We find Labor Day, the holiday created to celebrate the contributions of working men and women, in a diminished state this election year. It’s not unreasonable to ask just what we are celebrating in our day of growing economic injustice.
Between 2007 and 2010, while median family wealth fell by 38.8 percent, the wealth of the Walton family (of the Wal-Mart fortune) rose from $73.3 billion to $89.5 billion. In 2010, as the Walton’s wealth rose and most other Americans’ wealth declined, it is now the case that the Walton family wealth is as large as the bottom 48.8 million families in the wealth distribution (constituting 41.5 percent of all American families) combined.
Bernie Sanders’ Labor Day statement explains, “If you can believe it, the last study on this subject showed that in 2010, 93 percent of all new income created from the previous year went to the top one percent, while the bottom 99 percent of people had the privilege of enjoying the remaining 7 percent. In other words, the rich are getting much richer while almost everyone else is falling behind.”
So what do we conclude on this Labor Day? Sure, we can pretend it will be healed by the current administration who, being purchased by Wall Street, has not held a single fraudulent criminal accountable for the activity that brought about the economic collapse, while corporate profits soar to record highs. We can pretend supporting someone like Mitt Romney will compel the change we need — a man who plans to perpetuate trickle-down mythology, the very same policy that led us down this path.
What about those of us who are not willing to give in to hopelessness? What about those of us who refuse to remain silent while injustice is normalized and workers’ unions are increasingly pacified?
Unlike what we’ve come to expect from politicians, extending his political career is not Rocky Anderson’s motive. He made the decision to run for president because he knew our country needed a voice — a voice for the people in an age of corruption, a voice for public interest solutions amidst the private special interests in Washington.
The GOP spent last week manufacturing a narrative in which the cause of our economic recession was Obama’s weak policy. Let’s be clear: Obama’s weakness is his unwillingness to move forward with progressive economic policies such as a WPA program and raising the minimum wage — policies with a history of success.
This Labor Day, as election day nears, make the principled decision to get involved. Support a leader who needs your contribution to continue traveling the country with a positive message, unceasingly optimistic about the future of an America in which we the people will come together for the good of everyone. Donate today.