Monday, February 8, 2016

The Ironic Cherry Reads...

Out of Sight by Erik Loomis

Simply put, the sixties saw a cumulation of disastrous events that polluted air and water and caused illness and death to workers and communities.  Responding to the outrage of the American people, in the seventies Congress overwhelmingly passed bills like The Clean Air Act and The Occupational Safety and Health Act.  American workers who joined labor unions saw dramatic improvements in wages and working conditions.

But in the mid-seventies, economic shockwaves  rippled through the country, as OPEC imposed an oil embargo that resulted in fuel and food shortages.

As Naomi Klein describes in The Shock Doctrine, corporate and financial power uses times of crises to coerce frightened and insecure populations to give up freedoms and benefits.  The seventies saw labor unions pressured and acquiesce, giving up wages and benefits under the threat of businesses laying off workers or closing down entirely.

The strategy was such a success that states without strong unions and which would offer tax incentives to relocating companies became the destination for much of U.S. manufacturing.  But even better, corporations found that they could outsource work to third world countries and enjoy greater profits without being held accountable for workers' or environmental conditions.  Poor nations with corrupt or weak governments welcomed American business.  Outsourced factories pollute with abandon, and mistreated workers have no recourse to complain.  Corrupt governments and factory owners work hand in hand to provide the goods needed for American companies to continue to make record profits.

And hence, out of sight.

Here in America, as wages have stagnated for decades, consumers look for least expensive goods and are happy not to know about the country of origin as well as the working conditions that exist to manufacture those cheaper goods.  And because we buy those cheaper goods, there is no incentive for corporations to either improve workers conditions in other countries or to relocate back to the U.S.

The vicious cycle completes as U.S. workers continue to lose power over their ability to earn a living wage due to the threat that companies will shut down and relocate to a more profitable economic climate.

The irony is that, while workers in third world countries work for pennies in dangerous conditions to provide us with cheap clothing, toys and electronics, we have been unable to maintain the environmental gains of the sixties and seventies.  We have elected leaders who promise to cut taxes, businesses that cut corners to increase profit and a crippled Environmental Protection Agency, resulting in deadly drinking watergas leaks that make breathing the air hazardous, and other environmental disasters that we seem to be unable to stop.

Out of Sight is an important book, in that we need to become aware of the effect of corporations with unlimited power throughout the world.  It turns out that what affects workers in Bangladesh affects us all.

 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

All Politics Is Local

I have in the past tended to follow national politics, so much louder and glitzier than the local variety.  But a few years ago I began tracking state legislation for our ACLU and a whole new world opened up.  And sucked me into it.

Local politics is not pretty.  And it is exhausting work documenting so much stupidity.  But somebody ought to do it.  Because we really, really need to know what is going on up there in Columbia.  Because it has so very much impact on our lives.

Here in South Carolina, the dark work of the legislature is evident in our "minimally adequate" schools, with extraordinarily high dropout rates and inadequate employment.  Whenever a South Carolinian does not go to a doctor because they are uninsured, we can thank our legislature and our governor for refusing the federal Medicaid expansion dollars that are actually our federal taxes.  "No thank you, I don't want my money."

It was the wisdom of our state legislators that, in light of the horrific mass shootings in our country, passed a law allowing guns in drinking establishments, making restaurant and bar owners responsible for posting when guns are not welcome.  Of course, the thing about guns is that when you don't want them you anger the people with the guns.

And oh my, our infrastructure.  Any homeowner with an ounce of sense would make use of a windfall to make needed repairs -- keep up that important investment.  Yet when the price of gas falls precipitously, instead of looking at our crumbling and dangerous roads and bridges and seeing the opportunity to make them right argue about "new taxes."  We remain a poor state because we squander any kind of financial opportunity.

Meanwhile -- and you have all heard me rant about this -- the idiots at the Statehouse continue to flood the docket with new anti-abortion bills that say the same thing as the old ones.  We also apparently need a bunch more bills that honor and revere the 2nd amendment.  Instead of paying for better education, our tax dollars are going to go to plaques in every school that declare that "In God We Trust."  I guess with the poor state of our education, those yahoos figure we'd better pray.

And they are all over the threat to our state presented by poor Mexican immigrants, gays, Muslims, atheists, pregnant women, low wage-workers, and workers attempting to form unions.  They are on guard protecting the interest of big out-of-state businesses who have the god-given right to pollute and profit here in South Carolina.  Nikki Haley has fought the valiant fight to channel millions of tax dollars to big corporations while anyone living below the poverty line -- and there are quite a number of us here -- are subject to scorn and the threat of laws that would require drug testing and other humiliating and near-impossible requirements.  And pay attention, small business owners.  When our legislators say they are "for small business," y'all better check your pockets.

So we can track the legislation, call and write senators and representatives, but unless we change the makeup of the Statehouse, we are shouting into the big winds caused by global climate change that our legislators mostly deny.

Here it is, 2016, and every damn member of the legislature is up for re-election.  The sad thing is that in way too many cases, they will be re-elected without a breath of protest.  We can complain about gerrymandering, and it would be a legitimate complaint, but the fact is that most voters want the same things, and don't have (or don't think they have) anyone to vote for that would get us there.

If there are few courageous individuals that are willing to speak loudly to the abuses of our current legislators, not only will there not be options, voters will not even be aware of those abuses or the better options.

I don't believe that the majority of the people that re-elect Lee Bright really are voting against abortion, although I'm sure he does stay awake nights imagining all the dirty doings that create that "preborn child."  His war against anything that looks like a tax -- which I believe is the secret to his longevity -- needs to be countered with facts about how much more it costs most of us when taxes are cut.

We Dems don't tend to run on the need for taxes because we have let ourselves wear the "tax and spend" label even when it has proven false.  And yet, here is Bernie Sanders getting support from republicans who see him as more responsive to their needs than Trump or Cruz.  If we believe in good government services, we need to learn to sell it.  As Trump has shown, politics is mostly about sales.  And in sales, you have to believe in yourself or no one else will believe in you.

I am hoping that our State Democratic Party this year will show some of that fearlessness.  I am hoping that they will encourage people to run against the right-wingnuts that we have for too long thought were impregnable.  And put some money behind it.  A candidate that runs against a right wing wacko needs funding, needs publicity.  And our party needs to find a way to support all the Democratic candidates that are stepping up to fight this entrenched and old party.

Instead of thinking that money spent on a Democratic candidate may be money lost, we should believe that money spent to give a Democratic candidate airtime is money spent on the future of the Democratic party.  I believe that our platform is the right one.  I believe that responsible taxation creates jobs, improves our standard of living, and pays it all forward.

And on the other side, I see the party that claims to be for small government stealing from small business owners to give to big corporations and taking away workers' rights to fight for better working conditions so that those big corporations can boast bigger profits.  I see this party that fought Obamacare on the grounds that it would bring big government into our doctors' offices propose twenty or more bills doing just that to women, from conception to the disposition of a fetus.

That old party is the party that fights government regulation if it means making our neighborhoods safer, our air and waters cleaner, our children better educated.  Yet they propose bills to regulate the poor and monitor refugees.  Yes, under this bunch there would be laws that require immigrants and refugees to produce documentation, but they invite those from other states to bring in y'all's guns, and oppose background checks and bans on assault weapons.  Because as they say, if they can stop just one terrorist from coming into South Carolina it will be worth denying all those others the right to live free.  But if you take one gun away from one gun nut, you are denouncing American values and bringing down the nation.

So we have a lot of hypocrisies that need to be confronted.  And we have lots of smart people who could do the confronting.  So let's get our Democratic Party behind them.  And let's give them the opportunity to be heard this election year.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Charleston's Democratic Women

As you may know, Charleston County Democratic Women has been around a long time, fighting for the rights of all South Carolinians.  They are working to make us more aware of the ongoing battles at the Statehouse for women's rights as well as healthcare, education, a living wage and the right to live free of racism and gun violence.  Membership and donations support like-minded candidates, so that we can change the pathetic record of rabid right-wing radicalism in our legislature.

The next meeting of CCDW is this Thursday, February 4, at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Riverview.  The featured speaker is Will Moredock, author and columnist.  Will has been reporting on the weird, wacky and often offensive twists and turns of our state government for well over a decade.  His latest book is a collection of articles from 2002 to 2012 entitled Living in Fear: Race, Politics and the Republican Party in South Carolina.

Will has spoken passionately for women's rights, and is an advocate for reproductive rights, which, since the secretly recorded and heavily edited Planned Parenthood video, are even more under attack by state and federal legislators than they had been in previous years.  Our state legislature currently has twenty or more bills pending that would curb the rights of women to pursue legal abortions in South Carolina, and even restrict the ability to donate fetal tissue to research.

But the attack is not just against women.  It is against African Americans, the LGBT community, college students, workers.  Families, children, the poor, all are under fire from a legislature with the mantra of no taxes.  Small government is cited in denying Medicaid to the uninsured but doesn't apply at all when it is women's right to medical privacy that is being considered.  Bad state government is the reason South Carolina ranks 45th in financial security.

CCDW is planning on keeping us all informed about what is going on in Columbia, and in spearheading some grass roots actions in order to fight all those bad bills, and promote the good ones.

I hope you will be there on Thursday.  We can fight the insanity if we work together.

CCDW
Charleston County Democratic Women
February Meeting
Thursday, February 4, 6:00 PM to Socialize
Program Starts at 6:30!
Holiday Inn Riverview in Charleston
Optional Buffet Dinner is $20

Our Featured Speaker will be Charleston Author
Will Moredock

Living in Fear is a selection of his writings with a focus on the way that racial fear has shaped the politics and culture of our state. Also included in this collection is Will’s 7,000 word essay on the origin and future of these fears.

A South Carolina native and Charleston resident, Will is a veteran journalist with stints at The State Newspaper in Columbia and Creative and Loafing in Charlotte. From 2002 till 2012, he wrote a weekly column on South Carolina politics and culture for Charleston City Paper.

His work has appeared in newspapers around the country including the Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer and Charlotte Observer. He is also the author Banana Republic Revisited: 75 Years of Madness, Mayhem and Minigolf in Myrtle Beach and The Storm – A Story for Children.

Monday, January 25, 2016

With Friends Like Vincent

While the wackos in the SC legislature are gleefully making hay out of the lies about Planned Parenthood, we were smacked in the head by a new bill from our own state senator, Vincent Sheheen.  S 1001, titled simply 'though not elegantly, "Abortion," will provide that

NO PERSON, ENTITY, OR ASSOCIATION SHALL OFFER OR ACCEPT MONEY OR ANYTHING OF VALUE FOR AN ABORTED FETUS OR ANY PORTION OF AN ABORTED FETUS; AND TO PROVIDE FOR PENALTIES.

Vincent Sheheen, who ran for governor for the second time against Nikki Haley in 2014, had a reputation for leaving the room rather than vote on abortion bills.  Many Democratic women, including those who worked hard to get him elected, confronted him on his lack of support for women's reproductive choice.  In a meeting I attending in 2014, he told the gathering that he would defend women's right to medical privacy and their right to get the best medical care available.

You might say that S 1001 really isn't an attack on a woman's right to choose to have an abortion.  Vincent comes across as a nice, even a gentle guy (which may be why Nikki was able to slice and dice him -- twice).  And many Democrats come to his defense saying that he is just being true to his Catholic faith.

Let me ask this:  if a Muslim were to propose a bill based on their faith, would Sheheen's defenders step back and make excuses?  This is very much the slippery slope that comes of allowing decisions of state to hinge on religious belief.  In fact, too many of our Christian politicians have been a party to a slew of bills that would set Muslims apart in the practice of their faith, in their right to privacy, in our judicial system.  This is because too many operate on the false assumption that our country's rule of law is actually at one with Christianity.

So, back to S 1001.  It doesn't prohibit abortion (there are quite enough bills, at least fifteen in this session, that would do that).  It merely prohibits accepting money for fetal tissue.  Except for a couple of things.

First of all, there is already a federal law that prohibits profiting from fetal tissue.  However, it is acceptable -- as it is in any business -- to receive reimbursement for the cost of the collection, storage and transportation of fetal tissue.  Once again, our legislators seek to inhibit the right of those who provide abortion services, by creating a different -- more intrusive and costly -- set of rules than they might for other businesses, say, a gun dealer.

Secondly, the bill uses the word "abortion" in its title, and twice in its heading uses "aborted fetus" rather than the more appropriate "fetal tissue."  Dog whistles, anyone?

Finally, since the hoax video that provided the red meat for sleazy pols like Carly Fiorina and Nikki Haley to attack Planned Parenthood, a bill like S 1001, which has absolutely no purpose, further enrages a base which chooses to be uninformed about the reality of Planned Parenthood's work.  The hoped-for result is likely not just organizations opting out of being reimbursed for fetal tissue (as did Planned Parenthood), but an end to the donation of fetal tissue.

And that is where Sheheen has gone beyond anti-abortion into the realm of anti-science.  There are women who decide to have an abortion and ask that the fetal tissue be donated to scientific research; in an unhappy situation, they at least will be contributing to help others.  Important research is being done with fetal stem cells in Alzheimer's Disease and spinal cord injury, and more.   And this SC legislator is joining ranks with liars like Fiorina to enrage the uninformed further.  

Which leaves so many of us asking, "What the hell is with Vincent Sheheen?"  This is not just a matter of a Catholic avoiding a controversial vote.  This is an active attack on the dignity and the privacy of a medical establishment dedicated to the care of women's reproductive health.  Further, this is an attack on established science, in an area where lives can be saved with fetal stem cell research.

Here's what I think.  I think Vincent is running for re-election in 2016.  He may be feeling a little insecure after his gubernatorial loss two years ago.  And he is indeed a conservative in a conservative district.  He may be convinced that he is not conservative enough.  So, run as a Democrat and live like a republican.

I hope that as you read about this bill, you take action to let Senator Sheheen know that his action is an affront to Democratic women, many of whom have worked for him, throughout the state, in his two bids for governor.  We had doubts because of his seeming inability to separate his religious beliefs from his political office, but we took him at his word and supported him.  And in sponsoring this bill, he has failed in his duty.  Tell him he should remove the bill, or he should decline to run as a Democrat.

Ask our party officers to confront Sheheen with this affront to the stated ideals of the Democratic Party, and to the women of South Carolina.

In a year when we stand strong in the battle to defend our legal rights to reproductive freedom, there is no excuse for being silent as a member of our party takes steps to restrict that freedom.  Further, we should have no patience with elected officials who actively seek to restrict scientific discovery, especially in medical research.

I am hoping that there is someone in the 27th District that will primary Sheheen, and that a true and unafraid Democrat will get elected in his stead.




Monday, January 18, 2016

The Lee Bright Method

In the interest of bringing the country, or at least the state of South Carolina together, let me extend my admiration to some of our more persistent legislators.  Regardless of how many of us are living below the minimum wage, how many children go hungry, how many pregnant women have inadequate heath care, how many of us are killed by guns and die on bad roads, these admirable politicians always have time to dig up another anti-abortion bill.

And it doesn't matter whether the words make sense, or not.  They copy those bills right from the national playbook of organizations for which truth has no meaning, like the Life Education Council, that wants to keep facts from pregnant teens and women.  Or the National Right to Life Committee, whose website provides "information" on partial-birth abortion and fetal development.  Or the Pro-Life Action League, which "saves women" as well as "babies."  Not a single one of which organizations promotes better health and education for pregnant women, only the words to prevent them from making their own well-informed decision.

So kudos to Wendy Nanney, whose mission in life has been to force women to carry pregnancies to term after 20-weeks, under the misinformation that fetuses feel pain at twenty weeks.  The pain aspect doesn't seem to matter to Wendy when it comes to a woman having to give birth to a severely defective baby that dies minutes after birth, at enormous emotional cost.  And financial cost as well, because Wendy Nanney voted against the Affordable Care Act and is against the federal expansion of Medicaid.

Lee Bright may be a dull reflection of his name, but he stays up nights thinking about women and girls having sex and then getting abortions.  I'm not sure which of those images -- the sex or the abortion -- turns him on more, but we do know that he is obsessed with the topic.  He, as well as fellow obsessives Larry Grooms and Kevin Bryant, can always be counted on to send in another bill, even if it is exactly the same bill as one he submitted weeks or months earlier.  I imagine he gets so excited he forgets.

What we end up with is a stunning fifteen or more anti-abortion bills in our legislature for 2016.  The absurdly titled "Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act" continues to take up space this year, but we have new bills with excruciating titles.  There is the "dismemberment abortion" bill.  And the blood-curdling "Defunding the Abortion Industry and Advancing Women's Health Act".  The most recent insult is the "Women's Ultrasound Right to Know Act."  This in a state with high rates of death by guns, including that of children shooting themselves and others.  And in spite of a serious upswing in traffic fatalities as the price of gas goes down and people like Lee Bright refuse to raise the gas tax to repair roads and bridges.  A state that in 2014 ranked 41 in teen pregnancy, despite the national trend of lowered teen pregnancy -- hey, somebody's got to hold down the bottom, right?  And we can be sure that when Lee gets his way, the rate of infant mortality in South Carolina (currently the 14th highest in the nation), will go even higher.

But I would like to, again, look at the positive.  Anti-abortion advocates are ignorant and small-minded, misogynistic and -- have I said ignorant?  They may be all that, but they can focus.  And I believe that the rest of us (the silent majority) should take our cue from that.

Mia McLeod has introduced an important new bill that speaks volumes to the issue, which is an overabundance of bills focusing on women's bodies.  Her bill has caused some republicans to squeal, claiming that, unlike the thousands of bills that have invaded women's reproductive systems, it is a waste of time, "entertaining but kind of sad."  I take umbrage at that.  This is the legislature that has been investigating Planned Parenthood for a non-existent donor tissue program, and even though no state dollars fund Planned Parenthood.  So we would have to go a long way to find a bill that wastes more time than our esteemed republican legislators are willing to waste.

Mia's bill makes a great deal of sense, and could lead to less of a need for all those anti-abortion bills, saving the state lots of time and dollars.

First of all, it is important to make sure that, before taking such drugs, erectile dysfunction is not a psychosomatic problem, so the bill requires a referral to a sex therapist.  Just common sense.  Along with this, though, it will be important for the therapist to provide information about how erectile dysfunction drugs might lead to unwanted pregnancy.

Also, in order to protect the patient, the bill would require a cardiac stress test, which is critical in light of serious possible side effects, and necessary if our legislators indeed want to protect us from sexually caused problems, like heart attacks, oh, and pregnancy.  So it is obvious that along with the stress test, a physician would be required to notify the patient of all potential side effects.  I would also add a waiting period so the patient will have time to think about his responsibility when agreeing to take ED drugs.

Finally, the bill requires a notarized affidavit from at least one sexual partner stating that the patient has experienced erectile dysfunction in the last ninety days.  I believe, however, that the affidavit should also require that the partner state that having sex with the patient is agreeable to her.  After all, how many unwanted sex acts as well as unwanted pregnancies have been caused by men using erectile dysfunction drugs?

Our SC legislators know that, as important as the will of God is to us, it is a no-no for them to bring that up as a reason to pass a bill.  So what they do is bring in witnesses to testify that the bill is the will of God; for example, when the mother-and-daughter team testified that God had intervened to prevent mom from having that 20-week abortion, making it obvious that no other woman should have the right to one.

So let me take it upon myself to state the obvious.  Men should know that if God wanted them to have erections, He would have given them erections.  Erectile dysfunction is a message from God, just as our legislators contend is true of pregnancy.  We have no right to mess with God's intention to keep men from having sex by allowing them to have boner drugs.

The most important thing about this bill is that it should open an until-now closed floodgate.  Not only should all reasonable legislators in the House run to co-sponsor that bill, but there should be a version of that bill in the Senate.  With co-sponsors.

There should be dozens of bills in both House and Senate that truly protect women.  I'm talking about bills called the "Women's Medical Privacy Bill," and "Preventing Government Surveillance of Women Act."  The "Doctor-Patient Privacy Bill."  "Equal Rights for Medicaid Patients."  The "Keeping Government Out of the Doctor's Office Act."  "Government Interference in Medical Procedures Ban."

You get the idea.  So, legislators, we women are fighting for the right to the best medical treatment available, and for privacy in that treatment.  It is up to you to step up with Mia McLeod and get some bills introduced.

If it were Lee Bright, that's what he would do.  


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Stupids Run for President

As if there weren't enough to worry about, I am reading Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath by Ted Koppel.


In light of President Obama's final State of the Union tonight, I am going to say that the parade of creeps -- and their supporters -- lined up to take charge is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

Based on the performance of the circus act known as the Republican Congress, we are in big trouble.  We currently have our crazy uncle holding the purse strings to our country, their kids are all eight-year-old bullies, and because they are religious freaks who don't believe God wanted them to use birth control, there are a lot of those bullies around.  They may not be smart, but they know how to riot and they are allowed to carry guns.  They may not understand how the world works, but they know how to line up at the polling place and push that button that says "R."

Those right wingnuts in Congress have taken the shock of 9/11, followed by war and a "great recession" and used those horrific events to train the bullies to set their sights on a black president, a woman leader in the House, and the poor and minority people of this country.  The Tea Party voters may not be good at math, but they make up for it with enthusiasm:  wipe out food stamps and NPR and we can get rid of that nasty federal deficit.  Build that wall and we'll have good jobs again, get rid of Muslims and all those white people carrying guns will stop shooting up theaters and churches.

I recently caught a minute of a Rand Paul event on C-Span in which one of those geniuses in the town hall crowd was railing about a government that can't control companies that pollute the environment with things like oil spills.  I should have taped it, because I still don't believe I really heard it.  "You idiot!"  I shouted at the woman.  "Don't you know who that IS?"  Rand Paul, who would get rid of the EPA, who believes government regulation is bad, bad, BAD.

It takes me back to the beginning days of the Obama administration, when the Tea Party turned up to protest in DC, complaining about the poor public transportation, which had been caused by Tea Party budget cuts.

Which brings me back to cybersecurity.  Because while fools like Ted Cruz are implying that "carpetbombing" our enemies will keep us safe, those who truly control the country, like Wall Street and all those companies that have their hands on the electric grid, can't be made to share their vulnerabilities with the federal government or each other in order to make them safe from cyberattack.  Like Nikki Haley a couple of years ago, I imagine once our enemies attack Congress will give us a free year of credit reports.

We're holding on to our guns while the smart psychopaths are working on the capability of pulling the plug on our government and industry computers.

And our candidates for president?  Clueless.  What they do know is how to get the crowd riled up.  Much like Barnum and Bailey, they know there is a sucker born every minute, and those suckers are happy to wave their guns and get in line at the voting booths.

And, by the way, I'd like to stop hearing that these are people who have been hurt by economic downturns.  Take a look at the people turning up to cheer for Cruz and Rubio.  They are teachers and small business people, they are trading in their economy cars for trucks and SUV's again, and they never have to worry about whether to see a doctor or repair the roof.  They are pissed off because they have been given permission to be pissed off, and it feels good to have someone to blame, even if they aren't entirely sure what they are angry at.

And if that's how to get elected, our bunch of republican candidates are happy to point them in a convenient direction.  The Stupids are not only running for president, but are waving their guns and cheering, and lining up to vote.  


Friday, January 8, 2016

The Ironic Cherry Reads...

$2.00 a Day:
Living on Almost Nothing in America
by Kathryn J. Edin & H. Luke Shaefer

This is the kind of fraud that occurs among our poor:

* Selling food stamps (@ 50 cents on the dollar) to get the electricity turned on

* Trading sexual "favors" in order to buy food

* Selling a child's social security number to be claimed on someone else's taxes when you have been unemployed in order to pay the rent.

These are some of the ways people survive when they live on $2 (or less) a day.  And yes, that happens in this country, more so since Bill Clinton's heralded welfare reform, which was supposed to be tied to work opportunity.  Alas, all those jobs and training programs failed to materialize, but the small cash subsidies for the poor disappeared as well.

It has become so hard to receive TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, which replaced welfare) that many aren't aware that it is available, and many others that are eligible stop trying to apply.  The essence of this failure is that the money goes to the states, as well as the discretion to use the federal funds, often cutting the amount that should be going to the poor.

But they are out there.  Children who sleep in cars or are subject to family or non-family member's sexual abuse in order to have a roof over their heads.  Women who cannot keep a low-wage job because there are no safeguards when she takes a sick day for herself or a child and gets fired.  School failure.  Hunger.  Suicide.

Our legislators have closed their eyes to this national tragedy, preferring to believe that the welfare reforms of the 90's have ridden us of all those welfare cheats and given jobs to any who want to work.

Over the past year the working poor have found their voices.  The absurdity of working full time and not being able to afford housing, living on SNAP benefits while working for the largest and wealthiest corporations, going to work sick, being sent home when business is slow, all those have led to the point where workers will take the risk of organizing and striking.

But that is not the point of this book.  While we see the minimum wage slowly rise, those with no cash at all continue to live a Dickensian nightmare.

I am happy to say that the Charleston County Library has several copies of this book on its shelves, as well as in electronic format.  It's a small but powerful book, and I urge you to read it.