Many cannot remember a time in their lives when the levels of divisiveness and hate in the public arena were this high. Politicians on both sides of the aisle sow discord and distrust while proving that they are unable to work together to address the problems we are facing. Meanwhile, inequality has reached epic proportions. Great wealth and power are concentrated in the hands of the few who use it to influence the political machine.
United Against a Common Enemy
There have been times in our country when we have come together for a common cause and achieved great things. World War II brought our nation together as we joined our allies in the battle to defeat Germany and Japan. Americans united in sacrifice as rationing of common staples like sugar, meat, cooking oil, canned goods, and gasoline was implemented to help the war effort. Americans united against a common enemy. Following the war, we experienced a period of great economic growth and prosperity that saw the growth of the middle class.
The good times could not last forever though as corporate greed began to take over as the model for success in the late 1970’s and 80’s. Mergers and acquisitions, layoffs, company breakups, and profit at all cost completely changed the model of shared prosperity we had become accustomed to resulting in increasingly smaller shares of the profit being returned to the worker.
Fast forward to today and we can see by statistics that these trends have continued and, in some cases, accelerated. In the last 30 years, CEO pay has increased nearly 1000% while worker pay has only risen by 10%. The top 1% of the population by income own 38.6% of our nation’s wealth. Even more staggering is the fact that the top 0.1% own the same amount of wealth as the bottom 90%! Stagnant wages and job growth centered in low wage industries have created a shrinking middle class and increasing rates of poverty.
The Status Quo
Those in power are satisfied with the status quo and will divert your attention to side issues and encourage division and anger. They will make you think that someone else is responsible for your struggles. It might be the immigrant or migrant worker. It might be foreign countries that we trade with. It most certainly is whoever is a member of the opposing political party. It might be those of another race. A country divided cannot stand.
It is time once again to unite to face a common enemy, one that threatens the very foundation of our democracy, inequality.
How can we turn this ship around?
The clock can not be turned back so must look for a new model to help us restore balance to our great country. That model must be based on a unity of purpose and numbers.
We must put aside our differences and focus on two things that can improve the lives of every citizen:
- Higher Wages and
All citizens must earn a living wage, have affordable health care, and be able to live comfortably in retirement. Yes, there are other problems that need to be addressed, but by focusing our attention on these 2 we can unite in the fight for shared prosperity and the common good.
We at The One Union believe this is possible. Unite with us, with these shared goals, and let’s bring a shared prosperity back to all people!