By Jack Perry
Some years ago, I worked at a place that put on the facade of being “patriotic” and “supporting the vets.” It was a marketing ploy, of course, because they didn’t even give the veterans who worked there Veteran’s Day off. We’d get an email thanking us for our service, if they remembered who we were. And if I was there when one of the company executives saw me and said to me in person, “Thank you for your service!” But not even two weeks after that Veteran’s Day, I was laid off.
See, I’m tired of corporate America thanking me for my service and not showing it. How many times have we been “thanked” for our service with layoffs, stagnant wages, no raises, or hired on at a new job at a drastically lower wage because they knew they could lowball us? “Lowballing” is when they know you’re unemployed and have to take whatever job is offered at whatever wage is paid. So if you were earning $15.00 per hour, they can offer you $10.00 per hour and you have to take it. If you are collecting unemployment “insurance”, the law even requires you to take it. Yes, thank you for your service. Now bend over.
It isn’t just vets getting treated this way. Everyone in the working class is treated this way. Like we don’t matter. Like we’re not entitled to a decent standard of living. They say, “We can’t afford to pay higher wages!” Gosh, that must be why company executives live higher than Roman emperors ever did. It really is a pathetic excuse to say you can’t afford to pay higher wages but then pay yourself a wage of millions of dollars a year. The defenders of this say, “Those executives took the risks! They deserve the rewards!” Wrong! They took risks, but if they failed, it would have been their employees who paid the price while the executives deployed Golden Parachutes and escaped any consequences whatsoever. Is this not what occurred in the 2009-2010 Great Recession when the working class paid for that disaster via layoffs, loss of 401 k money, and loss of savings as the executives who caused it were paid bonuses?
Today, we have both political parties deploying words to assure us they’re going to create jobs, they’re going to bring prosperity, they’re going to fix the healthcare system. I don’t believe them. I’ve been lied to for far too many times. I heard this from Obama, you know. Universal health care, he promised. What we got was a mandatory private insurance system that is always in jeopardy thanks to Republican vows to repeal it. Excuse me, but it isn’t a health care “system” if the Senate and Congress can vote to take it away and everyone on it is told, “Sorry, but you haven’t got health care anymore.” This is not a health care system, it’s a sickening game played by self-important, smug tyrants who actually do have taxpayer-provided health care.
“I’m tired of corporate America thanking me for my service and not showing it. How many times have we been “thanked” for our service with layoffs, stagnant wages, no raises, or hired on at a new job at a drastically lower wage because they knew they could lowball us?”
Obama also didn’t “create jobs”. If anything, we got low-wage, part-time jobs slinging coffee or twirling signs on street corners. Let’s not kid ourselves. If America believed what the Democrats were selling in 2016 and the proof was definitely in the pudding from 2009-2016, Trump could never have been elected. Okay? No, it wasn’t Bernie, Putin, or Russia that cost Hillary the election. It was two terms of broken promises, failed policies, and bogus programs that cost the Democrats the election. Because Hillary was promising more of the same, maybe even worse. Let me say this loud and clear: WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH!
I’m tired of words. I’ve been hearing these words since 1985 when I entered the workforce. “Hard work is rewarded!” No, it isn’t. Because the first to be laid off are those who were with the company the longest and are earning the higher wages. “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps!” Yeah, tell that to people in regions gutted by outsourcing. “There are plenty of jobs if people look!” This is said by people who are in upper management and know damn well better than that because a hundred people apply for one open position and all of them are unemployed. And they knows this because they’ve seen the job applications. I am sick and tired of hearing this and now I say: PROVE IT!
If you, presidential candidate, cannot deliver on your promises, don’t expect my vote. If you, political party, defend Wall Street and the Pentagon over working people, don’t expect my support. The only person I have seen up in D.C. that does what he says is Bernie Sanders. He’s the only one who had the guts to do put forth a Medicare For All bill while everyone else sits there thinking ACA is all good and everyone is covered by it. Bernie calls out Wall Street. Bernie will get my vote in 2020 if he runs. And let me make this perfectly clear: If my choice is between Trump and some Wall Street tool from the Democrats, you can be assured I will write Bernie in. And if Trump gets re-elected, so be it. I will not vote for the “lesser of two evils”. I will not vote for evil period.
Words are not enough when you say we can’t afford healthcare for everyone but, gosh, here’s $700 billion freaking dollars for the Pentagon. Words are not enough when the police in every city look like an occupying army because that is what they are now. Words are not enough when more people are falling into poverty than are rising out of it. Words are not enough when the cost of living goes up, but wages are stagnant or dropping as CEO pay skyrockets to levels unseen in history. No more words. Words are not enough.