As of a year ago Wal-Mart’s CEO pay was 1076 times that of their average worker worldwide (2.3 million employees). Those workers average $21,952 a year, with little or NO major benefits… sometimes NONE at all! The Nike CEO received 379 times the pay of his MEDIAN employees ($ 29,955 a year), not even the lowest worker. Those Air Jordan or Lebron sneakers ($ 150-$200 each pair) equals 3 to 4 days pay for their aforementioned US workers. Think about that. In 2017, before this pandemic, S&P 500 CEO pay was 361 times their average worker. Some of these folks earned in excess of 6000 times that of their average worker. If the economy crashes those FAT CATS can live off of their savings and bonuses for years… while YOU start selling apples on street corners!
Fact is that only 3% of our populace (11.8 million) are mega millionaire households, which does NOT take into account the worth of their primary property AKA residences, which factor into the mega $ millions in many instances. On the other end of the scale, by the first quarter of 2019, way before this pandemic hit, 5.2 million properties (AKA residences) had underwater mortgages. So, the pandemic arrived and Uncle Sam got the mortgage holders to defer those monthly payments owed, under a moratorium of what, one year. Duh, do you understand that when this thing finally lifts a bit, the homeowners will be expected to ante up and wipe away that indebted slate? OK, how is that going to occur when many working stiffs are nothing more than mere Serfs? That is why this writer always says ” It’s the Empire.. stupid!”
American corporate capitalism has always been unfair. My dad was a longshoreman during the 50s, 60s and into the 70s. When I was a kid, and we were living under a ‘One Paycheck’ household (until my mom was forced to get a job to keep us afloat) I recall the many strikes my dad’s ILA (International Longshoremen’s Union) was involved in. The right wing Congress, with help from many Democrats (sound familiar?) passed the Taft Hartley Act of 1947, which cancelled out two FDR New Deal pro labor acts, The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (AKA The Wagner Act) and the Federal Anti Injunction Act of 1932. Here are some of the terrible parts of Taft Hartley:
- It allows the president to appoint a board of inquiry to investigate union disputes when he believes a strike would endanger national health or safety, and obtain an 80-day injunction to stop the continuation of a strike.
- It declares all closed shops illegal.
- It permits union shops only after a majority of the employees vote for them.
- It forbids jurisdictional strikes and secondary boycotts.
- It ends the check-off system whereby the employer collects union dues.
So, each time his contract expired, my dad went on strike. The president then issued the Taft Hartley ’80 day cooling off period’ (nice way to use PR to make the public think the unions were the children who needed ‘Cooling off AKA Detention’). This was a great way for the ‘Captains of Corporate Capitalism’ to put a strain on the millions of striking working stiffs now out of work with no pay. My dad wound up driving a taxicab or limo for the interim, earning way LESS than his normal pay. We had to cut back on certain costly foods and other expenses like new clothes, going to the movies or bowling with friends, and of course NO vacation until….
Today we have less than 10% of private sector working stiffs in unions at all. Thanks to the public sector unions, who are also under assault, with only around 37% of their working stiffs belonging, there still may be a scant glimmer of hope. If our working stiffs do not finally realize that only strong unions can stand up to the FAT CAT empire, then feudalism will strangle us all!
Forget about the Democrats as our saviors. Look what the Democrats just did in the House, where they are the majority. They joined with the other right wing party, the FAR RIGHT Repugnantins, and voted down a ‘too small’ amendment to cut military spending by a mere 10%. Imagine that! This writer joined with many progressives, Socialists and Libertarians a few years ago demanding a 25% cut in military spending, sending the savings back to the states, cities and towns where those taxes were collected from. My small city of 60,000 would see a rebate of around 70+ million dollars each year. Yet, most of the serfs who live nearby me just don’t get it! They are too propagandized by this empire’s media spin machine to understand how we are all being played…. to our detriment.
In conclusion, the Great Depression of the 1930s, as terrible as it was, still saw more working stiffs waking up from their slumber. We had a myriad of newspapers, newsletters and radio shows trumpeting real progressive ideas and ideals. Today, we have only some websites that speak ‘Truth to Power’, and that is all. The Two Party/One Party current apparatus is owned by the Super Rich. Thus, we had a Trump vs. Hillary fiasco in ’16 and now a Trump vs. Biden joke as well. So, voting will once again be futile, except for the fact that Trump is SO LETHAL for us working stiffs, that even a Biden presidency, terrible as it may be, will be welcomed for the short term. If that isn’t an indication of the Futile Feudalism we are knee deep in….
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Philip A Farruggio is a contributing editor for The Greanville Post. He is also frequently posted on Global Research, Nation of Change, Countercurrents.org, and Off Guardian sites. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen and a graduate of Brooklyn College, class of 1974. Since the 2000 election debacle Philip has written over 400 columns on the Military Industrial Empire and other facets of life in an upside down America. He is also host of the ‘It’s the Empire… Stupid‘ radio show, co produced by Chuck Gregory. Philip can be reached at email@example.com.