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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Andy Stern on Kshama Sawant's Election: "It's a Vietnam War Moment"

Posted by on Tue, Jan 7, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Paul suggests you head on over to Town Hall tonight at 7:30 pm to hear former SEIU president Andy Stern talk about income inequality, and I agree. Stern is in town talking about his new book, A Country That Works: Getting America Back on Track, and he's got a ton of insight into why our economy isn't working for most Americans, and what we need to do to fix it.

How do I know? I had the chance to sit down one-on-one with Stern today, a conversation I'll write in more detail about later, but very quickly I just wanted to relate Stern's thoughts on the election of avowed Socialist Kshama Sawant to the Seattle City Council.

"It's a Vietnam War moment," says Stern about the voter unrest that helped push Sawant into office. Middle class Americans ultimately turned against the Vietnam War, Stern says, because the draft threatened the lives of their children. And the same is true of our current economy: "There’s not a middle class family whose child is not at risk," says Stern.

"Elections like Kshama’s… people are trying to say that this economy is not working right."

Again and again throughout our conversation, Stern emphasized that this is "an organizing moment"—an opportunity to intervene in an economy that no longer works for the 99 percent. And that's exactly the moment that Sawant has effectively seized.

I'll post more on our interview later, but if you have your own questions for Stern, stop by Town Hall tonight at 7:30 pm, and ask him in person.


Comments (16) RSS

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"There’s not a middle class family who’s child is not at risk," says Stern.

Whose, Goldy.
Posted by pkbrown on January 7, 2014 at 5:50 PM · Report this
Didn't I once say something similar about the end of the college exemption and and the start of the lottery?

But whatever, the movie Inequality For All is out in DVD and on demand today, if anyone hasn't seen it they should.

If anyone can't make it to Town Hall tonight and will not watch Inequality For All, then at least take 7 min from your life to watch this…
Posted by Merchant Seaman on January 7, 2014 at 5:54 PM · Report this
sirkowski 3
Bad analogy. That's how Nixon got elected.
Posted by sirkowski on January 7, 2014 at 6:24 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 4
I agree, if this stinky socialist halfwit gettign elected shows that our political system is not working. Likewise Sawant pushing her pinhead theories as an "Economics Professor" shows that the education system is also broken.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 5
By 2020, after the next economic collapse, around 70% of Americans will be living in poverty. The country won't even be recognizable. Maybe then people will take inequality seriously.
Posted by Original Andrew on January 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM · Report this
Goldy 6
@1 Thanks. Long day.
Posted by Goldy on January 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM · Report this
Rujax! 7

Poor little cascading Bacon is getting butt-hurt because the people are realizing how bad they've voted screwed for the last 30 years.

Tough lessons, fuckwad.
Posted by Rujax! on January 7, 2014 at 7:23 PM · Report this
Rujax! 8
Arrrgggh...phat phingers.
Posted by Rujax! on January 7, 2014 at 7:25 PM · Report this
raku 9
It's also a "Barack Obama moment". We have the same number of non-white women senators as socialist senators (1% each). We have had the same number of non-white women Seattle mayors and US Presidents as socialists (0% each). Despite non-white women making up about 17% of the city and country.

We're sick of capitalism that only benefits the super-rich and we're sick of greedy white men running everything to the detriment of everyone else. They're one and the same problem.
Posted by raku on January 7, 2014 at 8:26 PM · Report this
@2 yep shit is off the chart. Surpassing the robber barons.

@4 You are not as well off as you think or ought to be and won't ever be, see @2's vid. It is a cartoon so you might just grasp it.

Fudd's law "If you push something hard enough it will fall over".

Tell me "Cascadian pieces of pig", just how top heavy does it have to get before it tips over?
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on January 7, 2014 at 9:09 PM · Report this
seatackled 12
Geez, did some little South Asian girl lose control of her bicycle and ride right into the ball that Cascadian Bacon hasn't accidentally shot off yet? I thought he was just a gun nut. Why's he all freaked-as-fuck-all over Sawant's election? Maybe he could just spend a few bucks for a protective cup--maybe even under a buck if he goes for a used one.
Posted by seatackled on January 7, 2014 at 9:22 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 13
No, I totally agree that we are all fucked, our system is unstainable.

I don't think packing people into cities and turning to socialism is going to help anything.

"Does the Stranger pay all of its employees at least $15/hour? What about "apprentices"? Do they all have employer-sponsored health insurance? Why does every reporter at the Stranger keep ignoring this question?"

Don't question party officials comrad.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 7, 2014 at 9:25 PM · Report this
Well people have been packing into cities for thousands of years. Unless you favor establishing a lottery or something to keep the population down that Jeffersonian Agrarian Utopia isn't gonna happen. Love em or hate em so long as people reproduce at a faster rate then they die cities will grow.

With regards to Socialism I've no idea what you mean by that term. Americans, particularly those leaning towards what passes for "right wing or conservative" play rather fast, loose and inaccurately with terms such as socialism, communism, fascism, republic, democracy, timocracy, etc....
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on January 7, 2014 at 9:48 PM · Report this
Posted by cracked on January 7, 2014 at 10:54 PM · Report this
The GOP has spent the last 30+ years successfully redefining "socialism" as "any time the government functions in such a way as to help the mass of people and not just the 1%."

And now they're SURPRISED when people say "Okay, then, that's what we'd like"?
Posted by Pope Buck I on January 8, 2014 at 9:24 AM · Report this
Fuck Andy Stern. He was on Obama's catfood commission that recommended austerity for working people. He headed the biggest debacle in recent labor history--the "Change to Win" breakup. He headed up a union who didn't organize new people, but grew through forced mergers and acquisitions with other smaller unions. The guy is basically machine politician scum, so it is no surprise that Goldy loves him.
Posted by hmmmmm on January 8, 2014 at 10:30 AM · Report this

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