Why Are Americans Still Unemployed, and Why the Attack on Unions?
By Rachel Bernstein
Listening to the news today, as a person who was unemployed and now working as a Substitute Teacher, I find it appalling and shameful that so many Americans are still without jobs, struggling day after day to make ends meet. Why have millions of men and women, including our friends and neighbors, been discarded even though they may have worked for decades and been contributing members to our communities? Why isn’t this seen as a national emergency?
Our country, with all its natural resources, must also value the inhabitants of this land. Every day, more and more people don’t have enough money for food or rent, and with all the horror of recent natural disasters, and worry of war too, we Americans are increasingly frightened: what is to become of us? This contradicts the idea that we grew up with: that we could have anything we set our minds to in this great country. Our children’s educations are increasingly at risk with schools closing and teachers being laid off. Many children are also among the hungry and homeless: how can they be fed and housed, and do well in schools if their families don’t have jobs?
One reassurance in these days has been unions’ historic ability to protect working people from arbitrary firings and for securing decent wages, benefits, and safer workplaces. It makes me angry at the recent bald-faced attempts to break unions and the malicious efforts of politicians to sway the public against them. I applaud the people of Wisconsin for their bravery and stalwartness. We need unions now more than ever!
An important answer is in this statement by Eli Siegel, founder of the philosophy Aesthetic Realism. He stated:
There will be no economic recovery in the world until economics itself, the making of money, the having of jobs, becomes ethical; is based on good will rather than on the ill will which has been predominant for centuries.
This provides a road map for how we should see the U.S. economy, so that the right steps can be taken to create jobs, maintain justice in the workplace, and take care of our children, so that all Americans can have a brighter future.