Tuesday, December 08, 2009
thought for the day
Relief from poverty, financial support, debt forgiveness, microloans, work programs, and the like are not "charity" or "handouts." Those terms connote that nothing was earned in exchange. Government-mediated material support is a return on the surplus value generated from generations of work --paid and unpaid-- from American workers: laborers, immigrants, the indentured, low-wage workers yesterday and today, all of whose labor generated trillions of dollars in uncompensated value to the success stories used as advertising for the American Dream. That's why we all deserve health coverage. It's why we deserve decent shelter, and a chance to keep houses we may be in danger of losing. It's why food, health care, shelter and education are human rights rather than crumbs of privilege. Ultimately, it will be our right to demand those social goods and acquire them by all available and ethical means. Because we're not talking about stealing or getting something for nothing. We're talking about getting what's rightfully ours.