Rebuilding the employment security system for the Rust Belt that created it

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTE)

 

Rebuilding the employment security system for the Rust Belt that created it

John C. Austin and Richard Kazis

Industrial transformation, brought on by global trade, new digital technologies, and changes in the structure of work, have hit Rust Belt communities hard. Some places, such as Pittsburgh and Kalamazoo, have gone through painful transitions and come out the other side. However, the majority of the Rust Belt’s older industrial cities continue to struggle with job loss and weak economic growth.

Authors

The collapse of the region’s labor-intensive manufacturing-based economy took its toll on the employment-based safety net protections that Midwestern employers and unions forged after World War II. Today, employer-based systems of health insurance, pensions, and unemployment insurance serve fewer and fewer Midwestern workers.

For Rust Belt workers and communities today and in the future, economic security policies must become more flexible and suited to a fast-changing economy. This will require balancing support for technological innovation with concerted efforts to reduce the costs of dislocation for people and places bearing the brunt of change.

THE MIDWEST BUILT AMERICA’S EMPLOYMENT-BASED SECURITY SYSTEM

In the years following World War II, the manufacturing industries of the industrial Midwest, together with their unions, hammered out a set of economic rules and policies that became the foundation for America’s subsequent economic prosperity and security.

Wage controls imposed during World War II set the stage for this system. Unable to increase worker pay, employers began to offer pensions and health insurance to attract and retain workers. The federal government assisted by exempting health insurance benefits from taxation for companies and individuals.

The transformation accelerated in the wake of the 1950 General Motors-United Auto Workers contract. Dubbed the “Treaty of Detroit,” it traded labor peace for wage gains based on productivity and cost-of-living increases. Large employers shared prosperity with their workers by providing them with health insurance, pensions, and other benefits. State and federal unemployment insurance policies that took shape during the Great Depression worked well for an economy in which periodic layoffs were temporary and skills were fairly transferable from one labor-intensive manufacturing sector to another.

The resulting system spread across the nation, in both union and non-union settings. The percentage of Americans covered by private pensions jumped from 3.7 million in 1940 to 19 million in 1960—nearly 30 percent of the labor force. By 1975, 40 million Americans were covered by private pension plans. The pattern of employer-provided health insurance coverage forged in Midwest industries became almost universal, rising from 10 percent in 1940 to just under 30 percent in 1946, reaching 80 percent of all workers by 1964.

Public sector employment systems, too, began to copy the agreements negotiated in the region’s private industries. In 1951, Wisconsin created the nation’s first stable statewide pension system for public employees and became the first state to allow public workers to participate in Social Security. Other states soon followed suit.

THE MIDWEST’S ECONOMIC DECLINE ERODED EMPLOYMENT-BASED ECONOMIC SECURITY

By the 1970s, global competition facilitated by technology-based innovations in communications and transportation began to challenge U.S. manufacturing dominance—and the employment-based safety net that had matured with it. In successive waves of industrial restructuring, employers shuttered inefficient factories, moved production to cheaper locales, automated where possible, and pushed costs and risks onto employees and suppliers.

Across the Rust Belt, between 2000 and 2010, this trend turned into a tsunami. Across six Great Lakes states, manufacturing employment dropped by 35 percent in 10 years—a more dramatic decline than during the Great Depression—eliminating 1.6 million jobs.

By 2015, only 5 percent of Fortune 500 firms offered defined benefit pension plans, down from 50 percent in 1998.

The wider impact on employer-provided benefits and the safety net protecting workers was devastating. The number of working-age Americans without health insurance jumped from 24 million to 37 million between 2001 and 2010, before the Affordable Care Act. Employer-provided defined benefit pension plans largely disappeared in the private sector, replaced by defined contribution 401(k) plans that shifted the burden for funding retirement onto workers. By 2015, only 5 percent of Fortune 500 firms offered defined benefit pension plans, down from 50 percent in 1998. Public employee agreements were harder to dismantle, but the underfunding of these state and local plans hit $1.4 trillion in 2016. Access to unemployment insurance (UI) diminished: In 2016, only 27 percent of all unemployed workers qualified for and received UI benefits, the lowest proportion in 40 years.

THE DISRUPTION WILL CONTINUE

As employers adapted to survive, their strategies to cut costs, enhance productivity, and shift risk heightened the instability of many Americans’ employment arrangements. They also set the stage for more disruption in the years ahead—change that will continue to hit Midwestern workers and communities particularly hard.

First, improvements in process automation, robotics, and machine learning are destabilizing employment. The McKinsey Global Institute projectsthat as many as one-third of U.S. workers may need to change occupations and acquire new skills by 2030, as robotics and artificial intelligence eliminate routine and repetitive jobs and create new jobs that require more and different skills.

The Midwest is at the epicenter of these shifts. Auto manufacturing uses half of all industrial robots in this country. Robots on the shop floor are concentrated in about 10 Midwestern and Southern states, led by Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.

Where the robots are

Second, low educational attainment among the region’s industrial workforce could exacerbate employment dislocation due to automation and digitalization. A comparatively high proportion of Rust Belt working-age adults have only a high school diploma. Such workers may face greater difficulty making the transition to new kinds of occupations that demand higher-order cognitive skills.

A third destabilizing shift is the movement away from long-term, stable, full-time jobs toward contingent, alternative work arrangements. According to one study, nearly all net employment growth between 2005 and 2015 came from contingent work. In 2015, the Government Accountability Office estimated that contingent workers, including independent contractors and freelancers, part-time workers, on-call workers, temp firm employees, and self-employed workers, accounted for 40 percent of the U.S. workforce, up from 30 percent 10 years earlier.

The growth of more flexible work arrangements is a welcome development for many, particularly those working at the higher end of the labor market who have more skills and greater control over their work. But for Midwest workers with relatively low levels of formal postsecondary education and training, part-time work, being subcontracted out and paid as a “1099 worker,” or working in the “gig economy” have increased insecurity and reduced access to benefits and protections.

TOWARD A MODERNIZED ECONOMIC SECURITY SYSTEM

As our colleagues Mark Muro and Robert Maxim have outlined, America needs a new economic security system that is de-coupled from the once-dominant model of full-time, long-term employment with a single employer. This is particularly the case for Rust Belt workers. Policymakers seeking to rebuild economic security in the Midwest and across the nation should follow these principles:

  • Design for an era of economic instability and disruption—of frequent job and career switches—by increasing benefit portability.
  • Promote innovation, technological change, and risk-taking, but also prioritize effective supports for those who bear the brunt of the resulting changes.
  • Extend benefits to serve part-time workers, contractors, and those employed in multiple jobs.
  • Provide support not only during temporary dislocations, but also help individuals adapt and advance in the new economy, with both a safety net and a trampoline that accelerates return to the workforce and expands access to higher-skill, higher-paid jobs.

Policymakers and advocates are advancing a number of proposals that could be scaled to build a modern economic security regime:

Portability: Health care and pension benefits should be portable, universal, tied to individual employees, and delinked from full-time work and single employers. Benefits should be pro-rated for part-time employees based on hours worked. To finance this, some have suggested a Social Security-like mechanism of payroll deductions. Others have proposed more modest multi-employer or sectoral plans like those in the construction industry. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) has proposed legislation to fund a set of pilots testing different approaches with different mechanisms.

Pro-ration of benefits: Too many benefits are tied to full or almost full-time work with a single employer. Work-related benefits that can reduce family stress and keep people in the workforce—including paid sick leave, family leave, and vacation days—should be extended to part-time employees on a pro-rated basis based on hours worked for a given employer.

Unemployment insurance reform: Eligibility requirements should be made more flexible so that more individuals can access unemployment insurance, including intermittent workers, those with low and variable wages, part-time workers not working enough hours, and entrepreneurs starting their own businesses. Experiments should combine benefit receipt with training, work preparation, and support for pursuing postsecondary credentials.

More aggressive adjustment assistance: Current Trade Adjustment Assistance is too modest, short-term, and tied to specific industries affected by trade. It is not nearly as strategic and proactive as labor market adjustment policies in other advanced industrial countries. More generous relocation assistance can support worker mobility and help people go where the jobs are. Retraining opportunities and support for programs with proven labor market value can help those needing to make significant mid-career changes.

The growth of more flexible work arrangements is a welcome development for many, particularly those working at the higher end of the labor market.

Rust Belt communities, industries, and workers created and benefited greatly from the old system in its prime—and they have arguably suffered the most from its collapse. In turn, they have the most to gain from a needed remaking of employment security and safety net policies that recognize and respond to today’s economic realities. To the degree that these new policies put solid ground beneath more people in Rust Belt communities, they can help shift the political conversation in these places from one based on nostalgia, anxiety, and resentment to one lifted up by greater hope and optimism.

Being A Moderate In Extremist America

Being A Moderate In Extremist America

 

I am going to use this first paragraph to try to qualify to you where I stand on a few issues facing every person in America and in deed I think in every country. Personally I am a fundamentalist Christian but by no means am I a perfect person and I do not expect anyone else to be able to be perfect either. Politically I consider myself to be a moderate conservative. In a perfect world I would probably line up behind the ‘Tea Party’ on most issues, but we do not live in a perfect world here in America nor anywhere else. I consider the Tea Party to be the extreme right-wing of the Republican Party so much so that the Conservative Republican base considers them to be extremist. Personally I believe that the Tea Party should be expelled from the Republican Party forcing them to run as a third Party. The Democratic Party has this same type of issue if you consider their Party to all be a bunch of liberals even to the point of people like Senator Bernie Sanders who is really an Independent as he is far to ‘the left’ of the Democratic platform. I believe that Senator Sanders who is a ‘Independent’ should split from the Democratic Party and that he should run as an Independent in the next Presidential election.

 

Here in the state of Kentucky registered Independents can not exercise our Constitutional right to vote in the ‘primary season’, this is how it was when we lived in the state of Florida also. Yet when the main elections roll around in November both Party’s vigorously court the ‘Independent’ voters. During the 2012 Presidential elections Republican Mitt Romney made the comment about ‘48%’ of the voting public whom he had no chance to woo over to his side of the divide and the American Media railed against him for that comment even though he was correct in that evaluation. There are about 48% of the Democratic electorate who would rather not vote at all than to vote for a Republican. There is a flip side to this equation though, there are about 48% of the voters who vote Republican that would never vote for a Democrat. This leaves about 4% of Independent voters that the election is all about, whoever gets the majority of us Independents wins the Presidency. The term that has been used a lot in the Media for this situation is the ‘polarization’ of America.

 

Here in America the people of our country gripe a lot about how the politicians in DC never seem to get anything positive accomplished and I believe this is a fair belief. The Democratic leadership forces their members to vote a ‘far left’ agenda and the Republican leadership forces their members to vote to a ‘far right’ agenda. This reality means that nothing constructive ever gets done. There is also the issue that each Party wants all the credit on a bill if it is something that is actually a positive issue, they both vehemently do not want to share any ‘credit’ with the other Party. Because of these Politicians being so pious and egotistical they are destroying America from the inside and it is obvious that they really don’t care about the American people as a whole.

 

I am going to use my Father-in-law as an example of non-thinkers, (sorry Dad). He is a Tea Party type of believer, he hates all Unions and believes that America would be better off if there were no Unions at all, he thinks they are destroying our Country. He hates the Democrats and he wants the Republican agenda’s to be made law. Yet he is like most folks who believe that the Congress is a do nothing Congress. He doesn’t want to compromise on the issues yet he wants the Congress to get off their butts and get our Country moving again. Where Dad and I differ is that even though I wish the Country was living in a true Christian manner I know that this is not going to happen until after the Tribulation. In the mean time we must compromise with each other by working toward the middle and get at least some things accomplished for the good of the people (the Country). By the way, to my wife and I Dad’s position on Unions is really flawed, this is because he retired from two different Union Factories. Because these two factories were Union he now survives financially from two different retirement checks he gets each month. If it wasn’t for those Unions he and his wife would be in the poor-house or having to live in our basement.

 

I call myself a moderate conservative because I know that the Tea Party agenda has no chance of happening. I want to make mention that I am not a fan of everything the Tea Party leaders want as not everything they want would be something that would qualify as “Christ like” policies. I believe that if the Politicians do not get off of their ‘high horses’ they are either going to destroy our Country or the people are going to rise up and destroy these pious bought and paid for frauds. Personally, I am a fan of the NRA even though I do not like some of their policies, for example I believe that ten-round clips are big enough as long as the amount of clips and bullets a person can own should have no limits. Personally I am for many things that the Democratic Party wants to pass into law just as I am for many things the Republican Party stands for. The issue is that I am also against many things that both Party’s want to pass into law. We as a people must wake up and learn to work with each other or we as a Country are going to implode.

 

One Extreme Or The Other: Everyone Loses

One Extreme Or The Other: Everyone Loses

 

Extremes, think about the word itself for a moment, what does that word mean to you? My wife just told me the two words that come to her thoughts and they were “always and never”. I guess this is one of those things that we as a person know that you know, without ever really thinking about it, “what does always and never mean as a definition”? Pick any issue in life that you wish whether it be something like “my 14 yr old daughter will Never date a 21-year-old Woman”, or maybe “well sure I would Always let my 14-year-old son to be allowed to date a 30 yr old Pole Dancer, what, what’s wrong with that”? I would think that most folks would agree with that type of assumption, at least I hope so, though there are always many sides (at the very least 2, before there becomes only 1 acceptable side), even to an obvious story.

 

For most, live allows us many avenues in which we may be allowed to follow, these are things that we tend to take for granted here in America and the West (as well as many other Democratic leaning countries). Something that the whole world does, and doesn’t, (to different levels), what is acceptable in venues like labor relations, politics, religion, economics, race, cultures and there are probably many others that you have also thought of where for Humanity’s sake we must learn to compromise, or die as a species on this planet.

 

Folks the first one of these “Issues” I am going to refer to is one that I became quite aware of at the age of 10. This is when my family moved from a desolate situation in Spear Fish South Dakota to my Dad getting hired at a new Chrysler Assembly Plant in Belvidere Illinois in 1966. My Mom had always spoken very highly of Workers Unions from the time I could remember much as being the only way for working people to get such “Benefits” from your Employer as a livable wage, safe conditions to work in, and security of keeping your job even if your boss is having a bad day. To me, in my awareness of time, this job my Dad got at Chrysler would be the first Union job either of my parents ever had. From November of 1966 through the summer of 1975 when Dad became disabled from there, was what was going on every third year with labor negotiations between the U.A.W. and Chrysler Corporation. Mom was always worried that they would end up losing their home they had been able to buy in Belvidere if there was a Strike. Most working people in lower paying jobs never have more than a week or two of survival money in the bank, they can’t afford too, not when all their income is required for the minimum basics like housing and food. There are people who will argue with every little point of every issue though no matter what you think or say.

 

Strikes, no strikes, Unions, no unions, what should this have mattered to a 10-year-old kid? Don’t be snobbish now, those of you who think that the working class children don’t matter to you, everyone on Earth matters, yes, even you. During those years that Dad was employed by Chrysler I was age 10-19, it was during these years where I first started learning of labor negotiations with Corporations. Those of us who are old enough should remember that there was a nation wide industrial slowdown from about 1976-84 and it hit America’s industrial/now the rust belt, very hard with many Corporations either going out of business or having laid off employees several years deep into the seniority list. I have a question for those of you who honestly don’t understand it yet that when it comes to the adults earning ability how it affects not only the employee but the others that depend on the adults earning ability in order to stay housed, clothed, and fed. If someone bigger or richer or more powerful than you comes along and takes it all from you, how do you honestly think you would feel? Unless you are the one lone remaining survivor what have you really gained? This is true of a business or of the world itself and it is true for each human on this planet.

 

During the years of my youth I learned some basic lessons about Unions and Employers and even I as a youth could see the need for moderation on both sides of that isle. I spent most of my adult years in America’s Transportation Industry as a coast to coast truck driver which pretty much means anywhere and everywhere in the lower 48 states. There are many things that a person can learn about a country’s true feelings and condition as you travel all around the country for years. You can learn how different company’s treat their employees and I’m not just speaking of the trucking companies, I am speaking of the brokers, all the companies that transport or receive anything from a shipping or receiving truck dock. You learn both good things and bad about companies (which is really just another way to say a company’s leadership). But you also learn many things about some of the people employed there, as well as about people and events in the town of that region of the state or country which helps form political opinions on how people value each other, or not. Here I bring down the reason why I spent so much time above about Unions, so that you would be able to see that I do try to give the best most honest opinions on all things all of the time. I am not smart enough to be able to remember lies so I have to stay honest or I might forget who I am as a Spiritual Soul. I believe that when we forget that, then we are risking a very hot retirement.

 

Would my mostly good thoughts about Unions disappear when I could as a truck driver get loaded at a shipper and the six big pieces of product with a total dock time of about 15 minutes with shipping paperwork in hand, from a non-union mill in Louisiana? Would those good thoughts dissipate when you take the load to the shippers union company warehouse in Indiana? Your on time, you are the only trailer there in a 40 plus dock warehouse, you check in and then you sit there for about four hours while the employees are in the break room. In the real world what every one of us does affects others, it just seems a lot of people simply don’t give a damn about anyone else.

 

Just like life is a learning process about pretty much everything in life, we also each will in our own way, judge everything. We learn not just the art of compromise but the absolute requirement of compromise, or we all die as a species. Just as there are companies I have known in my life who have gone bankrupt some because of unions who would not allow the workers to work hard or for a full paid shift, so the company’s could not compete and dissolved. There are also companies who went bankrupt because of mismanagement and or theft. There are also companies who go under because of pure greed by management and ownership where they only pay anyone anything because our government makes them or if they can’t get anyone at the price they were willing to pay. If a company goes under and has to close it does many things and all are negative. No matter how or why the business had to close, now there is a loss of income that spreads in many directions not just to the former employees (both hourly and salary). This event depending on size of business and size of local employee market can shut down whole communities. Many people can suffer so badly just because of one arrogant, greedy, or hate filled person.

 

 

I am going to close with the main point of the note to you for your thoughts on why I say that if the world systems do not allow many minute compromises as well as the huge ones then the world will implode. It is my total belief that only one side wins when one side wins all, and there are always those who believe that one only wins if one wins all. In my country there are those in the public and in political positions who hate all trucks and badly want them all off of “Their” roads not realizing that everything that they own had at sometime and probably several times got to them via a truck. So no trucks, no food, no gas, no clothes, no pretty much anything. I hope these idiots are happy unemployed, living under someone elses bridge or in someone elses forest or open field. I hope they would have good luck finding any food or shelter when no one cares.

Point is that the world is now facing the most dangerous time in our history. The one place in this world that possesses the hate needed to destroy at least 6 of the 7 billion of the planets population is through religious hatred. I have no doubt that all 7 billion will be destroyed if certain members of that remaining one billion were able to get their hands on nuclear weapons. It is not just some of the worlds politicians and or some of its military leaders who want total global supremacy and domination, as we all know, some people try this by hiding behind a Cloth!

There are still people who are mostly of the belief that there is no such thing as a Deity or that through lack of any knowledge, who believe that all of these religions worship the same God. People who have spent a lot of time studying what the (at least major) world religions teach know very well that this simply isn’t correct. I used to think that same thing until I spent many hours studying the different teachings. When you break all things down, we don’t. I only know of one major religion that teaches world domination with the twist of convert or die. But, this hatred is taught in a major world religion that is not anywhere in Biblical Scripture. You don’t believe as they do, doesn’t matter, they will enjoy in cutting your throat just the same.

If the people of this planet decide to kill each other off I am sure that we could do that if a Deity didn’t stop it. Just because a person does not believe in something, that something if real in someone elses mind, it can still kill you. If there is a Deity that has final control of this planet but yet another Deity, or for these purposes, another Big Boss Man (or woman) that is not a God and is not you, then you are screwed just like all the rest of us. So, if you are not God then you really need to quit acting like an idiot like the politicians in Washington D.C. do every day. Both of our main parties will throw out a member if they try to work toward the middle of the aisle so that the country can once again function. With the main four political groups we currently have Democrats (which really aren’t anymore just as President Reagan felt ), Republicans and the Tea Party (which really has little to do with the current Republican Party), it is said we have two main parties, we really have at least four. If we as a country do as our so-called leadership is doing then all of the nation will implode upon itself and there are many who do not care, not as long as they win. One last question for the would be gods of the planet, when you have conquered all, but all is destroyed in your victory, what have you really won when everything equals nothing left? Just think of the current situation in Syria, President Assad because of the help of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah are going to win their 8-year-old civil war. Yet what is it that he has won? Reality is that it is going to take several decades to rebuild that country even to the status level of 2010 and it is going to take several trillion dollars to rebuild it. Right now there is no infrastructure, all there is now is a bombed out pile of rock and cement. This can happen to any country at any time, it is what hate will do for a people and their country.

 

 

Both The Democratic And Republican Parties Are Anti-Christ Parties!

THE DEMOCRATIC AND THE REPUBLICAN PARTIES ARE ‘ANTI-CHRIST’ PARTIES!

(I FIRST PUBLISHED THIS ARTICLE ON SEPTEMBER 4TH OF 2016, TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE U.S. ELECTIONS.)

(THE CURRENT EVENTS HERE IN NOVEMBER OF 2017 IN ALABAMA WHERE A POLITICAL CANDIDATE ‘ROY MOORE’ WHO HAS A 40+ YEAR HISTORY OF SEXUALLY ABUSING VERY YOUNG GIRLS IS BEING ALLOWED TO CAMPAIGN FROM THE PULPIT OF A BAPTIST CHURCH. FOLKS, THIS IS VERY DETRIMENTAL TO,  THE OPPOSITE OF THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS CHRIST. CHRISTIAN CHURCHES AND EVEN PEOPLE WHO CALL THEMSELVES CHRISTIANS WHO ARE BACKING SUCH A PIECE OF ‘LUKE WARM WATER’ ARE WALKING UP TO THE CROSS AND SLAPPING CHRIST IN THE FACE BY THEIR ACTIONS!) (trs) 

When I was a young child back in the 1950’s-60’s I was raised in a family who believed in the Democratic Party. My parents were folks who believed in the reality that working people if they wanted to be able to financially survive needed Union protections. They also believed that the Republican Party was solely for the wealthiest people and was clearly anti-working people. They also believed that the Democratic Party, because they cared about the poor was the party that the Churches backed. I never remember going to a Church that had a Republican Minister simply because the Republicans agendas were in direct contrast to the love, kindness and sharing teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court with their ruling on ‘Roe v Wade’ abortion ruling seemed to change the political map within the Churches. The teachings of abortion within the Scriptures are definitely anti-abortion yet almost all of the Churches and their Ministers remained as Democrats because they could not transcend over to a Party (Republicans) who were against basically all of the teachings of Jesus about how we should all treat each other. Yet, my question is how can a Church, a Minister, or their congregation openly or even behind closed door’s back abortion? How can you say you or a Minister (that word means, Servant) say you are a Christian (follower of Christ) and at the same time back abortion?

 

What I do not understand is why the people who say they are Christians have not created a third National Party! The Democratic Party strongly backs a woman’s “right” to have an abortion at any time during a pregnancy. The Republican Party wants to end all abortions seeing them as the murdering of over a million children here in the U.S. each year. So, Republicans have garnered the “conservative Christians” into their camp because of the abortion issue. This is even though the Republican Party Platform is still strongly anti-working people, and anti the people having the right to work under Union protections.

 

I am a registered voting Independent because I see both Parties as crooked and pure evil. When the people go to the polls this November we just like every other election know that either a Republican or a Democrat is going to win at every level of Government. To vote for anyone else is nothing more than a protest vote that has no effect on who actually wins the elections, it will be a Democrat or a Republican. So, just like this November we Voters are having to consider which one of the two Evils win. Especially concerning the Presidency this year, which Evil is less Evil, that is what we have to look forward to. For either of these political parties to claim to be close or closer to God is total BS. Evil is still Evil, neither of these Political Parties has the endorsement of the Scriptures of God, so how can anyone who calls themselves a Christian or Jewish endorse or support either of these Demonic structures? I used the title of them being anti-Christ, I am not saying that either Parties leadership is ‘the anti-Christ’. What I am saying is that both Parties policies are in direct indifference to the teachings of God’s Holy Scriptures, thus both Parties are Anti-Christ!

AMERICAN GAMING ASSOCIATION BRING TOGETHER TRIBAL LEADERSHIP TO PRESENT AT THE 2016 GLOBAL GAMING EXPO

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NATIVE NEWS ON LINE WEB SITE)

AMERICAN GAMING ASSOCIATION BRING TOGETHER TRIBAL LEADERSHIP TO PRESENT AT THE 2016 GLOBAL GAMING EXPO

Chairman Stevens moderating the "Tribal Gaming Roundtable" panel with Indian country leadership. Photo (L-R) Chairman Stevens, Bobby Soper, President and CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, Brian Patterson, President of the United South East Tribes (USET) and Louis Manual, Chairman of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association.

Chairman Stevens moderating the “Tribal Gaming Roundtable” panel with Indian country leadership. Photo (L-R) Chairman Stevens, Bobby Soper, President and CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, Brian Patterson, President of the United South East Tribes (USET) and Louis Manual, Chairman of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association.

Published October 7, 2016

LAS VEGAS – The American Indian Gaming Association (AGA) in partnership with the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) developed a strong tribal gaming educational track at the 2016 Global Gaming Expo (G2E), and one of the major highlights was the Tribal Leaders Roundtable on Tuesday, September 27 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center.

The “Tribal Gaming Round table,” panel moderated by NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. with tribal leadership panelist that included Brian Patterson, President of the United South East Tribes (USET), Louis Manual, Chairman of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association and Bobby Soper, President and CEO, Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority took place to discuss some of the pressing issues Gaming Tribes are facing.
Stevens opened the panel by saying, “I am excited to be here. It is so powerful when you sit amongst the Indian gaming world and you look around to see so many from the Indian gaming regions represented in one room.  I am excited about where this industry has come.   From the days of educating and fighting for our right to Game to today, where we had a historical coming together of commercial and tribal gaming on the main stage of G2E.  It is an honor and a privilege for me to represent the Indian Gaming industry.  Indian country walks side by side with the other players in the industry.  We’ve come a long way in this industry and we are now the experts and are parallel with others in the industry.”
To begin the discussions of the panel about the tribal government gaming industry, Chairman Stevens started the panel discussions by asking about tribes pursing commercial gaming licensing and economic diversification by tribes.
Soper said, “Our tribe made a conscious decision many years ago that we wanted to pursue opportunities to diversify our economic base and one of those pursuits is to take our profits from gaming and invest them outside the reservation.  Our first project in 2006 was our Casino [Mohegan Sun Pocono] in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania, and it exceeded expectations.  Since that time we have expanded and have properties in Atlantic City, Louisiana, Washington State and will soon begin a project in Korea.  We have successfully established partnerships with other tribes and now we want to diversify internationally.”  He continued, “When you diversify commercially and have assets off the reservation, you generate greater creditability, and it allows you greater opportunities to continue to diversify.”
Patterson expanded upon Soper’s discussion and commended the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes as an excellent example of leadership in action.  It amazes me that Indian Country has the strength, courage, and stamina to govern one of the most regulated industries there is.  He continued, “We know that nearly every aspect of economic development is controlled in some way by the Federal Government.  The Trust relationship must be modernized to overcome barriers.  He explained that it would require a change in the Federal government mentality for tribes to create economic opportunities that will advance their tribes and be self-sufficient.”
Chairman Manuel told the crowd that “Gaming has provided us the opportunity to progress and diversify. I remember we used to have to choose which bills to pay and now we have built upon gaming with a golf course, airport, and a movie theater entertainment complex and a water treatment facility.  So those opportunities are just examples of going beyond gaming.”
Stevens asked the panel to discuss issues surrounding dealing with Unions and the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act.  “They think we are anti-union.  But we are pro-sovereignty.”
Soper said, “Unions are a tough issue because it is an issue of sovereignty and it’s also a political issue, so you have the two competing interests. The more we can position it as an issue of sovereignty (self-governing authority), I think the more successful we are going to be.  Once you start comprising the basic principles of sovereignty in any context, then you venture back to that slippery slope.  It is very important to hold firm on these principles.”
President Patterson echoed, it is not necessarily that we are anti-union people, it is more in the sense that we are just self-determined in our course of action.” He talked about the results of self-determination at the Oneida Nation of New York and said that in FY 2015, the Oneida Nation of New York paid over $127 million dollars in wages to approximately 4, 446 employees, with employees paying more than $12 million dollars in federal payroll taxes and some $4.4 million in State taxes and the Nation has made upward of $4 million in matching contributions to employees 401-K retirement accounts.  He said, “The point I’m making is that the nation has done our best to take care of its workforce and their families.  We are meeting their needs, we are taking care of their families, and they can build a sound career, and the tribe is self-sufficient in determining their own labor actions.  Tribal Governments do act responsibly.”
Chairman Manuel spoke about the Ak-Chin Indian Community and agreed that it is about self-governance and self-determination.  “We have to take care of our employees.  We have to make sure we are not limited in our ability to develop our own policies and regulations, staying in line with the real meaning of sovereignty.”
The leadership panel rounded out the discussions giving final comments on the future of Indian Gaming and Indian Economic Diversification beyond gaming.  Soper told the attendees that there is still a lot of work to do as it relates to the future of economic sustainability. “There is still the need to educate others about tribes. We have to preserve our economic base. Indian gaming is a powerhouse, and it is very important that we protect that.  I think in the next decade or two, we are going to be more prominent as an industry.”
Patterson said, “There is a real strength in solidarity in Indian Country.  We must remain solid and accountable to each other in unity.  As we look at the tremendous benefit of Indian gaming, it is important that we continue to look at economic diversity, to build strong economic communities.”
Chairman Manuel also expressed the importance of unity.  He said, “The key is that we need to work together and he stressed that we must always remember our future.  We have fought so long for our gaming compacts so that we can remain self-sufficient.  We must be careful with what we give away.”
Chairman Stevens concluded by saying, “Our work is never done.  Too many Tribes are on the outside looking in, unable to take advantage of gaming because the market isn’t there.  We have to create other economic opportunities for all Tribes.  We must continue working with one another to further economic gains for all Tribes and we must be vigilant in the continued protection of Indian Gaming and Tribal Sovereignty.”

Democratic And Republican Parties Are Anti-Christ Parties

 

When I was a young child back in the 1950’s-60’s I was raised in a family who believed in the Democratic Party. My parents were folks who believed in the reality that working people if they wanted to be able to financially survive needed Union protections. They also believed that the Republican Party was solely for the wealthiest people and was clearly anti working people. They also believed that the Democratic Party, because they cared about the poor was the party that the Churches backed. I never remember going to a Church that had a Republican Minister simply because the Republicans agenda’s were in direct contrast to the love, kindness and sharing teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court with their ruling on ‘Roe v Wade’ abortion ruling seemed to change the political map within the Churches. The teachings of abortion within the Scriptures are definitely anti-abortion yet almost all of the Churches and their Ministers remained as Democrats because they could not transcend over to a Party (Republicans) who were against basically all of the teachings of Jesus about how we should all treat each other. Yet, my question is how can a Church, a Minister, or their congregation openly or even behind closed doors back abortion? How can you say you or a Minister (that word means, Servant) say you are a Christian (follower of Christ) and at the same time back abortion?

 

What I do not understand is why the people who say they are Christians have not created a third National Party! The Democratic Party strongly backs a woman’s “right” to have an abortion at any time during a pregnancy. The Republican Party wants to end all abortions seeing them as the murdering of over a million children here in the U.S. each year. So, Republicans have garnered  the “conservative Christians” into their camp because of the abortion issue. This is even though the Republican Party Platform is still strongly anti-working people, and anti the people having the right to work under Union protections.

 

I am a registered voting Independent because I see both Parties as crooked and pure evil. When the people go to the polls this November we just like every other election know that either a Republican or a Democrat is going to win at every level of Government. To vote for anyone else is nothing more than a protest vote that has no effect on who actually wins the elections, it will be a Democrat or a Republican. So, just like this November we Voters are having to consider which one of the two Evils win. Especially concerning the Presidency this year, which Evil is less Evil, that is what we have to look forward to. For either of these political parties to claim to be close or closer to God is total BS. Evil is still Evil, neither of these Political Parties have the endorsement of the Scriptures of God, so how can anyone who calls themselves a Christian or Jewish endorse or support either of these Demonic structures? I used the title of them being anti-Christ, I am not saying that either Parties leadership is ‘the anti-Christ’. What I am saying is that both Parties policies are in direct indifference to the teachings of God’s Holy Scriptures, thus both Parties are Anti-Christ!

Being A Moderate In Extremist America

Being A Moderate In Extremist America

 

I am going to use this first paragraph to try to qualify to you where I stand on a few issues facing every person in America and in deed I think in every country. Personally I am a fundamentalist Christian but by no means am I a perfect person and I do not expect anyone else to be able to be perfect either. Politically I consider myself to be a moderate conservative. In a perfect world I would probably line up behind the ‘Tea Party’ on most issues, but we do not live in a perfect world here in America nor anywhere else. I consider the Tea Party to be the extreme right-wing of the Republican Party so much so that the Conservative Republican base considers them to be extremist. Personally I believe that the Tea Party should be expelled from the Republican Party forcing them to run as a third Party. The Democratic Party has this same type of issue if you consider their Party to all be a bunch of liberals even to the point of people like Senator Bernie Sanders who is really an Independent as he is far to ‘the left’ of the Democratic platform. I believe that Senator Sanders who is a ‘Independent’ should split from the Democratic Party and that he should run as an Independent in the next Presidential election.

 

Here in the state of Kentucky registered Independents can not exercise our Constitutional right to vote in the ‘primary season’, this is how it was when we lived in the state of Florida also. Yet when the main elections roll around in November both Party’s vigorously court the ‘Independent’ voters. During the 2012 Presidential elections Republican Mitt Romney made the comment about ‘48%’ of the voting public whom he had no chance to woo over to his side of the divide and the American Media railed against him for that comment even though he was correct in that evaluation. There are about 48% of the Democratic electorate who would rather not vote at all than to vote for a Republican. There is a flip side to this equation though, there are about 48% of the voters who vote Republican that would never vote for a Democrat. This leaves about 4% of Independent voters that the election is all about, whoever gets the majority of us Independents wins the Presidency. The term that has been used a lot in the Media for this situation is the ‘polarization’ of America.

 

Here in America the people of our country gripe a lot about how the politicians in DC never seem to get anything positive accomplished and I believe this is a fair belief. The Democratic leadership forces their members to vote a ‘far left’ agenda and the Republican leadership forces their members to vote to a ‘far right’ agenda. This reality means that nothing constructive ever gets done. There is also the issue that each Party wants all the credit on a bill if it is something that is actually a positive issue, they both vehemently do not want to share any ‘credit’ with the other Party. Because of these Politicians being so pious and egotistical they are destroying America from the inside and it is obvious that they really don’t care about the American people as a whole.

 

I am going to use my Father-in-law as an example of non-thinkers, (sorry Dad). He is a Tea Party type of believer, he hates all Unions and believes that America would be better off if there were no Unions at all, he thinks they are destroying our Country. He hates the Democrats and he wants the Republican agenda’s to be made law. Yet he is like most folks who believe that the Congress is a do nothing Congress. He doesn’t want to compromise on the issues yet he wants the Congress to get off their butts and get our Country moving again. Where Dad and I differ is that even though I wish the Country was living in a true Christian manner I know that this is not going to happen until after the Tribulation. In the mean time we must compromise with each other by working toward the middle and get at least some things accomplished for the good of the people (the Country). By the way, to my wife and I Dad’s position on Unions is really flawed, this is because he retired from two different Union Factories. Because these two factories were Union he now survives financially from two different retirement checks he gets each month. If it wasn’t for those Unions he and his wife would be in the poor-house or having to live in our basement.

 

I call myself a moderate conservative because I know that the Tea Party agenda has no chance of happening. I want to make mention that I am not a fan of everything the Tea Party leaders want as not everything they want would be something that would qualify as “Christ like” policies. I believe that if the Politicians do not get off of their ‘high horses’ they are either going to destroy our Country or the people are going to rise up and destroy these pious bought and paid for frauds. Personally, I am a fan of the NRA even though I do not like some of their policies, for example I believe that ten-round clips are big enough as long as the amount of clips and bullets a person can own should have no limits. Personally I am for many things that the Democratic Party wants to pass into law just as I am for many things the Republican Party stands for. The issue is that I am also against many things that both Party’s want to pass into law. We as a people must wake up and learn to work with each other or we as a Country are going to implode.

 

About The Former Maryland Police Officer And His 5 year Jail Sentence

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-maryland-police-idUSKCN0UN0GF20160109

 

This incident happened in 2014 and I feel a bit of shame that I don’t even remember this incident. Have there been so many since then (police officers being the bad guy) that it just faded into the blur? I am not a person that technology has ever smiled upon, this is why I have such a simple blog. This is also why I copy pasted the address above to what I was reading so that if you wish you can go read the story yourself.

This former officer disgraced the Uniform, the Badge, and himself with these actions. Many people in our mainstream media are digging for a big story and it seems that race is the issue they have decided to be their chosen venue to fame. There is a much bigger issue within American Law Enforcement Agencies than the race issue. I am not trying to downplay the race issue, it is a huge issue in some people’s hearts and Souls. But what I am saying is that there is one issue that is an even bigger problem than some people’s own racism whom happens to be a cop! Was this issue in the Reuters story a race issue? The former officer has a Hispanic last name and the victim did not?

 

Here is what I am getting at folks, it is my total belief that the biggest issue isn’t the occasional shooting of an unarmed or very lightly armed Black male. What is the biggest issue is the cover-up mentality of politicians, D.A.’s, and police departments and some of their own Unions, worse is the very obvious thought patterns that tell many Officers that it is within their rights, to act like the criminal. In Chicago the Cop who chased that young Black man down (the one who had a knife in his left hand) and shot him 16 times, most while he was motionless on the ground. Folks, his local Union is supporting this mans legal team. If you are guilty, you are guilty, and this Officer totally crossed the line of even human decency! Any of his fellow Officers whom are supporting this cold-blooded murderer as though it is some kind of honor code is in fact showing the world that you by your association in a case that is so well caught on film as this one, that you are just as evil as the one who pulled the trigger. You know how it is said that Doctors will not turn against other Doctors when it comes to ethics that they can be trusted to handle any problem Doctors among themselves. Police departments around this country have to fight all the human elements that make us frail of mind, body, and of ethics. Better ethics, better morals, more maturity, who knows, if we all tackle these issues maybe we would all have better, less racist Police Officers. Who knows maybe it would work to help make a more pleasant citizenry.

One Extreme Or The Other: Everyone Loses

One Extreme Or The Other: Everyone Loses

 

Extremes, think about the word itself for a moment, what does that word mean to you? My wife just told me the two words that come to her thoughts and they were “always and never”. I guess this is one of those things that we as a person know that you know, without ever really thinking about it, “what does always and never mean as a definition”? Pick any issue in life that you wish whether it be something like “my 14 yr old daughter will Never date a 21 year old Woman”, or maybe “well sure I would Always let my 14 year old son to be allowed to date a 30 yr old Pole Dancer, what, what’s wrong with that”? I would think that most folks would agree with that type of assumption, at least I hope so, though there are always many sides (at the very least 2, before there becomes only 1 acceptable side), even to an obvious story.

 

For most, live allows us many avenues in which we may be allowed to follow, these are things that we tend to take for granted here in America and the West (as well as many other Democratic leaning countries). Something that the whole world does, and doesn’t, (to different levels), what is acceptable in venues like labor relations, politics, religion, economics, race, cultures and there are probably many others that you have also thought of where for Humanity’s sake we must learn to compromise, or die as a species on this planet.

 

Folks the first one of these “Issues” I am going to refer to is one that I became quite aware of at the age of 10. This is when my family moved from a desolate situation in Spear Fish South Dakota to my Dad getting hired at a new Chrysler Assembly Plant in Belvidere Illinois in 1966. My Mom had always spoken very highly of Workers Unions from the time I could remember much as being the only way for working people to get such “Benefits” from your Employer as a livable wage, safe conditions to work in, and security of keeping your job even if your boss is having a bad day. To me, in my awareness of time, this job my Dad got at Chrysler would be the first Union job either of my parents ever had. From November of 1966 through the summer of 1975 when Dad became disabled from there, was what was going on every third year with labor negotiations between the U.A.W. and Chrysler Corporation. Mom was always worried that they would end up losing their home they had been able to buy in Belvidere if there was a Strike. Most working people in lower paying jobs never have more than a week or two of survival money in the bank, they can’t afford too, not when all their income is required for the minimum basics like housing and food. There are people who will argue with every little point of every issue though no matter what you think or say.

 

Strikes, no strikes, Unions, no unions, what should this have mattered to a 10 year old kid? Don’t be snobbish now, those of you who think that the working class children don’t matter to you, everyone on Earth matters, yes, even you. During those years that Dad was employed by Chrysler I was age 10-19, it was during these years where I first started learning of labor negotiations with Corporations. Those of us who are old enough should remember that there was a nation wide industrial slowdown from about 1976-84 and it hit America’s industrial/now the rust belt, very hard with many Corporations either going out of business or having laid off employees several years deep into the seniority list. I have a question for those of you who honestly don’t understand it yet that when it comes to the adults earning ability how it affects not only the employee but the others that depend on the adults earning ability in order to stay housed, clothed, and fed. If someone bigger or richer or more powerful than you comes along and takes it all from you, how do you honestly think you would feel? Unless you are the one lone remaining survivor what have you really gained? This is true of a business or of the world itself and it is true for each human on this planet.

 

During the years of my youth I learned some basic lessons about Unions and Employers and even I as a youth could see the need for moderation on both sides of that isle. I spent most of my adult years in America’s Transportation Industry as a coast to coast truck driver which pretty much means anywhere and everywhere in the lower 48 states. There are many things that a person can learn about a country’s true feelings and condition as you travel all around the country for years. You can learn how different company’s treat their employees and I’m not just speaking of the trucking companies, I am speaking of the brokers, all the companies that transport or receive anything from a shipping or receiving truck dock. You learn both good things and bad about companies (which is really just another way to say a company’s leadership). But you also learn many things about some of the people employed there, as well as about people and events in the town of that region of the state or country which helps form political opinions on how people value each other, or not. Here I bring down the reason why I spent so much time above about Unions, so that you would be able to see that I do try to give the best most honest opinions on all things all of the time. I am not smart enough to be able to remember lies so I have to stay honest or I might forget who I am as a Spiritual Soul. I believe that when we forget that, then we are risking a very hot retirement.

 

Would my mostly good thoughts about Unions disappear when I could as a truck driver get loaded at a shipper and the six big pieces of product with a total dock time of about 15 minutes with shipping paperwork in hand, from a non-union mill in Louisiana? Would those good thoughts dissipate when you take the load to the shippers union company warehouse in Indiana? Your on time, you are the only trailer there in a 40 plus dock warehouse, you check in and then you sit there for about four hours while the employees are in the breakroom. In the real world what everyone of us does affects others, it just seems a lot of people simply don’t give a damn about anyone else.

 

Just like life is a learning process about pretty much everything in life, we also each will in our own way, judge everything. We learn not just the art of compromise but the absolute requirement of compromise, or we all die as a species. Just as there are companies I have know in my life who have gone bankrupt some because of unions who would not allow the workers to work hard or for a full paid shift, so the company’s could not compete and dissolved. There are also companies who went bankrupt because of mismanagement and or theft. There are also companies who go under because of pure greed by management and ownership where they only pay anyone anything because our government makes them or if they can’t get anyone at the price they were willing to pay. If a company goes under and has to close it does many things and all are negative. No matter how or why the business had to close, now there is a loss of income that spreads in many directions not just to the former employees (both hourly and salary). This event depending on size of business and size of local employee market can shut down whole communities. Many people can suffer so badly just because of one arrogant, greedy, or hate filled person.

 

 

I am going to close with the main point of the note to you for your thoughts on why I say that if the world systems do not allow many minute compromises as well as the huge ones then the world will implode. It is my total belief that only one side wins when one side wins all, and there are always those who believe that one only wins if one wins all. In my country there are those in the public and in political positions who hate all trucks and badly want them all off of “Their” roads not realizing that everything that they own had at sometime and probably several times got to them via a truck. So no trucks, no food, no gas, no clothes, no pretty much anything. I hope these idiots are happy unemployed, living under someone elses bridge or in someone elses forest or open field. I hope they would have good luck finding any food or shelter when no one cares.

Point is that the world is now facing the most dangerous time in our history. The one place in this world that possesses the hate needed to destroy at least 6 of the 7 billion of the planets population is through religious hatred. I have no doubt that all 7 billion will be destroyed if certain members of that remaining one billion were able to get their hands on nuclear weapons. It is not just some of the worlds politicians and or some of it’s military leaders who want total global supremacy and domination, as we all know, some people try this by hiding behind a Cloth!

There are still people who are mostly of the belief that there is no such thing as a Deity or that through lack of any knowledge, who believe that all of these religions worship the same God. People who have spent a lot of time studying what the (at least major) world religions teach know very well that this simply isn’t correct. I used to think that same thing until I spent many hours studying the different teachings. When you break all things down, we don’t. I only know of one major religion that teaches world domination with the twist of convert or die. But, this hatred is taught in a major world religion that is not anywhere in Biblical Scripture. You don’t believe as they do, doesn’t matter, they will enjoy in cutting your throat just the same.

If the people of this planet decide to kill each other off I am sure that we could do that if a Deity didn’t stop it. Just because a person does not believe in something, that something if real in someone elses mind, it can still kill you. If there is a Deity that has final control of this planet but yet another Deity, or for these purposes, another Big Boss Man (or woman) that is not a God and is not you, then you are screwed just like all the rest of us. So, if you are not God then you really need to quit acting like an idiot like the politicians in Washington D.C. do every day. Both of our main parties will throw out a member if they try to work toward the middle of the aisle so that the country can once again function. With the main four political groups we currently have Democrats (which really aren’t anymore just as President Reagan felt ), Republicans and the Tea Party (which really has little to do with the current Republican Party), it is said we have two main parties, we really have at least four. If we as a country do as our so called leadership is doing then all of the nation will implode upon itself and there are many who do not care, not as long as they win. One last question for the would be gods of the planet, when you have conquered all, but all is destroyed in your victory, what have you really won when everything equals nothing left? Just think of the current situation in Syria, President Assad because of the help of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah are going to win their 8 year old civil war. Yet what is it that he has won? Reality is that it is going to take several decades to rebuild that country even to the status level of 2010 and it is going to take several trillion dollars to rebuild it. Right now there is no infrastructure, all there is now is a bombed out pile of rock and cement. This can happen to any country at any time, it is what hate will do for a people and their country.

 

 

 

Tea Party Part Two and The Good And Bad About unions

Tea Party Part two—And A Couple Of Other Issues

 

This post is partly in response to a response I received from MS Dana in her being disappointed in what I had previously written about the Tea Party, and it is quite possible that she will be disappointed with this reply also. I had intended to add my personal beliefs at the end of that article but chose not too so I am going to make up for that issue now. I had hoped that the Tea Party when it was first starting up would be a third party unto itself and I still think that would be a good idea to divorce themselves from the Republican Party because it is plain that the main body of the Republican Party is at odds with the Tea Party agenda. The leaders of the Tea Party know that this is a fact, that is why they keep running their own candidates against sitting Republicans in the Republican Primaries.

 

For us folks who are old enough to remember when Ronald Reagan was trying to become President in 1980 he made the statement several times that “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me” as for most of his life he had been a Democrat . The issue was that  their policies, the things the Democratic Party platform stood for evolved away from his beliefs. Rush Limbaugh on one of his radio shows many years ago (I believe that the time frame was about 1993 or 94) he compared the policies of President John F Kennedy to the current time and made a very good argument that in todays politics (93-94), that this Idol of the Democratic Party would have been considered a conservative Republican.

 

I grew up in a family that were poor southern factory workers most all of their lives. My parents were strong believers in unions so that the working people could have at least some job protection. Back then when I was a little kid and started going to church I remember several times seeing drawing illustrations that were in black and white where the preacher that was the dark shade of the two was always the democrat. This was because of the church peoples belief that the Democratic Party and the Church had the same belief system, and if I remember correctly I don’t ever recall  seeing anyone but white folks in those Churches back then.To me the way that Churches of today that are mostly black (it seems) to still be aligning themselves with a Party that is so ferociously pro abortion is a disgrace to the Christian faith. President Reagan was the first Republican that I ever voted for, as he used to say, I say the same, I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, they left me.

 

What I was making note of in my Tea Party part one article about how our government is totally gridlocked almost everything is done on straight party line votes. If there were the three parties that I have been speaking of, by most of my personal beliefs I would align with the Tea Party. With the system that is in place now most everyone knows that our government is completely broken. With just the two parties (choices) in place the Republican Party is dysfunctional at best. You know that only about half of the people in our country that are eligible to vote even bother to register, and in the biggest elections (Presidential) only about half of the registered voters bother to go to the polls. The reasoning is simple, people do not believe that either sides candidates care anything about the people or the country, only about themselves and their parties.

 

Most people that I have spoken with for years now feel that when they go to vote that mainly they are voting for the ones they think will do the least damage to our country, it is sorta like which crook do we vote for and most Americans have made it plain that they wish they could vote for none of the above. With the Tea Party they say they are for things like less taxes, smaller government, and better border security. These things I agree with but still there are other issues like their fervent anti union stance that I totally do not agree with. You see, I believe that most Americans want more than the two choices that is being forced on us. Example of this personally would be my split of feelings about weather to vote for a party that is blatant anti working people or vote for a party that is for the mass murder of defenceless babies. We the People deserve much more and better choices than what we are given. I believe the Tea Party breaking away from the Republican Party or the Republican Party divorcing the Tea Party would be a very good first step for all the people.

 

So that I can make one thing clearer about my pro union stance, I feel I should add this last paragraph to this article. In the last Presidential Primaries Newt often railed about how the unions were destroying our country, that is sorta novel being the union workforce is only about 2% of the workforce. But then again he railed about the welfare system in America and then included in his rant things like government pensions, social security benefits including disability, military retirement pay and VA disability payments that are things that are destroying our country. I never heard him ever directly say that pensions that he does except himself like the golden parachute he personally gets each month from being in the Congress is a problem for him.—Sorry about getting off subject there for a moment but hypocrites really bother me.—Unions, I have seen first hand many times when I went into union shops, factories, warehouses ect how anti production the union had made it’s members. I spent most all of my working life as a long haul truck driver so through about 30 years I was in many hundreds or more union shops and non union shops. Unions are mainly set up to get the most possible dollar value for their members while at the same time making it to where their members had to do as little as possible. Companies are just the opposite, they want to maximise their profits for their stockholders or owners so they want to pay as little as possible for the work being done and they want the employees to work as hard as possible to produce more. A good example of this issue is a large paper company that has a mill in Louisiana where I picked up a load of big rolls of stock paper, once you bumped the dock and walked onto the dock you were sent to pick up your paperwork at the office about 200 feet away. You go in, sign your bills and go back to your trailer that is now loaded. At this location you could literally hear the forklifts squealing their tires as they rushed about, needless to say they were a nonunion shop. This load went to one of their warehouses on the north side of Indianapolis Indiana which was union in whats called an in house move. Their warehouse was huge, if I remember correctly it had about forty dock doors with no trailers in any dock, I had to just wait in their dock for four hours before anyone would leave the break room and spend the ten minutes needed to unload. Or, like a load I did a couple of times bringing parts into a General Motors assembly plant, you must be there one hour before your appointment, you check in and they give you a dock number to line up on but you can’t back into the dock until told to do so. Example, 5 am appointment, check in at 4am about 4pm they finally get the evening shift to unload the five rack’s that take about five minutes to off load. All day long the work crew sat in the break room drinking coffee, watching TV and reading papers and the such. Even telling their foremans and their union reps to go to hell, and I’m being polite, when they would as them to please leave the break room and go unload the trailers.

On the other side of the coin are examples like when we moved here to east Tennessee. I went to the DMV when it opened to get my tags and the such and there were a lot of hispanic folks lined up to get their state ID’s so that they could work. After a few minutes of waiting my turn in line a lady came and got me from the inside, she was the one who let me know why all those folks were there. She told me her story while waiting on me about how she had worked here in town at what was the town’s largest factory for fourteen years until one Monday morning she was waiting at her station for the bell to ring and her foreman came up to her with a very young hispanic male who could not speak english and the foreman told her “here’s your replacement, youre fired”. When you are in an area that is nonunion and you are only making minimum wage or very close to it, with no benefits at all, and you are let go so they can put a new person on, it’s not to hard to figure out how much these people are going to get paid. And this folks is one of the reasons why union protection is needed.

 

I know that this was more drawn out than I intended for it to be but finally here is my relation between policies and political parties. Just as unions and companies need to work together to help make the whole work for the good of everyone so do we the people need options like the Tea Party to be it’s own party and for those who are following the Democratic party as the least of two evils in their eyes to have splinter parties come off of the Democratic Party also, for the good of the country as a whole because it is obvious that the two party system we have now is broken. O, by the way, that large factory after they had gotten rid of almost all of the local workers they decided they could make more profit to just close down the factory and move everything to Mexico, I guess it was cheaper than bussing all those poor folks all the way up here. In my opinion we as a people need more caring by corporations, unions, and political parties. We are either going to work together or we as a nation are going to implode. O,by the way, I nor any of my family have ever bought any of this companies chairs since nor will we ever buy anything from the company that sold this town and her people out by taking their business out of our country. If everyone would protest these companies that do these type of moves we could hit them in the only heart and soul they have, their bank accounts. Okay, I will quit gripping now, goodnight everyone.

 

ted