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It Ain’t Broke, But We’ll Fix It
by Andrew Barbano
Mar 13, 2011 | 591 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
America’s corporate overlords no longer have a weight problem. For the past three years, they have been laughing their asses off.

At us.

The plutocracy gobbles appetizers, soup, salad, multiple meaty entrees, sumptuous desserts, brandy and cigars while the lower classes fight over who gets to lick the carpet for crumbs.

We crumbums are so desperate that on any given day, some contingent of our threadbare multitude stages a protest somewhere. I’ve recently gotten so many notices of meetings and demonstrations that I could easily fill a new website with nothing but.

The plutocrats and overlords can take dark pleasure knowing that they can ignore us. I wrote long ago that the American public acts like a battered spouse who only feels needed when demonstrating true love by taking a helluva beating.

How many times have I stated that we need to look up at who’s sticking it to us, rather than blaming our neighbors? With enough media time, it’s easy to stoke the flames of bigotry and ignorance.

“The nation is not, in fact, ‘broke,’” wrote Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman in the March 11 New York Times.

If President Obama had simply made his economic policy by reading Krugman, most of the jobless would now be employed and Duke John of Orange would not now be shrieker of the house.

“The federal government is having no trouble raising money, and the price of that money — the interest rate on federal borrowing — is very low by historical standards,” Krugman added, “so there’s no need to scramble to slash spending now now now; we can and should be willing to spend now if it will produce savings in the long run ...

“While the government does have a long-run fiscal problem, that problem is overwhelmingly driven by rising health care costs. The Congressional Budget Office expects Social Security outlays as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (total national output of goods and services) to rise 30 percent over the next quarter-century, as the population ages, but it expects a near doubling of the share of GDP spent on Medicare and Medicaid.

“So if you’re serious about deficits, you shouldn’t be pinching pennies now; you should be looking for ways to rein in health spending over the long term,” he concluded.

But right-wing moonhowlers are now in control of the nation and the president is triangulating like Bill Clinton, which means he’s running for re-election as a moderate conservative Republican.

The only play left is a national strike.

Stay tuned.

Viva huelga!

César Chávez Day IX takes place on what would have been his 84th birthday, Thursday, March 31, 2011, at Circus Circus-Reno. Dinner is at 7 p.m. The new legislative Latino caucus has been invited. A large representation from César Chávez’s immediate family is expected. Go to NevadaLabor.com for news, ticket and sponsorship info.

Adios to Carruthers

Union man Donald Carruthers, 86, passed away in Hamilton, Mont., on Feb. 15. He was elected president and later became secretary-treasurer of Laborers’ Union Local 169.

“He was plain spoken, hard working and I never knew him to run away from any fight — philosophical or physical,” former Local 169 Business Manager Dan Rusnak remembers.

Carruthers served in the U.S. Marine Corps in WWII, taking part in Pacific battles on Bougainville and Okinawa. He was also stationed with occupation forces in Tsingtao, China.

“(He) was often called upon during his retirement years to offer the advice and counsel of an elder statesman to younger incoming officers,” according to the 1994 book “The Laborer in the West.”

“Don had one eye, having lost the other in an accident,” retired Local 169 Office Manager Michelle King told me.

“His nickname was ‘One-Eyed SOB’ and he had a dog of the same name,” she added.

Local 169 is today headed by Nevada Assemblymember Richard “Skip” Daly, D-Sparks.

Corporate

welfare watch

The Nevada State Fair is history. No wonder. The Nevada Fair and Recreation Board Act of 1955 established the hotel room tax mainly to support county fairs, parks and recreation. It has since been glommed almost entirely by the gambling industry to fund advertising and promotion best left to private, for-profit enterprises. Gomorrah South imposed a room tax in 1957. Reno-Sparks-Washoe followed in 1960.

The now-defunct Nevada State Fair got no taxpayer funding in its declining years. I don’t think you’ll see 4-H critters in a gambling joint anytime soon — the casino corporate welfare recipients will continue to let smoking suckers foul their carpet.

Back from the

ashes department

Support the return of community radio and television. Go to Barbwire.TV for more information, to join the club and contribute via the web. It’s important.

The first step toward restoration has been taken. After going dark for six months, the public access channels now broadcast live legislative hearings and floor sessions fed to Reno-Sparks-Washoe from AccessCarson. Charter cable victims can watch on digital channel 216 or high definition 80-295.

If you are interested in witnessing the assassination of the Nevada education system and most public services, turn on, tune in and tell a friend.

But have Tums and warm milk ready.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 42-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, member of Sparks-based Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO, and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.
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