Nothing Much Changes
What a month! We have had Fair Pay Day, April 8, the day when women's pay caught up with what men would have made in the twelve month period ending December 31, 2013. Then there was that infamous April 15 date. That one needs no explanation. It is etched in our brains, especially if we expect a tax refund, perhaps even more if we owe. More recently we recognized Earth Day when we supposedly take a long hard look at how we are managing - or not, as the case be - our natural resources.
Seemingly none of this has had any effect on our political world. At least it hasn't made Congress any more amenable to working with the President. The Republican's continue to be negative on any proposals except for the Paul Ryan (R WI) budget which has little, or no, compassion for the less fortunate among us. That budget is their pride and joy. While the employment situation might have looked a bit better in a few cases Congress still sits on any relief to those long time unemployed. It was the senate that failed to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Thus, April leaves as it began with many of our citizens suffering with little relief in sight. It is long established that no one is exempt from tax. Actually it is the wealthy, not the needy, who by and large profit from our tax code. Most assuredly the Ryan Budget would continue that trend.
As for women's pay, the right wing continues to deny the gap as a myth leading President Obama to declare, "The pay gap is not a myth. It is math." With women comprising 47% of the workforce it is difficult to see how the idea of women just working for pocket money continues to prevail. There is ample evidence that women are the primary, or the sole, breadwinner in 40% of American households with young children. That 77 cents on the dollar for comparable work makes a difference.
The Paycheck Fairness Act would also prohibit retaliation against employees sharing salary information thereby bringing the unfairness to light.
This year's severe drought may have focused a little more attention on Earth Day. However, as the right wing denies the evidence of the pay gap between men and women it also eschews all the evidence of climate change and its effect on our earth. At least it is consistent in that its support goes to the corporations that put profit above protecting our land.
Even in this time of water shortage there is unending advocacy for "fracking" We won't even talk about water for agriculture versus water for "fracking," which extracts oil and gas from deep within the earth. After all it allows us to continue our profligate ways of using petroleum products--never mind the water use while others must ration their use of the precious water. We won't even talk about water for agriculture versus water for "fracking." Also forget that we have no idea of the long time damage. In the present we can be fairly certain that it accounts for water faucets' disgorging fire in some cases and earthquakes in areas not previously known for such.
Then there is that infamous pipeline proposal from Canada to the Gulf. It would appear to be for shipping to other parts of the world, not even benefiting our driving citizens who are seeing our gas at the pump go ever higher.
Speaking of corporations, with the Supreme Court's having given them citizenship status they are ever more powerful. We await the decision if they have religion as the Hobby Lobby folk claim. There is some hypocrisy there with the company not wanting to provide full health insurance to its employees while its foundation invests in stocks providing some of the products that would be used in that health care. That story will have to wait until another day.
Also waiting for another day is how this power of "corporation personhood" will play out in our political world. What we do know is that power is not likely to help ordinary citizens. We are already seeing results of their money in special elections as well as in campaigns for the June elections scheduled throughout the nation. If I were a betting person I would bet on the situation being exacerbated.
Yes, April came and is almost gone leaving a sleeping person with little to catch up on upon awakening. We are challenged to use our political power to counteract this affair with the court, the corporations and those who profit from this liaison. It isn't easy but it is necessary. Better now than later. We best not fail.