Peruse my thoughts...
We just celebrated Labor Day but I wonder how many of us truly think about what this holiday really stands for. It stands for the people who fought and some who actually were injured and died trying to get companies to give workers some basic benefits. As I am writing this I had a hard time coming up with the word benefit. I thought rights, justice, and just couldn't really grasp a word that represented what was won through the strikes, walk outs and strife. Little things we take for granted were gained. A 5 day work week, 8 hour work day, overtime pay, the ability to take a vacation or even a sick day without losing your job, pay increases, insurance benefits, safe working conditions, and the start of child labor laws. There are so many things that we take for granted that simply didn't exist in the late 1800's. All of these benefits were introduced and fought for through the unification of a group of people who were fed up with bosses that lowered their pay simply because they wanted to but at the same time kept prices of goods and housing at the same rate. Kind of sounds like a case of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Sound familiar?
Here in Missouri we just voted for our legislature to remove the "Right to Work" amendment from our state constitution. We had not voted for it to be placed on there, our current legislators and our past governor decided to place it there and voted it through without our consent. Some Union members protested and decided to do something about it. They gained signatures that questioned the authority of the governor and and legislature passing this. The question was put back to the people of Missouri to decide. We voted and loudly said NO. But even after we voted and obviously don't want it, some of our legislators are saying they are just going to pass it again. Why?
Some people think the reason is that our elected officials are being "bought" by big business. Campaign funding and contributions have no limit in Missouri. Yes, it has to be reported, but there is no limit on who or how much can be given to a legislator. You know the saying that Money is the root of all evil? Well, corruption in politics is rampant. We need to do two things this coming November. 1. we need to see who voted to place Right to Work in place (my opponent Glen Kolkmeyer did) and if you voted to repeal it, don't vote for those people again. It would be like changing your no vote to a yes vote. and 2. We need campaign finance reform. We need to limit the amounts anyone can give a legislator or candidate. The Clean Missouri initiative will do this. Some politicians have donations that amount to the tens of thousands of dollars. Why would someone give that much to a candidate? Just to be generous? They really like the person? They are "hoping" the person will support the same ideals that they do? I don't want to be cynical but, I'm not talking about donations of $50 or even $150 I'm talking about donations in the thousands. Why would you give someone that much money without getting anything in return... I'll be honest, I wouldn't.