creators.com opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Jim Hightower
Jim Hightower
25 Feb 2015
The Kbparty of Plutocratic Rule, Welcome to What the Supreme Court Wrought

Shouldn't America have at least one major party that isn't beholden to the corporate elite? Well don't look now,… Read More.

18 Feb 2015
An Exciting Democracy Movement Arises in Chicago

Chicago! City of broad shoulders. Plutocratic hog butcher. Toolmaker for progressive change. Stacker of the … Read More.

11 Feb 2015
Aetna Lifts the National Standard for "Competitive Wages"

Business schools and Wall Street banks preach a strict, anti-social doctrine of corporate management that … Read More.

Giving Thanks to Citizens and Grass-roots Progressives

Comment

This Thanksgiving, even progressive Americans can find plenty of progress for which we can be grateful.

Let's start with the Girl Scouts of America. When news broke that the national organization for girls had fallen off its ethical pony, many of its grass-roots members and supporters knew that the first job of a citizen is to keep your mouth open.

Sometimes, however, the collective mouth of the American public must roar in order to be heard — and to make things right. Thankfully, this is what happened after it was reported in October that the organization was seeking new bids for the manufacture of uniforms and sashes worn by the 2.4 million girls who're members of GSA. For years, this work has been done by a small, family-owned business in Passaic, N.J. — but scout leaders at headquarters decided to consider shifting the business to three other companies, two of which are overseas, including one in China.

Say what? Girl Scouts of AMERICA would offshore 90 jobs of Passaic workers to China, where factories pay pathetically cheap wages and might even use child labor? GSA executives tried at first to defend this, saying they were "engaging in good business practices," like corporations do. "We have an obligation to deliver the best value to our members," an official declared.

Well, there's "value," but then there are values. Which was GSA choosing ... and which was it teaching the girls? ''

This question was at the heart of the public uproar that instantly erupted from members, parents and volunteers. If you want ethically compromised value, they roared, go to Wal-mart — but we came to the Girl Scouts for values.

It took only two days for headquarters to get the message. The bid request was quickly modified to require a U.S. manufacturer and to set strict manufacturing guidelines for the ages and treatment of workers.

Indeed, officials turned their boo-boo into a positive lesson: "We thank the many Girl Scout (advocates) who stood up for their beliefs and showed ... that every voice makes a difference."

See, speaking out matters. So keep roaring.

But there's more to be thankful for, especially after that exhilarating election. Of course, even a car wreck can be exhilarating.

Still, we can see plenty of populist political progress popping up. Rather than looking to Washington, however, look around your own area.

Even though media mavens don't cover it, grass-roots progressives are forging surprising coalitions in such places as Iowa, Houston, Syracuse, central Missouri, New Haven, Ohio and Rhode Island. All across the country, people are producing new solutions and structural changes that add up to real hope for shared prosperity in America. In issues big and small, there's much we can be thankful for ... and build on.

Take a big one that Washington "leaders" — both Republicans and Democrats — bungled: reigning in Wall Street greed. A growing network of more than two dozen local coalitions have joined into an activist force that you can link with by going to www.ShowdownInAmerica.org. Showdown has deployed more than 200 organizers around the country to rally grass-roots support for breaking up too-big-to-fail banks and to decentralize Wall Street's monopolistic power into locally based financial institutions.

Another effort helps you mount your own personal rebellion against the big banksters by withdrawing your money from them. After all, it is your money, so why let the bastards have it? Go to www.MoveYourMoney.info to get how-to steps for transferring your funds into credit unions, community banks and socially responsible investment firms.

The point here is that real change is up to us, not to Obama or the Democratic Party. They are not the progressive movement, we are. And you can find action right where you live to start putting progress back in "progressive."

To find out more about Jim Hightower, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2010 CREATORS.COM



Comments

0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Jim Hightower
Feb. `15
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Marc Dion
Marc DionUpdated 2 Mar 2015
Lawrence Kudlow
Lawrence KudlowUpdated 28 Feb 2015
Mark Shields
Mark ShieldsUpdated 28 Feb 2015

2 May 2012 The Stench of Bentonville Spreads to Mexico -- and Back

26 Mar 2014 The Symbolism of one Adjunct Professor's Death

27 Aug 2008 Let's Get Cracking on America's Infrastructure