Today is

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Animosity Behind Poor Wages

The Janesville Gazette rarely fails to amaze me with their self-extricating editorials, painting themselves up as a mere innocent bystander in the aftermath of the boiling tensions arising from the GM announcement to close the auto plant in two years. Sunday’s Gazette editorial titled “Put animosity behind, move ahead together” was another exercise hoping Janesville residents don't look back while they drive the final nails into the coffin of the American Dream. The American Dream here of course being that workers with little more than a high school education can find good family-raising jobs with taxable wages.
JG Gazette Editorial:
The GM bashers say the workers never deserved what they got in the first place and now will learn to live like the rest of the people in the community.
You'd think they're talking about CEO's here.

Outside of politics, labor unions are usually the only organization that are regular targets of discrimination and hate speech in mainstream media newsprint.

For years the GM hate talk in Janesville was primarily directed at the wages and benefits of the union and its supporters….. not at corporate GM. In Rock County and more precisely Janesville, the only newsprint media to carry the divisive words of a small group of union bashers over and over again was the Janesville Gazette through their anonymous “Sound Off” column. The editors are sitting in the driver's seat and steer this media vehicle into any wreck of their choosing. They let others do their talking for them, and it's power should never be underestimated.

But this statement says a whole lot, because it trickles down from the very same mindset that supports for instance, the influx of new but mediocre jobs meant to allow us to compete in the future economy. Just try to bash the low-wage, benefit negligent and tax shortchanger Wal-Mart or any other low-wage Fortune 500 company, and all kinds of creeps crawl out of the woodwork.
JG Gazette Editorial:
And because of the challenges ahead, it’s time for this community to put the animosity and divisiveness behind and move forward together to forge a new place in the future.
You think at least one time in the recent past during labor strikes or a production crisis at the local GM would the Gazette have written something like that imploring low-wage conservatives and other malcontents, including the newspaper itself, to stand up in unity with the UAW and forge a defense for this “American Dream” economy? NOT ONCE!
JG Gazette Editorial:
The catalyst for so much of the bitterness and so many of the feelings that separated the people will be gone.
Yeah. There’s nothing more promising and unifying in the community than to have all the "general" workers earning the same low wages. How will Wal-Mart compete?

Whatever we do here in Janesville once GM is gone, don’t anyone get the funny idea to bring in good paying family-raising jobs or organized labor. You'll just start trouble. The last thing we need is for some mega-corporation to move in and pay a living taxable wage. God forbid. Instead, all the workers can start wearing two-piece potato sack sickle-and-hammer sweat suits and a red star hat flipping burgers at their new "global" job.

So long as investors and corporate executives continue to pull profits away from the employees who earned it, and the hip-pocket Congress eliminates taxes on the wealth confiscated by the profit takers, corporations and their accountants - we’ll be fine. You see, the better paying jobs that powered the American Dream in Janesville for over 90 years, what the Gazette calls the catalyst for all the animosity.....will be gone.

1 comment:

Post a Comment