THE DON JONES INDEX…

 

GAINS POSTED in GREEN

LOSSES POSTED in RED

 

 

 

 

(THE DOW JONES INDEX:  9/9/20…27,940.47; 9/2/2028,645.66; 6/27/13… 15,000.00)

 

LESSON for September 9, 2020 – LABOUR’S LOVE LOST?

 

Monday was Labor Day.  A day for hotdogs, pool parties, beer and sunscreen… into which celebration came an uninvited, unwanted trespasser… the plague… and a ghost of labor struggles past in the form of racial unrest and rebellion – peaceful or not.

The holiday was strangely subdued (as most everything has been estranged this year), happy family trips and cookouts blocked by grim bureaucrats warning of an outbreak of new infections worse than those of the Fourth or Memorial Day because, these experts warn, the upcoming flu season will dovetail with the plague in a sort of Kawasak Effect of disease and death as was predicted for the hurricanes Laura and Marco (but did not manifest because Marco fizzled out, while Laura proved capable of spreading more than enough death and destruction on her own),

As labor goes, there’s something for everyone in the pandemic box of tricks.  The newly released unemployment rate finally fell to below ten percent… all the way to 8.4%; not much worse than in previous, non-infectious recessions.  1.4 million jobs were created, but that still leaves over eleven million without work and (as the House and Senate enjoy the long weekend, no nearer to approving or definitively rebuffing any new stimulus bill) without enough money to pay for the mustard on the dog.  The stock market soared back over its pre-pandemic high on Wednesday, largely on the CDCs pivot in proclaiming a safe, effective vaccine by Election Day, but then fell back on Thursday and Friday (despite the unemployment news) as investors realized they’d probably been scumped by Trump again.

Otherwise, organized labor’s presence over the Labor Day weekend was… well… pathetic.  Joe Biden did attend a virtual AFL-CIO event in Harrisburg, PA and the usual suspects made the usual speeches – although with a distinct lack of energy.  The National Education Assn. is caught up in a lose-lose struggle to force states to disseminate more secret CV information, bureaucrats strike back with privacy paranoia.  Media coverage is virtually nonexistent; BLM marchers politely ask union supporters to go away. 

Over the long weekend, the usual testimonials to the American working Joneses spewed forth like candy on Valentine’s Day and Easter, explosives on the Fourth, ghouls on Halloween and Thanksgiving gravy.

Even President Trump called declared “we will not rest until American workers are safely back at work,” albeit with a heaping helping of self-congratulations for the pre-Covid economy.  (See Attachment Two)

The usual suspects gagged and hated.  Their President’s blessing to the contrary, Fox News declared that: “Unions are harmful because they act as monopolies.”  Echoing some of the arguments against extending Stim Two unemployment benefits, the Foxies warned: “If the union members won't work, the law makes it extremely difficult for anyone else to step in and do their jobs. As a result, union workers have little competition -- so they can demand higher wages and do less work.

But even some of the ostensible friends of Labor… foreign and domestic… expressed dismay at the state of the unions.  Something urgent needs to be done to give America’s workers more say in our politics, so that their voices are not dwarfed by billionaires,” stated Steve Greenhouse in England’s Guardian a year ago.  Greenhouse then jumped the pond to wax nostalgic for the days when President Eisenhower at least recognized organized labor in the New York Times this year.  (Attachments Three and Four)

The Times, curiously, now believes that Labor is back in the game… (See Attachment Five) and the catalyst is a strange savior, Donald Trump, whose clumsy pro-employer policies… including a failed attempt to appoint the execrable Andrew Pudzer as Secretary of Labor (see below) has brought the Union corpse shambling forth, out of its grave,

 

So, to bring this Lesson up to date, we thought it might be useful to go back in history and pluck out some of labor’s greatest victories and defeats, assess their relevance to the 21st century and determine whether the nominally progress of Americas workers (barring, of course, a few exceptions, and reining in the details as flowered… or mushroomed… upon the coming of the plague.

 

For a positively glushing hagiography of the hallmarks and the benchmarks achieved by Organized Labor from the Civil War to the time of its publication (1955), we submit for your scrutiny Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais’ “Labor’s Untold Story”, re-released in the 1970’s by the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America.  With an emphasis, as it has, of an unapologetic linkage of labor rights with civil rights and chaining the denial of workers’ rights to a fear of Communism, some of the passages and statements of friends and enemies of the movement might have plummeted from the pages of a modern newspaper or magazine or plucked out of the cloud from mass and social media coverage of the present-day controversies (which components are of special interest to the special interests on Wall Street and in Washington who, apparently, believe a race war is more to their liking than a class war).

Boyer and Morais are intrinsically committed to the linkage of racial and economic justice – beginning with the little squib above Chapter One, this – from Abraham Lincoln…

 

“All that harms labor is treason to America. No line can be drawn between these two.  If any man tells you he loves America, yet he hates labor, he is a liar.  If a man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool.”

 

One wonders what the landscape of labor’s struggles, elusive victories and modern decline might have resembled had our 16th President decided not to go to Ford’s Theater, inasmuch as the emancipatory Republican Party quickly descended into a vehicle for Northern nonproductive capital adventures as followed for the rest of the 19th century and well into the 20th… perhaps even the 21st.

Time and again, the warring vectors behind the scenes of the Civil War… the Northern industrial and financial magnates versus the Southern plantation interests… clashed over economic policy, then came together and cobbled together solutions that enriched both – and screwed the “suckers and losers” as our present President might term the tenant farmers, railroad workers, garment sewers and hundreds of other classes of labourers; distracting their victims with an escalating and pernicious racism that would keep the bad dogs of the working classes chained until the onset of the Cyber Age.

To the corporate go-getters of the present, of course, “Labor’s Untold Story” is biased history and history, Henry Ford reminded us, is “bunk”.  The AFL-CIO tyrannosaurus is tottering on its withered hind legs; Democratic politicians still play a sort of lukewarm homage to fallen heroes of the past and workers’ rainbows of the future, but both parties now worship on the altar of the high tech as is driving the recovery of the Dow… if not the Don… most to praise it, a few leftish labor movement critics to call for the break-up of Apple and Amazon and the like,

 

At any rate, the “untold” story that the authors tell is largely one of repeated massacres of peaceful strikers by Federal and State troops, local police and private vigilante armies of thugs and butchers hired by the railroad men, the mineowners, shipowners Big Steel, Big Coal, Big Agriculture and, above all, the government itself.  Time and again, labor’s seemingly modest demand… the eight-hour day, the minimum wage, safe working conditions and the like… were met with a fusillade of bullets or an indiscriminate roundup of peons and leaders alike for conveyance to prison or to the gallows.

All the heroes of labor are here… well, at least the men.  (The authors, creatures of the 1950s, display an atypical “wokeness” regarding the role of Negro trade unionists… their term, those feeling a need to object may do so with their virtues noted… but, although wives, mothers and camp followers to the toilers shared in their victimization to the extent of a modern slasher or shooter movie but, with the exception of a brief note crediting the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire with the formation of the International Ladies’ Garment Union (1909-10) one may well have to look elsewhere for the untold stories of the hell-raisers like Mother Jones.  (They do, however, make mention of untold heroine Ella May Wiggin of the textile workers’ union, murdered by vigilantes at the dawn of the Hoover administration.)  Then too, the stories of Mexican-Americans who found themselves on the American side of the border after the war of 1847 as well as twentieth century farmworkers from points further south remain untold, and thus may be referred to any of the histories of the United Farmworkers -  ditto the Chinese railway workers.)

Political correctness noted and filed away, the glee with which public servants of law and order and private armies of industry and capital massacred so many human beings as looked like them is exemplary… although President Trump, in contending that police throughout history have mistakenly or wantonly murdered white people, may not want the public to look too closely at some of these “untold stories” (untold, to most, because of the potential for embarrassment to exalted family empires, charitable foundations, and the donors to and creators of great universities, hospitals and other civic institutions.

The “untold stories” are accounts of massacres, trumped-up charges of treason and insurrection, mine explosions, chemical poisoning in the fields, urban sweatshops, foreign exploitation and, perhaps especially relevant in this time and place, violence by paid provocateurs aimed at rousing the citizenry to damn unionization as a Communist plot.  A brief timeline of atrocities since the Civil War might look like this…

 

1861 – 5:  While patriots North and South are dying by thousands on the battlefields of Antietam, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg and more, slaveholders below the Mason-Dixon line deride the abolitionists as redder than tomatoes while Northern “liberals” pay substitutes $300 to fight and die in their place; profiteers like Commodore Vanderbilt, leasing his most decrepit vessels to the Army and J. Pierpont Morgan (gold, defective arms, shaky banks) “perceived from the first that wars were for the shrewd to profit from and poor to die in.”

 

Sepember 6, 1869 – The Avondale Mine Fire in Luzerne, Pennsylvania kills 179, igniting a newly formed Workingman’s Benevolent Association.  Mining and railroad tycoon Franklin Gowen and famed “detective” Allan Pinkerton fomented a conspiracy to blame union leaders as “Molly Maguires” and broke the union in 1877 after a rigged trial convicted ten of its leaders, duly hanged.  Hired vigilantes fired into a crowd in Pittsburg, killing twenty more.  The strike failed, but Gowen’s Philadelphia and Reading Railroad was gobbled up by Morgan and he committed suicide in 1889.  Allan Pinkerton died in Chicago on July 1, 1884. It is usually said that Pinkerton slipped on the pavement and bit his tongue, resulting in gangrene. Contemporary reports give conflicting causes, such as that he succumbed to a stroke (which he had a year earlier) or to malaria, which he had contracted during a trip to the Southern United States.   At the time of his death, he was working on a system to centralize all criminal identification records, a database now maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

 

May 1, 1886 – The Knights of Labor hold a Mayday march and celebration in Chicago that, to the disappointment of the police, Pinkertons and state militia, ends peacefully.  A few days later, however, somebody… the authors cite numerous accounts of paid agents provocateurs… threw a bomb during a rally at Haymarket Square, killing seven policemen.  With no discernable evidence, K. o. L. boss Albert Parsons was convicted of murder and hanged on November 11th.

 

Easter Sunday, 1894 – Armies of the unemployed roam America during the Panic… five hundred gather behind General Jacob S. Coxey of Massillon, Ohio, “a Greenbacker and a Populist” and march towards Washington, reaching Pennsylvania Avenue where the General plans to give a speech at the Capitol.  Instead, they are dispersed  by police and Coxey is arrested for “stepping on the grass”.  Released (Generals has privileges, so were not jailed or hanged) Coxey issued his speech to the media.  (See below)

 

August, 1903 – The Colorado mining strike threw owners into frenzied acts of murder against the Western Federation of Miners and United Mineworkers.  The military rushed to the mountains; “newspapers when they printed a word favorable to the union, were closed and their staffs imprisone.  Lawyers, after defending strikers, were assaulted and deported.  Professional killers… were imported by the score…”  A double agent for the mineworkers set off bombs at Cripple Creek, killing fourteen scabs and, on Easter, 1914, after striking workers were evicted from company housing in Ludlow, hired vigilantes and the National Guard set their tent city afire, killing 19 (thirteen of whom were children).

 

1932 – In the depths of the Depression, a foretaste of climate change in the creation of the “Dust Bowl” drove farmers to death or to California.  “’For a farmer to  buy a good toothbrush,’ said John A. Simpson, president of the National Farmers Union, ‘he would have to sell  eight dozen eggs and then he would owe two cents.  A farmer must sell forty pounds of cotton to buy a good shirt.’”  Despite the support of the AFL, Hoover was turned out of office shortly thereafter.

 

February 17, 1950 – “War scares are easy to create,” boasted the U.S. News and World Report as the legacy of FDR was shelved by Truman, his corporate brain trust (and Joe McCarthy) and the pro-employer Taft-Hartly act replaced the New Deal, “and are nearly sure-fire producers of money for more arms… “Cold War is the catalyst, Cold War is an automatic pump-primer.  Turn the spigot and the public clamors for more arms spending.  Turn another, the clamor ceases… Cold War demands, if fully exploited, are almost limitless.”

 

The AFL tamed, the Cold War enabled the emasculation of labor “by design of the CIO’s cold war leadership.”  The authors, perhaps foreseeing their eventual adoption by the United Electrical Workers termed the destruction of the CIO “a study in cold war hysteria.”  Anything and everything was tossed into the anti-Soviet stew… advocacy of world peace, banning “atomic slaughter”… the UEW’s half a million members being a main target of the CIO forces intent on transforming the CIO into an automatic rubber stamp approving each and every move of monopoly’s war policies.

And, as the “Untold Story” went to press, the CIO… now under the direction of the UAW’s Walter Reuther (soon to become a victim, himself, of reaction… expelled the UEW and several other unions.

Labor itself, of course, has had its usual detractors… the robber barons of the Gilded Age were quick to call their workers “Communists” and to lobby for the deportation of undesirable immigrants… and the authors do not shy away from the pitched battles between the American Federation of Labor (the first governing body grown soft, as such things occur, over time) and an angrier Congress of Industrial Organizations before the latter was pacified, leading to their eventual shotgun marriage on February 9, 1955.  Because this is only shortly before the time the book was published, the authors celebrate heroes like George Meany, the Teamsters’ Dave Beck and others who not only supported the corporate elites against civil rights and Vietnam War protestors; they actually directed the working class to descend from their trucks and construction sites with crowbars and two-by-fours to crack heads.

White workers remain the core of the pro-segregation, Reaganistic and MAGA, and anti-BLM movements up to the present… where the latest gaffes by the President denigrating fallen veterans may have created fissures in the right-wing solidarity of labour – many of whom served in the military and perhaps resent Mister Trump’s depictions, unless wholly rejecting them as further Deep State propaganda (a denial undercut by Djonald Unserved’s treatment of Sen. John (“I don’t like people who were captured”) McCain and the Arizona Republicans’s retaliatory dispatch of Trump’s scheme to replace the admittedly flawed Obamacare with… nothing.

Given the time of original publication (and the understandable reluctance of the UERMWA to make corrective edits) entirely absent, then, is any mention of the complicity of certain union bosses with organized crime… which dealt the movement a serious blow with the assassination of Walter Reuther, a crooked legacy continues to this day with former UAW chief Gary Jones and colleagues indicted for embezzlement.  (See here)  Reuther, far from being the labor militant he is held up to be by some (probably disgusted at the present crop of mobbed-up mediocrities) grew more militant in his later years and, perhaps, paid the ultimate price.  (See Attachment Six)

 

“Congress has still to come to grips with the real evil in the Labor field,” wrote the template for modern un-populist conservatism Barry Goldwater shortly before his failed run for the Presidency.  “Graft and corruption are symptoms of the illness that besets the labor movement, not the cause of it. The cause is the enormous political and economic power now concentrated in the hands of labor leaders.”

A contemporary, the right-wing economist Milton Friedman, even posed as a champion of the poorest, those denied the benefits of collective bargaining by law or by custom.  “Unions, therefore, have not only harmed the publica at lasrge and workers as a whole by distorting the use of labor; they have also made the incomes of the working class more unequal by reducing the opportunities vailable to the most disadvantaged workers.”

Fifty years ago, nearly a third of U.S. workers belonged to a union. Today, it's one in 10. But the decline has not been the same for every state… see this interactive map showing how union membership has changed across the country.  Actually, according to the Economic Policy Institute, the wealth gap has stabilized and has even fallen since 2000, when the average compensation of a CEO was 368 times that of an employee, back down to 281 in 2017 (but it has since begun rising again under Mister Trump).  The bosses made about twenty times the pay of their workers through the 60’s and 70’s, the difference shot up with the election of Ronald Reagon.  Executive pay has also outperformed stock performances by 500% over the same period

While the plague has thrown all the cards up in the air at present, the disparity at the beginning of 2020 was as much as 1000 to one!

Among the corporatists, overt and violent resistance to the accomplishments of organized labor have been muted.  Instead, the efforts to roll back the progressive tide has shifted to the three branches of Federal government; the White House, Congress and the courts as regards wage and hour standards, workplace safety (especially in the current Plague Year), affirmative action, tenure and pension issues as well as ongoing state v. Federal battles over raiding the unemployment insurance kitty and a standstill (at best) on basic pocketbook issues like raising the minimum wage.  Stagnant since July 24, 2009, what victories working people have gathered have come through state and local action… almost exclusively in “blue” states with higher incomes (and higher rents).  Poorer workers in red-state, poorer communities will have to wait until January, 2021 to (perhaps) see a higher minimums – especially given Monday’s abject failure of the Pelosi-Mnooch negotiations to at least grant some relief to the worst off as part of a Stimulus Two package.

 

Two other issues are… or would be, if labor, instead of watching the racial divide play out on their televisions, actually got off the couch and into the streets for workers’ rights… automation and the plague.

Over the weekend, it was reported that Speaker Nancy and the Mnooch eschewed chewing their Labor Day potato salad and barbecue for at least a spell and again tried to come to some agreement on the moribund Stimulus Two legislation – even as many working families were eschewing their prime rib for mac and cheese as even their state-only unemployment checks have been held up by Mister Trump’s postal czar. 

The negotiations, predictably, failed.  Republicans announced they would introduce their own package of possums to Congress, knowing in advance that the result would be the same.  Investigators investigated.  President Trump denied collusion with Russians trying to swing the election, but did say that… if wrongdoing at the Post Office was confirmed, he would throw Postmaster deJoy under a Fed Express truck.

The liberal media ran short clips of cute children pleading “Mister, don’t take away our mailbox.”

 

Meanwhile, the march of the robots continues apace as manufacturers exploit the plague-engendered downtime to retool their factories with more tools, but less workers and as even the white collar bean pushers upstairs are being permanently furloughed in favor of one or another of the snazzy new apps that the tech wizards of Silicon Valley (and other places, including China) are developing to enable one cubicle cowboy to do the work formerly performed by ten.  While this has been a great boon to Wall Street… especially NASDAQ stalwarts such as Apple, Amazon and a parliament of startups whose names contain almost as many Qs, Xs and Zs as the latest outpourings of Big Pharma… thousands, if not millions, of so-called “respectable” Don Joneses have lost their “respectable” jobs and must go begging to land a $7.25/hr (or, as independent contractors, less) gigs with the local big box or burger boys.

Which, as Boyer and Morais delineate, is nothing new…

“The golden Insanity (as they called the 1920s) , built on red scares and graft, on he open shop and wild gambling, ended where all refusals to face reality end.”

Still, the delusions persisted.  Echoing the present strife of unemployment and pandemic, Henry Ford on March 18, 1931 declared that the depression came about because “The average man won’t really do a day’s work unless he is caught and cannot get out of it.  There is plenty of work to do if people would do it.”  A few weeks later, Boyer and Morais noted, “he closed down the Ford plant, throwing 75,000 men out of work.”

Unemployment soared into the millions, then the tens of millions.  Americans lost their homes to foreclosures, renters (despite violence from the Unemployed Councils derided by the AFL as Communist-infiltrated), were evicted and moved into Hoovervills on vacant lots, their shanties attacked and burned by police.  Ford called for a meeting with union leaders, then reneged and police and hired thugs opened fire on the crowd of protesters.  When World War I veterans demanded the $50 and $100 bonuses due them be paid early, Generals MacArthur, Eisenhower and Patton ordered them sliced and diced with sabers… MacArthur telling a reporter: “You don’t slash with a saber, you lunge.”  Routed and murdered in the clash of veterans versus veterans, the surviving bonus marchers crawled away.

No amount of police violence could, however, save President Hoover.  He was defeated by Franklin Roosevelt, who was sworn in on April 4th, 1932, by which three-fourths of the nations’ banks (and their depositors’ savings) had gone “on holiday”.  FDR kept millions of the unemployed alive through his WPA (Works Progress Administration, not Welfare) and thereby saved them for service in World War II where, to paraphrase Morgan (and Donald Trump), the shrewd made money and the patriots died.

The unions survived the postwar Red Scare, but fell victim to their own internal rot.  Membership has plummeted.  The proud parades of the 50’s and 60’s fell silent… demands shriveled as employers threatened to move their firms to the “open show” (and segregated) South, then overseas.

 

So now, in 2020, a diluted Labor Day holds no meaning for most Americans as do not belong to unions and little for many who do. Instead, it’s another three day weekend – a chance to gather with friends, family and imperfect strangers; to eat greasy foods and drink alcohol, dance, throw your hands in the air, maybe hook up (if you’re lucky) or get hooked by the plague (if you’re not).  In tribute to the memory of what was (and denial of probably what will be), here are the week’s disease and dissent highlights, prefaced with pertinent selections from the “Untold Story” and other related works, pro and con.

Thus…

 

 

SEPTEMBER 2 – SEPTEMBER 8

  9/9/20…  14,907.86

  9/2/20…  14,831.84

    6/27/13…  15,000.00

 

 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

 

    Infected: 6,082,280

            Dead: 185,594

              Dow:  29,199.50

President Trump returns (unharmed) from Kenosha without visiting Jacob Blake or his family or the owner of a burned-out business (his team hunts down a former owner to decry the anarchy), but with a new buzzword to add to his arsenal of epithets… “rioters”, “shooters” and “looters” being joined by “agitators” (missing only the qualification “outside” – soon remedied).  Next hotspot: Rochester, after video from March emerges of cops strangling a black man, Jacob Prude, after placing a white hood over his head, as if he were a dignitary of the Klan.  Book of the week: “The Threats of Donald Trump” by Peter Strozk to contend with Michael Cohen’s “Disloyal” and Melania menagerie.

   Volusia teachers protest crowded crowds, TV Dr. Shih Jah recommends all students get tested, not just athletes.  Man with double lung transplant survives plague.   Planeful of black-garbed, black-masked false flaggers misses Kenosha airport; denied their Umbrella Man moments, they steal all the peanuts and blame Joe Biden.  First plague death linked to Sturgis… 260 bikers get it.  So do actor and rassler The Rock and Robert Pattinson (“The Batman”).  Also two cats in Texas.

 

From “Labor’s Untold Story” - Gen. Jacob Coxey’s suppressed speech: “Up these (Capitol) steps the lobbyists of trusts and corporations have passed unchallenged on their way to the Committee rooms, access to which we, the representatives of the toiling wealth producers, have been denied.  We stand here today in behalf of millions of toilers whose petitions have been buried in Committee rooms, whose prayers have been unresponded to, and whose opportunities for honest, remunerative labor have been taken away from them by unjust legislation, which protects idlers, speculators and gamblers.”

 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

 

    Infected: 6,114,034

         Dead: 185,747

 

President Trump flits from Kenosha photo-op to North Carolina where he advises his supporters to vote twice; just… you know… to be sure.  (It’s illegal, violators in some states can get up to ten years.)  Biden trails him to Kenosha, meets with Blake family, accuses POTUS of exhaling oxygen to a sickly Hate, hiding under a rock. (Pundits agree that Biden’s mental health will be almost as much an issue as Trumps.) 

   CDC’s Redfield denies Election Day vax a pro-Trump hoax.  PublicCitizen.org accuses Djonald of mishandling Remdesivir allocations and even more damaging Atlantic story says he called fallen soldiers “suckers and losers”.

 

From the Don Jones Index, 12/30/16 on Labor Secretary Andy Puzder’s June 24th Fox & Friends interview where host Steve Doocy referenced the owner of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s’ op-ed in The Hill as evidence of the so-called "Welfare Cliff".  Pudzer’s companies’ pasts are riddled with class action wage theft lawsuits  he paints wage increases as “job-killers”, minwage earners as entitled teenagers, and his own employees as lazy welfare recipients who don’t ask for promotions “for fear of losing public assistance: The policy guys call it the "Welfare Cliff," because you get to a point where if you make a few more dollars you actually lose thousands of dollars in benefits. And, quite honestly, these benefits are essential for some people. They are how they pay their rent; they are how they feed their kids. So, what happens is, we have people who turn down promotions or, if (the) minimum wage goes up, they want fewer hours. They want less hours because they are afraid they'll go over that cliff.”

 

 

Friday, September 4, 2020

 

    Infected: 6,202,331

         Dead: 186,000 +/-

             Dow:  27,433.18

 

POTUS blows off PublicCitizen’s charge but explodes at Atlantic’s tale of military disrespect, calling it a failing rag that “won’t be around very much longer”… hint, hint!  Prexy’s disrespect for WWI “suckers and losers” buried in French graves provokes disgust from retired General Paul Eaton – his counterclaim is that, while  soldiers love  him, military brass are mindless agents of the Deep State.  Surgeon General waffles over Trump/CDC promise of Election Day vaccine. 

   The Lancet (UK) raises eyebrows with contentions that Russian vaxes are safe and effective (as long as you’re not Navalny).  Happy holiday hooligans head to Florida for long weekend of partygoing and plague.  Authorities warn “flouters” that their selfishness imperils not only other people but… horrors!... the Economy!  Post-Labor day spike in 2 – 3 weeks potentiated by back-to-schoolers and… oy vey!... the Jewish holidays. 

 

From “Labor’s”… summation of Clarence Darrow, July 27, 1907, at the Boise, Idaho trial of Big Bill Haywood, framed for the bombing murder of former Governor Frank Steunenberg: “(Y)ou shortsighted men of the prosecution, you men of the Mine Owners Association, you people who would cure hatred with hatred, you who think you can crush out the feelings and the hopes and the aspirations of men by tying a noose around his neck, you who are seeking to kill him, not because it is Haywood, but because he represens a class… I speak for the poor, for the weak, for the weary, for that long line of men who, in darkness and despair, have borne the labors of the human race.  Their eyes are upon you twelve men of Idaho tonight.”

(The jury found Haywood not guilty.)

 

 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

 

   

        Dead:    187,811

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

 

 

   Infected: 6,275,643

        Dead:    188,500 +/-

Bubonic plague outbreak (think Camus, think DeFoe) terrorizes Lake Tahoe, Ca.  The ever-cheerful U. of Washington predicts CV deaths to rise to 3,000 per day and 411K by New Years’ Day.  Plague survivors dying of heart disease after their “recoveries”; doctors warn against too much exercise.  Heart-stopping Million Dollar Bill for one survivor’s hospital stay.  New Hampshire reports no new cases, but 22 states still spiking.  Drugmaker summit ends with agreement to oppose rush to release of vaccines by Election Day. 

 

From Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton, in an article for the anthology “Taking Back America” titled: “Program for a New Majority.”

“People who are very rich are not going to turn around and spend the extra money (from the Bush tax cus).  The very definition of being rich is you already spend as much as you want to spend.  Those who are most likely to spend the extra money they get from a tax rebate are people of modest means, and yet a comparatively small proportion of the Bush tax break goes to the middle class and an even smaller proportion goes to people in the bottom 20 percent of incomes.”

 

Riots keep keeping on (101 days in Portland, 100 in Milwaukee), violence keeps escalating.  Protester throw Molotov cocktails at police, who respond with yellow “mustardy smelling” gas bombs.  Rochester police blame Prude riots on “outside agitators” even as some law and order advocates scold Trump for delivering neither.  Louisville police admit that bodycams of Breonna Taylor do exist, but they’re not releasing them.

   A poll of voters on the vaxes finds that many won’t take speeded-up cures unless the two candidates do so… on television.  Anti-mask mayhem erupts in Baltimore liquor store.   TV Doctor Jah admits “expecting 18 to 20 year olds to stay safe is not realistic.”  Pope Francis I says gossip is worse than the plague. 

 

From Albert O. Parsons, framed for bombings at the Haymarket Riots with three associates (see above), as a deputy at his 1886 hanging pulled a mask down over his face… (“Labor”)  “Will I be allowed to speak, O men of America?  Let me speak, Sheriff Matson!  Let the voice of the people be heard…”

   He tried to go on, but the trap was sprung.

 

 

Monday, September 7, 2020

 

    Infected:  6,297,091

        

   

Six Rochester protesters strip naked, kneel and put Prudelike, Klanlike hoods over their faces.  “We can’t show this, says squeamish CBS.

   Spike states triple 10 to 30.  Dr. Jah singles out indoor gatherings as most dangerous.  CDC warns that evictions lead to homelessness, which leads to more interactive interaction, which leads to more plague.

 

From Burroughs, Wm. “Nova Express”

“I have said that the basic techniques of nova are very simple – consist in creating and aggravating conflicts – “No riots like injustice directed between enemies” – At any time recorders fix nature of absolute need and dictate the use of total weapons… Don’t answer the machine – Shut it off.”

 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

 

    Infected: 6,321,054

            Dead: 189,215

         Dow:  27,500.89

 

    New Cases: 57,666

Predicted Armageddon fizzles, despite voyage of thousands of gun-toting MAGA militiamen to hot spot cities to engage Antifa (or whomever) in hand-to-hand combat.  Public panic turns to the Western wildfires… at least they are killing off the plague squirrels.  Still fuming over Atlantic “suckers and losers” disclosures, Djonald Unhinged declares that soldiers love him; it’s just that all their officers are Swamp creatures, provoking more wars to enrich their defense contractor bros.

   Then, President Trump escalates his timeline for release of “dream vaccine” from Election Day to Halloween.  Astra Zeneca/Oxford UK cancels testing after subject contracts spinal paralysis, leaving two contenders in the lists.  With college towns the new hotzones, experts are contending that younger infectees mean fewer deaths and shorter hospital stays.

 

From “Labor” on a statement by George Meany of the AFL and Walter Reuther of the CIO on their merger, February 9, 1955… “The new national labor center brings together over 145 unions with a membership of 15,000 workers,  Although nearly 2,000,000 organized workers – 600,000 mine workers, 300,000 Railroad Brotherhood Workers and the rest in other independent unions like the United Electrical (un-italics subtracted - DJI), Mine, Mill, Longshore and Warehouse – are still outside the new federation, the possibility exists of uniting the entire labor movement, thus achieving that unity of action which big business recognizes as its most potent weapon (ditto) in the fight against labor.”

 

 

 

One more selection from “Labor’s Untold Story” as parses the decline of labor since the 1950’s as regards world and national policy as well as membership, benefits and equality…

“Not long (after the peace treaty in Korea and Eisenhower’s abandonment of a plan to back Chiang Kai Shek with American troops in the “reconquest” of China),  Vice-President Nixon loosed a “trial balloon”, declaring the United States might intervene in the Indo-Chinese War.  That balloon was punctured by an unprecedented protest that went up from churches, fraternal orders, political organizations, trade unions, Americans of every degree and class.”

Of course, Democrats… like the sellouts within the AFL and turncoats in the CIO, prior to the merger… would eventually tag along behind Nixon’s dream as the balloons were re-inflated and tied together and JFK, LBJ and half the Democratic Party grabbed onto Tricky Dick’s ankles as the politicians, warmakers and their suppliers (whom even Donald Trump distrusts) soared, like David Blaine, high above the earth… then further into space – until finally reaching the sun, whereupon the balloons all popped, sending the nation down into a catastrophic inferno of lost honor, lost paramountcy and lost lives; leading to this, from Reich:

“I do credit Republican conservatives in this one respect… They stick to what they know and they stick to their values.  These values are wrong, but they stick to them anyway,  They stick to them for years,  They tell the same big lies over and over,  And George Orwll understood the strategic advantage of such a practice,  Republicans know that if they stick to their values – even though they’re wrongheaded, even though they’re bad for the public, even though Republicans have to tell lies in order to convince people their values are in the public interest – eventually people will follow.”

Go ahead, then, drink the bleach.  You know you want to…

 

In what is otherwise shaping up as one of the baddest weeks in a bad year for President Trump… plague, fires, riots, scandal, vaccine crashes, dirty books… the week’s unemployment news was a welcome breath of fresh, unsmoky air.  While the stock market was bouncing around, more people went back to work… at what wages, hours and how long to be determined, but it was good new and he (and Don Jones) will take it.  After all, the Christmas season is not so far away and gifts for the quarantined are likely to be flying off the shelves.

Too bad so many of them come from China or places likewise.  America exported more goods than it has done so for many week, but our imports were off the charts, leading to that old complaint we’ve been ignoring since long before the plague… debt.  Put it on plastic and forget about it… between the fires and police shootings and plague, riots or smoke suffocation, we may be dead by dawn.

 

 

 

 

THE DON JONES INDEX

             CHART of CATEGORIES w/VALUE ADDED to EQUAL BASELINE of 15,000

                        (REFLECTING… approximately… DOW JONES INDEX of June 27, 2013)

                                                  See a further explanation of categories here                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                            ECONOMIC INDICES (60%)

 

DON JONES’ PERSONAL ECONOMIC INDEX (45% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

 

 

 

 

 

Wages (hourly, per capita)

9%

1350 pts.

8/26/20

- 0.44%

9/9/20

1,396.39

1,406.59

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/wages   24.63 4.81

 

Median Income (yearly)

4%

600

8/26/20

+0.05%

9/9/20

647.84

648.25

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    34,328 345 367

 

Unempl. (BLS – in millions

4%

600

8/26/20

 -8.82%

9/9/20

196.63

238.76

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000   10.2% 8.4%

 

Official (DC – in millions)

2%

300

8/26/20

 -0.13%

9/9/20

240.34

288.23

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    16,194 161 13,476

 

Total. (DC – in millions)

2%

300

8/26/20

 -0.12%

9/9/20

212.93

250.14

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    26,720 689 22,745

 

Workforce Participation

Number (in millions)

Percentage (DC)

2%

300

8/26/20

+0.029%

 -0.013%

9/9/20

301.98

301.67

In 143,721 763  349 Out 100,681 721 699 Total: 244,048

http://www.usdebtclock.org/  58.74

 

WP Percentage (ycharts)*

1%

150

8/19/20

 -0.16%

9/9/20

151.71

152.45

http://ycharts.com/indicators/labor_force_participation_rate  61.70

 

OUTGO

(15%)

 

 

 

Total Inflation

7%

1050

8/19/20

+0.6%

9/9/20

1032.10

1032.10

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.6  nc

 

Food

2%

300

8/19/20

+0.4%

9/9/20

284.69

284.69

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm      -0.4

 

Gasoline

2%

300

8/19/20

+5.6%

9/9/20

379.43

379.43

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +5.6

 

Medical Costs

2%

300

8/19/20

+0.5%

9/9/20

289.37

289.37

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.5

 

Shelter

2%

300

8/19/20

+0.2%

9/9/20

296.11

296.11

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0 .2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEALTH

(6%)

 

Dow Jones Index

2%

300

8/26/20

  -2.52%

9/9/20

309.23

301.44

https://quotes.wsj.com/index/DJIA  28,645.90  27,940.47

 

Sales (homes)

Valuation (homes)

1%

1%

150

150

8/26/20

+ 24.15%

+ 2.98%

9/9/20

   164.29                

165.07                   

   164.29                

165.07                    

http://www.realtor.org/research-and-statistics

     Sales (M):  5.86 Valuations (K):  304.1

 

Debt (Personal)

2%

300

8/26/20

  -0.53%

9/9/20

288.38

286.85

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    62,630 694

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             AMERICAN ECONOMIC INDEX (15% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS) 83.77

 

NATIONAL

(10%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues (in trillions)

2%

300

8/26/20

  -0.81%

9/9/20

234.45

231.54

debtclock.org/       2,702 680

 

Expenditures (in tr.)

2%

300

8/26/20

+0.09%

9/9/20

264.72

264.48

debtclock.org/       5,591 596

 

National Debt (tr.)

3%

450

8/26/20