Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts published by Darin Gilley

“We are finally starting to see some of these tough decisions that we made … pay off,” said the President.

Meanwhile, the White House Council of Economic Advisers said the stimulus has already generated between 2.7 to 3.7 million jobs by the end of this year.

These words were spoken yesterday at the President’s briefing with reporters on the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of GM stock in which the government sold half its shares in General Motors.  This became the largest IPO in American history and established the bridge loan program as a success.  A Bloomberg article describing both the taxpayer dollars spent and saved with these loans is a good read.

This success will continue as the turnaround of GM accelerates.  The latest evidence is the Chevrolet Volt, which was just named the Motor Trend 2011 Car of the Year.  The latest edition of Motor Trend examines this car in depth and compares it to the Toyota Prius on their respective technical merits (no mention of the recalls).  Let’s just say one is dominating the comparison.

Just for fun, you can see Alabama Senator Richard Shelby call these bridge loans “the bailout to nowhere”

I am proud of my support for these loans and the jobs they have saved.  I do regret that the Auto Task Force did not pursue saving American jobs with the same zest as every other nation in the world that provided funds to preserve their auto industries.

Having been involved in the fight to save the Chrysler Fenton Complex, I hear many things about the reasons for that closure that have no basis in fact.  In an upcoming post I will detail why stronger unions and more government protections for workers are the reason Chrysler  kept the Windsor, Ontario van plant open.  Hint: $300 million and health care costs.

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act today.  This legislation will provide remedies for the gender pay gap that currently stands at women earning 81 cents for every dollar a man earns doing the same job. Note: there is no gender pay gap in union contracts as all people performing a specific function are paid the same rate.

In a related story, I was lucky enough to see a CBS News story about the real women behind the upcoming movie “Made in Dagenham” about the fight for equal pay in England which was started by some women that made car seats (I can relate) for Ford Motor Company in Daganham, England.  While it sounds somewhat like Norma Rae it is always interesting to see the fight for worker rights play out.

On Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010, State Sen. and President of the Missouri Senate Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, unveiled his bold, new agenda to create good-paying jobs in Missouri.

He stated that right-to-work (for less) will be a key part of his plan. Right-to-work (for less) would allow workers in unionized facilities to avoid paying dues to cover the cost of their representation.

In practical terms, these workers would receive union-negotiated benefits while sticking their co-workers with the cost of negotiating those same benefits. A comparison could be made to the freeloader who buys a house in a subdivision knowing there are neighborhood association dues to maintain the streets, parks, and other amenities and then not paying the dues owed.

Just as all of the neighborhood property values would decline as the streets and parks fell into disrepair because our freeloading neighbor refused to pay his dues, wages and benefits would decline in the workplace. As the “good jobs” pay less, other workplaces discover they can pay less and all of us take a pay cut.

That’s why union and non-union workers in states free from right-to-work (for less) laws earn $6,590 or 17 percent more in wages and salaries than workers in right-to work (for less) states, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Is a 17 percent cut in pay your idea of economic progress?

Let’s hope Sen. Mayer has a less bold, more practical plan than reducing wages for Missouri workers while allowing unaccountable freeloaders to become state law!

Truthout is publishing a chapter of Thom Hartmann’s “Rebooting the American Dream” every week.  Thom is an award winning author and talk show host that can be heard on XM 167 or seen on Free Speech TV.

http://www.truth-out.org/rebooting-american-dream-chapter-one-bring-my-job-home65127

In particular, compare the last thirty years of economic performance between South Korea and the United States.   Thom documents this and notes that the Korean adoption of Alexander Hamilton/Traditional American trade policy of tariffs to protect domestic industry had allowed them to raise their per capita income from $400 to $32,000 since the 1960′s.  The United States following the Free Trade policy has gone from the world’s greatest creditor to world’s greatest debtor nation while wages have stagnated and purchasing power has declined .  Which system will help rebuild America?

 

As of Nov. 29, 2010 there will be no more extensions of unemployment benefits unless the U.S House of Representatives, U.S. Senate and President Obama can pass and enact a law extending these benefits.

Never before has this nation’s leaders failed to take care of those without work in an environment of nine percent unemployment.  But the reckless promises of many newly elected legislators combined with the hard-heartedness of incumbent Republicans exhibited in a seven week delay of benefits in June and July have many on edge. 

A new website has been developed with some eye opening statistics and personal stories of people affected by a stoppage of these benefits.  For example, over 2 Million People will lose benefits if there is no extension.  You can learn more here, 

http://www.unemployedworkers.org/sites/unemployedworkers/index.php

For those genuine fiscal conservatives that are wondering how we pay for these benefits, I invite you to enjoy, Our Banana Republic by Nicholas D. Kristof .

He addresses some of the issues involved in America’s slide from beacon on the hill to a Banana Republic in terms of income inequality and how this is threatening future economic growth.

“C.E.O.’s of the largest American companies earned an average of 42 times as much as the average worker in 1980, but 531 times as much in 2001. Perhaps the most astounding statistic is this: From 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the total increase in American incomes went to the richest 1 percent.”

For those fiscal conservatives still concerned that the richest 0.1 percent of Americans won’t be able to afford going back to the same tax rates they paid in the 90’s, a whopping 3% more than they do now on income over $250,000 – consider this.  If only the tax cuts for those under $250,000 are kept these rich folks still get a $61,000 tax cut from President Obama because their first $250,000 is eligible for the tax break.  Only their income above this limit would be taxed at an additional 3%!  If the tax cuts for these well-to-do folks are extended as the Republicans would like they would net a cool $370,000!

I must recognize the moxie of anyone that can argue someone already soaking up four-fifths of total income must have more tax breaks while we fight two wars, are suffering through a Great Recession, and millions of their countrymen are jobless.  I remember when it was a badge of honor to pay your taxes and support the servicemen risking their lives to keep this nation safe.  As Col. Parker, Elvis Presley’s manager promised Elvis – “Son, I’m going to keep you in the 90% tax bracket the rest of your life!”  Despite paying 90% of his income in taxes Elvis managed to live a fairly comfortable lifestyle or so I’ve heard!

For those worried about Elvis’ morality they would be mortified with today’s rich folks!

You can read the entire Nicholas Kristof article here, 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/opinion/07kristof.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general

You can learn more about America’s extreme INCOME INEQUALITY here,

http://extremeinequality.org/

Check out this video – What’s Next? A message from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the efforts of volunteers in the last election and the next steps in the fight.

The Democratic Party is made up of many factions but labor, both union and non-union are key to Democratic success. Please support those that support this party by taking the time to look for an American made product when you shop. Whether it be an American made car or the Made in the USA drywall saw from BUCK that I just bought, every domestically made item will return more to our economy than an import.

This county and this country are in an economic hole and many politicians were just elected with the implication that they will work to create jobs. Yet, I can’t remember Senator Blunt or any other candidates with a specific proposal and certainly no mention of the trade deficit or failing trade policy. We will see how they do but it is possible to keep some measure of our destiny in our hands by buying the products our neighbors make.

I am not done fighting and am looking forward to working with many good Franklin County Democrats in the future.

Check out this website hosted by Vote Missouri to confirm your registration, find your polling place, and get a sample ballot so you can be prepared when you vote.

https://mcvr.mo.gov/Elections/VoterLookup/

All you will need to do is enter your name, address, date of birth, and County of residence.

I printed a sample ballot for all voting members of my family. They can be prepared to vote which will make the process fast and easy for them and other voters!

Last night’s Town Hall event hosted by the Alliance for American Manufacturing brought together almost 300 people to discuss and learn about the importance of rebuilding our manufacturing base.

The crowd consisted of a wide variety of concerned citizens. Labor and Business leaders, a busload of high school students, and people worried about the direction of the American economy came together to stress the importance manufacturing will play in any economic recovery.

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After listening to some of the (phony) outrage expressed by various Fox News personalities about the firing of Juan Williams by National Public Radio I can’t help but reach the conclusion that these traditionally anti-labor mouthpieces have had a change of heart.

Amid all the claims of Juan Williams being censored, of political correctness gone wild, and infringement of Freedom of Speech is a disturbing truth about the American workplace. The truth is that no American worker has the right to Free Speech in the workplace! That constitutional protection is dropped at the door of your employer along with many other rights in the constitution such as the Freedom of Association.

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For the policy wonks among us this video of Kentucky Democrat Jack Conway analyzing Republican Senatorial Candidate Rand Paul and his positions on “the Constitution” reveal the harshness of Paul’s worldview.

Jack Conway traces the legal framework for programs like Social Security, Worker Safety, and the Minimum Wage and why Rand Paul views them as unconstitutional.

This video is fifteen minutes long but a great review of how we got from the brutal days of the Robber Barons to the protections in place today and why we should not go back.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tzl2Qp7YS00

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