Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day

Thirty two years ago I was sitting on 5th Avenue on the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral watching and crying at the Labor Day Parade.  It was the year of the broken air traffic controllers union.  The fractured former members marched up 5th Avenue with their spouses and children.  It was without question one of the more human public displays I have witnessed.  It was painful and a very real reminder of the stronghold big business was gaining in the White House.  It hasn't gotten better since 1981.  Business and money are at the forefront of many political decisions, campaigns, and legislation.

Which brings me to the Affordable Care Act.  I do not presume to understand much of it, few do, I'm sure of that.  What I am sure of is that this country decades ago blew it.  We should have encouraged universal healthcare in this country.  Now, it's not possible with all the profits in the medical world.  Hospitals, drug  and insurance companies all have huge profit margins.  If they don't, they merge, close, or downsize.  It's all about the money.  Now, I have to believe that the onset of cancer center ads is another measure of profitability.  So, with all the money to be made by companies, board members, and shareholders, how can we ever get universal healthcare?

We didn't get what many of us wanted, but we got something.  We got something that the Republicans have been trying to overturn over 75 times in Congress.  The Supreme Court weighed in and said it was the law of the land, which must have killed the Justices. What we haven't gotten is an alternative.  Nothing. Rien. Nada. The Republicans just want to stop it and reverse it, but have never, not once, offered a solution of their own.  I have heard right wing citizens bitching and moaning about it.  I have heard Republican politicians complain session after session.  I want a new rule.  If you are on medicare, can afford insurance, have insurance provided by your employer or the taxpayer, shut up!  You shouldn't get a voice in this.  If you have no horse in this race, then you shouldn't get to sound off.  

It seems that only those that have nothing to gain out of Obamacare are the loudest.  Where are all the uninsured's voices.  I have repeatedly said that there is too much quiet from the groups that need the most.  Doesn't matter what the cause is.  I will keep shouting.  I will keep hoping that somebody hears.  

So, as I sit here, it is Labor Day again and there hasn't been a parade for years celebrating our work force and unions.  I don't know what happened and where it went, but maybe it's time to bring it back.  Maybe it is time to honor all the invisible people that make each day work for us.  Maybe it's time.

Sidebars:  If you haven't seen Lee Daniels' The Butler, run. Take your children. Take your parents.  It is a beautifully well made movie and a wonderful story.  Covers five decades of American history through the eyes of a butler in The White House.  CBS and Time Warner are still in a pissing contest here in NYC, L.A., and other cities.  Haven't had CBS for weeks.  Don't really care, but can feel the pinch inching closer.  Currently, we have the US Open tennis on CBS.  We can get some of it on other channels, but some of the big matches can only be seen on our computers.  What happens to Jets fans?  What happens if this goes into October and the premiere season?  The problem I see is that CBS keeps winning in the ratings without two of the biggest cities, so puts TW in a corner.  Two gigantic corporations fighting.  Who is losing?...

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