THE KING’S BEACH STATEMENT
PAUL B. BRESNAHAN
The primary concern we have is in the disparity of wealth in this nation. 1% of the population commands the vast majority of the wealth. The upper 10% now commands more than 92% of the wealth. We, the vast 90% now have less than 8% of the wealth. In 1983 we had almost 17% of the wealth. Thus the famous “trickle down” promise of Reaganomics has in fact been a “trickle up”. Those who decry the notion of redistribution of wealth, use their socialist/communist “boogeyman” bombast to smokescreen what is in fact a reverse trend. Thus the nation is concentrating wealth in a few hands at the cost of the many. As a result, jobs disappear, and the viability of such an economic system is self-evidently untenable. We, therefore must mobilize in order to intervene, since greed is as addictive as any other drug. We support peaceful, non-violent resistance in the tradition of Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela to seek redress and justice.
From Cairo to Wisconsin the people have taken to the streets to demand justice. The grinding poverty under which too many of us are living has caused enough pain and we will join in solidarity with all those who are suffering to hold a series of GENERAL STRIKES FOLLOWED BY A GATHERING AT THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL ON LABOR DAY.
We labor for wages that cannot support a family, while the super-rich are giving themselves billions in bonus money. The corporate machine sends our jobs overseas, closes our means of manufacture, lays us off by the hundreds of thousands, and the government cuts our jobs, and now they even want to take away collective bargaining rights. In the name of smaller government, they even want to lay off teachers, first responders, and others who provide essential services to the public good, safety and welfare. I They want to take away a hard won health care victory, they want to take away our homes, they want to take away our social security, and cut medicaid all for the sake of lower taxes for the rich. They have no idea of the pain they inflict upon the poor and the worker and now even on the middle class.
In the meantime we come to discover that major corporations and the super-rich pay little or no taxes,
Obviously, the next GENERAL STRIKE should be on April 15th. If we are to pay our taxes, we insist that corporations and the super-rich pay theirs. Obviously, if we are to fund a more just distribution of wealth, it will come from those with the money. If we are to fund a balanced budget, it will also have to come from the same source.
The next GENERAL STRIKE should be May 2, then of course month to month as needed and as momentum builds.
ULTIMATELY WE WILL GATHER AT THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL ON LABOR DAY BY THE MILLIONS, ALL AMERICAN UNEMPLOYED, TEACHERS, FIRST RESPONDERS, AND THE ENTIRE AMERICAN WORKFORCE. YOU WILL BEG US TO COME TO THE BARGAINING TABLE BY THE END OF LABOR DAY.
HERE IS WHAT WE DEMAND!
1. Jobs and Job Security
We demand full employment. “Un”employment is a misnomer. The proper name for Public Service from now on will be The EMPLOYMENT BUREAU. Unemployment insurance should then be EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. Government at all levels shall provide for the dignity of work where the private sector will not or cannot do so.
We demand that all teachers, police, fire and EMT’s be rehired and that we beef up education and public safety. It is a matter of NATIONAL SECURITY THAT WE DO SO! We cannot afford not to do this.
THERE SHALL BE UNION REPRESENTATION IN ALL WORKPLACES. The workers shall elect representatives from the workforce who will negotiate on behalf of the worker. THAT IS CALLED COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.
No more layoffs or terminations without a review of elected workforce representation. Grievances shall be brought to the same representatives for mediation and negotiation. WE INSIST ON UNION PROTECTION FOR THE AMERICAN WORKER.
In the meantime, figure out how to bring our jobs home again. We want to buy American made products again.
We demand an immediate doubling of the minimum wage.
We demand an immediate increase of 20% of all wages under $100,000. You can figure out how to pay for that but you can begin with a super-tax on the super-rich.
And we want another 20% bonus for our work too every November 15th so we can spend it on Black Friday and pump up the economy. They’ve been giving themselves billions in bonuses while we were losing our jobs and suffering from cutbacks, and losing our homes. You owe us!
3. Universal Health Care
We have fought long and hard for healthcare. It is unconscionable that in this country anyone should be deprived of good health care. Now you want to take away this modest advance on behalf of millions of folk in this nation! NO! We demand healthcare. We’re willing to negotiate how to pay for it. But we demand it and we demand it now. Hands off heath care!
4. Two Year Moratorium on Foreclosures
You made a huge mess and we bailed you out (Banks, Mortgage Companies, & Finance Institutions.) Now its your turn to bail us out. No more home foreclosures while we secure the American worker with good jobs and good pay. Then you better be ready to cut a deal, or its back to the streets!
5. Three Weeks Paid Vacation
You keep preaching to us about family values. I’ll tell you about family values. We want a minimum of three weeks paid vacation, two weeks annual allowance for illness, and five personal days a year. We cannot afford what you have. The least you can do for us is give us time with those we love. Then, as a bonus we'll take four weeks after five years working for you.
6. EQUAL RIGHT FOR ALL WITHOUT REGARD TO RACE, ETHNICITY, CLASS, GENDER, OR ORIENTATION. EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK FOR ALL. Quit picking on Gay Folks! Quit the bullying! Quit the threats on Obama and the Liberals! IN CASE YOU HADN’T NOTICED THE GREAT AMERICAN EAGLE CANNOT FLY WITHOUT BOTH WINGS. YOU NEED US AND WE NEED YOU. WE CANNOT DEAL WITH ALL OF OUR PROBLEMS UNLESS WE DO SO TOGETHER.
"Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of plutocracy" : John Pierpont Morgan
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." : Thomas Jefferson
“We're not a democracy. It's a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we're a plutocracy: a government by the wealthy." : Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General
"Dynastic wealth, the enemy of a meritocracy, is on the rise. Equality of opportunity has been on the decline. A progressive and meaningful estate tax is needed to curb the movement of a democracy toward plutocracy."
Warren Buffet speaking to the US Senate Finance Committee, November 14,200
Paul Bresnahan is a semi-retired Episcopal Priest living in Lynn, Massachusetts.