Just a week ago I had the honor of being in Mt. Vernon, Indiana for a major protest against the closing of a large Whirlpool factory that had employed 1,200 people so they could move the work to Mexico.
In Minnesota, Polaris snowmobiles announced they are closing their factory in Osceola to move that work to Mexico.
Both these decisions made by Corporate America and our Financial Elite during the worst economic crisis and highest unemployment since the Great Depression 70 years ago.
These totally unjustifiable decisions reinforce the fact that the free market isn't free, that free trade isn't free, that the invisible hand of the market is a myth and that unregulated, de-regulated capitalism ultimately only works for the Financial Elite.
As I spoke at a rally of some 1,200 folks in southern Indiana I looked at the former Whirlpool workers who had just lost their jobs and thought they will never find jobs as good as they lost the rest of their lives. They had had a union and decent wages and benefits, dignity, and a decent quality of life for their families. But for most of them who can't yet retire all that is now gone. They will find only poverty level jobs--if that.
How long will America force its own people into poverty just to pad the pockets of those who make more in a day than we could spend in a lifetime? How long will CEOs demand salaries over 400 times as much as the people who work for them and produce the goods and services that make a profit and allow CEOs to be so handsomely rewarded? How long will the Financial Elite who drove our economy into the ditch and yet still haven't suffered at all force the kids of working families into poverty? How long will the middle class survive this ongoing, continuous assault on our wages, our benefits, and working families quality of life? And how long will we continue to pretend that the American Dream is still accessible to those who work hard, play by the rules, and try to live a good life?
As we say in our new book, Getting America Back to Work, America has officially stopped working for ordinary Americans and now only works for the unimaginably rich and powerful. When the Financial Elite, Corporate America, and their Right-wing Republican allies destroyed the freedom to form unions and bargain collectively, they destroyed America's best ever exit ramp from poverty and entrance ramp to the middle class. They also destroyed the American Dream for millions of workers stuck in poverty level job with no hope of a decent future.
Our new book, Getting America Back to Work, lays out in very accessible language what has happened to the U.S. economy and what will take to get America back to work for ordinary Americans. Destroying the lives of average Americans only makes things worse.
Here is video of the speech: