Robbing Peter to pay Paul


The cost of living continues to soar.

Gas prices are up and so are oil company profits.

This in turn has caused the cost of food necessities like eggs, milk and bread to go up as well.

I am sure many of us feel the pinch when we go grocery shopping.

It wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t simultaneously follow the trend of a depressing living wage for the working class and an increasing affluence among the ruling class. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

And, what is adding fuel to the fire is the impact of outsourcing many of our good paying jobs, while being replaced with lower paying jobs (i.e. customer service, hospitality, waiters/waitresses, bartending, etc).

Then there is rising unemployment. I can hear Yip Harburg now, "Brother, can you spare a dime?"

So how are we getting by? How do we manage to pay our bills?

Credit card debt!

The housing bubble is still exploding and many of us are busy creating a new one.

I recently got in a fender bender and will have to pay the deductible on my insurance to have my car fixed.

Do I have the cash on me? Nope.

But we don’t have public transportation in Arlington, TX and I have to go to work.

"Do you take Visa?"

"Yes, we do."

We are robbing Peter to pay Paul, or so my Mammaw tells me.

The Department of Labor reported for the first time in many years that the percentage of Americans organized in labor unions in 2007 went up. Well, it was only a tenth of a percent but compared to popular trends over the last thirty years or so, this is still good news.

It gives an insight into our way out of this mess: union organizing.

Now is the time for workers and consumers to resume organizing ourselves en masse.

That’s right, not just workers unions, but consumer ones too. We consume as well as produce, and as such we ought to work together in solidarity to protect ourselves.

It is abundantly clear that we cannot expect the government or the businesses to look out for us.

So as we gaze at the dark clouds that are encroaching upon us let’s turn back the clock nearly 100 years to the final statement of the popular songwriter and labor organizer, Joe Hill:

"Don’t waste any time in mourning. Organize…"

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