The GOP government shutdown just hit home for a close friend.
His son, a laborer who lives in a so-called "Right To Work" state, was out of work. He had been let go from his previous job because he became injured outside of work. Rather than give him a month to heal, which is all he needed, his employer at the time just let him go. Tried to tell him that he was doing him a favor. That he could collect unemployment, as opposed to making nothing for the 30 days or so he would need to heal.
And his employer knew that this lad had only worked for him for five months, therefore not qualifying for unemployment. And, it turns out, this employer has done this to other workers, letting them go in the fifth month of employment, so the employer has to pay neither benefits nor unemployment.
This is what the GOP refers to as "Right To Work," the myth that, forbidding unions from requiring workers to join a union when they get a job, workers now can be "free" of union dues and work, because, dammit, they have the right to work.
In reality, it means states full of workers, like my friend’s son, who have no union protection, no unions who negotiated fair working conditions. None of that. Not at all.
And employers can be as ruthless as the nasty members of the GOP, some of the meanest pols we’ve seen since just before the Great Depression, when robber barons ruled, and pols danced to their commands.
So my friend’s son applied for another job. Went through the entire interview process. Passed every background check, drug test — paid for by the hiring company — and was given his "new employee" packet.
And, on what was supposed to be his first day of work, was told that the company could not start him, because of the government shutdown.
Because of the government shutdown, the company was not certain that some contracts would be upheld.
That’s not what they told him at first. But, after he pressed them, they admitted this was, in fact, the case. The government shutdown.
The damn GOP government shutdown.
His son says it was evident the company was scrambling. Some news from on high had reached the blue collar workers, and the company, and American company, was being downsized.
These inglorious GOP members of Congress have got to go.
All of them.
They claim that this shutdown is the fault of the Democrats and the Democratic President who "refuse to negotiate.
And here’s proof.
Never before has a minority party linked controversial legislative demands with a threat to shut down the government or imperil the global economy. But House Republicans would have you believe otherwise.
In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal this morning, Rep. Paul Ryan writes that president Obama “says he ‘will not negotiate’ on the debt ceiling. He claims that such negotiations would be unprecedented. But many presidents have negotiated on the debt ceiling—including him. ”
Ryan was referring to a speech given in September before the Business Roundtable — an association of CEOs of large US companies — in which the president said, “You have never seen in the history of the United States the debt ceiling or the threat of not raising the debt ceiling being used to extort a president or a governing party, and trying to force issues that have nothing to do with the budget and have nothing to do with the debt.”
Ryan continued: “He’s refusing to talk, even though the federal government is about to hit the debt ceiling. That’s a shame — because this doesn’t have to be another crisis. It could be a breakthrough.”
But that’s spin: Negotiating would set a dangerous precedent, because Obama’s right that this time really is different. Here are three reasons why.