Video Scripts

As our Video Essays are published, the scripts for each one will be included here so that you may read and share them more easily.

Poverty Wages in Mariposa 1:  Who Is Our Neighbor?

Neighbors, friends, I was shocked recently to learn of the great number of minimum wage jobs in our county. Not only poverty wages but unemployment at least double the national rate. A report in the Mariposa Gazette said that Mariposa was 57th in California in wages and had been so for 3 years! 57th! Now I’m not a 57th kind of person and I don’t think you are either. This abuse of workers, all of whom are our neighbors, doesn’t compute; it doesn't make sense.

I see many businesses, large and small, in the Yosemite-Gold Country community profiting from a unique and booming tourist environment that brings over 4 million visitors to our area every year. I had to ask myself, how does all this prosperity get turned into poverty wages and unemployment for, literally, thousands of my neighbors? I decided to look into it and have spent much time in the last few months in my search. I was so blown away with what I discovered that I've produced 7 videos to tell you what I found in the hope that you will join me to stand with and back our workers, our neighbors, who all work hard and play by the rules but still receive poverty wages ...with virtually no benefits! And 800 other neighbors have no job at all!

When we examine the distressed condition of so many workers in Mariposa County, it seems to me that a central question we need to consider is, who is our neighbor?

In other words, to whom do we as a community owe our concern, our allegiance, our support? Is our neighbor the young person who grew up here, attended local schools, may even have risked his or her life in our military, and is now working for minimum wages? Or is it that young family whose wages are so low that Mom has to work, Dad has to take two jobs, and they still have to receive food stamps to feed their kids? 

Or is our neighbor, Burger King, Subway, Rite Aid, Delaware North, or, perhaps, Aramark, the Philadelphia mega-corporation that just won the bid to replace Delaware North in Yosemite?

All of these are huge foreign corporations, that is, corporations registered in other states.

I don't believe our current 4 corporations pass the Neighbor Test because, clearly, Burger King, Subway, Rite Aid and Delaware North:

...1 don’t live here

...2 don’t participate in our community life,

...3 are all members of the 1 Percent Club ...a great part of whose wealth comes from paying poverty wages to our neighbors,

...4 send and spend … all or part of their profits out of our county, and then

...5 they expect us to make up the difference.

Now, us making up the difference for foreign corporations is no small matter. It's something most of us don’t even think about when we hear that a company pays workers minimum wages. We may be more familiar with it when Walmart does it.

It goes like this: when our workers can’t survive on poverty wages, they apply for food stamps, medical care, welfare, low income housing, income tax credits, help with childcare and more. In other words, when our four foreign corporations, who earn great profits in our community, get away with paying poverty wages to our neighbors, you and I pay the difference with our taxes and with the help we give to community organizations to help our neighbors survive.

A clear example of this here in Mariposa is our frequent fundraisers to help pay a neighbor's medical bills. It’s always a privilege to help a neighbor but why should someone who has worked all his life have to depend on neighbors to pay medical bills?

But this is only part of us making up the difference for these corporations. When our local merchants earn profits, they buy homes here and groceries and lumber and they eat in our restaurants and give money to their church and they sponsor the Grizzlies and the Butterfly festival and pay accountants, doctors and dentists: all this spending creates jobs. When our foreign corporations make profits, they ship their money back East or north to Canada. Their profits create jobs in other places instead of being used here to eliminate unemployment. 

So, on this question of who is our neighbor, I say our local people are my neighbors and I stand with them. And I expect you will, too, because I'm sure you believe as I do that good neighbors are especially important here in our mountains. Every neighbor is a member of a sacred circle that surrounds every other neighbor and keeps us and our values safe in an unsafe world.

And I also am sure that you agree that anyone who works hard and plays by the rules should earn a living wage and should not have to depend on others for his or her livelihood. Too many of our real neighbors are paid poverty wages by foreign corporations … corporations that don't act like and, in fact, are not, our neighbors.

So, neighbor, what do you think? Is it time for us to love and care for ALL our neighbors?

We are ALL Mariposa!

Poverty Wages in Mariposa 2:  Not Neighbors, Not Friends

Friends, neighbors, do you get as much pleasure as I do from being part of the history of our Mariposa/Yosemite commons and enjoying its spectacular beauty? Fifteen years ago I lived in Washington, DC. and, attracted by that history and beauty, was arranging to buy my home here in Gold Country. When I learned that Burger King was being allowed to open a fast food joint in the middle of one of our nation’s few historic gold rush towns, I almost decided to move elsewhere. 

I didn't consider Burger King a neighbor then and I haven't changed my mind. It was a U.S. company from Miami, then became Brazilian. Now it's scheduled to be Canadian with its legal, “domicile” address in Oakville, Canada, but it will still be 51% owned by the Brazilians! Confusing? Not really. It’s all about making more money and avoiding taxes taxes you and I will have to pay because Burger King doesn't!

Burger King's U.S. fast food restaurants that pay workers poverty wages are not moving to Canada, only its profits. If Burger King were a car, it would be driven by an American CEO, have Canadian license plates, a Brazilian registration in the glove compartment, and much of its fuel provided by profits from exploited workers all over the world. I have nothing against Brazil or Canada. I’m just making it clear that this foreign corporation, in addition to not being a neighbor for all the reasons I listed in my first video, is now going to avoid paying much of its U.S. federal taxes.

Reuters News Service reported that Burger King intended to avoid U.S. federal taxes following its purchase of a Canadian coffee chain, Tim Horton, by becoming a Canadian company. This is a tax-evasion scam known as inversion. The Reuters report said Burger King is a top food supplier to the U.S. armed forces and its "decision to become a Canadian company will mean that while U.S. military families support Burger King by buying its food, Burger King will no longer support service members by paying its fair share of taxes."

Of course, Burger King is not the only Mariposa business that isn't local, that isn't a neighbor. Mariposa’s largest employer and Yosemite's concessionaire, Delaware North, is from Buffalo, New York. It also owns the Tenaya Hotel in Mariposa County. Two other Mariposa businesses not owned locally are Subway from Milford, Connecticut and Rite Aid from Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. These are four business brands owned by national or international corporations outside our county or, in Burger King’s case, outside our country. These corporations all send and spend part or all of their profits out of our community. And this include Aramark, Yosemite’s next concessionaire.

In other words, these profits go to make other communities prosper. They go to consume products and services that create more jobs elsewhere. They are dollars not available to create new jobs here in Mariposa to eliminate our unemployment. Burger King's profit dollars sent to Canada can't pay the public costs of education, welfare, medical care, highways, and sheriff and fire services in our community. And a very big part of these profits come from exploiting - there’s no better word for it - from exploiting our neighbors by paying poverty wages.

What’s wrong with this picture? Mariposa and California provide a great business environment  where businesses earn good profits, but some Mariposa businesses export their profits directly into the coffers of the one percent, to corporations and the rich, outside our county, outside our state, even outside our country, instead of paying living wages to our workers. These workers are our neighbors who spend their lives in our community, who raise their families here, and who frequent local businesses, spending their wages locally for groceries, rent, transport, and so many other things that create local jobs. That's what's wrong with this picture!

Before I go further, I need to point out that I'm not trying to make foreign corporations into enemies. They are the ones who have chosen the path of greed and exploitation. They are the ones who have raced our workers to the bottom by paying poverty wages. If they want to pay living wages, provide good benefits and working conditions, and be good neighbors, I will be the first to say, "Welcome to the neighborhood!"

If foreign corporations are not my neighbors, then who is? I choose the human beings who live next to me, the warm, sentient beings who inhabit my county. The Supreme Court may believe that corporations are people but until corporations are able to be stopped for speeding, drafted to serve in the military or sent to prison or taxed like the rest of us, I don't buy it.

And no matter what corporate politicians, corporate economists and corporate media say, at the end of the day, every worker who works hard and plays by the rules deserves a living wage. I say this as an American and as a neighbor.

And I also say it as a follower of Jesus who clearly stated the simple rule that ought to guide all of us, whether we are believers or not. He said, you are to love your neighbor as I have loved you. To me, that means workers are to be treated and paid fairly. And here in our beautiful and prosperous community many workers, all of whom are our neighbors, are not.

So, neighbor, are we on the same page? Let us commit - from this day forward -  to love and care for ALL our neighbors, and to teach our children that, in Mariposa, everyone helps everyone else, because we know who are our friends and neighbors.

We are ALL Mariposa!

Poverty Wages in Mariposa 3:  A Living Wage?

Neighbors, friends, let us continue to examine the distressed condition of our workers in Mariposa. These 7 videos describe what I've found in the Mariposa/Yosemite Commons about many of our neighbors who work for poverty wages or are unemployed. My hope is that you will join me in standing behind and supporting these neighbors and friends, and you will join me in ending their abuse and exploitation.

What should be a living wage in Mariposa? Here are some numbers to crunch.

Professor Richard Wolff, an economist I have learned to respect and trust, tells us that if the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 had kept pace with the purchasing power it had in 1968, our minimum wage would now be $11.09. And, he adds, if the minimum wage had kept pace with the increased productivity of the American worker, it would now be $17. A recent MIT study reported on in the Mariposa Gazette, said Mariposa County workers need to take home at least $19.28 per hour, or $771 weekly, to earn a basic living wage. This data tells me that we are not being extreme but very modest when we urge the payment of at least $15 per hour for our workers - indexed to inflation - plus medical and other benefits and under good working conditions.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that for 3 years running, Mariposa has been 57th in California's 58 counties with a weekly wage of $624, compared with $1,000 statewide. And, even worse, our lodging workers earned only $445 weekly. Can it get worse than this? Yes, it can: our restaurant workers earned $262 weekly. Do the math. Even if our lodging and restaurant workers earned $15 per hour, the $600 they earned would still be below Mariposa's weekly wage of $624 which is 57th in the state! But, it would be a good beginning.

Right off, let's get rid of that old fable that raising the minimum wage will cause the loss of jobs. The truth is, at the end of the day, we don't know. Professor Wolff points out there are restaurant and fast food trade associations and other lobbying groups that hire people to produce studies that prove that raising wages is a bad idea. At the same time, independent researchers conduct studies that prove the opposite. Of course, some employers will not hire workers at $15 an hour but others will. however, paying good wages and not sending profits out of our county puts a lot more money into the local economy and this will create more jobs. It could eliminate unemployment in Mariposa County.

There’s another fable we need to debunk. It's called trickle down economics. Our recent presidents, Bush and Obama, and the Congress, all of whom have mis-guided us through our current financial crisis, believe that bailing out banks and giving tax breaks to the rich creates jobs. Now think about this If this were true, all the money that has shifted to the rich and corporations over the last 40 years should have trickled down and created a surplus of jobs and, in the words of multi-millionaire venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, we should be drowning in jobs!

The truth is, very little has trickled down to the folks who do the work and, as unemployment has gone through the ceiling and millions of Americans have lost their homes and piled up mountains of credit card and school loan debt, our millionaires and billionaires have amassed fortunes. It’s all been trickle UP!

Nick Hanauer argues that the real job creators are the workers and middle-class who spend their earnings and create more demand for products and services, therefore creating more jobs. On the other hand, after the super-rich buy their 3-4 mansions, jet airplanes, and pay for their lives of luxury, they stash the biggest part of their wealth offshore or in banks, stocks, bonds, and risky investments in the banking and investment casinos of Wall Street. In other words, they don't spend their money to buy or produce products and services. Squirreling your money away in the Bahamas or Ireland doesn’t put it in the hands of people who use it to buy and sell products and services so it doesn’t create jobs. Yes, there has been a lot of trickling but it's been UP, UP and away!

Please, answer this: why do we place the entire burden on workers? I recently met a group of tourists from Ohio on a streetcar in San Francisco. I talked with one of them about paying a living wage beginning at $15 an hour. Her immediate reaction, “Oh, sure, so we can pay $20 for a sandwich!”

This woman from the Buckeye state mistakenly believes, like many, that increases in wages is the #1 driver of prices. If this were true, please explain to me how a pair of Nike running shoes produced with $2.50 in wages in Viet Nam drives the price of those shoes to $200. Or how the 19¢ a Chinese worker is paid to make a "Barbie Guitar" drives its price to $39.99.

The reality: Nike workers, Mattel workers - and Mariposa's Yosemite/Gold Country workers - have few options regarding wages. Employers, however, have many ways to absorb the cost of paying living wages. Employers can reduce executive's obscene salaries or reduce profits and dividends or raise prices or operate more efficiently. And here's a really wild idea for Mariposa: if a company's business model can't support living wages, perhaps it's time to create a cooperative and share ownership and profits of the company with all who do the work. 

Imagine, if you will, what it would mean to over 2,000 of our working and unemployed neighbors here in our Yosemite/Gold Country commons if they were to receive living wages and decent benefits. The increase in income would boost our local economy. It would benefit our workers, our business community, our entire community and would even benefit our present and future foreign corporations, Delaware North, Burger King, Subway, Rite Aid and Aramark.

We need to stop thinking like the 57th county in California ...and start thinking about Mariposa as one of the most blessed and beautiful places on the planet …which it is! Because of the value of our commons, our history, the hard work of our workers, and the incomparable beauty of Yosemite and the Sierra, we have 4 million affluent tourists coming to Mariposa every year. These tourists spend a great deal of money to be welcomed and lodged and fedAnd guess what: by and large, the very people who do the welcoming and the lod ging and feeding do not receive a decent share of our extremely profitable tourism.

I say it’s time they did. Bottom line, we’re not being extreme when we urge a wage of $15 per hour for our workers - indexed to inflation - plus medical and other benefits under good conditions of work.

It is time all our neighbors are included in the great benefits that Yosemite and Gold Country Mariposa produce for a handful of foreign corporations. It all starts by standing with and supporting - one could even say - loving, our neighbors. ...Now there's an idea - loving our neighbors!

Remember, We are ALL neighbors! We are ALL Mariposa!

Poverty Wages in Mariposa 4:  Abusing Our Commons

Neighbors, friends, this is an SOS, a distress signal, a call to action. I need you to stand with me and share in the rescue of our neighbors.

As I continue to describe the plight of our workers, let us lift our focus from our workers and their workplaces, to a larger view, to the total context within which work and business happen here in our mountains. Achieving justice for our workers will not happen in Mariposa unless we first get in touch with this larger view and the immense value that our community and its workers bring to the table. When one of our neighbors takes a job in Yosemite, he or she is not just bringing his or her individual skill and labor to the job, but comes to his employer as part of a much larger community that makes it possible for that employer to have success and realize great profits. When an employer abuses our workers, the employer abuses all of us, our entire community. A clearer way to think of this community is to think of it as our Yosemite/Gold Country Commons. Or, simply, our Mariposa Commons.

Our Mariposa Commons is the rich, fertile ground in which our children, people, and futures are nurtured and formed.

Our Mariposa Commons is that part of our community owned by all of us. It includes majestic Yosemite, the Merced River, our Gold Country and its rich history.  Much of the ground beneath our feet and the air that flows over all of it is ours ... and much, much more. It's our roads and fantastic oaks, Giant Sequoias, Ponderosa Pines and acres and acres of rich grassland and towering mountains. It's our schools and faith communities and community organizations that prepare our young to participate as good neighbors, valuable citizens, and productive workers. It includes a caring, local business community that provides quality products and services and creates good jobs for all its workers. Our heroic sheriffs and firefighters, our ranches and artists, and our tradition of good, minimalist government are all in our commons. As are all those who make much of our good life possible - our workers. And so is the generosity, wisdom and mentoring of our elders. It's our "can do” mountain way of life and so much more. It's all part of the heritage we enjoy and pass on to our kids and grandkids. Our commons is the rich, fertile ground in which our people and our futures are nurtured and formed.

Let me illustrate this idea of the commons with a ridiculous example. Judging by the thousands of folks who stop every day to snap photos of El Capitan, it is clearly one of the great treasures in our commons. If Subway or Delaware North put a neon sign on El Capitan, we would find that offensive and would object mightily because we would see it as an abuse of our commons.

The abuse is clear because we recognize that there are things in our lives that are sacred, that have great value, things that are not for sale. In a society that assigns a monetary value to everything, including life itself, many of us resist excessive commercializing because we consider many things more important than money. Our Mariposa commons encompasses many things more valuable than money. Our neighbors with whom we share our lives and the bountiful nature that enriches and sustains our lives and spirits, are far more important than money.

So, which is more offensive, hanging a Subway or Delaware North sign on El Cap or abusing one of our own, one of our neighbors, with poverty wages or no wages? If both are part of our commons shouldn’t we object strenuously to the abuse of both!

Allowing one percenters and others to exploit our commons and include our neighbors in their race to the bottom, in our case to the 57th place in employment in all of California's counties, is a violation of our commons, one we continue to ignore at our peril.

We are the owners and stewards of an incredibly rich commons, one with tremendous economic resources, one that provides an extraordinary tourist destination and a good life for most of our residents. Let me illustrate.

1. We live in one of the most spectacular places on the planet. Our Yosemite/Gold Country is an incredibly popular, world-class, tourist destination with over 4 million visitors a year. The land, buildings, and infrastructure alone are worth billions, perhaps trillions.

2. Most of the tourists who come pay good rates for hotels, meals, B&B’s, and vacation rentals. These affluent visitors fly in from all over the world, enjoy expensive vacations, and have good vacation budgets.

3. One Percenters, foreign corporations, and local businesses extract great profits from our commons because our visitors and our locals spend a great deal of money in their restaurants, lodging, stores, and for many services.

4. Yosemite has a corps of Park Rangers and other professionals who operate the Park. They receive good wages - living wages - and good benefits.

5. Our county, state & federal government supports the commons with administration, roads, fire, sheriff and other services. It earns millions in taxes from tourists and others who use the commons. Our governments use a big chunk of these taxes to pay good wage with benefits to most of its workers and its political leaders.

6. Let's not forget our retired community, a large community in our incredibly beautiful commons. Many of our retired neighbors have good pensions and live the good life in lovely homes. Our unique, prosperous commons provides a great place to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

Are you following me so far? Our commons … owned by all of us … is bringing prosperity, comfort and financial security to lots and lots of people. This is as it should be.

7.   However, a few thousand of our residents were left off our list. A few thousand of our neighbors who are also stakeholders in our Mariposa Commons, were left off because they have no work or their work doesn't bring them prosperity and financial security, because they're not earning a living wage. Most members of this group are employed by foreign corporations, corporations that export their profits out of our county. And get this. Our workers not only don't receive living wages but they get few benefits and many work and live under very poor conditions.

Let's see, ...our worker/neighbors work hard and play by the rules but they get lousy wages, few or no benefits, and work under bad work conditions, while almost everyone else is doing well! And 13% of our workers have no jobs because the profits that could create jobs are sent to Canada or to East coast cities. Why have we allowed this to happen in our commons? Why are we allowing it to continue?

When we share our commons and permit one percenters to operate businesses here, the very least we should expect is that they will treat our workers well and compensate them fairly.

But, do they? Not even close. In fact, a big share of the profits they export comes from the great difference between the poverty wages they pay and a living wage. Last year the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that the wage for Mariposa restaurant workers was $262 a week or $13,624 for the year. The one percenters exploit our worker/neighbors by paying poverty wages, and they create unemployment by exporting profits earned here in our commons.  And we stand by mute. And then we pay the huge social services bill they leave behind by their abusive practices.

The Occupy Movement exploded across America because of the great taking of wealth by the 1% and, especially, the injustices of banks and speculators. As journalist Chris Hedges points out, in the 17th century they used to hang speculators! From where I sit, the one percenters that so enraged the Occupy Movement, are alive and well right here in Mariposa. You be the judge, make your own judgement as I describe Mariposa’s one percenters in the next video in this series.

In the meantime, please reflect on our incredible commons and wonder with me, why we allow foreign corporations and One Percenters to exploit our commons and our workers. And wonder why we don’t recognize the tremendous value of ourselves, our workers and our commons and begin to act like rightful owners, rightful partners, not beggars who allow corporations to race our workers to the bottom with poverty wages!

Remember, We are ALL  neighbors! We are ALL Mariposa!

Poverty Wages in Mariposa 5:  Our One Percenters

Friends Neighbors, in our last video, we pointed to the abuse of thousands of our worker-neighbors in our Mariposa Commons by Mariposa's One Percenters. Who are these One Percenters?

We now know that by 2016, one percent of the richest Americans will own more wealth than the other 99 percent. This isn’t just happening out there - it’s happening right here in Mariposa. If this doesn't scare the hell out of you, you need to put down the remote, take an extra spoonful of Geritol, and cut back on the sherry.

If we are to understand what they are doing to us and our neighbors, why 2,000 or so of our workers are unemployed or earn poverty wages, we need to shine a light on the One Percenters in our midst. 

And, as I stated in the first video, my intent is not to make these companies and individuals into enemies. They are the ones who have chosen a path of exploitation that puts them at odds with us and with the values of most Americans. Truth is, I want our One Percenters to become good neighbors. I want Jeremy Jacobs of Delaware North, Daniel Schwartz of Burger King, John Standley of Rite Aid, Fred Deluca of Subway, and all the others to join us, to become good neighbors and I want full, happy lives for all of them. But I also want them to restrain their greed enough to stop hurting our workers and all the other workers they employ. I want them to join us in creating a great community. And, of course, our invitation to being a good neighbor is extended to our soon-to-be Yosemite concessionaire, Aramark, and its one percenters CEO, Eric Foss. 

This is not Wall Street. It's Main Street, Mariposa. This is where real people live, people who work hard and play by the rules. Unfortunately, Mariposa is not immune to the negative effects of the gambling and speculation of Wall Street bankers, nor to the corporate world’s closing of over 40,000 U.S. factories in the last 14 years alone, nor to the corporate racing to the bottom with the wages of tens of millions of hard-working Americans.

Mariposa is not totally immune to the effects of this hollowing out of the American Dream but we do have options that don't exist in Detroit or El Paso or  Camden, New Jersey or even Fresno. We live in a rich, rich commons with a thriving tourist economy and we don’t have to accept the corporate capture of our workers and our economy that has forced us into 57th place in wages in California. All we have to do is recognize our real worth and come together as a community. We need to ASSERT ourselves and INSIST that our workers, our neighbors, be paid living wages, receive good benefits and that they work under good conditions. In other words, we need to ACT to help our workers.

As I describe Mariposa's very own one percenters, keep in mind the real effect these companies and people have on the lives of our poverty wage workers and on our community. And on our future, but especially on the futures of our children. These East Coast companies and their leaders may have their headquarters many miles from Mariposa but their decisions, their actions, have real, often painful, consequences for all of us.

Delaware North  Many of our Mariposa workers live in tents. Many others struggle to pay rent and buy groceries. As Delaware North's  workers earn poverty wages, Jeremy Jacobs, son of its founder, is listed on Forbes list of billionaires with a net worth of $2.7 billion. Presently, the median net worth of our fellow Americans is $44,900 so Jacobs' net worth is 60 thousand times greater.

The Jacobs family started and has owned Delaware North since 1915 and Jeremy Jacobs, Jr., grandson of the founder, is the current Co-CEO. 

Delaware North charges around $500 a night to stay in the Ahwahnee Hotel. The person who cleans the room - our neighbor - ought to share in the profits, but doesn't.

On my last breakfast visit to the Ahwahnee, I paid $25 for an order of pancakes and a cup of coffee. The dishwasher - our neighbor - should be making a living wage, but doesn't.

Burger King  Daniel Schwartz, 32-year old CEO of Burger King, earns a $700,000 base salary + benefits, putting him on track to becoming a one percenter. He can earn an additional $1.5 million this year by doing a good job, or a total of $2.2 million. If he does a lousy job, he still earns $700,000 and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, doing a lousy job still earns him 514 times the $13,624 earned by one of Burger King's local restaurant workers.

Rite Aid  John T. Standley, CEO of Rite Aid Corp, earned $8,106,718 total compensation in 2014, almost 12 times what the CEO of Burger King earns. We're starting to talk real money here.  If an employee working in the Mariposa Rite Aid earned the California mandated minimum of $9 an hour, the salary of this CEO member of the 1% elite group would still be 433 times greater.

Subway  Fred Deluca is CEO and founder of Doctor's Associates who own Subway. DeLuca is currently worth $2.6 billion. This is 58,000 times greater than the median net worth of the rest of us. The world's largest food restaurant chain will soon exceed 50,000 locations. DeLuca dismisses the many complaints of worker wage abuse as a problem of growth. He says there are so many stores they can't monitor them all. He believes this excuses his responsibility.

Many politicians - and the corporations and super-rich that now pay a major share of presidential and congressional campaign budgets - believe that bailing out banks and giving more tax breaks to the rich and to corporations creates jobs. If this were true, all the money that has shifted to the rich and to corporations over the last 40 years should have caused us to be, in Nick Hanauer's words, drowning in jobs.

He believes, as many of us do, that the real job creators are the workers and middle-class who spend their earnings and create more demand for products and services, therefore creating more jobs. Henry Ford taught America this lesson when he paid his workers historically high wages but, clearly, it's one we have forgotten.

The super-rich not only don't spend most of their super-earnings and super-wealth to create jobs, but save and speculate with it, neither of which creates jobs. In fact, their hoarding, greed, speculation and downright criminality, created the fall of the economy in 2007-2008, and it continues to put all of us at risk. Here in Mariposa it helped to push us down to the 57th earnings position in California's 58 counties …and it continues to help keep us there.

I haven’t included any photographs of Mariposa’s one percenters because you’ll never see them in the Pony Expresso or Pioneer Market or Happy Burger. You won’t need photos to recognize them at our County Fair or see them watching the Butterfly Parade. As George Carlin once put it, “It’s a Big Club and you and I ain’t in it. We're not in the Big Club.”

But you and I don’t need to be in their club. We just need to keep them from coming into our club, our commons, and doing what they’re do to our workers …and to all of us.

Remember, we are in this together because We are ALL Neighbors! 

We are ALL Mariposa.

Coming soon:

Poverty Wages in Mariposa 6:  Feeding Upon Our Powerless

Poverty Wages in Mariposa 7:  We Act!

© 2015 - WAAM 3109 Wild Dove Lane, Mariposa, CA 95338