Stewart Acuff

Mar 6

The Imperative of Change

In my blog Change is Coming, I provided ideas for a new and mostly complete agenda for America’s unions to fight our way out of the crisis that workers, our unions and country are mired in. Not surprisingly, these are really one crisis suffered by working families and the middle class and, therefore, the whole country.

On reflection, some further explanation is needed. No democracy can survive the intentional, internal subjugation to poverty and misery and lower standards of living since a democracy exists for the benefit of its people.

In the name of technology, a global economy, the free flow of capital, innovation, and flexibility, we have destroyed the economy of millions of Americans. We are quickly destroying our holy, mother earth, and are trying to extricate ourselves from an endless global war that has bankrupted our federal budget and replaced every terrorist killed with 10 to take up arms.

At the mercy of anti-democratic, radical rightwing forces with unlimited amounts of money, we have lost our way.

– We need to invest in America to make our economy more productive, to put people to work, and to grow our way out of the economic ditch – and instead we reward the wealthy for nothing, cut the budget, and threaten to put our elders and disabled in poverty by cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

– The needs and dreams of average people are ignored, disregarded, and trampled on.

– Our non-democratic, increasingly autocratic Supreme Court have made elections a function of money instead of popular will, so that even those who share our values are forced to ignore the cries of hunger, poverty, and sickness.

– No one effectively represents the needs and interests of average Americans.


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Stewart Acuff is the former organizing Director of the AFL-CIO. Acuff has also written two books: Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing, and Getting America Back to Work.

Playing Bigger Than You Are - A Life in OrganizingGet the e-book edition of Playing Bigger Than You Are by clicking here!

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