It’s The Free Market, Stupid.

It’s the RNC convention so I thought I was entitled to at least one political rant.

My grandmother, Laura Gignac, was born in 1892. She raised 11 children during the Depression.  One of them was my Dad who was born in 1917.  He completed sixth grade then dropped out of school to work and contribute to the family.  He never learned to read, but that’s another story.  My grandmother worked in the clothing manufacturing industry in Woonsocket, RI.  She was one of the French-Canadians who emigrated from Canada to work in the New England factories.  At that time there was no minimum wage, no worker’s compensation, no unemployment compensation, no Medicare, Medicaid, no Social Security, no maximum work hours, no unions and certainly no health insurance.  It was just free enterprise; the FREE MARKET.  So, when she lost her little finger in an accident while working on an industrial sewing machine (there were no safety regulations either) all she got was FIRED.

I know what the free market looks like.  If you look at history you can know and understand what the free market looks like.  It is UGLY.  The unregulated free market is what drove the union movement; horrific accidents and child labor resulting from the unregulated free market is what drove safety regulations (OSHA), worker’s compensation, and child labor laws.  Slave wages that the free market could get away with is what drove minimum wage laws and limited hours.  Workers need regulation and regulation is a cost of doing business.

THE LESSON: If you have over 40 employees and can’t provide a living wage,  worker’s compensation insurance, unemployment insurance, social security contribution AND health insurance then you should rethink your business plan because THAT is the cost of doing business in a country that respects its citizens enough to NOT leave them at the mercy of the greed that is termed the FREE MARKET.  It is the cost of doing business in a humane world.

And it is the reason why I would rather cut off my little finger than vote for Romney/Ryan this November.

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