|Now that I’ve lost my job, I guess
I’m one of Romney’s 47 percent.
Americans are exceptionally hard-working people. The United States is the only industrialized country without a national required paid vacation law for workers. Germany and the United Kingdom decree a minimum of 20 paid days of vacation a year and France requires 30 days. Of course American companies grant paid vacations, but that is a matter of individual corporate policy and not national law.
Also, the United States does not have a law setting the maximum length of the work week. According to an Oct. 2010 report by G.E. Miller, a journalist for 20 Something Finance, 85.8 percent of men and 66.5 percent of women work longer than 40 hours per week.
The commitment to the world of work does not end early for Americans. The U.S. has the highest percentage of senior citizens in the work place, with 20 percent of those 65-69 years of age still employed and 5 percent of Americans older than 70 still at work.
Throughout the course of the campaign, President Obama showed great sensitivity and empathy for American workers. He understands how the American Dream motivates citizens to do their best. The promise is that if you work hard and play by the rules then achievement is sure to come. Obama also understands the importance of government assistance during a period of high unemployment.
Despite Gov. Romney’s decades in the corporate world, he has demonstrated little concern for the welfare of the workers whose efforts created his wealth. As CEO of Bain, he was cavalier about terminating the employees of companies he bought. As governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, the state ranked only 47th in job creation during his tenure.
It should come as no surprise, then, when Romney revealed his contempt and disdain for those struggling to survive in a slow economy. In a now famous speech before wealthy supporters in Boca Raton, Romney castigated “the 47 percent of people … who are dependent on government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them [and] who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, [and] to housing…”
To demonstrate his disrespect for the working class even more decidedly, Romney ran advertisements in Ohio to induce auto workers to believe that they were about to lose their jobs again when Jeep manufacturing shifts to China. He knew this claim was false but he was willing to cause great anxiety among auto workers in order to damage Obama’s support for saving the auto industry.
After Romney suffered an embarrassing defeat, 332 to 206 in Electoral College votes, he found it necessary to explain away his loss. In a conference call to major contributors, Romney continued his insulting harangue against Americans who supported Obama. Romney claimed that minorities and the young voted for Obama because he gave them “gifts.”
With his bizarre description of what constitutes “gifts,” Romney makes it clear that no American workers or others are entitled to receive the services from government that Democrats expect. He said, “with regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift.” He then insulted women with the assertion that “free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women.” Romney also opposes what he calls “free healthcare.”
Workers built this nation, but Romney is eager to demonize everyone but the top one percent who earn $380,354 or more per year. He believes that the only ones who really count are wealthy entrepreneurs. Despite his insults, 59 percent of white Americans voted for Romney. All Americans are best advised to forget about racial and religious differences and organize around common interests. Otherwise, plutocrats like Romney will unite the wealthy to thwart every policy that benefits working Americans.