We all deserve to eat
by Georgie Bright Kunkel
The Seattle World’s Fair, focusing on the future, really stimulated change. The whole period of the nineteen sixties resulted in a new look at fairness and equality. For example, 80 percent of women of childbearing age were using contraception after the birth control pill was approved. Women were finally protected from sexual harassment and domestic violence became illegal. Maternity leave was allowed so that women did not have to quit their jobs when pregnant. Many men chose to be stay-at-home dads so that mothers did not have to take on childrearing all alone. Compensatory time schedules were made available on some jobs to fit the schedule of parents. Equal pay for equal work had been legislated earlier but at last women were finally taking advantage of it. There is still much more to accomplish in the area of human services so hopefully the money and focus won’t be on yet another stadium project before we catch up in that area.
With the recent downturn in our economy there has been a return to curbing women’s rights. The focus on women’s bodies in this election debate is a scary reminder of the past. All this harks back to the time when a prominent business journal once stated that if women got their equal rights the profit makers would lose their low paid work force. We are facing the probability of women doing so called men’s jobs for less money to keep businesses afloat. Entire factories that were outsourced to other countries to avoid union labor need to return to this country since we don’t allow third world workers to come here to better themselves.
When people are emotionally upset about their lives they are targets for media manipulation. We will probably face media mania in the next few months. The airwaves will be filled with skillfully prepared ads aimed at throwing the blame on government for all our woes while the fat cats (who received bailouts and tax breaks from this so called “big bad government” ) salt away still more profits. On top of jobs disappearing from this country, our leaders have not chosen to promote public works to put the unemployed in this country back to work. Perhaps we ought to take lessons from the early whalers in this area. The ones with the expertise to mount the whaling expedition were given choice pieces of the whale meat but everyone in the village had a share. No one went hungry.
With our complicated society in which the moneybags control the economy there seems to be no focus other than profit making. There is no consideration for feeding everyone, only more and more technology to produce more profits. Younger people today will end up with their fingers tapped out on their iPhones while the profit makers continue to amass all the goodies as they ignore the poor and disenfranchised. It will continue until those who are picketing in the name of the 99 percent of the population find a way to motivate all the rest of us to become more responsible in bringing back true democracy.
Georgie Bright Kunkel is a freelance writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-935-8663