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Trust in Our Institutions
by Felix Pacheco
Saturday Dec 29th, 2018 7:48 AM
If you can't trust your government to deliver clean drinkable water, what does that say about your trust in other government institutions.
Trust in Our Institutions

Felix A. Pacheco

How much trust does the American public have in our government institutions? Obviously, they don't have enough trust to drink water from the local water districts or there wouldn't be a multi-billion dollar plastic bottled drinking water industry. For all the assurance from regional water districts that state of the art technologies are employed in the making our water drinkable, still most people don't trust them.

If the general public can't trust their government enough to deliver good clean drinkable water, what does that say about the trust of other government institutions. Can we really believe the bottled drinking water industry that their products are pristine natural spring water, some with other added ingredients such as electrolytes, flavorings, vitamins, minerals and other magical health benefits. This industry has no choice but to continue growing. Growth is of course one of the three main tenets of capitalism. Aside from the health risk from plastic chemicals leaching into the water, has the general public even given much thought to the ecological devastation plastic water bottles do to our streams, rivers, lakes, and to the ocean's ecology.

How much faith or trust can you have in our government's unwillingness to protect our environment from this and many other forms of pollution? Really, how much faith can you have in a social political system such as ours that is not willing or capable of delivering sustainable, earth friendly, decent paying jobs to many millions of its citizens. The least we can expect is for our economy to generate enough employment for the average person willing to work. That is not asking too much. As a wage earner making a decent livable wage with benefits including health coverage, you can survive and raise a family of future workers.

Since the 1970s the cost of living has increased tenfold or more, while hourly pay has remained relatively constant. Here, I am not talking about college graduates or skilled workers-even though they are equally effected. Eight dollars an hour was considered a decent hourly pay in 1970 when one could buy a new car for $2,100. Today, fifty year later most beginning entry level jobs start or stay at $8.00 per hour, and a new car can cost $21,000. Politicians and businesses fight against setting the minimum wage at $10.00 per hour, arguing that it would be a hardship for small businesses -but not a hardship for the workers? They claim that workers would be impacted negatively or maybe lose their jobs, plus would now have to pay $10.00 for what used to cost $8.00-a twenty percent increase. Their arguments are based on false economic principles and weak logic. The workers are in the right to demand a livable wage. It is true that entrepreneurs would make less profit temporarily and retail prices would find their level in a a short period. There are many ways governments could generate new jobs within the economy. The government could create special programs and tax incentives for small businesses to offset their higher payroll costs. If we can bail out major Wall Street investment firms and General Motors they could surely do the same for small business. To be sure, in today’s dollars $21.00 per hour should be the absolute lowest a minimum wage, and $28.00 in major metropolitan areas. Imagine what that would do to the economy. That is what you would call trickle up economics.

If it is true that cost of living has gone up ten times since 1970 and wages have stayed relatively the same, what have our Democratic politicians done to help the lower levels of the workers? Municipalities mean- while struggle with homelessness and crime. They are not willing to tackle rising costs, unemployment, underemployment and low wages. They will not tangle with the second most powerful lobby in Washington DC , the Chamber of Commerce. We should all know that our economy will continue to experience more devastating Boom and Bust cycles every seven to ten years, and each time the rich get richer and the working class gets poorer. This has been the history of Capitalism since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

The working class has to take their destiny in their own hands, and not rely on careerist politicians and opportunist union leaders who sell us short at every turn. Workers, wake up and shake yourselves free.

Felix A. Pacheco “You could say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.”

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