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#777893 Oct 19, 2012
slaves without masters
Among the arguments most frequently employed by John
C. Calhoun, George Fitzhugh, and other apologists for slavery
was that northern workers, facing ever greater competition
in the labor markets, were, or soon would be, worse
off than those in bondage. Northern workers were “slaves
without masters,” Fitzhugh argued in his notorious book
by that title. They were oppressed by capitalists who, unlike
slaveholders, had no equity stake in the well-being of their
workers. The prospect of men who were supposed to be
“wage slaves” prospering instead as yeomen in Missouri,
Kansas and elsewhere in what was then “the West” thus
undermined the planter class’ view of itself and the world.
White settlers, meanwhile, viewed the prospect of having to
compete with African slaves and an expanding plantation
system led by decadent aristocrats with horror. Southern
“Slave Power,” declared Sen. Thomas Morris of Ohio, was
even worse than northern “Bank Power.” Morris vowed
to take on not only the banks but also the “goliath of all
monopolies,” the slave system.12 The result of this collision between slave power and the yeoman ideal was, to say the
least, a serious rewrite of the nation’s social contract—one
that involved far more than freeing the slaves, and that has
deepening relevance today as the modern wage system
comes under stress.
Since: Feb 10
#777894 Oct 19, 2012
President Obama picked up the endorsement of several high-profile newspapers today, but this one is more likely to leave a mark on Mitt Romney as it comes from the Salt Lake City Tribune of Utah.
Too many Mitts
Obama has earned another term
In short, this is the Mitt Romney we knew, or thought we knew, as one of us.
Sadly, it is not the only Romney, as his campaign for the White House has made abundantly clear, first in his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign:“Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?”
The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear.[...]The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear.
More troubling, Romney has repeatedly refused to share specifics of his radical plan to simultaneously reduce the debt, get rid of Obamacare (or, as he now says, only part of it), make a voucher program of Medicare, slash taxes and spending, and thereby create millions of new jobs.
To claim, as Romney does, that he would offset his tax and spending cuts (except for billions more for the military) by doing away with tax deductions and exemptions, is utterly meaningless without identifying which and how many would get the ax. Absent those specifics, his promise of a balanced budget simply does not pencil out.
#777895 Oct 19, 2012
And band watcher___right?
Since: May 11
#777896 Oct 19, 2012
Nope, run my own business currently & for ten years.
Since: Feb 10
#777897 Oct 19, 2012
The second endorsement comes from the Denver Post of Colorado, and while the Post’s endorsement is not as damning of Mitt Romney as the Salt Lake City Tribune’s, the editorial board did urge readers to vote for President Obama.....
And though there is much in Mitt Romney’s résumé to suggest he is a capable problem-solver, the Republican nominee has not presented himself as a leader who will bring his party closer to the center at a time when that is what this country needs.
His comments on the 47 percent of Americans who refuse to “take personal responsibility and care for their lives” were a telling insight into his views and a low point of the campaign.
Obama, on the other hand, has shown throughout his term that he is a steady leader who keeps the interests of a broad array of Americans in mind.
We urge Coloradans to re-elect him to a second term.
#777898 Oct 19, 2012
The passage of the Homestead Act in 1862 is a prime example
of how much the Civil War was about preservation of
the yeoman idea. Because of the political opposition from
slaveholders, Congress debated the Act but could not pass
it for more than a decade. But once the South was seceded
the Act’s promise of 160 acres of Western land to any citizen
was quickly realized. In practice, as we shall see, the
Homestead Act would not live up to its champion’s expectations,
but it was an important expression of the nation’s
commitment to, in the words of Sen. Samuel Pomeroy of
Kansas,“the hearts, the bones, the sinews, of an independent,
loyal, free yeomanry, who have the comforts of home,
the fear of a God, the love of mankind and the inspiration
of a good cause.”13
With the South out of the Union, Congress was also able to
pass the Morrill Act, It offered all Northern states land grants
of at least 90,000 acres, which they could sell to finance the
creation of so-called “land grant” colleges, as they came to
be known. These were originally agricultural and mechanical
schools, designed to further the independence of yeomen.
During the inaugural ceremonies for one of the first
land grant colleges—the institution that eventually became
the University of Illinois—its new president heaped praise
upon the leading champion of the bill, Jonathan Baldwin
Turner, for having “plowed and plunged and ricocheted
through these prairies with an energy and vehemence that
no bulwarks of ignorance or apathy could withstand, and
which brought nearly every farmer and artisan hurrying to
his standard from far and near, and put in motion the imperial
columns of our freeborn yeomanry.”14
Since: Feb 10
#777899 Oct 19, 2012
A third endorsement comes from the Tampa Bay Times, which weighs heavily on the president’s accomplishments in foreign policy, immigration, and social progress in stark contrast to Mitt Romney who, for most of the campaign, pretended to be “severely conservative.”........
Obama has earned second term
The differences on social issues are stark. With congressional Republicans forcing a stalemate on immigration, Obama took the initiative to let young undocumented immigrants of promise stay in this country legally if they are in school, high school graduates or serve in the military.
In contrast, Romney suggested a policy of “self-deportation” but now acknowledges 11 million illegal immigrants cannot be sent to their home countries. He says he would not revoke exemptions granted under Obama’s order but would not allow new ones. Any hope for broad immigration reform to keep and attract the best and the brightest regardless of their birthplace lies with the incumbent Democrat.
#777900 Oct 19, 2012
here in NYC part-timers hired at minimum wage usually have names like Tanisha, Shamika, Mo'Neaqua and LeoSnotta. There is a high absentee rate on Mondays because the baby daddies often beat them over the weekend.
#777902 Oct 19, 2012
A separate “Southern Homestead Act” passed in 1866 and
specifically designed to benefit African Americans, had no
chance of success. Like Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s
Special Field Order No. 15, with its promise of “forty acres of
tillable ground” to newly freed slaves, it fell victim to white
backlash and sectional compromise during Reconstruction
and was rescinded. Along with more and more of their
white counterparts in the South and elsewhere, black farmers
would be tenant farmers and sharecroppers, or slaves
#777903 Oct 19, 2012
Arguably the most famous American of this era after Twain
was a journalist-turned-economist named Henry George. He
wrote a book, Progress and Poverty, which became a runaway
best-seller and inspired discussion groups around the country,
some of which still exist today. George advocated a tax
on land that would compensate the landless for the loss of
their birthright. The radicalizing moment for George came
in 1871, while riding on horseback to view San Francisco Bay.
“I asked a passing teamster, for want of something better to
say, what land was worth there,” George would later recount.
“He pointed to some cows grazing… and said,‘I don’t know
exactly, but there is a man over there who will sell some land
for a thousand dollars an acre.’ Like a flash it came over me
that there was the reason of advancing poverty with advancing
wealth. With the growth of population, land grows in value,
and the men who work it must pay more for the privilege.”18
Academic economists quarreled with George’s analysis, but
to millions of Americans steeped in the yeoman tradition
it seemed to explain everything. Farmers and workers created
value, using land and other natural resources that were
God’s gift to mankind. Landlords, bankers, speculators
and monopoly capitalists, by contrast, produced no value.
Everything this expanding, rent-seeking class consumed
from morning to night—their bonbons, their cigars, their
silk top hats—was produced by the hand of labor. Take away
that hand and all fortunes would be revealed as worthless,
because there would be nothing for the rich to buy.
#777905 Oct 19, 2012
LOL...have another drink.
#777906 Oct 19, 2012
Many Americans turned to socialism, led by such figures
as the union leader and political activist Eugene V. Debs,
who ran unsuccessfully for president five times—including
once from prison. But the main current of the emerging
Populist, Labor, and Progressive movements rejected common
ownership of the means of production, instead favoring
government action to preserve the yeoman from predatory
trusts and banks.For the prairie Populists of the late 19th century,“free
silver” became the obsessive rallying cry. Today, most educated Americans are familiar with William Jennings
Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” speech, but it can be hard for us to
fathom how ordinary people could get so worked up over
a technical question of monetary policy: that is, whether
to peg the value of the dollar to gold, or to cheaper, more
abundant silver. The answer is debt relief, primarily for
yeoman farmers who were losing their way of life. When
Bryan exclaimed to the 1896 Democratic Convention,
“You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold,” he
was promising to deliver inflation, or what amounted to
the same thing, a devalued currency that would make it
easier for heavily indebted yeomen to avoid default and
hold on to their assets.
#777907 Oct 19, 2012
The major currents of the labor movement in this era also
reveal the influence of the yeoman tradition. The dominant
labor leader, Samuel Gompers, founder of the American
Federation of Labor, opposed socialism and preached
instead a social gospel that stressed strong family life, selfimprovement,
and “working class thrift” or what we would
today call “asset building.” When asked, amidst the economic
depression of the early 1890s, what labor wanted,
Gompers famously said one word:“More.” But more what?
More wages and more time off, certainly. But specifically,
more economic independence. As Gompers later elaborated:
“We tacitly declare that political liberty with[out] economic
independence is illusory and deceptive, and that…
only…as we gain economic independence can our political
liberty become tangible and important.”19
#777908 Oct 19, 2012
This is the language of civic republicanism, only now spoken
on behalf of a yeoman who is no longer a farmer but
a unionized craft tradesman, and who retains his aspirations
to own his own home, raise and educate his family,
and in these and other ways rise up as a free man in a free
republic. The images of the early American labor
#777909 Oct 19, 2012
Da-Vey Putz didn't know buggy whips were out of fashion. LOL
#777910 Oct 19, 2012
The images of the early American labor movement
that come down through history are mostly red, that
is both bloody and associated with leftist anarchy: the Mollie
Maguires up against the Pinkerton; the Wobblies vandalizing
box cars with“silent agitator” stickers or Eugene Debs
and the Pullman strikers battling federal troops amidst the
flames of the torched World Columbian Exposition. But the
earliest, and over time, the most politically influential strain
of the labor movement rejected socialism, rejected communism,
#777911 Oct 19, 2012
This dominant tradition instead emphasized the need for
a “family wage” that would pay a reasonably sober, thrifty
man enough to keep his wife and children out of the mills
and the mines and preserve their home. The famous labor
leader Mary Harris (Mother) Jones is today remembered as
a leftist feminist icon, and she certainly was a woman who
knew how to raise hell. But she believed so strongly in the
yeoman values of hearth and home that she championed
what we would today call “wage discrimination” against
women and even opposed women’s suffrage.
The average working woman is unfitted for the
ballot. She will rarely join an organization of the
industry she works in. Give her the vote and she’ll
neglect it. Home training of the child should be
her task, and it is the most beautiful of tasks.
Solve the industrial problem and the men will
earn enough so that women can remain at home
and learn it.20
#777912 Oct 19, 2012
Like today, the Progressive Era was a time of deep conflicts
and confusion over how best to preserve the yeoman tradition
under rapidly changing conditions. One hallmark of the
age was a very high faith among American elites in science
and in “scientific” government. The creation of a civil service,
Teddy Roosevelt and other high-minded Progressives
believed, would purify politics and professionalize administration.
Progressives also believed that bureaucrats at the
newly empowered Interstate Commerce Commission could
protect small-scale producers from the monopoly power
of railroads by scientifically determining with their slide
rules the exact right price for transporting, say, a pig, as
opposed to a trainload of hams, from Dubuque to Chicago.
Eugenics, including the sterilization of “imbeciles” to prevent
“race suicide,” was another great Progressive era cause.
So was “scientific management” of business, informed by
Frederick Taylor’s “time and motion” studies of assemblyline
workers, which figures like the jurist Louis Brandeis
cited in hammering against the waste and inefficiency of
Since: May 11
#777913 Oct 19, 2012
The point is that smart business people know & understand the value of good employees, Understand the costs of training new ones. Most are already offering good insurance benefits . They are not going to run out & make everyone part time.
#777914 Oct 19, 2012
White racism, meanwhile, deepened across all classes.
The Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson, upheld “separate
but equal” in 1896. Extrajudicial mob murders, otherwise
known as lynchings, exceeded 200 a year and became, for
their on-lookers, almost festive communal events. Another
kind of blood lust, Imperialism, also ran high, as the country
charged into costly and ill-considered wars in Cuba and
Yet despite these contradictions and contrasts, one broadly
shared priority united populist farmers and urban professionals,
Bible thumpers and secular social engineers. It was
that government should preserve the promise of American
life by using its powers to protect small-scale producers
from the predations of monopoly capital—and do so without
resorting to any radical socialist schemes that would
threaten the yeoman’s ideal of liberty.
“Which do you want?” Woodrow Wilson asked a campaign
audience in 1912:
Do you want to live in a town patronized by some
great combination of capitalists who pick it out as
a suitable place to plant their industry and draw
you into their employment? Or do you want to see
your sons and your brothers and your husbands
build up business for themselves under the protection
of laws which make it impossible for any
giant, however big, to crush them and put them
out of business?22
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