A Fragile Economic System

  Just the other day there was a fake tweet on the Twitter account of the Associated Press. It said there had been an attack on the White House that injured President Obama. Within two minutes the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 100 points. “And it wasn’t just the stock market. It was the bond market and commodity market and everything,” said Joseph Saluzzi, co-head of the equity-trading firm Themis Trading. In February, hackers infiltrated the Twitter accounts of Burger King and Jeep, spreading false posts that each company had been sold to a rival. These hackers are exposing how vulnerable and volatile the markets have become. Add in bank failures and the fact that the first thing the Bush administration told us to do after 9/11 happened was to go shopping and you can see we really have a weak economic system.

  Did you know it now costs 1.26 cents to mint a penny and 7.7 cents to mint a nickel? Does that make any sense (pun intended) to anyone? The national average bank interest rate in the U.S. for savings accounts is only .21 percent. You would feel like a fool trying to teach your children that they should bank their paper route money so they can watch it grow in the bank. In the ongoing class war the wealthiest in our nation want to continue to control our economic system. If this frail pathetic economic system is something they think is worth fighting for I say we let them have it. We need to keep our money in our pockets and sit back and watch the powers that be greedily cannibalized one another.

  The problem is we are being dragged into this fragile economic system. The corporations in this system have replaced our pensions with 401K retirement funds involving us in their economic system. Workers and unions around the country should be fighting for worker owned businesses and co-ops that put workers and the environment before greed. Instead unions are setting up lower tiers for the next generation of workers and pushing workers to take concessions. Workers who stand up to a company and turn down bad contracts are being chastised by fellow workers. Look no further for this example than at the GE plant in Warren, Ohio. Workers were asked for many concessions with no guarantee the plant wouldn’t move in a year anyway. The workers turned down the contract and the ones who voted for it started attacking their brother and sister workers who voted against it. The local corporate owned media were more than happy to interview the angry workers who voted for the contract. These workers would have worked for anything and voted yes on a blank contract. Such workers with no fight and self-worth are exactly the kind of workforce corporations long for. If you add in conservative politicians and business chambers that are willing to weaken corporate regulations and let them pollute then we can have Third World sweatshops coming back to the USA. It certainly isn’t the “American Dream” but it is the “Corporate Dream.”

  Every ten years there is talk of raising the minimum wage and you’d think by the outcry that the country was going to sink into the sea like Atlantis if it were raised. We should be talking about how jobs should pay a livable wage and put the idea of a minimum wage in a 100 year-old tomb where the idea belongs. Conservatives tell us that if businesses have to pay higher wages they will just charge consumers higher prices. Most of the U.S. shoe companies went overseas years ago to sweatshops for lower wage workers. I have yet to see those lower wages translate into the drop in the price for any shoes I’ve bought. The attacks against raising the minimum wage are just the bottom rung of the class warfare being waged against our poorest workers. I want to talk more about what it means to be the working poor next week.

  A new award this week is “Dumbest Local Criminal of the Week.” First up is convicted drug trafficker Stanley Reed Jr. of Warren, Ohio. He was sentenced to four years in prison and was then patted down by deputies before being taken to Trumbull County Jail. He was discovered to have near $5,000 and suspected cocaine the size of a baseball. Stanley only earns the runner-up because of an even dumber criminal. That would be Dennis J. Griffing who was caught putting money in a newspaper coin box to buy one Warren Tribune Chronicle and stealing 15 copies. He admitted stealing 15 to 20 newspapers from various machines over the last year. He had been suspected so the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office set up a stakeout at Griffing’s home and followed him catching him in the act. Other stakeouts have taken place at various newspaper boxes in the Warren area. I applaud the 97 arrests of drug dealers recently in Warren by area police agencies but I question the use of manpower to bring down a newspaper thief. At best Griffing will get a misdemeanor charge of theft.  I think Griffing could plead insanity because after all the rag he was stealing was the Warren Tribune Chronicle. The “Trib’s” editor Frank Robinson hates unions and public sector workers so he must really be angry that Mr. Griffing is a city employee. If I was a police detective my first suspect would have been a pet store owner who needed bird-cage lining.

I have a message to Editor Robinson from my neighbors in Vienna, Ohio. “Quit telling us what to do with our tax money.” Vienna had their wealthiest resident die awhile back and got a large settlement of taxes on his estate. It was held up awhile because of a battle with Warren, Ohio who tried to claim the deceased as a resident. Editor Frank has made several suggestions since the windfall about what Vienna should do with the money. I’m sure his next editorial on the subject will suggest the money go to getting each Vienna resident a lifetime subscription to the Warren Tribune Chronicle. Let me state one more time Editor Frank, MYOB it is not your money.

  I see where Tracey Winbush the host of “Tracey and Friends” on WSOM radio was going to be a speaker at a forum concerning among other things the Youngstown. Ohio Community Bill of Rights.   Tracey was going to be speaking in support of fracking. Tracey ended up being a no-show at the event and I’m not surprised. That is because on the radio Tracey can control the conversation but it would be a different ballgame at a debate. On the radio Tracey yells over those with opposing views. You hear her shouting, ‘Whoooo, hey, stop, yo, yo, hold on, hold on, listen, listen, whooo, yo, stop, stop, hold up, yo, whooo, hey, hey.” If she pulled that crap at a debate people would laugh in her face. I will hence forth refer to her as “Tracey No Show Winbush.” Then again maybe she didn’t show as her check from the gas company didn’t arrive. As a unionist I have to say I am ashamed of the Pipe Fitters Union that wants to put jobs before the community’s safety. They have been the ones putting up money for ads attacking the Youngstown, Ohio Community Bill of Rights. I suggest the Pipe Fitters Union spend some of that time and money doing some research about the dangers of horizontal hydraulic fracturing. Here is a very good source of fracking information: “People’s Virtual Library” A Project of the Northeast Ohio Affiliated Occupations. 

401Ks are a Disaster.

Talib Kweli: “Beautiful Struggle”

“Get By”

Area band: Punk Willie

“The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.”  ~Author Unknown

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