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Party Politics
This page has a wealth of information about our political parties and how they got started.
Here we go again, and freedom from the press are good looks at what is going on now.
Now is the time for all good men…

“Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their countrymen”. Many of us remember typing line after line of that sentence while learning how to type. I never really thought about the meaning of that sentence, but as it turns out, 'now' is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their countrymen.
Now is a most critical period in the American Story. We are at that crossroads that will determine the quality of life for the majority of us for many years to come.

The “service economy” model of our economy is proving not to be what the economic theorist thought it was going to be and as it turns out, a country without manufacturing is not the wonderful land of high wages and leisure that was predicted. These, mind you , are the same economist that were at the forefront of recommending that manufacturing should follow the cheapest labor markets given the wonder of the modern supply chain.

At the start of World War Two, America was decidedly unprepared for war. However, the one thing we had in abundance was manufacturing capability. We had engineers, scientist and perhaps most importantly, the tool and dye men, layout men and builders, draftsman, etc. that we would need to expand our capabilities. Over the past several years we have lost over 42 thousand plants in the United States. We are not building anything, (any televisions, optics, etc.); we are not training anyone to do the jobs that make a factory “pop”. Much of that is gone overseas now. Much of our military equipment and weapon systems rely on components from companies manufacturing overseas. What happens should we find ourselves at war with our supplier countries?

We need to bring some of those 42,000 manufacturing facilities (and the jobs they represent) back to the United States. These other countries are growing a nice middle class at our expense.
I think that companies that manufacture overseas for the US market should be charged a hefty tariff to get their products back in to the country.

Now is the time for all good Americans to petition the government to make it more difficult to outsource middle class livelihoods.
“Make your commitments to enduring values and institutions--honesty, integrity, trust, confidence, family, and other matters of the heart. Go ahead and challenge the status quo, but you must also decide what lasts--what really counts--what no one can take away from you. These are your values, and they will accompany you wherever you work and wherever you live.”

Jack D. Rehm
We are just getting started, but we hope to take this to the heights of sanity. To create a movement that gets people acting and thinking, of, by, and for The Middle Class.
Below is an excerpt from an article by Bruce Watson called “Disturbing Statistics on the Decline of America's Middle Class”. While our politicians are playing games and courting the wealthy, this is what is happening to us and the prospects for our children. These are very serious times indeed. We don’t need politicians playing us off against each other. We need serious politicians who want to roll up their sleeves and get us out of this mess.
Serious Times Ahead
…”So how did the middle class become second class citizens -- or, as Smith puts it, "Debt Serfs"? Not surprisingly, the answer is complicated, involving factors like the rising cost of education, the loss of pension funds and affordable health care, falling middle class wages, and the skyrocketing price of housing. Yet one clear answer lies in manufacturing. When looking at the declining American middle class, a good number to start with is 42,400. That's the total number of factories that the U.S. lost between 2001 and the end of 2009. Put another way, this translates into the outsourcing of 32% of all manufacturing jobs in America.
Other numbers illuminate the impact of this massive job drain. At the end of 2009, 15.7 million people were unemployed, while 12.6 million -- 20% fewer -- worked in manufacturing. This represented only 9% of the American working populace; at manufacturing's height in 1960, 29% of Americans were employed in the sector.
This bleeding of American manufacturing represents a massive drop in the products that are made in America: According to one economist, the country currently doesn't produce any television sets. Computer manufacturing in the U.S. employs about 166,000 people; in 1975, it employed almost 300,000. Meanwhile, Asia's computer manufacturing sector has about 1.5 million workers and a single tech manufacturer, Foxconn, employs more than 800,000 people.
If the name Foxconn sounds familiar, it's because the company entered the news earlier this year when twelve of its employees at one factory committed suicide. In the months that followed the suicide cluster, disturbing facts emerged about the facility, which produced Apple iPods. Describing work conditions, factory insiders painted a picture of a profoundly depressed and dispirited workforce slaving around the clock for wages that start at $130 per month. Foxconn employees are often on their feet for eight hours at a time, regularly deal with emotional and psychological attacks, and often suffer workplace injuries.
Economic Déjà Vu”. … See the early 1900s in America. Is this where we are headed (again) in order to compete?
Mr. Reich is one of those professors and commentators that we might generally think is a bit too “out there” for our taste, but this excerpt from his NY Times article makes some poignant points. The complete article can be found at the TAM site.
“Starting in the late 1970s, the middle class began to weaken. Although productivity continued to grow and the economy continued to expand, wages began flattening in the 1970s because new technologies — container ships, satellite communications, eventually computers and the Internet — started to undermine any American job that could be automated or done more cheaply abroad. The same technologies bestowed ever larger rewards on people who could use them to innovate and solve problems. Some were product entrepreneurs; a growing number were financial entrepreneurs. The pay of graduates of prestigious colleges and M.B.A. programs — the “talent” who reached the pinnacles of power in executive suites and on Wall Street — soared.

The middle class nonetheless continued to spend, at first enabled by the flow of women into the work force. (In the 1960s only 12 percent of married women with young children were working for pay; by the late 1990s, 55 percent were.) When that way of life stopped generating enough income, Americans went deeper into debt. From the late 1990s to 2007, the typical household debt grew by a third. As long as housing values continued to rise it seemed a painless way to get additional money.

Eventually, of course, the bubble burst. That ended the middle class’s remarkable ability to keep spending in the face of near stagnant wages. The puzzle is why so little has been done in the last 40 years to help deal with the subversion of the economic power of the middle class. With the continued gains from economic growth, the nation could have enabled more people to become problem solvers and innovators — through early childhood education, better public schools, expanded access to higher education and more efficient public transportation.”

Excerpted from a NY Times Article by R. Reich
October-November 2011
Volume 1, Number 3
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The Activist Middle is published by RV Newsome, Associates, LLC at 5 Fontenay Circle, Little Rock, Arkansas 72223
Enlist your neighbors, relatives and friends in our cause; their cause. The battle for future of this country and the viability of the Middle Classes.
The Limping Middle Class
In This Issue:
* Now is the Time...
* Serious Times Ahead
* Limping Middle Class
(This article is returning this month by request)
Serious Times Ahead
The Limping Middle Class