As President Obama prepares for his State of the Union address I don't think anyone would be too surprised to find that the focus of his speech will be centered on the need to get Americans back to work. I suspect the unofficial title reads something like, "Jobs. Jobs. Jobs". Though, if James Carville had his way there would probably be a massive banner hanging in Congress that simply reads: "It's the Unemployment, stupid".
Get people back to work and the rest will follow. It sounds so simple, yet much of the anger in this country and around the globe centers on the very real shortage of gainful employment. The inability for people to feed their families, provide shelter, health-care and a decent education for their loved-ones.
What happened to our ability to successfully employ our citizenry? Was it the closing of factories and reopening them in third world countries for cheaper labor and even cheaper materials? The loss of manufacturing industries? Importing more than we export? Market bubbles produced by fraudulent corporate shenanigans designed to hide our lack of economic stability? Or, is it a lack of innovation and initiative in moving ourselves into the next era of energy collection, storage and utilization for fear of losing our strong-hold in a carbon driven global market?
I think most people would agree the answer to all, or most, of those questions would have to be "yes". The underlying factor of our woes ("our", meaning the teaming masses) is "Profit Over People"...crunching numbers and crushing people in the process.
Oil, because it is finite, dwindling and stone-age, means destabilization and war. Solar, wind and thermal, because they are all renewable, in need of creative solutions and forward thinking, means jobs and innovation which provides a path to Peace.
But jobs will not lead to Peace unless there is a foundation of justice for the labor force. An agreement to ensure that all workers have the ability to support their families and build infrastructure in their communities. The right to a Universal Living Wage.
The biggest argument for giving in to corporate pressure is the oft-heard excuse that we have to make our state and nation business-friendly or corporations will simply take their business elsewhere. But what if they couldn't?
What if corporations were bound by good neighbor laws? The basic understanding that you can't rape a community for profit then simply move on to the next town. What if we take away that "next town"?
That is the idea...the hope...the dream behind 1world1wage.org - that we are all in this together and it's about time we act on that truism.
At least, that's the way it seems to me,