Sunday, May 11, 2008

Middle Class Union: A Revolution to Create Reals Change

Middle Class Union: A Revolution to Create Real Change
Theresa Chaze

Nearly everyone has read the "do not buy gas" or which gas companies uses which country's oil postings that have been circulated around the net since the price of gas has started to skyrocket. Neither of them are particular effective. The loss of revenue from one day will not hurt the oil companies, especially when they know it will be made up the next day.
Secondly, oil companies mix and match their oils sources. You can never be sure which supplier they are using at any particular moment. Both are very good ideas, yet very impractical. What I propose is broader based, yet will be more effective if the general public choose to take back their power.

The economy of any country is based on the general public’s willingness and ability to by products. No matter what political structure, the economy is based on supply and demand. As long as there are those willing to buy, the economy will be active. Yet whether Democratic, Theocracy, or Communist, the upper one percent always benefits the most from the economic successes, while those whose do the work are the last to receive any benefits. The major networks, such as CNN and Fox, have reported that the although the cost of gas has put most consumers in a financial bind, the purchase of luxury items by the ultra-rich have been increasing. The upper 1% is fighting over Mercedes, while the middle class has had to decide between buying a gallon of milk or gas to get to work. When the middle class has money to buy goods and services the economy thrives. It is the fastest way to add jobs and employee benefits. The more the middle class has to spend, the more money there will be available for new jobs, better equipment, and profits. When the middle class looses its buying power, the economy shrinks not only in employability, but also in its profitability.

It is the hard work of the middle class that has made this country economically strong and secure; yet, in the last seven years, these are the people who have lost the most. Higher energy prices have led to increases on every level. Not wanting to be left out of the raping of the middle class, the drug and insurance companies had followed suit. All of which have lead to the streamlining of employment opportunities. Thousands of jobs are lost every month. The jobs that have replaced them are lower paying with fewer benefits. Oil company executives have been receiving record breaking bonuses, while the investors have had enjoyed enormous profit shares, while the people who process the oil into gas have had their jobs vanish and their wages decrease.

Recently the oil companies have been buying air time to change their image; they are promoting themselves as patriotic companies who are doing their best to be green, while protecting the country‘s interests. Clean coal is an oxymoron if I ever heard one. Mining it rapes the land and poisons the water. Burning it pollutes the air. The only true sources of clean energy are wind and solar. They are totally renewable and pollution free. However, they are under utilized. Both along with geothermal are the industries of the future both for energy and jobs. Yet, the technology is available now. We don’t have to wait 10-15 or 20 years. All three are viable sources now, if we would only choose to demand them. There is a wind turbine that is designed for individual homes; it stands 33 feet and is totally self contained. It provides enough energy to run a single family home on as little as 7 mph wind. Combining it with a geothermal furnace and an electric car releases the family from the strangle hold of the oil companies.

The car companies, who have been the hardest hit by the increase in gas prices, are still promoting the gas-guzzlers that gutted their profit margin at the cost of thousands of jobs. Even though the technology has been available for decades to make vehicles more gas efficient and ecologically responsible, they continue to create gas inefficient vehicles. Those that buy them are just as responsible for the gas prices as are the oil companies and the car manufactures. As long as we buy into the hype, the prices will continue to increase. Every time a large SUV, pick up, or any other gas-guzzler is driven, imagine the country, especially the middle class, being bent over and screwed by the oil companies. For in reality that is what is happening.

The media has kept quiet about how available and efficient alternative energy sources are. Politicians talk about making changes, yet they have to come up with policies that promote realistic changes. The subliminal advertising tells the public that they are powerless to make changes. This is untrue. The greatest power in this country is the middle class. It is their dollar that turns the economic wheel that generates the economic, political and social power. How, where and when we spend our money is the fuel that moves the economy. When the police want to protest or protect their benefits, they catch the blue flu and everyone stays home. Unions were created when the workers banned together for living wages and benefits. When the majority of the workers said enough is enough and closed the factory down, then real changed happened. It was by working together the employees revolutionized the work place.

I propose a middle class union. No dues. No leaders. Just the middle class working as a group standing up and saying we aren’t going to take it any more. If a majority of the workers stayed home for one day--no driving, no shopping, no school, no dinner and a movie, the economy would screech to a halt. However, a minority cannot create the momentum to make a difference. Yet, if 75% or more of the country calls in sick on May 24th, it will put the power back in the hands of the people, where it rightfully belongs. The loss of one day’s pay will be hard for many in the short term, yet in the long run it will be worth it for both individuals and small businesses in lower energy prices, which in turn will lower the prices of everything else. The fact is that unless we take back our power, we will be at the mercy of the greedy. However, if we stand together, not only can we get our economic power back, but also our ability to control government.

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