Today the tiny monkeys caused a bit of a RUCKUS. They held an outdoor concert in my backyard. All kinds of people walking by on their way to the local coffee shop wandered over and asked if it wasn’t a little late for SXSW. Haha so funny. It is a good thing Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World AND that my neighbors have a sense of humor. Otherwise someone probably would have called 311 and I am just too busy today to deal with a SWAT team.
Gordon and Beauregard are the vocalists. Mouse and Exupery play the ukulele. It takes two: one to do the strumming; the other does the chords.
They are gearing up for the folk music festival circuit. They play old school stuff: Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and the like. They are worried that too many people seem to be unaware of labor history in North America so they want to use the music of the time to help us appreciate where we’ve come from. Goofy kids.
Of course the monkeys may have a point. Unions are nearly extinct. As of 2012, only 6.6 percent of Americans belonged to unions in the private sector. (Compare to 28% in Canada, 20% in Britain & 20% in Germany)
Take a look at Robert Reich’s ski slope graph:
One way to illustrate how far Americans are being left behind is to compare median household income.
Governments protect their own power. They are inherently conservative because they thrive on stability. Corporations have only one goal: profit. The purpose of unions is to push back against the greed of corporations and Government’s near lack of interest. This triangular system works as long as a balance exists between opposing forces. I think this graph shows how out of balance that system is now. By removing worker power, the triangle has fallen into a line: a continuum of government/corporate power.
The slippery part of the slope begins in the Reagan era. Government policies of deregulation and anti-union legislation along with globalization and out of control CEO earnings have resulted in a pattern of tougher and tougher times for ordinary people.
Kind of gives a new meaning to trickling down.