BY SHARON MARTIN
Labor unions? Blood suckers that destroy the economy.
Raising the minimum wage? Kills jobs.
If you believe these things, you probably call yourself a conservative. You want fathers to earn a living while Mom stays home to raise and educate the children.
In the best socially liberal world, there is a parent at home with children, as well, but a liberal, the true social conservative, understands that a family must have access to affordable healthcare. Breadwinners must earn a living wage.
The current push to kill unions and maintain the status quo on healthcare and the minimum wage just doesn’t jive with rightwing wails about the decline of the American family. Why do the people who preach family values work so hard to destroy the economic base on which a family depends?
Unions, like this democratic republic, were built on blood and labor. Workers and policemen died at Haymarket Square. Women died at the Triangle Shirt Factory. Miners still die deep in the earth to feed their families and make mine owners rich. Unemployed manufacturing workers struggle for want of what a good union provides – decent working conditions, a living wage, 40-hour week with overtime pay when the job demands it.
When adults work minimum wage jobs just to float below the poverty level, there is no money for a family. Perversely, social conservatives want to ban cheap contraceptives and shut down Planned Parenthood. And if your multiple 20-hour-week jobs don’t feed you, go to the church for a handout; it’s not the government’s job to feed you.
Tax revenue is reserved for job creators.
Don’t expect to be covered when you get laid off your job or get sick. And none of that socialism that says everyone gets an education or has access to preventive healthcare!
Baffling, isn’t it, this lack of logic?
Social justice isn’t evil. It isn’t even socialism; it’s good sense. You can’t build an economy by starving workers, limiting access to quality healthcare, or rationing education. Workers can’t raise healthy families when parents work for slave wages just to keep a roof over their heads and industrial food in their children’s bellies.
It’s time for a revolution. The true social conservatives must rise up and demand decent wages and safe working conditions. They must picket for universal healthcare and universal education. Our country’s economy and conservative family values are on the line.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer