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Save the Dream Rally 2/26/2011

Jackson, Mississippi was host to one of the Save the Dream rallies to show support for the Teachers and Unions of Wisconsin.  I went and I consider it my first protest.  I’ve been to political rallies before, but mostly for a group or candidate speaking on their platform for an election.  This was my first “call to action” rally where there were counter-protesters.

Yes, the Tea Party of all groups showed up to support busting unions and tax cuts for billionaires and corporations while firing teachers.  More on that later.

Some videos have shown up on Youtube:
Us Uncut’s (MS) Carl Gibson speaking
Historian Bob McElvaine speaking (I am at 1:41, with my MegaMind “Wake Up” sign)
and more videos from Luke Lundemo.

Governor Walker – following GOP standard tactics – cut taxes (state income) and created a huge budget shortfall so now wants to cut education and bust unions.

Mr. Walker’s own articles show that he is upset that “employers” can not screw over workers at a whim. One article’s “Example #2” clearly states that he would love to be able to cut hours and outsource jobs.  “You still have to do all of your work, we are only going to pay for less hours.”

The GOP was elected by promising to create Jobs, Jobs, Jobs – yet all of their legislation so far is to destroy jobs by firing public employees, cut their wages so much the have to move to the private sector in order to survive.  The response to actually increasing unemployment? “So be it.”  Yeah, sure seems job creation is their last priority – so much for listening to the people.

We all benefit from Unions.  Thanks to Unions, we have a weekend, paid vacation, sick time, 40 hour work week, holidays.  Corporations would not give that out.  Corporations want Profits at any expense and pay only what they have to for as much work as they can get.  They would love 70 to 80 hour work weeks, no paid vacation, no sick time.

Here are some things I would like to see happen:

  • Legislator (State and Federal) salaries regulated to the Median Income of those they represent (People, not Corporations).  Plus a reasonable lodging stipend when in session. (Okay, our state legislators make only $10,000 per year plus a small per-diem – not a lot)
  • CEO, executive and other corporate salaries/benefits self-limited to below 50 times  average hourly and non-executive position compensation. (Or legally limited if not self-regulated.  Not including Owner or Founder/Inventor compensation.)  If you want to pay executives more, pay workers more.  Like Henry Ford – you remember him, right?
  • Citizens United decision overturned. Corporations are NOT People.
  • Tax loopholes closed, especially for corporations.  I’d even consider the “Fair Tax” or a “Flat Tax” system.

Tea Party
Roy – the Mississippi Tea Party leader – got up and said that they support unions and teachers and stuff, but want the Teachers to pay to fund their own pensions and pay for their health insurance.  Which, they already agreed to take the 7% cut in benefits (read that link!).  The issue is Governor Walker wanting to remove collective bargaining rights.  So, once again, the Tea Party is misinformed and on the wrong side.  Also, the Pension and Health Insurance are part of their total benefits package.  Their take-home pay sucks, so part of their total compensation was a fully funded pension and health insurance.  Making them pay 56% of the pension contributions and part of their health insurance premium is like cutting their pay drastically.  Roy said they didn’t want their taxes paying for things they can’t get, but I say to them, if your company doesn’t contribute to your 401k and doesn’t contribute to your health insurance premiums – use your own solution and get a different job.
One heckler shouted “LIAR” when Luke said Climate Change was real.  Seriously?? We are standing outside in February in almost 80 degrees and I am running my AC at home – in WINTER – and you don’t think its a little on the warm side?? Record storms, floods, temperatures, tornadoes, earthquakes – not only in extremes but in frequency and you think its normal??

I am going to go ahead and publish this… I know it rambles, but I got stuff to do today. LOL!!

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