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Intro: "From time to time, someone under 30 will ask me, 'When did this all begin, America's downward slide?' They say they've heard of a time when working people could raise a family and send the kids to college on just one parent's income (and that college in states like California and New York was almost free). That anyone who wanted a decent paying job could get one. That people only worked five days a week, eight hours a day, got the whole weekend off and had a paid vacation every summer. That many jobs were union jobs, from baggers at the grocery store to the guy painting your house, and this meant that no matter how 'lowly' your job was you had guarantees of a pension, occasional raises, health insurance and someone to stick up for you if you were unfairly treated."

Portrait, Michael Moore, 04/03/09. (photo: Ann-Christine Poujoulat/Getty)
Portrait, Michael Moore, 04/03/09. (photo: Ann-Christine Poujoulat/Getty)

The Day the Middle Class Died

By Michael Moore, Open Mike Blog

06 August 11


rom time to time, someone under 30 will ask me, "When did this all begin, America's downward slide?" They say they've heard of a time when working people could raise a family and send the kids to college on just one parent's income (and that college in states like California and New York was almost free). That anyone who wanted a decent paying job could get one. That people only worked five days a week, eight hours a day, got the whole weekend off and had a paid vacation every summer. That many jobs were union jobs, from baggers at the grocery store to the guy painting your house, and this meant that no matter how "lowly" your job was you had guarantees of a pension, occasional raises, health insurance and someone to stick up for you if you were unfairly treated.

Young people have heard of this mythical time - but it was no myth, it was real. And when they ask, "When did this all end?", I say, "It ended on this day: August 5th, 1981."

Beginning on this date, 30 years ago, Big Business and the Right Wing decided to "go for it" - to see if they could actually destroy the middle class so that they could become richer themselves.

And they've succeeded.

On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired every member of the air traffic controllers union (PATCO) who'd defied his order to return to work and declared their union illegal. They had been on strike for just two days.

It was a bold and brash move. No one had ever tried it. What made it even bolder was that PATCO was one of only three unions that had endorsed Reagan for president! It sent a shock wave through workers across the country. If he would do this to the people who were with him, what would he do to us?

Reagan had been backed by Wall Street in his run for the White House and they, along with right-wing Christians, wanted to restructure America and turn back the tide that President Franklin D. Roosevelt started - a tide that was intended to make life better for the average working person. The rich hated paying better wages and providing benefits. They hated paying taxes even more. And they despised unions. The right-wing Christians hated anything that sounded like socialism or holding out a helping hand to minorities or women.

Reagan promised to end all that. So when the air traffic controllers went on strike, he seized the moment. In getting rid of every single last one of them and outlawing their union, he sent a clear and strong message: The days of everyone having a comfortable middle class life were over. America, from now on, would be run this way:

  • The super-rich will make more, much much more, and the rest of you will scramble for the crumbs that are left.

  • Everyone must work! Mom, Dad, the teenagers in the house! Dad, you work a second job! Kids, here's your latch-key! Your parents might be home in time to put you to bed.

  • 50 million of you must go without health insurance! And health insurance companies: you go ahead and decide who you want to help - or not.

  • Unions are evil! You will not belong to a union! You do not need an advocate! Shut up and get back to work! No, you can't leave now, we're not done. Your kids can make their own dinner.

  • You want to go to college? No problem - just sign here and be in hock to a bank for the next 20 years!

  • What's "a raise"? Get back to work and shut up!

And so it went. But Reagan could not have pulled this off by himself in 1981. He had some big help:


The biggest organization of unions in America told its members to cross the picket lines of the air traffic controllers and go to work. And that's just what these union members did. Union pilots, flight attendants, delivery truck drivers, baggage handlers - they all crossed the line and helped to break the strike. And union members of all stripes crossed the picket lines and continued to fly.

Reagan and Wall Street could not believe their eyes! Hundreds of thousands of working people and union members endorsing the firing of fellow union members. It was Christmas in August for Corporate America.

And that was the beginning of the end. Reagan and the Republicans knew they could get away with anything - and they did. They slashed taxes on the rich. They made it harder for you to start a union at your workplace. They eliminated safety regulations on the job. They ignored the monopoly laws and allowed thousands of companies to merge or be bought out and closed down. Corporations froze wages and threatened to move overseas if the workers didn't accept lower pay and less benefits. And when the workers agreed to work for less, they moved the jobs overseas anyway.

And at every step along the way, the majority of Americans went along with this. There was little opposition or fight-back. The "masses" did not rise up and protect their jobs, their homes, their schools (which used to be the best in the world). They just accepted their fate and took the beating.

I have often wondered what would have happened had we all just stopped flying, period, back in 1981. What if all the unions had said to Reagan, "Give those controllers their jobs back or we're shutting the country down!"? You know what would have happened. The corporate elite and their boy Reagan would have buckled.

But we didn't do it. And so, bit by bit, piece by piece, in the ensuing 30 years, those in power have destroyed the middle class of our country and, in turn, have wrecked the future for our young people. Wages have remained stagnant for 30 years. Take a look at the statistics and you can see that every decline we're now suffering with had its beginning in 1981 (here's a little scene to illustrate that from my last movie).

It all began on this day, 30 years ago. One of the darkest days in American history. And we let it happen to us. Yes, they had the money, and the media and the cops. But we had 200 million of us. Ever wonder what it would look like if 200 million got truly upset and wanted their country, their life, their job, their weekend, their time with their kids back?

Have we all just given up? What are we waiting for? Forget about the 20% who support the Tea Party - we are the other 80%! This decline will only end when we demand it. And not through an online petition or a tweet. We are going to have to turn the TV and the computer and the video games off and get out in the streets (like they've done in Wisconsin). Some of you need to run for local office next year. We need to demand that the Democrats either get a spine and stop taking corporate money - or step aside.

When is enough, enough? The middle class dream will not just magically reappear. Wall Street's plan is clear: America is to be a nation of Haves and Have Nothings. Is that OK for you?

Why not use today to pause and think about the little steps you can take to turn this around in your neighborhood, at your workplace, in your school? Is there any better day to start than today?

P.S. Here are a few places you can connect with to get the ball rolling:

Main Street Contract for America
Showdown in America
Democracy Convention
Occupy Wall Street
October 2011
How to Join a Union by the AFL-CIO (they've learned their lesson and have a good president now), or
UE Change to Win
High School Newspaper (Just because you're under 18 doesn't mean you can't do anything!) your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+66 # silverfyre 2011-08-06 10:33
Enough has been enough for several years.
+28 # NanFan 2011-08-06 13:09
Quoting silverfyre:
Enough has been enough for several years.

Yet none of us band together for real and storm "the Bastille" of our corrupt and greedy corporate government.

Why is that? Enough is enough? It seems not. We, the people, are gluttons for punishment the same as "they" are gluttons for riches and out demise.

+31 # suzyskier 2011-08-06 15:28

I agree that we just sit back and take it but we must stop doing that! We need to get organized and expose all these fascist corporate bullies. We need a strong leader to help us get our country back before it really is too late, Read up on ALEC and private prisons where prisoners are taking the jobs away from the unemployed. These corporate rapers and their bought and paid for politicians will do anything for more of the pie.
+24 # tiredoldliberal 2011-08-06 17:17
The reason we don't take to the streets is because the police have guns and clubs and feel no hesitation about using them these days. I've been the victim of this treatment. Nobody was there for me and nobody will be there for you when you're clubbed to death. Sorry to inform you.
+16 # NanFan 2011-08-07 02:06
Tiredoldliberal ~

I hear ya. I've been there, too, but I'll be there again as long as this injustice continues.

We can choose to be a Gandhi or we can choose to let the Hitlerian-type government continue to run us over no matter what.

If not the streets, how? I'm thinking a Shadow Government that makes DEMANDS that if not followed to the letter, "they're" out!

But we have no guts...I remember Vietnam, free-speech movement, civil rights movement, and more. It's happening in Wisconsin USING the laws to recall people. This is what every state should do.

+17 # NanFan 2011-08-07 02:13
P.S. I remember Eisenhower. I remember Nixon. I remember Reagan. I remember Bush, Sr. I remember, and will NEVER forget, Bush W.

These are five Republican presidents in a row who by their actions that were totally illegal should have been impeached.

IF we let any Republican ruled by the corporate power elite to take the White House or ANY other part of our federal government without a fight from us. WE will implode like a hot-air balloon sailing along oblivious to the power lines marking its path.

A Shadow Government, organized, and ready to move is in order.

+13 # Shotgun Sam 2011-08-08 11:11
At least Eisenhower wasn't afraid to tax the rich to benefit the whole country!
+3 # spiritcallsus 2011-08-08 17:12
We have little power to do much when we do not even recognize that even the democratic party has been taken over by the same BM interests ... the present POTUS is a perfect example of that.
+19 # cynibunny 2011-08-07 20:01
There is a new tool that Corporations have. The Media and journalists. The Media find it easy to tell a revisionist history that says the rich, the intellectual, the haves did all the good for the world. The have-nots, the mob, the crowd, did nothing.

Journalists add the mediated discussion. The news has become the sensationalized drama of everyday events. Truth matters not at all: that would take investigative reporting, which costs money an risks exposing sponsors, or potential sponsors It started with "The Hostage Crisis", continued with "The Immigration Crisis" and has reached its absurd level with "The Debt Crisis" It's not about critically assessing the historical and fabricated un-truth of political sensationalism. It has become only how to sell products, how to keep them glued to the entertainment set.

Don't underestimate the power of media control. Whole movements have been created by it: the Nazis, the War on Terror, the Tea Party.
+20 # Virginia 2011-08-06 13:23
It's not just political parties. It's worse than that and it started long before Reagan. It's called legitimate business now. It invaded the media, Hollywood, publishers, food, entertainment, Wall Street... power and money. A long time ago two cultures decided that they would work together. The one culture was known for its "thug" and strong arm ability and the other was known for its learning skills (I won't call it intelligence because they got in bed with the bad guys - you see, they were an oppressed people and they wanted power and control). So, the thugs who had money from bootlegging, drugs and gambling agreed to send the oppressed culture's sons to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc. And they became the accountants and attorneys for the thugs whose sons were pretty...just not as bright that ran the operations.

Together, they began to takeover everything - including politicians. Their money is "mob" or syndicate funded. They've become quite sophisticated, but their are a few that still Ponzi, get caught or sacrificed and end up in prison. No real Elliott Ness(s) lately and the government by design has focused on wars outside of the country to obtain more money for the syndicate. In return, politicians are re-elected. Politically divided is on purpose so they can better control us. It's a lot worse than just bad politics.
+15 # Alfrieda Daly 2011-08-06 16:42
I recall a front cover piece on a Time Magazine which predicted that the outcome of so many bright young people choosing to pursue MBA degrees would have some deleteruous effect in the future. It's happened.
+10 # NanFan 2011-08-07 02:24
Virginia ~

Don't you know? America IS the greatest Ponzi scheme ever.

+80 # cynthia adler 2011-08-06 10:40
a brilliant assessment! we are living in feudal, (and could be futile), times right now...where is the backbone of america? and does it even have one?...we lay down and welcome the cement trucks running over us...we have become a fourth world country...passi ve beyond all belief..and .we have forgotten that there was ever a constitution that stated "a government of the people, for the people and by the people"...but are there any PEOPLE anymore?? have we just dissolved into nothingness and given up the future of this country to the corporate killer-collecto rs? looks like it...doesn't it...
who will move this flaccid and clueless mountain?????
+65 # Erdajean 2011-08-06 11:35
So right! This whole country is like a wife who is habitually battered, and afraid to defend herself in ANY way. "'Cause he might get mad and hit me again." Now, where does THIS attitude lead us? How about, like, Hit Back and MEAN It? Collectively, smartly,
and with all we've got?
+5 # Shotgun Sam 2011-08-08 11:13
The younger aged group is busy playing video games! They don't have time to revolt or even care as far as that goes.
+80 # Barbara K 2011-08-06 10:49
Yes, we are 80% of the country, so why are we allowing ourselves to be bamboozled, held hostage, bullied, and victims of this evil bunch making up the 20% Time to put them in their place, don't ya think? We need to stand up for ourselves and fight back, no one else is going to do it for us. This gang of terrorist thugs have stolen from us in the most devious ways, and screwed us every way they could. Tbaggers were brought in to shore up the stunts the wealthy have been getting away with. I think even some of them are realizing how they were used and screwed too. Whatever happens to the 80% of us, also happens to the 20% of us. Wake up America, enough is enough! NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN
+10 # CL38 2011-08-06 20:20
And ALL of us need to get out in 2012 and vote-like we did in '08 for Obama--and not forget what's gone down...whatever diversion the right creates to distract from their actions.

And they will create huge distractions.
+18 # Lila 2011-08-07 01:56
Quoting Barbara K:

Voting Democratic isn't much better these days. They have sold us out too. But I do agree with all the comments which say we have to DO SOMETHING. The links that Michael provided might be a first step.
+109 # Sallyport 2011-08-06 11:00
The first priority is STOP THE WARS. The war enterprise as a whole sits atop everything else & prevents movement toward restoring our democracy. The ruinous cost in dollars, lives, civil rights, planetary responsibility and international morality has robbed us of our humanity. If capitalism requires war to feed its widening maw, then capitalism has gotta go.
+51 # mjc 2011-08-06 12:15
Exactly! Not once in all thge dilly-dallying around about cutting entitlements, not having any taxes, giving corporate interests another tax break, especially the oil and gass corporations, was there any mention that maybe now that bin Laden is dead, maybe now that our presence in Afghanistan is showing up to be as futile as it was in Iraq, MAYBE we could get out of those nations.
+13 # Lawrence Miller 2011-08-06 13:41
To Sallyport
Your comments are the best yet. I would like to repeat them but feel I must seek your permission. OK to attribute them to Sallyport? Larry Miller
+15 # Sallyport 2011-08-06 14:59
Quoting Lawrence Miller:
To Sallyport
Your comments are the best yet. I would like to repeat them but feel I must seek your permission. OK to attribute them to Sallyport? Larry Miller

By all means! Spread the word far & wide. A spark here & another there & we'll have some growing enlightenment.
+9 # NanFan 2011-08-07 02:32
These truths have been spoken over and over and over again and fallen on deaf ears BECAUSE America is no longer a democracy. It is a pure Capitalist State! This will never go away, no matter how many wars we end. We're in too deep.

We've given up the house to democracy thieves. And I am sick to death about it. I see few ways out, but I want to ask all of you to take seriously this idea of a Shadow Government. Look for more about it soon on RSN and elsewhere.

We are organizing, and we will tell you how to become involved if you want.

Meanwhile, take care of your families and friends, of all you love and hold dear to you. And be unafraid to say, "No more!" to anyone who treats you unjustly in any way whatsoever. You do not deserve that kind of treatment.

-76 # David Roth 2011-08-06 11:02
The 1981 strike of the air traffic controllers was clearly illegal. By their contumacious flaunting of the law, they gave Reagan a monumental opportunity. The public has a right to safe flights This union is to blame for launching the dreadful downturn since that time. ( I am a progressive.)
+41 # Regina 2011-08-06 12:07
If you are a progressive, you're facing backwards.
+49 # Anarchist 23 2011-08-06 14:11
As I remember it-and wrote it down-the union PATCO was striking for precisily that reason-to ensure the public had safe flights by improving working conditions and equipment-no more long shifts-oh wait-now we have controllers falling asleep in the tower because they are so overworked-and so are the pilots flying the plane! Great idea to bust unions and take us down to the lowest possible level! How well that has worked!
+24 # Bruce Gruber 2011-08-06 18:08
Sigh ...."The public has a right to safe flights." ?? But the citizens do NOT have a right to health care (insurance)? ... free, GOOD public education? .. safe, adequate housing? ... honest, fair, open elections? ... journalistic integrity? ... honorable, thoughtful Supreme Court Justices? ... a safe, clean environment? ... the right to petition for resolution of grievances? ... uh! oh! unions - duh ...
+19 # TrueAmericanPatriot 2011-08-06 21:33
Quoting David Roth:
The 1981 strike of the air traffic controllers was clearly illegal. By their contumacious flaunting of the law, they gave Reagan a monumental opportunity. The public has a right to safe flights This union is to blame for launching the dreadful downturn since that time. ( I am a progressive.)

A PROGRESSIVE YOU ARE NOT! Reagan obviouly was more interested in beng the "big bad boss," than public safety in ANY CAPCITY!! You can THANK HIM for stopping the workers from trying to make the airways safer. That was NOT a heroic move by Reagan! Would you want to be on a plane at Kennedy, DFW, or Chicago O'Hare where the controller is drowsy and incoherent because he has worked 14 consecutive hours? So, you think Reagan deserves a "medal of honor" for firing a group of good American workers who simply wanted their fellow Americans to travel safely? You're a PROGRESSIVE? NOT!!!!!
0 # racp 2011-08-09 13:29
Quoting David Roth:
( I am a progressive.)

Sorry, a typo! "REGRESSIVE" I mean, "I AM A REGRESSIVE"
+9 # Lionel Gazeau 2011-08-06 11:15
+48 # Bill Clements 2011-08-06 11:15
When is enough, enough? Perhaps (and hopefully) we're seeing that in Wisconsin under Walker. We'll see how successful Wisconsinites are in recalling the worst of the Republicans who supported Walker. And what eventually happens to Walker himself. We're seeing what lengths Republicans are going to to thwart the will of the people. We also can be sure the Koch brothers will spend whatever it takes to keep their brown-noser in office.

Moore, of course, has his finger on the reason Republicans have been able to continue their dismantling of the American dream and the middle class: a lack of involvement from the rest of us. What is happening in Wisconsin is what absolutely needs to be happening in every state in the union. People need to get involved. Otherwise, our present-day robber barons will finish the job.
+36 # lark3650 2011-08-06 11:24
I am reading a book by William Kleinknecht - The Man Who Sold the World: Ronald Reagan and the Betrayal of Main Street America. If you want to know about Ronald Reagan, read this book. I remember Ronald Reagan saying: "I go to Washington, not to be a politician, but to learn politics." He came away from Washington a politician.
+40 # Marjorie Peterson 2011-08-06 11:25
Excellent assessment. More of us need to say this. . . to our friends, to our fellow workers, to our family. Thanks again, Michael for coming up with the correct take on our present situation.
+31 # noitall 2011-08-06 11:30
That's the way it happened alright. It'll take the same focus, desire, tenacity, persistence, drive to get back to that place and it won't be oil-based. Our desire, focus, etc. will be measured by our willingness to give up several cars in every driveway, entertainment arcade in every house, etc. We'll have to become a society again, on where we find ourselves in each other's company talking about our issues, successes, ideas. It will be a long crawl back (after all, it took fortunes and 30 years to get where we are). Leadership (not just recognizable faces), leadership that lead us in giving up all that we must, leadership that is humble and faithful to the goal, one that is NOT FOR SALE for $, fame, stardom, hookers, houses... Sounds impossible doesn't it? given our loss of culture, spirit, vision. We're starting from a bankrupt country. We're bankrupt in so many ways, we are going to have to do a lot of soul searching just to realize the elements of our plan. Bottom line is, WE HAVE TO DO IT!!!
+21 # goodsensecynic 2011-08-06 14:10
The fact is that working and middle class incomes have pretty much flat-lined since 1971.

In 1981, Reagan started the "full-court press" on the working families that Republicans and Tea-baggers dare to call their constituency. It was wrong and he got away with it.

In 2001, Bush 43 got his wish to show up Bush 41 by being "manly" and attacking Iraq. It was wrong and he got away with it.

In 2011, Obama repeated his performance on health care, the environment, the Bill of Rights and caved in to the rabid right wing. It was wrong ... but at least he isn't Sarah bin-Palin.

So, when (if ever) will the people of the United States of America stop enabling their oppressors, and being satisfied with ineffectual Democrats who lack insight and conviction wven (or especially) when they have the power to effect real change?

It's time to abandon slogans, images and the longing for heroes. It's time to take the Democratic Party back and return it to the people who make up its base ... not some right-wing ideological faction, xenophobes, homophobes, corporate media owners or Wall Street thieves, but the AMERICAN people.
+20 # Patch 2011-08-06 18:15
As long as it costs millions to run a campaign too many good people will be eliminated from even running. The next problem is that most Americans are colossally stupid and believe the lies that flood the airways. Democrats keep saying Americans are too intelligent to believe such and such. But Republicans know how stupid people are and play it to their advantage. That's why they keep winning.
+8 # Bruce Gruber 2011-08-07 07:04
Public financing of political campaigns is the core principle if we are to return to representative democracy. One (wo)man, one dollar, one vote! Hillary's 'vast conservative conspiracy' was accurate insomuch as vast sums of money were channeled into misinformation campaigns to negatively bend minds. The Supremes, in 'Citizens United v." (a typical RePug misnomer) did guarantee "one man, one vote" simultaneously with "one million corporate person dollars, one million misinformed votes".

I wonder how much hedge fund investing Scalia, Roberts, Alito and Thomas's wife Ginnie had riding on the negative outcome of that amazing leap of judicial invention ... and what S&P analyzed in terms of value-added nature and stability of our AAA world leadership by example.
+7 # peacenow 2011-08-06 18:36
of course you are right about taking back the Democratic Party. this is the ONLY solution that's viable, logical and principled. sincerely, julie weber, aka peacenow.
+8 # Songbird Bergstrom 2011-08-06 18:45
All that are still alive load them up send them to the front lines of the war's that they have created and Bankrupt our country on and still pouring Trillions of dollars each day into it but were broke? Really? Good Liars aren't they? If we are broke how are they sending money to fight 2 war's? If they are not going to pay the people who are fighting for nothing at all and they are not for real. Does anyone really know why they are fighting? They do not want us there. Some one needs to tell Bone head this while there at it. What middle class there is none. It went out the door in 2008.
+46 # bayern 2011-08-06 11:38
Why do we still accept the same arguments that favorable economic results will "trickle down" from above, if we give more tax breaks to the wealthy and get government off their backs? After 30+ years, why haven't we learned that it doesn't work? Conservative politicians still use these arguments, and guess what? They still get elected. The Tea Party did not take over our government. We elected them.
+17 # goodsensecynic 2011-08-06 14:13
Actually, you didn't elect the Tea Party. Moderate Republicans (assuming there are any left) allowed this mindless batch of extremists to take over "conservative" politics, and gutless Democrats (afraid of loosing their share of Wall Street funding) refused to call them to account.

And, of course, half the country stayed home on election day.
+34 # peacenow 2011-08-06 11:42
Here's another way to get the ball rolling. Every demoralized, deflated progressive needs to join their local Democratic Party organization this week and work for passage of the progressive agenda AND CANDIDATES. Doing this nitty gritty work is where the backbone of America lies. And this is regardless of where the challenges arise. How many of us are calling to ensure the victory of the recall effort in Wisconsin on Tuesday? That's also where the backbone of America is. This is EXACTLY what the right wingers have done over the past 25 years or more. Through hard work, patience, determination, cohesion, and persistance, WITHIN the Republican Party, they have obtained their present position. We need to remember that the tea party is NOT that, but a faction of the Republican Party. Progressive activism is working somewhat in my local Democratic Party. We are fielding some progressive candidates, and have had some victories in local elections. It's a start.

We need to constantly keep in mind that, after all, the number of millionaires, billionaires and their minions is miniscule compared to the rest of us.
+12 # mark-in-seattle 2011-08-06 17:17
I consider myself to be a Progressive (Nader campaign contributor ... etc) and eternally optimistic - attending monthly Dem district meetings, but I now believe the Democratic Party is beyond redemption. There is just too much corporate campaign cash and re-election pressure on Dems; to do "good" you have to have a seat at the table, but that seat is very costly in both resources and your principles. Devotion to Obama "our progressive president" despite all evidence to the contrary has become a cult in the party. Reason never has trumped magical thinking. Progressive Dems are as guilty in that regard as Tea-Party accolytes.

Reforming the Democratic Party apparatus isn't going to happen. That's how we got "change we can believe in!" instead of Hillary. The alternative I propose would reform the entire system of governance and allow good liberals and conservatives to vote their conscience, which the majority wanted to do when they first entered politics.

Lengthen the terms of office, but allow only ONE term. Serve 8 years passionately, then step aside to mentor your successor from private life. Admittedly, a few good careers would be compressed, however with no need to raise campaign cash after winning office, think how much more effective each term could be. Election cycles would still be staggered - every two years.
+3 # NanFan 2011-08-07 02:38
Shadow Government!
+17 # J.Lindsley 2011-08-06 11:44
Yep! Reagan started it.

And all the registered voters that didn't bother to vote abetted him every step of the way down to this week and the crash and the AA credit rating.

Hallaleuluh! The King is DEAD.
Long live the king.
+29 # Isar 2011-08-06 11:52
YES to everything Michael Moore has said. Many people have forgotten how crucial that particular union-breaking of the PATCO was at that time, and many of us KNEW this was only the beginning. Reagan represented Big Business, and he made no bones about it. I'm afraid Obama is now represeting Big Business our chagrin, but that's what it looks like. I'm wondering if the "Revolution" WILL come by way of people agreeing to 1) Stop flying, 2) Stop buying cars 3) Stop buying ANYTHING that comes from a non-union shop 4) Take one day per week (ie: Tuesday) and buy no gas! Can you imagine what impact this could have on those in power who make the decisions for us based on their own greed? WE the people DO have the power. Just hit them where it hurts the most....IN THE POCKET BOOK! I don't stop at any BP gas stations anymore. Hey.... Maybe we could convince Michael Moore to run for President once we convince Obama to skip his second term? Drastic change requires drastic action.
+20 # propsguy 2011-08-06 13:35
you said it best. STOP BUYING ANYTHING! by all means, pay your rent, pay off your credit cards and don't put anything else on them. buy food, yes bit not from a chain grocery store- grow some in your yard or on your fire escape and find yourself a local farmer and join a CSA for the rest. you'll get healthier and be less enslaved by the medical pharmaceutical complex.
+22 # propsguy 2011-08-06 13:36
pt 2
if you can walk to work, that's the best. if that's not possible, buy a used bike from a 2nd hand store.
anything that's for sale at wal-mart, target, duane reade, starbucks, macdonalds or any other large chain- you don't need it. you can still find a non-chain pharmacy and you can make your own coffee.
where will you find the time? get rid of your cable tv and you'll save not just $100 a month, but also countless hours that you can devote to sharpening your mind, being a parent to your children and a neighbor in your community. as an added bonus, you will thwart advertisers in their constant attempt to brainwash you and take $$ from their pockets.
move your bank accounts to small credit unions. you'll get better service and punish the big banks, since the gov won't.
you don't need that latest i-pad that was made in china by people paid so little they commit suicide.
this is war and the only way to win is to refuse to do the only thing they need us for- SHOP TILL WE DROP!
+6 # Marshalltown 2011-08-07 15:44
The collapse of the union started long before Reagan. It started with the AFL-CIO bureaucracy growing to the point that its size and cost were no longer being justified by the "benefits" it provided. It started with the United Autoworkers management and the Teamsters battling out not for the benefit of the members but for their union dues, the lonshoremen bringing shipping to a halt. By the time of the PATCO strike, the logic was inevitable, people were "protected" by Federal laws that "appeared" to make unions redundant. The majority of the US population has never been a member of a union, or directly experienced the benefits of membership. The result was that by 1981, appearances seemed to show the air controllers as greedy layabouts rather truly safety-minded laborers. Air controllers tried to explain risks of long hours and insufficient staff, but the US population as a whole neither cares about, nor understands risk. Most people will be more afraid of guns than of blood poisoning for instance. Reagan's administration merely had to highlight the "needless" inconvenience PATCO was imposing on the flying public.
+39 # sark 2011-08-06 12:06
Michael Moore, I'm saying the same thing to you that I say to all the others with a large media voice, start addressing election integrity. You noted the Democracy Convention, follow up with Victoria Collier of VoteScam and Sheila Parks of the Center for Hand Counted Paper Ballots. Also follow up with all the groups listed below. Please, we need you to address the problem of election integrity and the votes being counted by easily hacked and manipulated vote counting machines.

I think that those who care about and work for environmental, social and economic justice would do well to also work for honest verifiable elections where our votes are actually counted as cast. There is too much documentation of problems with electronic vote counting machines. We must stop allowing our votes to be counted in secret by electronic voting machines that are manufactured, programmed and serviced by hard-right republican supporting companies. For more information, please check out:
+12 # AML 2011-08-06 21:09
Thank you sark, for raising the question and bringing this point to a head. The Kloppenberg kerfuffel in WI should be a wake up call to Dems, since WI is staffed with Walkerites as vote counters. They will stop at nothing to promote the creepy governor's agenda, which is creepier than he is.
I smelled vote tampering in WI, since those election board officials were handling paper ballots and digital votes equally amateurishly. It's time to wake up, WI, and insist on monitoring ALL the votes; don't leave them alone any longer than you'd leave your luggage in the airport, and be present and able to count them yourselves.
+5 # NanFan 2011-08-07 02:41
And get Jimmy Carter on board. This is what he does ALL over the world: fight to secure honest elections.

He has a podium in America. Work with him and Al Gore and others who SEE the truth and have a voice that will get media attention.

+16 # goodsensecynic 2011-08-06 12:09
Symbols are fine. It's nice to celebrate big events. It's also helpful to identify and lament specific disasters.

Take today. Michael Moore is reminding us of the events of 5 August, 1981 and I am reflecting on the events of 6 August, 1945. Air Traffice Controllers and the citizens of Hiroshima. Two bad days.

These events, as well as moments of significant achievement and occasions for joy, are really insignificant. They are like the beautiful white caps on the ocean or the thunderous waves that crash upon a shore in a hurricane. They get our attention and may stick in our memories, but they're not the real deal.

What's important aren't the bits of flotsam and jetsam on the surface, but the deep and powerful (if slower moving and invisible) currents beneath.

I'm thinking of phrases such as "the mode, means and relations of production and distribution," the imposition of "ideolgical hegemony," a culture built on "social amnesia."

Abstract and difficult? Yes! But determinative all the same. Mr. Obama was pretty flotsam for a short time. The Wall Street thieves are still ugly jetsam.

The solution to local, national, regional and global problems of the environment, the economy and what pass for ethics in our increasingly decadent society? Look deeper!
+25 # Carolyn 2011-08-06 12:15
We have some courageous heroes, in these times. We have to be fearless, as they are, working for the good of the whole.
Let's stop being confused. We need people with conscience and that means change. Michael Moore, Bernie Sanders, Dennis Kucinich -- What is happening in Wisconsin is one puzzle piece of the whole.
+16 # fredboy 2011-08-06 12:19
Many in the middle class, torn between their hatred of the working class and poor (perhaps they remind them of their parents or grandparents) and envious of the rich, have long been a question mark on the map of America. Infuse the taste of greed many experienced in the roaring 90s, the hyper-competiti ve and thus insecure nature of the boomers, and the sustained political rant of the right wing, and you get what we just witnessed: middle class suicide.

For a long time I worried. Now I get it. We need for the middle class to totally destroy itself. That's the only wake-up call that will work. So let's quit fretting and let them parish.

It's like so many diminished organizations and even families--loser s can't win, and you can't win with losers.

So Michael, join me as I quit trying to help those who only seem intent on hurting themselves--and all of us. Instead, focus on the poor, the young, and the good at heart. People who really care, and care about others. There may not be many, but there are enough.
+15 # shemama 2011-08-06 12:19
This is all a variation on a theme that started way before Aug 1981. Try 5000 years ago, when the first person to be enslaved was a woman. There is a Cherokee saying,"A people is lost when the hearts of the women are on the ground." Women's hearts are on the ground everywhere. If real change is going to happen, women must be empowered, globally. That's the ticket.
+1 # Ariel_T 2011-08-08 16:03
You are so right,shemama. I am of the male conviction (not a mermaid) but have long admired the wisdom of the Haudenosaunee ("Iroquois Confederation") who almost a thousand years ago had a "constitution" (Great Law of Life) which among other things put women in charge. Unless somebody was stupid enough to start a war, at which time the jocks were put temporarily in charge. The Founding Fathers knew all that, but chose to ignore it.
+27 # Lulie 2011-08-06 12:32
I remember when the air-traffic controllers were fired. We were shocked, both that Reagan did it and that there was no fight-back. Ever since, we keep thinking that we'll eventually hit bottom and people will get outraged. But they don't -- they keep taking it.
Now that institutions like Social Security are on the chopping block, I wonder if there even IS a bottom to hit. Corporations could make even more money if they re-instituted slavery. Maybe they'll give that a try. And the slaves would probably just do whatever their masters told them to do and say ain't it awful.
+10 # Raindancer1 2011-08-06 20:40
When Reagan fired the air traffic controllers, every Union memberin the country should have walked off the job and those who weren't at work should have called in sick! i mean exceptions for nurses, cops, can bet you life that strike would not have lasted 4 days. Too many so called union members did not want to lose a few days pay. Unions are suupposed to be a Brotherhood, not just organizations to get more pay and better conditions! Too bad Mother Jones was dead by then!!!
+19 # Blast Dorrough 2011-08-06 12:34
I saw the evil of what was to come in 1981 when the air traffic controllers became the victims of American communistic capitalism of cheap labor. These communist/fasci st scumbags have become billionaires or better as government welfare recipients via their criminal culture of greed and corruption. This is nothing more than organized crime on taxpayer funds by the incorrigible criminal class of elected representatives united with the imagined nobility of greed and corruption. The only real solution is boycott of the monopolized empire of the Corporatecrafte rs having crushed most Mom and Pop small businesses across the country. They control all commerce related to the necessaries of life leading to on-going rip-off of consumers in the marketplace and exploitation of the working class in the workplace. We have a more serious problem with the Corporatecrafte rs having necessarily bonded with the demonic Christians of today but they are still in the minority of traitors despising our Constitution as our Moral Compass and only Authority under our constitutional Republic. I live Shreveport, LA right in the middle of these rightwing nutjobs of anti-truth in obvious perversion of American principles and in obvious blasphemy of the teachings of Jesus Christ. They run from the light of truth like the fictional character Dracula runs from the break of dawn.
+14 # cherylpetro 2011-08-06 12:41
No wonder some Right Wingers keep talking about slavery; it is a foreshadowing of the way they want it to be in the US for the Middle Class.(The poor will just starve and die off).
+23 # hms 2011-08-06 12:45
Does anyone now doubt that the corporations own the country? Well if you don't, you are not paying attention beyond the lies and spin of the politicians! We are all being screwed by this system because of their power. We simply must find ways to take the power back. We need to get mad, stop taking their crap, toss the whoever is in office who is a shill for them and thus send a loud and clear message to the other ones that they will join the massive long unemployment lines if they keep up their current ways--let us put fear in their hearts!
+23 # Justina 2011-08-06 12:47
Bravo, Michael! Now you must get this message out to the millions of Americans who, if they work together, can end the horrors of the capitalist destruction of our planet and our lives.

Run for President, Michael1 Not with the aim of winning an election, but with the goal of helping millions of us to join with our neighbors and work mates to organize into the local groups to both cooperatively survive the economic disaster and to plan and act together to create a new economic system which will serve the needs of the majority of the people, not merely the wealthiest one percent who now control us all.

Run, Michael, Run!

We need you to help us organize a new society which serves human beings, not corporate profits.
+2 # AML 2011-08-08 11:58
I would happily vote for Michael if he ran, but I know he's a man of the people and is more effective when he's unfettered. We do need someone like him who doesn't just talk the talk.

+16 # Steemdoff Moore 2011-08-06 13:10
Thank you Michael ( from another correct-thinkin g Moore) you have hit the nail on the head. I was a union president of my local teacher's union in 1981 and left with disgust due to Reagan's actions and my national union's lack of response. I started my own business which lasted 7 yrs. and not had security or increase in income since then.
I am the typical target they went after and they succeeded! We MUST FIGHT BACK! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
+3 # minggnim 2011-08-06 13:15
What every Democrat needs to watch.
+17 # futhark 2011-08-06 13:22
On the other hand, the expectation that the United States could provide for a continual upward spiral of goods and services for everyone is totally unrealistic, given what we now know about the limitations of our planet to provide resources. We need to totally abandon the fantasy of economic growth as the purpose of life and concentrate on real sustainability, which, by definition, precludes growth as it has been promoted. Growth, as the golden calf of capitalism that must be worshiped and served, has brought us to the brink of destroying Earth's ability to support life. Going back to Michael Moore's "Good Old Days" of every suburban family having two or more gas guzzlers in the garage is not going to happen and, even if it could happen, would not be a good thing.

What is needed is a more realistic view of our resources and how people can use them equitably to promote the greatest happiness and security for all. Step one would be the cessation of military hostilities, which, by their nature, waste resources and alienate groups of people. The American war machine must be phased down, the result of which would be a reduction in government deficits and an increase in mutual confidence and trust between the United States and its antagonists.
-30 # MidwestTom 2011-08-06 13:23
I long for the Reagan days. I had a high paying job, unemployment was very low, and the world bought things made in America. By Moore's reasoning Kennedy killed the steel industry in the United States by forcing them to cut their prices, thus the beginning of the end. Leaving the gold standard had far more to do with creating todays mess.
+10 # GeorgeNJ 2011-08-06 13:41
How do we get every American eligible to vote to read this Michael Moore article, think about it, and do what it says has to be done? God! Every freakin billionaire and corporate CEO (forget the fascist Republican elected officials) would be heading for their off-shore refuges immediately. We would not continence those evil miscreants!
+10 # Eleanore MacDonald 2011-08-06 13:43
Michael, the people will not get into the streets on their own. We are far too complacent and comfortable now in our misery. What we are missing is a strong organizing voice that can speak for all of us, inspire all of us, call everyone to action. Why don't you organize? We need your help, your words are not enough. We need an organizer and I nominate - you.
+8 # Marie Antoinnette 2011-08-06 15:28
But of course the people behind GM, FORD, S& P, Chase, B OF A, Morgan Stanley, wonder why we don't eat cake?? If we have a voice, which Michael Moore is, then we can follow, as we did with Ralph Nader. It is time to find the bread. Hear us Michael Moore, before there is nomore.
+9 # Jeanette 2011-08-06 13:44
Is there any chance the "old" republicans who still hold office will get the picture if a lot of democrats take over their seats in Congress as they come up for election? They allow the Tbaggers in as republicans, and then cannot control them. Bad leadership deserves NO VOTE! The republicans had less trouble working with the democrats than they had working with their own fanatical faction. Lesson: Reasonable people with differing opinions are easier to work with than Power Crazed youngsters bent on throwing themselves on the floor and flailing until they get their way..........
-26 # Jim Attrell 2011-08-06 13:50
I guess my America was different from your America as a young person. There were few unions in my America and we had what you describe except Mom and Dad saved up for college for the kids. There was no union dues to pay so we had more money and the hard workers were promoted, not the most tenured. Starting a business using your knowledge was easy because unions were not standing in your way. Have you not noticed that where unions once ruled that the unemployment is the highest?
+16 # David P 2011-08-06 20:25
So let me get this straight. "Mom and Dad saved up for college for the kids". I went to a university in California, and PAID for it with a part time UNION job. Others worked at restaurants as waiters and still paid for college themselves!

"Have you not noticed that where unions once ruled that the unemployment is the highest?"
Why is that you think? The corporations have systematically crushed unions and taken those jobs overseas, or to towns desperate to beg at the table for corporate scraps.
+15 # suzyskier 2011-08-06 20:37
I think you must not have been paying much attention unless you grew up before WWI? I don't understand what you mean by where unions once ruled that the umemployment is the highest, it sounds like unions keep folks employed not the reverse. America needs unions, without unions people are abused by low pay, long hours, bad work environments and a whole catalogue of other ills! Why doen't you do some research on unions and not just read the republican version. Of course the right hates unions, they would have to pay a fair wage, give health insurance, collective barganing etc Things that make working conditions safe. Too many people think unions are evil, what a joke.
+4 # TrueAmericanPatriot 2011-08-07 16:54
Quoting Jim Attrell:
I guess my America was different from your America as a young person. There were few unions in my America and we had what you describe except Mom and Dad saved up for college for the kids. There was no union dues to pay so we had more money and the hard workers were promoted, not the most tenured. Starting a business using your knowledge was easy because unions were not standing in your way. Have you not noticed that where unions once ruled that the unemployment is the highest?

In the words of Mr. O'Rourke: "WELCOME, TO FANTASY ISLAND!" That was YOUR AMERICA! Either that, or perhaps you were inspired by "Star Trek, TNG" and built your own holodeck.
+5 # Marshalltown 2011-08-07 19:06
Jim, wherever you grew up it wasn't the US, either that or it was the late 19th century. Unions have been an important part of the US landscape since BEFORE WW II. The few regions where that isn't true were and are dominated by religious groups that equated unions with communism. My parents never saved a dime for my education. I paid for it myself as I went. No college kid could do that today. You pay enough for a family of two to live on - not well but adequately.

As for the areas hardest hit by the recession - hmmm, I live in California. The areas hardest hit - uhmm - not agriculture but building. And unions have been extremely weak in the many of the building trades here for a long time.
+26 # Steve Miller 2011-08-06 14:24
No doubt, Ronald Reagan was an enemy of Middle-class America. He surrounded himself with some of the most greedy, nasty, fascist political leaders in United States history. But, I think Kennedy's assasination marks the deline of middle-class America. The fascist element of that period hated Kennedy because he stood in the way of the escalation of the Vietnam War (a big money maker for the fascists). Eisenhower in 1961 warned the American people about the Military/Indust rial Complex. Their brutal, greedy, nasty ways manifest themselves in their coordinated media deception, their robbery of the American people of our most precious resource, our children and the murder of 3 million Vietnamese. Kennedy, I believe, wanted to be a president of the "People". I think John, Bobby and Martin really cared about the people of this country, not the corporations. The Fascists hated Kennedy and the people. They still do. Revolution is our only hope, peace, non-violent, non-cooperation . That's what will bring the greedy 1% to their
+4 # humanmancalvin 2011-08-06 14:53
Well past time to restore our country to sanity. Straight Democrat ticket then harp constantly to get democrady restored. Harping is what works so well for the Tea Baggers & their ilk.
Outharp the Harpies!
+10 # jayvee 2011-08-06 15:26
The road to capitalist monopoly began long before Reagan (perhaps most grounded in compromises that followed the Civil War), and escalated after Roosevelt, when the corporate-polit ical establishment determined to undermine the gains of the 'New Deal' -- cautioned by Eisenhower's "beware the military-indust rial complex" farewell speech. Reagan's assault on labor, however, was pivotal the establishment's determination to destroy organized labor and consequently repress and imprint the middle and working classes as chattel to corporate capitalism -- including ongoing media and propaganda barrage -- to divide and prohibit the masses from organizing and accumulating power to contest the oligarchy.
There is no dearth of progressive analysis or formulas of what is to be done. What the Left lacks is capability to counter the monumental brainwashing that has become ingrained in the psyche and lifestyle aspirations of the masses -- who accordingly rush to "vote against their own interests," and willingly surrender personal freedoms to feel safe against "imposed" imaginings of attacks by unspecified enemies.
This endemic "fear of all things" is what differentiates the US, negates the likelihood of a domestic "Arab Spring," and forms a firewall of resistance to Left messages and analyses that the miniscule progressive movement has shown no ability to penetrate.
+11 # lastofthe line 2011-08-06 15:33
I remember it well. I remember waiting for the National Union Strike that did NOT come. People in Poland could strike, but not in this country. There was a recession going on then too,(though it was only us little folks who knew it) and it would have been tough on union families. I was shocked when the big unions sat silent!! I and the other non-working housewives knew that we were "dinosaurs"...t he last of the breed. I began telling my children that it would take at least two incomes for their marriages and families to make it.

And do not forget that Reagan also deregulated and urged privatization of the utility companies. Once upon a time the utilities were publicly owned; they were built with tax money and well regulated as everyone NEEDED them to survive. By being publicly owned and monitored we could all have access to a reasonable rate. But Reagan said competition was good. In Michigan, the new "fees" on our electric bill are exactly double the consumption costs. There is no competition. And the sad part is that I knew it would happen when Reagan did it.

Do not forget he started us on the Health Care mess too. Competition..

I think God took His revenge early by giving him the Alzheimer's.
+17 # Paul Scott 2011-08-06 16:25
Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush did more damage, to this nation, than all the natural disasters of the past. Reagan’s greater contribution was union busting, a favorite of the Republican Party. As for the Reagan democrats that republican talking heads like to brag up; they are the “republican working class voters” who abandoned the Democratic Party after the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, by a democratic congress, now that’s something to be real proud of.

If it were not for right wing propaganda, and religion, Reagan and GWB would be known as the union buster and the Texas Air National Guard deserter, with credit cards; that’s what the public records show. A couple of real prizes to head up a political party; but of course the Democratic Party is about as corrupt, otherwise we would not be in the mess we’re in now.

Results of leaving um in office till death.
+3 # sheila walsh guenthe 2011-08-06 16:26
+8 # zepcat 2011-08-06 16:56
Unfortunately, the middle class became complacent and bought in to the bullshit these self serving hypocrites in DC dump on us every day. We have become mushrooms covered in shit each day and seem to like it. We are amateurs when it comes to demonstrations. Whatever you think French,they may have been cowards in war, but they sure know how to push their government and multinational corporations around and get what they want. Unless the millions of us are willing to get off our collective asses and make the sacrifice to travel to Washington DC for mass demonstrations on the steps of Congress nothing will change.
+16 # tedcloak 2011-08-06 16:57
I go back a little farther than most of you (I'll be 80 next month). We came out of WWII rarin' to go. Then came the Cold War and the new state religion, Anti-Communism, a beautiful propaganda trick by the Ruling Class (as we used to call them). The Taft-Hartley Act was mainly a union-buster and it worked very well. Most union leadership caved into it (the UE was an exception), so there was little solidarity 25 years later, when PATCO went out.
I think our culture helped, too. The Rugged Individualist ideal, I Can Stand Up to The Boss by Myself, Man to Man, has always made organizing more difficult here than in, say, European countries.
I still think what we have to do is get together, get organized, then get behind BHO and the other Dems and PUSH. We should primary (new verb - thanks, Tea Party) the Blue Dogs, too, and perhaps BHO himself.
+9 # Bill Clements 2011-08-06 17:58
Thanks for your input, tedcloak A bit more history than most of us can bring to the table.

I agree with you, the Dems and BHO both need the heat raised on them appreciably. And we should run a strong progressive candidate against Obama. Let him know, in no uncertain terms, that we expect A LOT more from him in his second term..... or else.
+7 # chdiamo 2011-08-06 18:00
The U.S. public is very manipulable, naive, compliant and gullible. They will accede to their demise in the present and future, just as they have in the past.
+7 # lin96 2011-08-06 18:21
There's a rally scheduled on Oct. 6th in Washington. For more information go to - Chris Hedges will be there.
+10 # hjweber 2011-08-06 18:38
Money corrupts, elections are driven by money, so whether you are a democrat, republican, tea partyer, etc. most of those elected are corrupted. The few that are not, are swept aside in a tidal wave of monied self-interested individuals, corporations, and the capitalist establishment. Good deeds and greed are like oil and water.
+12 # jon 2011-08-06 19:17
It is a cinch we could never survive a Tahrir Square style uprising. They would not hesitate to squash us.

Strikes are the only thing we can do, and they must be selective, focused and preferably, EASY!

Here is the first, and certainly the easiest: move your banking from the Reagan de-regulated commercial banks to your LOCAL, never has been de-regulated, CREDIT UNION !!

It is a no brainer. After we pull that one off, hopefully on a massive scale - OH, how I would love to hear how the banksters quarreled amongst themselves and their Republican whores, trying to figure out what happened to their financial foundation - we must focus on the nest easiest target that yields the biggest oligarchy whimper.

No leadership or organization needed. Just do it. It is not difficult, and don't tell me how nice the girls at Farmers and Merchants talk to you. Take the hour to close your account, and drive the 3 or 4 blocks to a Credit Union, and open an account there. They are even nicer there - that has been my experience!

Today, the commercial banks, what would you propose to be the next easy target?
+7 # photonracer 2011-08-06 19:19
The Tea Party did not take over our government. We elected them.
Yes indeed and the same people who elected them will try again because #1 The magic "they" do not want to admit their mistake. #2 "they" still think they are special and going to profit over the less fortunate or non-white. These idiots are like the WWII Germans who did not realize they were Nazi too. This is the last gasp of the wannabe slave owner and they may succeed.
+10 # charsjcca 2011-08-06 19:34
There is another empirical event in our history. On August 6, 1990, the UN passed Resolution 660 that authorized sanctions against Iraq. Before the day was ended George H. W. Bush had backtracked. Big oil's girls and boys declared that they needed the Iraqi oil, which had been embargoed. Swiftly, the effective date was pushed forward to October 1990. When refineries need oil they need it on schedule and foreign policy is set to fit that scenario. We, the people, have forgotten that our foreign policy is driven by guns, drugs and oil; remember Iran-Contra. August 6, 1990, is equally important.
+4 # Ruth Duemler 2011-08-06 20:30
i hope everyone has seen "INside Job" that won an Academy Award---tells a repeat of Michael Moore's article---so well done!!
+6 # Ione G. Shadduck 2011-08-06 20:39
We need a Leader, Michael -- you, as a Progressive or Independent. How do we get people out on the streets? The tea party did it! The people have to become desperate enough to realize how bad it is out there. We are losing our Country! How do we make them understand and ACT?? HELP US, MICHAEL.
+6 # giraffee2012 2011-08-06 21:40
Good article and good comments:

If you have a GOP gov - then REGISTER and get mail-in ballots NOW - and help all Dems get these now too -- bc you've been warned that the GOP will make it impossible or near impossible to vote in 2010.
+6 # AngryMan 2011-08-07 00:22
Who do you trust? BHO threw us under the bus. Now we feel betrayed. The bitch is that NOW is the time we need to be united more than ever. Who can we trust? Who will say the pretty words and not sell us out? Who has honor? None with honor are willing to step up to the plate. We know we need someone we can trust and someone that will not turn their back on us. Who will be a uniter? Who will stand up to the corporations? We do not have a rallying point on which we can focus. There is no dog in the race we can trust. What do we do?

All of the ideas tossed out are wonderful. How practical are they? We don't even know if it is a death sentence for someone to stand up to corporations and the Republicons. We simply don't know how far out of control this country has become. There are too many unanswered questions. Nothing is on the level anymore. How does one who would be willing to throw their hat into the ring, actually know what they might be bargaining for?

If I read correctly, the SEAL team that killed bin Laden are now themselves, dead. I don't like coincidences. Too many people who have answers to uncomfortable questions end up dead. Obama already spoke of the guilt of Assange and Manning ... yet, neither has yet been found guilty. Obama knows that such statements in advance of a trial are anti-American.
+3 # Citizen Mike 2011-08-07 07:49
We must also remember that back in the 60s and 70s organized labor drove away my entire generation by opposing the counterculture and supporting the war. I remember hostile hardhats chasing my long-haired brother. We rejected the unions then as part of the establishment whose authority we defied!
+9 # VSweet 2011-08-07 09:32
Michael as always you are so on target!
The majority of American people did allow themselves into this mess we are living in today! We ignored the red flags that were imposed upon a specific group of people. After all, we thought it did not affect me. We were silent and allowed this trickle of water to become our flood of despair.

We allowed yesterday legislative dictators strip away every vision and dream we had embraced as American people. Since that time the NEW legislative dictators have picked up on our silence and they continue to dismantle every citizen in the working class, senior citizens and the vulnerable econmic disavantage families with their lies and deceit.
They have deceived us to point blame at everybody but ourselves to cover our own shame and guilt.

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist, They came for the trade unionist and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. They came for the Jews, I did not speak out because I was not a Jew, Then they came for Me, and there was NO ONE LEFT to speak out for me!

We have became so silent we have become the invisible people of our nation.
+7 # Scribe74 2011-08-07 11:18
To quote someone from above." get rid of your cable tv and you'll save not just $100 a month, but also countless hours that you can devote to sharpening your mind, being a parent to your children and a neighbor in your community. as an added bonus, you will thwart advertisers in their constant attempt to brainwash you and take $$ from their pockets.
Move your bank accounts to small credit unions. you'll get better service and punish the big banks, since the gov won't."

I did cut off TV last Summer. Am more rested, peaceful and my own brain thinking better. Not right we look at so much distortion, violence, vulgarity daily. Read labels. Stop buying food with chemicals you can't pronounce. We're getting sicker because of it.
Get outdoors more, watch clouds, dangle feet in ponds, rest against a tree, in time it will 'speak' to you.
"Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be pure." so said the Quakers.
Give praise, smile at a child an old woman/man, practice humanity.
Walk more! Stop seeing movies that have nothing to do with enriching your mind. Read the classics.
Start your own creative pursuit. Find out who YOU are!
Why I stopped TV. What can I give to the world to inspire or help others? (I speak to kids in school (volunteer) on the environment."
Humongous changes ahead. We must come together and support one another.
+5 # MidwestTom 2011-08-07 12:28
I believe the Robert Kennedy, and maybe Jack, were killed because Robert started an investigation of the Federal Reserve. He wanted to limit their power over the U.S.
+7 # bobby t. 2011-08-07 15:13
in 1981 i asked my fellow teachers in florida to go on a wildcat strike to support the air controllers. they laughed at me. teachers were the first ones killed in cambodia. they are the counter revolutionaries . must be killed. makes sense. i told them it was the beginning of the end and they laughed. what do you know they asked. well, look at what is happening to teachers now. union membership in miami was about thirty percent as florida is a right to work state. the money spent per pupil is the lowest in america. saleries are also low. teachers work two or three jobs to support their family. so yes, mike, we saw it coming, and we did nothing. sometimes i believe that the leaders were paid off. it wouldn't be the first time.
+4 # awizard2u 2011-08-07 16:47
Activism can take on numerous avenues. Not only is it imperative that we vote BUT we need to force changes in the voting laws. The Bush Gore farce should not have happened in a free society. I think it is reasonable to nationalize our election laws. We need to get the Citizens United reversed. Whatever it takes. This ruling prostituted our election process more than anything. I'm sure there are several wrongs that need to be righted, such as the crapp the repubs are pulling in Wis and Florida. We can all vote but if the process is flawed so will the outcome. There are so many wrongs to right and I feel so little time before it does become irreversible !
+4 # Isar 2011-08-07 16:48
I was a teacher for 34 years. I started when there were no unions and we went to the board "hat in hand" each spring. THEN we organized, and finally, we were paid "decent" wages for the work we did. Teachers everywhere (Wisconsin teachers especially) should do what we did. Just WALK OUT, MAKE SIGNS, MARCH AROUND THE SCHOOL and don't go back into the school building until you have an acceptible contract. Believe me, the parents want you in that building "baby sitting" their children. Every day that you are OUT marching, is a day of torture for them. It works!!! Don't accept these Republican oppressive tactics. If you don't all hang together, you will surely hang separately because they want to take away your pensions, your medical benefits, your seniority protection...Th ey want you put right back into the 19th century!
+1 # Bobbie828 2011-08-08 06:51
We could see a change begin to happen - tomorrow - in Wisconsin. If the voters do the right thing and vote out the corrupted senators in the recall elections tomorrow, we could show the rest of the country, it can be done and how to do it.
+1 # heraldmage 2011-08-08 16:40
I know you are a tired & true Democrat but when are you going to realize they are not going to give up the cash cow of campaign finance & political patronage.
The 60% of the nation who are independents & democrats need to unite under a union of Progressive independent parties to take control of our nation from the privileged by first taking control of Congress but supporting Obama and any other democrat who signs (actually puts pen to paper) the independent platform with its first goal the enactment of legislation that publically funds political campaigns with absolutely no private money allowed. The press needs to be freed of corporate, foreign & government influence by mandating news & current events be broadcast as a public service for use of the peoples airwaves. The Fairness Doctrine needs to be reinstated to ensure all sides are heard at no cost.To help people identify the truth all discussion programs must be labelled throughout "commentary, opinion, not based on fact" and announced at the beginning & end of every commercial break. Any candidate the agrees in writing to enactment of these issue or face recall should be supported by independents
+2 # Cherie 2011-08-08 23:14
We aren't storming the bastille because no one can afford the trip.
+3 # Elder Berry 2011-08-09 01:16
You mentioned Eisenhower, who gave two important speeches. There's the speech he gave as he left office, which warned about the military industrial complex. In the other one he enumerated exactly the social costs of a standing army. You can find both of these online. Under Eisenhower the top marginal tax rate was above 90%!!! Families could live on one income. Reagan started out in the actors union in LA. He ratted on his fellow actors when McCarthy came after "commies." He was a talking head. He destroyed CA to benefit his moneyed friends before he moved on to DC. Reagan was suffering from of the effects Alzheimers long before the public noticed; he was a front for right wing money and the shadow government it paid for. The Bushes were a front for oil money; Bush One ran the CIA which housed a good part of the shadow government under Nixon. Support Democrats? No. The so-called Blue Dogs are just Republican plants. It is time to start over and build a new party: we need to be out in the streets: a national strike. Obama is a perfect example of how the rest of the Democrats are brought to heel. He probably is in fear of his own life and I don't blame him. But so long as his DOJ is muzzled, nothing is going to get better. Money controls the elections. We've already had elections openly stolen and now they've stolen our entire economy, without suffering any consequences.
+4 # fredboy 2011-08-09 09:46
Saving the middle class is like spending every hour of every day wrestling a gun away from a friend hellbent on shooting himself.
+2 # jjjo 2011-08-10 13:25
I lay it all at Ronald Reagan's feet. In his inaugural address, he said (something like) "government is not the solution; government is the problem." That became a mantra for the right wing, ultimately culminating in Grover Norquist's absurd statement that he wants to shrink government to the point that he can "drown it in the bath tub." Sadly, though, in not taking people like Reagan and Norquist seriously we have become complicit in the mess we are in today. We must mobilize SERIOUSLY for the next election. Unfortunately, the results from Wisconsin are cause for concern
+3 # JetpackAngel 2011-08-10 15:55
There's something very wrong about the fact that I feel guilty sometimes about the fact that I have a job. There's something wrong about how I'm more affluent than some of my friends because I work where there's Always Low Wages, Always.

Two of my friends have been jobless for months and are running out of pennies to bundle. My cousin, who went to school to become an educator and who dreams of being a sports announcer, is going to end up running a frozen yogurt shop. A sister-in-law, also trying to be a teacher, works as a bank teller. A brother-in-law is going to school for nursing, but even if he could find employment, I worry about him working in a field where he might get punched or stabbed or shot and then would be fined by JCAHO for possibly injuring the patient if he was only trying to defend himself. I wish I could afford to see a doctor about a whole bunch of things, and I worry about all the defensive medicine the overworked doctors are forced to practice because they're being bled dry by frivolous lawsuits while the rest of us are reduced to a food budget of about $100 a month (if it's been a good month).

I used to think America was the country that all other countries wanted to be when they grew up. Now I see America as an embarrassing relative, one I'm considering cutting ties with if it doesn't get its act together.
-4 # Vincent Czyz 2011-08-10 23:29
While I know Reagan was an ally of the wealthy, I don't think he was necessarily an enemy of the middle class (the lower class is something else). I also don't think firing the air traffic controllers was about destroying unions; the strike was ILLEGAL. Here is the Wikipedia synopsis: On August 3, 1981, the union declared a strike, seeking better working conditions, better pay and a 32-hour workweek. In addition, PATCO no longer wanted to be included within the civil service clauses that had haunted it for decades. In doing so, the union violated a law — 5 U.S.C. (Supp. III 1956) 118p. — that banned strikes by government unions. Ronald Reagan declared the PATCO strike a "peril to national safety" and ordered them back to work under the terms of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947.
0 # Blowden 2011-08-17 10:32
Odd. I work in an electricians union. I make around 60 dollars an hour and work this year has been fairly steady. When it isn't, I still make do with around 500 dollars weekly unemployment. I didn't go to college either. I have friends that make more and friends that make less. Some of my friends making less drive new cars and have huge flat screen televisions. Some of my friends making more saved wisely and are investing in real estate.
-1 # JetpackAngel 2011-09-05 03:40
People keep talking about how Obama is shaping up to be a spineless leader who won't stop the wars or stand up for us and save our livelihoods or even stand up for himself, and while I'm greatly disappointed in what he's done with all the potential he had, it suddenly occurred to me: "Yes, he a pushover. After all, he was elected on the Democratic ticket."

Bear with me: the way he always puts up with evil and caves to it, how he gives brilliant speeches but doesn't get a whole lot accomplished... sounds a lot like Democrats in general to me. Sad, he could've done so much, but idealists without lots and lots of loyal, vocal direction from other idealists are little more than chum for the government sharks.

Think of what we did: we elected him, and then we stood back and wondered what he was going to do, when we should've been bombarding him with the orders to fulfill the promises he made to the people he serves. We should've had 'enforcers' on call just like the Republicans no doubt do. His ears were filled with the insidious whispers of Those On High and they don't like leaving enough room for the little people to get a word in edgewise. Except for the talkative liberals, we pretty much stood back and let them have their way with him. So why is anyone surprised what's happened to him and why we can't win?

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