Fairfax Republicans and their Disdain for the Working Class

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    Matt Ames I was astounded by what my local Republicans wrote on the subject of Labor Day.  These days I guess I shouldn’t be surprised (after all, they did invite us to join the Tea Party’s “Boycott Labor Day” event in 2012), but this time their message was so full of contempt for working Americans, so disdainful of the tradition of the holiday, and so deliberately misleading — that I felt compelled to respond.

    First of all, today isn’t a day of rest and relaxation for everyone.  If you go to the grocery store or the gas station today, the folks working there are struggling like you and me.  And they have to work nights, weekends and holidays if they want to earn a living.  Having worked in various industries such as foodservice and retail, even digging ditches for minimum wage, I understand that sometimes you have to do whatever you can to get by. This is something the Republicans don’t seem to understand.

    In the Republicans’ world, the President doesn’t actually have “respect for the value of work” – despite the fact that he is fighting for an increase in the minimum wage, in other words, paying people for the value of their work, which Republicans oppose.  They believe we want a society where “a growing underclass lives on the government dole” and that we would deny people the self-respect of knowing they’re pulling their own weight.  

    Finally, Fairfax Republican Chair Matt Ames goes as far as to say that we have “a fundamentally false and foreign philosophy” that threatens our way of life.  I have to ask, do they actually believe President Obama wants America to fail?

    I’ve got news for the Republicans: today’s workers are pulling their own weight — they’re just not being fairly compensated for it. And the vast majority (nine tenths) of those who receive government assistance (who Mr. Ames contemptuously describes as the “growing underclass”) are in working families, or are elderly or disabled.

    This is a classic example of the Republicans’ tactics to divide us by using the politics of resentment.  Let me make this clear:  we value the working class of America.  It was the progressive movement that started Labor Day.  That’s why the employees who serve you have overwhelmingly voted Democratic.



    Frank Anderson

    Executive Director, Fairfax County Democratic Committee

    @frankoanderson

    • NotJohnSMosby

      What a complete a-hole that guy is.

    • DJRippert

      “I’ve got news for the Republicans: today’s workers are pulling their own weight — they’re just not being fairly compensated for it.”

      Why doesn’t the law of supply and demand set a fair price for labor just like it does for everything else?  Where is the economic friction in the system?  Final question.  US productivity gains and real, median incomes were linked for decades until 1973.  At that point the two trends diverged with productivity continuing to increase while real median wages went essentially stagnant.  What caused this decoupling?

      I don’t have an agenda with those questions.  However, I do believe that understanding those trends is a pre-requisite to establishing an effective labor policy.

    • amber waves

      The article reveals a twisted world view on traditional US values towards labor.  It is true that the US did get rid of many feudalistic structures that did not apportion labor solely on the basis of merit. But the US retained the notion that leisure was a sign of elite status. The US free-market system was infected with this classist notion of a leisured elite. In addition, the US did not value hard work of African American slaves and provide them compensation for their labor. This caste-system “value” was embedded into the constitution.

      US exceptionalism, like any supremacist ideology, is dangerous. Republicans of this generation seem to be badly infected and will twist history accordingly.