Friday, May 05, 2006

Hearts and Minds

I insist that much of the reason public opinion towards the Iraq War has shifted is that enough people refused to buy into the "BushSwill" that the "War Media" was feeding them. The fact that a "MicroMedia" has risen to counter "MegaMedia" and the Internet itself has allowed people to access information and ideas that ten years ago would have been confined to a few "fringe folk".

I now believe that same effort needs to be put into economic news. People need to realize that there's a huge gulf between Wall St. and Main Street.

The "SheepDog" media paints a rosy picture of rising stocks, shrinking unemployment and growth in construction, among other indicators. The problem is that the people who are in need of economic growth the most can't really benefit for these.

Most people who own stock still have a long way to go to recoup thier losses, and very few people at the bottom levels likely own any stock at all. Why not look at what the purchasing power of the minimum wage is as an indicator of how well the economy is growing.

Employment and produtivity are hand-in-hand. Much of that growth in the employed is probably people being forced into the "McEconomy"; low-wage, low or no-benefit, part-time work at places like McDonalds, Wal-Mart, or Best Buy. The decline in Unemployment could also be linked to people falling off the radar. Productivity simply may mean that those who are working, are working well (I'm seeing this at FedEx Ground). What would happen to those employment figures if the "McEconomy" was left out and a kind of "underemployment rate" were calculated.

Construction simply should be seen as "those who have money are spending it".

The question then is, "so how do these facts get out"? The answer is to take a page from the opposition to the "War on Terror", specifically United For Peace and Justice.

UFPJ was formed as a coalition of anti-war, etc groups. Likely as a response to the "red-baiting" tactics the "War Media" was using against ANSWER. I realize that ANSWER does have some despotic ties, but to use them as an example of a the whole movement was McCarthyism all over again.

What I would like to see is a kind of UFEJ; United For Economic Justice. This would be a coalition of groups like ACORN, MoveOn, Change To Win, NAACP, etc. Their goal would be to bring the light of truth about the economy to the people, and mobilize them around an agenda of economic justice.

A likely project would be to get "Living Wage" laws or referendum in every state. What better place to start than literally at the bottom. From there issues like health and child care, school funding, etc could be explored.

Hey, when the anti-war movement started, no one thought they could make the gains they have made. Why can't lightning strike twice.