It was a day of mourning, and a day of shame. Using the sword of fear, Boeing’s CEO Jim McNerney, threatening to move Boeing if the machinist’s union didn’t ratify their new contract, successfully won the union vote, barely—51% to 49%. Clearly, the fear factor was the decisive edge: No one wanted to see Boeing leave Seattle—that was the sword of Damocles hanging over their collective necks. But for their (understandable) capitulation, they now lose their pensions. They are also forbidden to strike for ten years. It is a bitter pill indeed. This is yet another example of how Corporate America, which is almost entirely Republican, has been ruining America, and continues to do so.
Once we were a great nation with a vision of life that thrilled the rest of the civilized world: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” But today, with Corporate America re-making America along strictly class lines, with the 1% richest at the top, and 85% of the country at the bottom of the pyramid , with a middle-class shrinking by the hour, we are entering our own Dark Age, where money alone —and all the power, persuasion, and predominance money can buy—rules in the place of our older, formerly much-cherished, noble ideals of equality, prudence, compassion, initiative, and opportunity.
Republicans, especially Tea Party people, like to liberally sprinkle their political discourse with “self-made man” images when in reality they neither assist those same “self-made men and women” on their assault up the fortified mountain of financial success nor aid them when they are forced to abandon their goal, by personal or family illness or tragedy, or being laid off, or seeing their factory move to China, destructive weather, and other conditions or events beyond their control. Where then are these talkers of the glory of “the self-made”? The rich help the rich, but no one helps the middle or lower classes.
McNerney has proven yet again that when the rich rule (with only a few exceptions like the Kennedys), they care only about themselves. Boeing’s workers must now pay more for health care as well as start all over again in saving a pension—while McNerney has had to live on a oh so meager 22 million dollars this past year! O How the rich they do suffer…!
In this particular series of pitched battles, once again the 1% have won handily, with their war cry “Your pension or your job” striking fear into the hearts of workers, and paralyzing just enough machinists to win the voting battle. But Boeing’s gain is America’s loss. Our once-heralded country of opportunity, unique in history, has become a nation like all the other nations, where only money, and not initiative or ability, rules. Like India, we now have our own caste system. America requiescat in pace.
Len Sive Jr.