By Stanley Campbell
I think we lost it. Not the war against terror—we never had a chance. And the drug war went up in a puff of smoke.
We are losing the class war because the rich are kicking our butts. That’s the super rich, “I don’t have to pay any more taxes upper class inherited wealth” that has out-classed us poor working stiffs “who better not get sick in this dirty environment.”
The rich have a whole news network to tell us we cannot fight a class war, and then they go and fight against the working class. We’re losing health care, pensions and our educational system. Our governmental services are getting cut while international oilmen have our military fighting to keep their businesses overseas.
If you look at the services that government provides, the rich are still getting what they need, but we are losing what we need.
My friends, let me remind you that all we really have on this earth is time.
After 50 or 100 years, our poor body returns to the dust from whence it came. And how we spend our time determines the quality of our lives. If we spend 40 years in a factory, then shouldn’t we enjoy the few remaining years left on this planet?
Of course, if we were born back in the Dark Ages, our chances of a quality life would’ve been pretty small. But thanks to those who struggled for life, liberty and pursuing happiness, most enjoy a middle-class life full of choices.
The struggle was against royalty and bullies, whose families demanded servitude from their subjects. And the struggle continues. The inherited wealthy don’t want you disturbing their “God-given” right to wealth. If they can buy a governor who will take away your rights to bargain, they will.
And if manufacturers can find slave labor to make their products, they’ll move the factories overseas, even if it means dealing with Chinese communists. When you purchase something at a big-box store, chances are that item was made by a modern-day slave.
We struggled for the right to get paid for overtime after 40 hours, or sick leave from work or go to a doctor and have your time extended by modern medicine. But that is expensive and cuts into the profits of the owners of the factories and sweatshops.
Don’t be envious of state employees who’ve won a good contract, allowing them to retire early and enjoy the last years of their lives. We should extend that gift to everyone else! And everyone else in the world.
Now, some good news…
Let me invite you to a celebration of local heroes who volunteered for the Peace Corps and served overseas. Thursday, March 24, the community will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, and you are welcome to an ethnic supper at Christ United Methodist Church, Alpine and Highcrest, Rockford.
Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m., to be followed by a program at 7 p.m. Dinner is free to all former and present-day Peace Corps volunteers, but call Loren Floto at (815) 624-7622 to reserve a spot. The public is invited to dine for a contribution.
That’s the good news in the midst of all this strife.
Stanley Campbell is executive director of Rockford Urban Ministries and spokesman for Rockford Peace & Justice.
From the March 9-15, 2011, issue