Friday, October 23, 2009

Break 'em up while we still can!

So I'm in Northeast Mississippi just for a day or two and I happen to check out the Daily Journal, and I see that unemployment in the land of my birth has dropped (the same song we're hearing all around the country) - probably because more people have just given up. Even the official rate (we know how accurate that is) in Alcorn County is now 11.3 percent, and it's worse in nearby Tippah and Benton Counties. This is recovery?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Organizing the Unemployed and Homeless

So there's these crazy people in Fort Wayne, actually believe people don't want to be unemployed! Who'da thunk it? I talked to this barn-burner, Tom Lewandowski. They're leafletting Michael Moore's new movie - unemployment offices and such - and talking to people about the economy! What good is that gonna do? Isn't our current system inevitable, exactly as it is?

They're negotiating with development boards in Fort Wayne - like a union - trying to get some money for job creation. They act like they think we ought to have some say in how that money gets spent, just because it came from our taxes.

Next they'll be saying that if Walmart wants us to build a parking lot for them, or otherwise subsidize them, they have to do something for the community. Pay a living wage? Provide employee health benefits (note: a "benefit" is something you get because you work there, not something you can buy if you work there)? ACCEPT A UNION? Where will it end?

The rabble could fall out of line and even think beyond jobs per se. They might even start to think the work ought to do more than just go to poor people. They could decide it also should serve poor communities.

What if big businesses that move into our communities and need a little help with zoning - not like those damn homeless neighbors of ours who expect local governments to bankrupt themselves so they can put up six or even seven tents like they think they own the place - OK, so they have permission from the property owner, but still! - you know, lovely big businesses, had to contribute to the public schools or something instead of taking tax money away from them? Where would be then?

What are they going to do when they realize they don't have enough left over for a nice big new clock tower like ours in Champaign-Urbana?