People First

Early this morning I watched British, German and Middle Eastern News via BBC America and Link TV. I try to do this each morning - in my ongoing effort to become better connected to the grassroots internationally. It is clear that strikes are happening in Germany (train conductors) and all over France. As a service I might consider providing a better summary for my dear readers than - 'strikes happen'. But, for now my intent is to touch on the fundamental aspect - people come first. People's lives, specifically workers' lives are vastly more important than the inconvenience the strike causes, CEO earnings, shareholder earnings or the Gross National Product.

Robert Kennedy Jr. spoke eloquently about the GNP being based on all the wrong things, yet was considered the measure of success.
Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife. And the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.

It is forty years later and nothing has changed. In fact it is worse. The sad reality is that this country has lost most of its unions through Walmartisation. Even the few remaining unions are often co-oped by their own leadership. That being said, I want to share this video about the Writer's Strike. It is really funny and spells out the issue quite simply. Maybe these really intelligent, funny and progressive writers can help wake up those still sleeping. Ya think?

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