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I want to point out a very obvious contradiction that has taken place in our recent history. In 2008 we suffered a major economical collapse in the financial and housing sectors of our economy. At that very moment the stock market dropped 777 points and most economists believed we were headed for a new great depression. It was decided by our legislators to pass a bailout plan and TARP was created. Furthermore it was decided to also enlist the use of a stimulus plan. So when our entire global economy was suffering and the future was clouded in doubt and fear these decisions were made in order to save us. Shortly after the bailout of AIG it was reported in the news that certain top level employees were given very large bonuses. The public was very upset with this news and many expressed their concern that these AIG employees may have been the same ones who created the problem in the first place. Even some politicians went on television to claim that they did not deserve these extravagant bonuses. Furthermore some of these same politicians wanted an investigation into the financial crisis to see if there was any criminal wrongdoing. In the Savings & Loan Scandal hundreds of bankers and investors were prosecuted for white collar crimes…….so far not one investigation has been done in our current scandal! But this is not the contradiction I wanted to point out to you. The contradiction is the one that involves these AIG bonuses. I remember hearing how well these AIG employees were defended for receiving these bonuses. It was stated that ;We are a country of laws, and that these employees had a written contract protected by these laws and our constitution. Therefore the AIG employees are entitled to receive their bonuses with out delay because if we do not honor contracts in this country then what makes this country so great will cease to exist. For weeks this debate was rattled around and overtime it quieted down as the AIG employees collected their bonuses and moved on. These bonuses could not have been paid if not for the socialization of the extraordinary debt that was caused by unsound and dangerous fiscal policy. The taxpayer was legislated to pay up and pay up they did. All bonuses were paid and every ironclad contract was protected. So in light of this short history review I ask this question. As a firefighter who has a contract with my local municipality, a contract that specifically defines how I am compensated for my services, a contract that was negotiated in good faith by my union, how I ask, is it possible that the legislative body of NJ can possibly even consider passing laws to override this contract? Any minute bit of common sense and even the slightest visage of truth and justice would scream in the face of what is being considered by the legislative body. Legislating our health care and pensions will be a breach of contract. This is the same breach of contract that was so adamantly argued in favor of the AIG employee bonuses.
I would like to point out one final detail. When the AIG employees contracts were honored, it was during more uncertain times. The economy was very much more unstable than it is now. Layoffs were skyrocketing and the stock market was hanging on by a thread and not even the experts could predict if any of the bailout money would save us. Since then unemployment remains around 9 or 10% which is not good but it didn’t get any worse and we are moving on to QE III which the Fed feels will maintain the stock market which has rallied back to more optimal levels. Meanwhile public employees are being vilified all over the country and their collective bargaining rights are being ignored or completely decimated. The constant rhetoric by politicians that public employees benefits are the reason for the countries fiscal woes has made us public enemy number one. Some of the men I work with were at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Some of them have illnesses of their lungs or had rare cancers appear and they push on through their days at work still fighting fires and making rescues. They were once hailed as heroes and now because of politicians they are called overpaid and undeserving of what they negotiated for. How sad that these men that I consider pillars of our society be treated so disrespectfully by self serving, double dipping , power hungry liars. As a proud and patriotic American my whole life it is hard for me to say what I am about to say, but in light of the contradiction that I discussed in this letter it is clear to me and many other Americans that there is a double standard in this country. The wealthier class is protected by our laws and Constitution while the middle and poor class is subjected to rule that is tantamount to tyranny. This is not an exaggeration but a highly accurate and well thought concept that an extremely large amount of Americans now believe. One very good indication of how accurate this is, is by simply looking at the case of the AIG bonuses. A public employees benefits package is not what is wrong with this country, what is wrong is a lack of moral judgment and a sense of good leadership. Hypocrisy will eventually bring us all down and unless this course is altered I fear that our country will whither and die at the expense of a maniacal and greedy elite class that only cares for their own gain.
I ask that you do the right thing and fight for us. Do not strip away decades of good faith negotiation just to satisfy some knee jerk response to a fiscal calamity created by the banking and insurance sector. Negotiate don’t legislate.
A Plateful of Anger
When we ask for compromise because it’s the decent thing to do, we ask because we are human, not because we think we deserve special treatment. When we speak in unison so our voices can be heard , its because we have a right to do so. Just as it is your right not to listen to us ,it is our right to defy you. We will defy you because we know that our destruction is the gleam in your eye. Union workers have clearly found themselves on the right side of history and its our families that we protect. Can you see the gleam in our eye?
I will not stand by, idle, unconcerned and do nothing. I will treat you just how you have treated me. You will not like it and you will despise me more because of it. But my family will be protected. There is an attack taking place and union workers do not appreciate your flip and egotistical manner that you have about it. As if we are not human! As if our very existence has become an inconvenient episode in your oh so special life.
I promise, I vow, that you will not do this to us! You are nothing but the dangerous side effect of greed and we will stop you! We know that there is a better way and the true American spirit is with us! You are my enemy and I will tell you right to your face for the whole world to hear. No phony smiles, no spin, no B.S. Mr. politician you enjoy your rule, because your days are numbered and you will be voted out. I also want you to know that since you take great measures and great pains to take away our means to live a modest life, I will gladly do the same to you so that you can not live your privileged life. This will happen because we live in a democracy and its this democracy that will shatter your frail made up fantasy world that you have created out of your own arrogance. We have strength and you have manipulation. You are a hollow shell, pitiful in your existence and to your wrong doing we will always resist!
Game of Losers PDF . My 1st essay.