As I watched the National protests in support of Unions and the people of Wisconsin, on-line, yesterday, I kept searching the teevee for evidence of coverage. The local news networks were not covering it, the national news networks were not covering it, the cable news networks were not covering it and – extremely disappointingly – CSPAN was not covering it. I even flipped periodically to Fox “News” to see if they were covering the national response to the attack on the used-to-be-middle-class. Fox had more coverage than any other network, however it was spun towards the myth of the Unions being greedy thugs and the protests as something to be feared. (CNN, sadly, were instead talking about the Tea Party and its two year anniversary.)
When it comes to the used-to-be-middle-class, we are left out of the national dialogue, despite the millions in the streets.
More on the flip side about why these protests matter,why America needs to be informed of them and about them, and why they are occurring.
This morning, watching the Sunday shows, the same black-out of the nationwide protests continued. MTP at least included Rich Trumka; a rare representative of actual people, on the Sunday chat fests. Though he was not given enough opportunity to really talk about what is occurring across the country. Emanuel Cleaver did OK but there is really crappy, if existent at all (though I find no evidence for it) Democratic messaging on the real fight here.
There are numerous reasons for these protests and numerous reasons that we all – left, right, center, independent, Democratic, Republican, Tea Party and Socialist – should be celebrating and supporting the protests and the protestors: they are fighting for the survival of our country which is contingent on the survival of its people.
First of all, this is not a budget fight. Public sector employees are not responsible for our budget deficits.
Bush tax cuts and the second Republican Great Depression are what is driving our deficits (PDF) and what created our massive National Debt. There is only one reason to even be discussing deficits now; the Right wants to blur the line and pretend that cash-strapped governments (state and local and federal) are the reason that the American people are broke. They are interrelated but the cause and effect formula is backwards.
The Right pretends that jobs are some gift from business owners and, now, governments. They have repeated the meme for so long now that business “creates jobs,” that our entire national debate centers around how best to blow the cocks of big business rather than the incredible shrinking wealth of what was once the middle class. Never mind wage stagnation “business needs certainty.” The used-to-be-middle-class would like some certainty too.
No business creates jobs just to create jobs – as evidenced by the shitload of money that the corporations are hoarding. The corporations do not “create jobs”; employees provide services to employers for a fee (payrolls); DEMAND creates jobs. There is no demand because the people are freakin’ broke. Or, I should say, the majority of the people are freakin’ broke.
In addition, lowering the deficit does not lead to jobs – unemployment leads to budget deficits. Somehow the Republicans believe that the more that they fire people, cut their benefits (which are part of a payroll package not some give-away) and lower their payrolls, the lower the unemployment rate will be. How many people do they have to fire before the unemployment rate reaches zero?
There were coast-to-coast protests yesterday. Protests of the American people standing up for the American people. Coast-to-fucking coast. My guess is that very few Americans know this and even fewer understand why the protests affect them and matter to them: Apparently THIS revolution will NOT be televised.
Update: John Nichols breaks down why this all matters much better than I did.