To The Daily Sun,
It is a matter of power and influence. The rich and business owners and managers have power and the middle class and poor has very little. Why?
The middle class acquires power and influence in two ways: our elected representatives (Congress and local state governments) and through collective bargaining (unions). Well, as we have seen Congress has been taken over by the rich, and our New Hampshire General Court (taken over) by the Republicans, who openly support the rich and business owners. Republican-led governments work to weaken middle class influence by a number of means including stopping or opposing unions.
With little influence in the federal or state governments and an erosion of organized labor, the middle class and the poor have lost out. Our wages are low. Our working conditions are poor. The middle class is disappearing. And we have no way to change this status quo without stronger unions and better representation in governments. Luckily for New Hampshire our U.S. senators and congressional representatives are pro-middle class and worker. But this is the exception and not the rule in Washington.
Right-to-Work laws weaken unions, thereby prevent the middle class and the poor from getting a fair wage and a fair "deal" in life. The playing field is horribly tilted toward the rich and is getting worse.
For a moment think what would happen if all the Walmart system of stores was unionized and allowed to bargain collectively with management. It would raise the standard of living of all American workers. Currently the Walmart owners get about $8 billion a year in profits. Why don't they use some of this excess to raise the standard of living of their employees?
A 40-hour work week in any job should produce enough income to provide a living without government assistance. Right now, two parents working three jobs at $7.25 an hour (federal and state minimum wage) would earn about $40,000 a year. I urge our state reps and senators to try raising a family on that without any other income or health care support.
- Category: Letters
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