Monday, September 6, 2010

October Washington March...

Digby has pointed us to this interesting and most welcomed news on this Labor Day.  It seems that there is to be a March on Washington that is planned for Saturday, October 2nd.  It will be called “One America Working Together.”  This is the what the marchers are asking for.
Provide immediate relief for those currently unemployed:
-Extend jobless benefits, COBRA, mortgage assistance, and other initiatives for those currently out of work.
-Target help for populations and communities in the greatest need
Provide immediate action to stimulate job growth and consumer demand:
-Provide aid to states and cities – including direct job creation at local levels – especially in education, health care, social services and first-responder workforces
-Increase the ability of small businesses to obtain loans
-Fund infrastructure investment that spurs economic growth and clean energy enterprises
Provide a fair chance for everyone to succeed and advance in the workplace:
-Everyone who works in America should have the right to join with their co-workers to have a voice on the job
-Pay all workers wages that allow them to support their families
-Increase and index the minimum wage
-Close all pay gaps
-End all forms of workplace discrimination
-Protect, honor, fully apply, and expand equal opportunity and diverse business inclusion practices
-Make every job a good and safe job
-Provide paid sick days and paid family leave for all workers
Refocus Our Nation’s Fiscal Priorities:
-End the foreclosure epidemic and save the homes of America’s families
-Reform bankruptcy laws to protect families and working people
-Prioritize affordable housing for all
-Protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare
-Repair private pension systems
-Complete the promise of health care reform, including the public option
-Provide greater national investment in new jobs, improved infrastructure, and education instead of increased military spending
Improve consumer protections:
-Prohibit and punish predatory lending and mortgage scams
-Increase watchdog powers of institutions, including the Consumer Financial Protection Agency
-Avoid taxpayer bailouts of financial institutions deemed “too big to fail”
The sponsoring group that is organizing the march, is a coalition of over 150 organizations: labor unions, environmentalists, civil rights groups, student groups, peace groups, and various faith groups.  Won’t it be grand to get the progressive and liberal grass roots riled up?  Something must happen as we stumble, bumble and slouch to November’s Election Day and the prospect of having an historic midterm election rout.  Even George W. with his disastrous war and fiscal policies didn’t have as large a rout as has been predicted for this coming election.
 Paul Krugman, in his Labor Day NYTimes column, has some important things to say on the subject.  
Here’s the situation: The U.S. economy has been crippled by a financial crisis. The president’s policies have limited the damage, but they were too cautious, and unemployment remains disastrously high. More action is clearly needed. 
...But the story of 1938 also shows how hard it is to apply these insights. Even under F.D.R., there was never the political will to do what was needed to end the Great Depression; its eventual resolution came essentially by accident.  Yet the public has soured on government activism, and seems poised to deal Democrats a severe defeat in the midterm elections.
...I had hoped that we would do better this time. But it turns out that politicians and economists alike have spent decades unlearning the lessons of the 1930s, and are determined to repeat all the old mistakes. And it’s slightly sickening to realize that the big winners in the midterm elections are likely to be the very people who first got us into this mess, then did everything in their power to block action to get us out.
But always remember: this slump can be cured. All it will take is a little bit of intellectual clarity, and a lot of political will. Here’s hoping we find those virtues in the not too distant future.
Perhaps the march will help focus liberal attention.  The only problem is that I thought we had already voted on all of those issues back in 2008...

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