100 years later: 5 timeless lessons from Joe Hill

A couple of decades ago I was a delegate for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)…..a union organizer and activist…..and back in the early years of the 20th century when labor was starting to organize to help workers and their lives…….labor is still as despised as it was make in the day on difference is they use political games instead of baseball bats to defeat the movement…….back in the beginning  there was an organizer named Joe Hill….

In 1902, after the death of his parents, Joe and his brother Paul immigrated to America where they expected to “scrape gold off the ground.” After working various jobs in New York City, Joe moved to Chicago and found work in a machine shop. Shortly thereafter, he was fired from his job and blacklisted for attempting to organize the workers. As a result, Joel Haaglund changed his name to Joe Hill. He traveled extensively around the country before joining the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in San Pedro, California in 1910.

Joe quickly became immersed in the IWW and devoted his life to the “awakening of ‘illiterates’ and ‘scum’ to an original, personal conception of society and the realization of the dignity and rights of their part in it.” He wrote songs like “The Preacher and the Slave” and “Casey Jones – the Union Scab” to inspire solidarity in the ranks of the IWW and to recruit new members. He encouraged a “conscientious withdrawal of efficiency,” which was not a call for violence, but rather a sprinkle of sand in the workings of machinery, and, more specifically, the efforts of non-union friendly employers.

In 1914, on his way from California to Chicago, Hill stopped to earn some money in the Utah mines. There he encountered three friends who he had met while working in San Pedro: Otto Applequist and the Eselius Brothers. Edward and John Eselius allowed Joe to live at their house as a guest. Otto Applequist was one of Joe’s closest friends and may have been involved in the alleged murder of the Morrison’s. Joe Hill was eventually convicted of murdering John and Arling Morrison, and took his last breath in Utah before the firing squad. His trip to Chicago was eventually completed – in a casket.

There many things that Joe Hill teaches the labor movement……things that can be applied today….things that would make the American worker more important than they are today……

Source: 100 years later: 5 timeless lessons from Joe Hill

What Middle Class? | The American Conservative

Since the end of world War 2 the industrial engine of the US has been on the backs of the middle class…..everyone. politicians that is, wants to embrace the middle class and speaks to them at every outing……but in the last couple of decades this system has been slowly strangling the middle class out of existence……

I am concerned that once the middle class is eliminated then the political elites will take complete control and we know where that will lead…..we are already flirting with a very ugly political ideology……and the path we are on today will lead to the extinction of the middle class once and for all…..

I read this article in the American Conservative and found it an interesting piece with some excellent insights…..check it out and then tell me what you think….

Everyone loves the middle class. Everyone claims to be middle-class—some to put a gloss on their sketchy escutcheons, others to dodge chastisement for their awkward riches.

Source: What Middle Class? | The American Conservative

Is the Middle Class doomed?  Is there hope it can be saved?  If so, then who will save it?

McKinsey Article Lays Out How to Rethink Capitalism – US News

American capitalism is killing the American Dream…..it is crapping all over those who actually have to work…..call me anything you like….communist, socialist, anarchist….I do not much care as long as you pull your head out of your butt and take a good look at the damage capitalism is doing to the average American family.

Capitalism can work but it needs re-doing……..a task few are unwilling to sow the guts to even consider much less attempt……


McKinsey Article Lays Out How to Rethink Capitalism – US News.

Wanna Beer After Work?

If you are not watching the Sochi Olympics (congrats of 2 Americans with Gold in Snowboarding and NO the “flying tomato” is not one of them) then you have either watched the mind numbing crap they call reality TV….or you watched the news…..and I use the term loosely….nothing I saw on the tube was interesting enough to keep my attention…..with that said…let’s talk about something that will be tossed around the web in the next month or so……MINIMUM WAGE!

I know that economics is NO one’s fave topic……most Americans have NO idea what the science is all about other than how much they have to spend on the essentials like food, shelter, utilities, etc……but I apologize if this bores you….but somethings needed to be talked about….and economics is one of those subjects.

There has been so much chatter about the minimum wage…..some want to see a rise in it and others spin it as a jobs killer and a small business killer……all that is just ducky….but if you are having to work for minimum then it is a different story…..those against it are millionaires or just plain STUPID!

From an purely economic perspective……a rise in the minimum will do well for the economy….but of course that is NOT good enough for it to happen….there will be an endless debate, especially by idiots that dash to the nearest camera, on the pros and cons……

I read a report a few days ago that stated that a minimum wage worker would have to work an hour to afford a couple of Starbucks……and that got me to thinking…..most of us working stiffs enjoy a cold one after work…..so after a little research I found a piece along those lines…….

For a minimum-wage worker in Bangladesh, grabbing a cold one after work amounts to a serious investment. To afford a beer, that employee must toil for 13.4 hours, according to an analysis by Quartz. The report compares the price of a half-liter of beer in a country’s bars with that country’s minimum wage. Among the results:

  • Beer-seekers will have the hardest time in Georgia, where it takes 15.1 hours of minimum-wage work to earn a drink.
  • Puerto Rico is at the opposite end of the spectrum: Work for 12 minutes on minimum wage, and you can pay for a beer.
  • US workers have to work for twice as long as those in Puerto Rico; at 24 minutes, the US rate matches those of Canada, Spain, Taiwan, Germany, and Japan, among others.
  • After Georgia and Bangladesh, the countries facing the most work per beer are Libya (7.5 hours) and Ethiopia (6.6 hours).
  • Luxembourg, Australia, and Cyprus are runners-up for the briefest periods of toil, at 18 minutes per beer.

There you have the break down.  NO wonder Aussie like their brew.

Anything to add?

SCOTUS Humps Workers

While you were pissing and moaning about the SCOTUS ruling on voters rights or celebrating their ruling on DOMA, they were screwing the American worker……

In the first case, Vance v. Ball State University, the court ruled workers only are protected against a supervisor who has the power to make “significant change in [your] employment status, such as hiring, firing, failing to promote, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, or a decision causing a significant change in benefits” or if the company ignores the fact a supervisor without this power is engaging in harassment. This very narrow definition of “supervisor” makes remedying harassment more difficult and ignores the reality that many supervisors without hiring and firing power have the ability to make an employee’s life much more difficult.

The second case, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, eliminated so called “mixed motive” retaliation claims under existing anti-discrimination law. Employees who pursue discrimination claims now will have to prove that discrimination was the sole thing on their boss’s mind when they were fired or demoted. Previously, discrimination only had to be one factor involved in punishing an employee and bosses were required to reveal what they were thinking at the time of the punishment. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pointed out in her dissent, that standard is almost impossible to meet, since few people in the real world are motivated by a single cause.

Not much to celebrate there now is there?

The Righties are winning their war on labor and the workers….and we seem to be blind to all these efforts while we stroke out over background checks or voters rights  or we pee all over ourselves with a minor victory in same sex marriage……all these worker hostile issues that the GOP is winning is doing what it intended…making of a low paid worker that has no rights and has only the ‘mercy’ of the employers whims….this benefits no one but corporations and it does not create jobs that would give the worker a liveable wage……

Expand your issues beyond the single issue that excites your passion…..