Income Inequality

It is an old and cruel tactic

The Battle of Blair Mountain, Chris Hedges, Truthdig:

…Reduce wages and benefits to subsistence level. Break unions. Gut social assistance programs. Buy and sell elected officials and judges. Fill the airwaves with mindless diversion and corporate propaganda. Pay off the press. Poison the soil, the air and the water to extract natural resources and leave behind a devastated wasteland.

Plunge workers into debt. Leave them owing more on their houses than the structures are worth. Make sure the children will be burdened by tens of thousands of dollars lent to them for an education and will be unable to find decent jobs. Make sure that everything from hospital bills to car payments to credit card fees exact increasing pounds of flesh. And when workers stumble, when they cannot pay soaring interest rates, jack up rates further and deploy predators from debt collection agencies to harass the debtors and seize their assets. Then toss them away.

Company towns all look the same. And we live in the biggest one on earth…

Sound a lot like ICBA Phil Hochstein’s philosophy and a little like that of the Canadian Federation of Taxpayers.

Read Wikipedia’s Battle of Blair Mountain

H/T Susan H. for the above, Gary L. for the following video

9 replies »

  1. Thanks for that link, Norm. I don't think I've ever heard of that conflict.

    As I read the brief history, I was hoping for the underdogs to end up winning. No such luck in that case.


  2. As always, history repeats itself and if Romney is elected president in the USA, god help us as a massive social and civil war will take place.

    Luckily in Canada, the Conservatives are waning in popularity as most Canadians are repulsed by the racist and fascist Republican Party and the thugs down south who call themselves, Conservatives.


  3. There was a documentary that was aired on CBC's The Sunday Edition some time ago called “One The Line”, produced by Bob Carty.
    It was an excellent story of the 50th anniversary of how the Steel workers in Hamilton Ont. fought for their first contract in the late forties and what it meant to the workers as described by the people that were there at the time.

    I cannot find a copy in the CBC archives but was able to get a copy from Bob Carty himself.
    I would post it but I have no clue as to how.

    Maybe you can get a hold of Bob Carty Norm and post it. I think it would be very worth while.

    While I'm at it, its my understanding that when Campbell got into office he changed the name of a stretch of the Island Highway near Comox from Ginger Goodman Way ( a BC union activist and organizer from the early 1900s)to Dunsmiur Way( Robert Dunsmuir was a coal baron who hated and broke unions).

    The Liberal hate for the working person knows no bounds, what an absolutely vindictive hateful thing to do.


  4. That little bit of nastiness was done by the late Stan Hagen, who personally tore down the Ginger Goodwin sign on the new Island Inland Highway just outside of Cumberland. The new highway was just finished then and the folks up at Campbell River, who had lobbied long and hard for it to come to their fair city, wished to have a party to celebrate the completion. Hagen, again, refused to have any provincial participation, so the Riverites just went ahead and had a celebration all of their own, effectively thumbing their noses at Hagen and his nasty, small minded meanness.

    One must not speak ill of the dead, I'm told, so I'll say no more about Stanley B. Hagen, darling of the Rotary Club and the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce as well as the good old boys of the Courtenay/Comox business cabal.


  5. First time poster but had to give you credit for this one. Great history lesson that everyone nowadays should be paying attention to or we will be repeating the mistakes of the past. So much for our enlightened society.


  6. “Those who do not learn from history are….” well they go to repeat it at their own expense.

    Ginger Goodwin must be rolling over in his grave. They want to mine coal once again in the Comox Valley area. Coal for foreign corporations & they will most likely import the labour, once again from China. Why would they do that? Because Harper passed legislation which permits employers to import labour & pay them 15% less. Then of course, given they are on temporary working visas you can bet there won't be any complaining about safety & no unions.

    There are stories told in Cumberland, that when a husband died his wife & children would be out of their rented home before they could get back from the funeral. The small homes were still there when I moved to the area. They were indeed small. There are stories about how widows had to survive, etc. Ginger Goodwin just wanted to change things for working people. It is so ridiculous that people wanted the name of the highway removed & people like Stan Hagen tore down the sign.

    Not much has changed in the valley. There are still those who do not recognize workers need rights & there must be social justice. Courtney now has a mayor who has announced there won't be a homeless shelter in his town. Yes, his town, long with most of council. Courtenay being the larger of the 3 towns in the Comox Valley.

    Most of this cabal doesn't realize if people don't have decent salaries they can't buy the merchandise small business sells.

    Yes, Stan Hagen is dead but his fellow travellers live on.


Leave a reply but be on topic and civil.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s