Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

May 3, 2014

What the working class will vote for

(Continued)

We are approaching a midterm election in which the real issue is not the Affordable Care Act’s Web site. The real issue is whether we continue down the road toward more radical inequality or move, instead, toward reinventing a nation whose economy is consistent with our national values of democracy and opportunity.

Historically, midterm elections are decided by base voters, more so than swing voters. Working people will turn out for candidates who support solutions that would make a difference in the real world. We are not going to be fooled by poll-tested gestures transparently designed for use as political props.

We will also turn out for candidates who tell the truth about what is happening in our country: candidates who speak clearly about falling wages and concentration of wealth and income, and about the astounding tilt in our economy and politics toward global corporations and the very rich.

Most important, we are going to turn out to support candidates who offer a better future: candidates who squarely acknowledge that our society faces a choice between plutocracy and a future of shared prosperity — and who choose shared prosperity. That means candidates who stand for investing in the United States to create jobs and make our country more competitive, not giving tax breaks to companies that send jobs overseas or signing trade agreements that benefit corporations and not people. Those who stand for raising wages for the 90 percent, not cutting taxes for the 1 percent; those who support comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship and oppose mass deportations of families from our communities; those who have the courage to say that mass incarceration is a blight on our country; and those who know that unequal pay for women is an injustice.

Now, the message of some candidates is not hope or a future of shared prosperity but fear: fear of the future and of each other. Some will seek votes by looking to divide and conquer the 90 percent for the benefit of the 10 percent. Fear can be a powerful motivator in politics — and in a time of continued mass unemployment and economic anxiety, fear cannot be defeated with platitudes. Fear cedes ground only to hope, which must be backed up with a clear agenda for action. President Obama’s proposals to raise the minimum wage and to make the 40-hour workweek real again are great first steps, and candidates in both parties are moving toward them.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Take a lesson from Texas I like to eat at blue-collar diners and cafes, particularly when I’m on vacation.It’s a chance to step beyond the homogenized national chains and experience a bit of local flavor.And being a reporter, I like to chat up local folks to find out a bit a

    July 23, 2014

  • The future reality of terrorist drones A very small airplane rose over the Gaza Strip last week. It entered Israeli airspace and sped toward the coastal city of Ashdod. Then a Patriot missile blew it up.The plane, a rudimentary drone launched by the terrorist group Hamas, posed little thr

    July 23, 2014

  • We are headed to a jobless future In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers revived a debate I’d had with futurist Ray Kurzweil in 2012 about the jobless future.He echoed the words of Peter Diamandis, who says that we are moving from a history

    July 23, 2014

  • Pensions need to be addressed I will have to admit that I am slightly overwhelmed today with the receipt of articles and suggestions for a column. One of my Fitness Mafia colleagues constantly tells me the columns are too long and trying to address different subjects just dilutes

    July 22, 2014

  • VA still failing our vets Jymm’s preferred attire is a skin-tight Minnie Mouse T-shirt with bright pink windbreaker pants. Even when not sporting his choice outfit, he dons short shorts and shirts with holes in them, because that’s what he finds most comfortable. His Santa Mo

    July 22, 2014

  • Feed your home piggy bank with a 15-year mortgage This summer, we finally decided to take the plunge we’d been contemplating for a while: converting our 30-year mortgage to one with a 15-year payoff. It’s a big step. Our payments will go up somewhat (the PITI — principal, interest, tax, and insuranc

    July 19, 2014

  • Under the dumb There is a TV series about an entire town trapped under a giant, mysterious crystal-clear dome that appears out of the blue one day. The dome is impenetrable; no one can get in, no one can get out. Who made the dome? Aliens? God? A super-secret branc

    July 19, 2014

  • Widening the loopholes This week, two more U.S. companies moved to reestablish themselves overseas, allowing them to pursue lower corporate tax rates. They will join dozens of others who have chased lower tax bills abroad while maintaining operations in the United States,

    July 19, 2014

  • Patriotism not questioned Editor:I am responding to Mayor Mary Jane Chesley’s Reader’s View article in the Thursday, June 19, 2014, Register-News “Patriotism is strong.”The mayor has missed the point of my Reader’s View/opinion article in the local newspapers regarding Flag D

    July 19, 2014

  • Who's telling a story now? For this administration, failure is always the result of a “communications” problem. Otherwise, failure might be taken as evidence of misguided ideology and incompetent execution, right? It’s a weird excuse for the president who fancies himself to be

    July 18, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks