Robert B. Reich: What are they really after? Connect these seven dots. Number one, they’re against extending unemployment benefits to people who have been out of work for more than six months, even though there is still only one job for every three unemployed. Number two, they don’t want to raise the minimum wage, even though today’s federal minimum is twenty-five percent below what it was in 1968, adjusted for inflation. Number three, they’re against extending Medicaid benefits to millions of low wage workers. Number four, they want to cut food stamps. Number five, they refuse to invest in education or job training. Number six, they don’t want to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure or have any other jobs program. And number seven, they’re out to bust unions.

Do you see a pattern here? They’re waging a war against the poor and the working class in order to keep people down because when you’re unemployed, without any support, without any bargaining power, you have to feed your family. You’re desperate. And when you’re desperate, you’ll take whatever they are willing to pay you, even if it’s next to nothing. And you won’t dare make a fuss. You won’t complain about unsafe work conditions or toxic chemicals leaking out of storage tanks or anything else. You won’t run the risk of trying to form a union. You won’t get involved in politics. You won’t make a ruckus or rock the boat in any way. You’ll take whatever they choose to give you because you are sinking.

Make no mistake, this war against the poor and working class is designed to make sure Americans who’ve been losing ground for thirty years don’t dare do anything about it. Without extended unemployment benefits, a declining real minimum wage, no Medicaid, no food stamps, no education, job training, or jobs program and no union, you’ll do exactly as they tell you, and that’s fine with them. But it’s bad for America. As the first step to stopping this war on the poor and working class, call your senator and demand the senate pass extended emergency unemployment benefits.

Any questions?