By Nathan Jackson Every year people make New Year’s resolutions. Eat healthier. Reconnect with old friends. Save money. This year it’s time we all came together and made an Economic Resolution, and unlike the promises the fade away after a few weeks, we can’t afford to let this resolution fail.
We can’t just sit around and wait for the economy to “get healthy.” We have to cut out the trans fat (like corporate giveaways), exercise our civic muscles and go to the gym a few times a week.
We won’t let the richest 1% forget how they got where they are
Nobody is an island. Most of us worked hard for what we have, but even the richest entrepreneur got where they are with the help of a prosperous and stable society, an infrastructure we all helped to get built, an ample & educated labor force — and at least a little bit of luck. Nobody is successful all by themselves — all of us have worked together to create a system that makes it possible.
But many of these of these rich folks are now actively campaigned to make us forget that we helped them build that wealth — throwing insult after insult at public investment and then turning around and taking advantage of those same kinds of investments to make themselves richer.
They’ve used us and the truth of the matter is that the rich haven’t been paying their fair share.
Tax avoidance by the wealthy costs the country $3 Trillion dollars a year. That’s trillion with a “T.”
To put that gargantuan number into perspective, Social Security has a budget of $884 Billion. Medicare has a budget of around $534 Billion. In other words, the tax avoidance by the wealthy could pay down Social Security, fully fund Medicare and still have lots of moola left over for jet planes, 21st Century Bridges and building the world’s biggest ball of twine.
We need the rich to pay their fair share so that we can fund social services, education and healthcare — to be a society. We don’t want to be a country that says “you are on your own.” We are all in this together and good neighbors offer a helping hand for those that need it. We help others pick themselves up, dust themselves off and get back to living a productive life.
We won’t let big corporations continue to dodge their responsibilities.
Big corporations have been fighting tooth and nail for more tax loopholes and write-offs while stealing wages, shaving hours, and misclassifying workers as “temporary” or “independent contractors.”
Corporations are evading their societal responsibilities and hurting workers at the same time. It’s time we put a stop to that.
Big corporations should live up to their responsibilities — pay their taxes, hire workers and pay living wages with benefits. We should hold them to account and let them know that we won’t sit idly by and let them keep getting away with it
Corporations are sitting on record profits and instead of doing the right thing and paying their fair share they spend millions sidestepping taxes. It’s time they grew up and gave back to the country that has made them so profitable in the first place.
Corporations’ primary goal may be making money, but our job as a community is to make sure that that money isn’t picked from our pockets. That’s why we have rules and laws on the books that are supposed to ensure that workers, consumers, and the environment are protected.
Unfortunately, we’ve let the corporations chip away at those protections, and we’re all paying the cost.
That’s why this year will keep calling them out--we’ll expose their tax dodging ways and their irresponsible behavior.
We’ll do whatever we can to support workers who are coming together for good jobs.
We need good jobs that are secure, safe and pay living wages.
The best way to make this happen is for workers to come together and form a union. That’s exactly why so many companies are afraid of unionization. In fact, they’re so scared of their own workers that some even show anti-union films to new hires during their orientation.
Strong unions helped lift millions of working folks out of poverty and helped keep greedy CEOs in check. Workers organizing themselves fought for better wages, safety in the workplace, the 40 hour work week, the end of child labor and many more efforts that benefitted workers across the spectrum. We know that the organized workers don’t just improve their own lives at work – by taking action together, they help lift up standards for all workers
The gap between the rich and the poor is bigger now than it has been in fifty years. We are seeing the vision of a good job that pays family, living wages become a far off dream for many of us--and we need that to change.
So when workers stand up to improve their jobs in 2013, we’ll be there right alongside them.
We won’t let our elected officials ignore the 99%
It’s time for elected officials to put the needs of the voting public ahead of the big corporations. Our elected officials need to stand up with us against the needs and desires of the super wealthy and the big corporations. They’re supposed to represent us, the people, not the corporate bottom line.
Too often the opposite happens. For example, the Port of Seattle has been letting companies at our airport misclassify workers as independent contractors, pay substandard wages, and even continue to make profits in the face of unsafe working conditions. The Port of Seattle belongs to the people of King County. It’s our port, and it needs to put the needs of the public good over the good will of big corporations like Alaska Airlines and the multinational contractors they hire to serve their passengers.
Leadership means doing the right thing by the people. It means standing up for workers in our ports who are facing unsafe working conditions, low pay and mistreatment.
We need our elected officials to stop hiding behind flimsy arguments and start holding businesses to account.
2012 was a good year for advancing the cause of worker justice and we took many steps in the right direction to build a more fair economy, but we are just getting started. We have to do better as a society and this Economic Resolution is a good place to start.
Now, let’s get to work.