RUSH: Big story from Forbes magazine today: "Labor unions are among the key institutions responsible for the passage of Obamacare." As you know, "They spent tons of money electing Democrats to Congress in 2006 and 2008, and fought hard to push the health law through the legislature in 2009 and 2010. But now, unions are waking up to the fact that Obamacare is heavily disruptive to the health benefits of their members.
"Last Thursday, representatives of three of the nation’s largest unions fired off a letter to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, warning that Obamacare would 'shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40-hour workweek that is the backbone of the American middle class.' The letter was penned," written, for those of you in Rio Linda, "by James P. Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Joseph Hansen, international president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union; and Donald 'D.' Taylor, president of UNITE-HERE, a union representing hotel, airport, food service, gaming, and textile workers."
See, these idiots?
They fought for this. They fought for the rule that said any outfit that's got over 50 employees is mandated to provide coverage. They didn't stop to think that there are creative people running businesses that say, "Oh, if we have less than 50, we don't have to pay? Okay. We're gonna convert you and you and you to part time. You only get 30 hours. That's it. That's all you get. No benefits, either. No health care. It's either that or we close the business. We can't stay up and running otherwise."
These union guys have just figured out that the 40-hour week has been shot, which they claim is the backbone of the middle class. To a certain extent, yeah. I mean, they're trying to claim that they are the backbone of America. There aren't enough union members to claim they're the backbone of anything anymore, other than the Democrat Party. But the point, nevertheless, is businesses are converting people from full time to part time and enabling themselves not to provide coverage.
Then (chuckles) their buddy Barack comes along and says, "You know what? The employers are gonna get a one-year waiver. They're not gonna have to provide insurance. But the employee is still gonna have to have insurance." So they feel a little shafted here. There's nothing they can do about it, other than complain. But they are complaining. No, it's not enough to make them support Republicans. They're complaining. They're not happy. They're just part of the growing number of people in this country who do not want anything to do with Obamacare.
Business Insider: "The Wealth Gap Is Crushing America's Youth -- Mention the ever-widening wealth gap in America and chances are most of the focus will be on the grown-ups. Their 401(k)s were pummeled during the recession, their earnings plummeted, and even a college degree couldn't guarantee them a job in shaky economic times. But what about the children? Under the radar, study after study has shown just how the growing wealth gap could stymie upward mobility for America's youth."
Now, Business Insider, we love 'em there, but they're two years late on this. They're four years late on this. This is just another reason why the country is hanging by a thread. It's why people in this country are so tightly wound and ready to explode. Economic opportunity is being wiped out! The opportunity to move up the ladder, the opportunity to improve economic standing and prosperity is dwindling -- and it can't do anything else.
We've lost nine million jobs since Obama became president!
That's nine million opportunities to advance one's self economically.
And, as the union guys just discovered, businesses are downsizing and converting people to part time. You don't build a career on part-time work. You don't even really support a family on part-time work. Not one part-time job. You start at part-time work. Now we've got people who have been full-timers for years who are being converted, downsized to part time. We hear about outsourcing and all this. The American worker is being downsized.
The American employee is being downsized, and with it is opportunity, and the wealth gap. I don't know. You want to call it the wealth gap, go ahead. All it means is the people that have theirs, have theirs. But you don't have yours. Your chances of getting yours are now reduced. That's what it means. The gap is one thing, but the opportunity to close the gap is what's really vanishing, and whether people consciously know it, they are subconsciously are aware of it.
I had to laugh the other day. I saw a story yesterday; I shoulda printed it out. For some reason it didn't make enough of an impression on me at the time to print it out. But it referred to an economy finally now in a full-fledged recovery, which is a laugh. Our economy is not anywhere near a recovery, full-fledged or otherwise. And people know it. However you measure it -- consumer spending, consumer confidence -- people's psychological mind-set right now is hold onto what they've got.
The idea of building on it?
That's something that people can't conceive right now. It's just enough to hold on to what they've got. It's like the neighborhood that Zimmerman lived in. That was really a bunch of people. They start a Neighborhood Watch 'cause they're being held up. They're being robbed -- a little bit here, a little bit there. They don't have so much that they can lose this and lose that and still be who they are. Plus, nobody wants to get held up and robbed anyway.
These are people that are climbing the ladder slowly and they've made it into a community they thought safe, and found out it wasn't. Neighborhood Watch, somebody out to protect 'em, one thing leads to another. But it's rooted in the fact that there is a general feeling of unsettledness. Whether people can get their arms around it and tell you exactly what they mean, what they know is that this isn't how things are in an America that's working, in an America that's right.
And while their economic opportunities are vanishing, they turn on the TV, and they see a bunch of BS that has nothing to do with them. They turn on the TV and they look at political leaders who seem right now only to care about 11 million people who are here illegally, and what they see is 11 million people are gonna be dumped into the society as competitors in the job market. They're gonna work for a lot less than they do.
They don't understand it -- and then the ones who do understand it, get really mad. The others are just depressed. But whether they're able to articulate it or not, they full well understand that this is not how this country used to be. This is not the way you feel when the country's working. It's not the way you feel when you are confident that you're in the right place and you've got a chance or opportunity to improve yourself.
Then they turn on the TV and they see people impugned, made fun of, criticized, if they happen to improve themselves. They see all kinds of reprobate thuggery rewarded with fame and wealth, and they see people who are well-mannered -- virtuous, perhaps, but certainly no threat to anybody -- laughed at, impugned, and made fun of. It just isn't right. There's something about it that doesn't make sense. It's just not right. Something is wrong.
They don't see anybody that seems to understand it.
At least in political leadership. They don't see or hear anybody who seems to understand it the way they feel it, and so it becomes, "Well, I gotta lookout for myself. Nobody else is," which ain't all that bad, by the way, in one sense. But there also has to be trust and confidence and faith in political leadership, and there isn't any right now.
Speaking of all this, BlackEntertainment.com, BET: "Black Unemployment Rate Rose in June to 13.7% -- The national unemployment rate held steady at 7.6%. The African-American unemployment rate rose from 13.5% in May to 13.7% in June..." The youth unemployment rate, the unemployment rate for 18 to 29-year-olds, is 16%. This is exactly what I'm talking about. You have people saying, "To heck with careers! How about just a job?"
And when they turn on the TV, they see the latest with the Kardashians and the name of their baby, or that some gay couple's now getting divorced or what have you, and they say, "What the hell?"