood up for the little guy. Since 1980, that relationship has eroded and now it's in tatters. Democrats have lost significant support among the working class.... Thirty years ago, the Democrats would have had a a ready response (to blue-collar dissatisfaction). By pursuing redistributive programs, from make-work jobs to urban development programs to costly expansion of rural infrastructure, the Democrats provided some economic first aid to distressed people and communities: …."

Hold your dollars, folks. Peter Canellos is not running for office. He is the Washington Bureau Chief of the Boston Globe. But he knows the lessons of political history in these United States and demonstrates how the Democrats have mobilized the working class by offering strong economic incentives. The two Democratic candidates for president, hopelessly centrist, should take notice.

The bitterness of the workers should evoke an authentic program to compensate for the three decade decline in wages and working conditions. Such a program should include reform of the labor laws that favor corporations over unions, a national minimum wage providing for decent living conditions, full employment legislation that guarantees a job to all who wish to work, national single-payer health insurance subsidized by the federal government, serious enforcement of occupational safety and health conditions in the workplace, replacement and maintenance of our decrepit system of highways, railroads, bridges, airports, etc.

Or would you rather spend three trillion dollars on Iraq?

Beyond the social benefits of spreading the benefits of our productive society more evenly, such a redistributive program might lead to political victory and occupation of the White House by the Democratic candidate. For references I submit Harry Hopkins and Franklin Delano Roosevelt who knew how to win elections while rebuilding the nation.

1 comment:

an average patriot said...

Jerome
I guess the party got away from me because I always thought we tried to take care of the down trodden and stood up for the worker. Until G.W. I didn't realize we do not matter and when we try to take care of the people we are thwarted.
Until I started hearing the ridiculous line that Obama was an elitist thrown at him by two multi millionaires and that he was out of touch both of which I couldn't believe I thought we were in touch! He was chastised for saying jobs have been in decline for 3 decades and people were bitter. He was wrong to throw in Religion and guns but he was Right!
As you point out: The bitterness of the workers should evoke an authentic program to compensate for the three decade decline in wages and working conditions. Such a program should include reform of the labor laws that favor corporations over unions, a national minimum wage providing for decent living conditions, full employment legislation that guarantees a job to all who wish to work, national single-payer health insurance subsidized by the federal government, serious enforcement of occupational safety and health conditions in the workplace, replacement and maintenance of our decrepit system of highways, railroads, bridges, airports, etc.
That is only right but it will never happen under McCain who I am afraid has already been elected to replace GW but we will see! I did a few stories about the so called economy rebuilding tax incentive which is worthless.
Those Billions shoul have been put into rebuilding our failing infrastructure. It would have helped the economy, put people to work, improved benefits, etc. That and our infrastructure is not Bush's concern.
After he has needlessly given away Billions and let multiple Billions be riffed due to corruption and lack of oversight we will have to borrow another trillion from China to rebuild our infrastructure that is if it is a concern and it is not.
People are going to find out the hard way what has happened and why because no one is listening but I will keep trying.

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