Labor, Economic Justice, Civics

or not

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."
– Abraham Lincoln
Dec. 3, 1861

"A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist."
– Louis Nizer

"All over Africa, the demand for democratic ownership and control of our economies has formed a central pillar of our struggle for national liberation. It is this legacy of struggle and resistance that we are building upon in our present struggle against… IMF-World Bank structural adjustment."
– Declaration of the African Delegation at the International Meeting,
"The Dictatorship of Financial Markets; Another World is Possible,"
Paris, June 24-26, 1999

"We need to break the power of the World Bank over developing countries, just as the divestment movement helped break the power of the Apartheid regime in South Africa; this is why we support the boycott of World Bank bonds."
– Dennis Brutus
Jubileee 2000, South Africa

"Things might be great by the Dow Jones Average, but what about the Doug and Donna Jones Index? Things might be booming if you're in the upper 10-15% of the income ladder, living on Wall Street, but how are salaries on Main Street?"
– Jim Hightower

"I would like to see a fair division of profits between capital and labor so that the toiler could save enough to mingle a little June with the December of his life."
– Robert Green Ingersoll

"Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs."
– Henry Ford

"I am firmly convinced that the passionate will for justice and truth has done more to improve {the human condition} than calculating political shrewdness which in the long run only breeds general mistrust."
– Albert Einstein

"The inherent power of the people is more than enough to turn the tide if people realize what's at stake and that they've got the power, with trade unions and environmental groups and consumer groups, to prevail and win. So that we have global cooperation with the maximum of democracy, a respect for local institutions and community initiatives, instead of these mega-corporations that are strategizing and lobbying to control our world."
– Ralph Nader

"Third world countries are being forced to race to the bottom. They have to compete with each other, outbid each other, in offering cheaper labor than their competitors and also offering more stringent legislation to control labor. So you get both repression and increased poverty. You depress the economy, but you also repress the freedom of the people."
– Dennis Brutus

"If our only choice is to have globalization that means drastic cuts in social security and lower wages and lower benefits, we don't want that kind of globalization. But we can define a different kind of globalization, with ground rules that protect both social services and basic labor and human rights."
– Thea Lee

"Reading, learning, and thinking in a time of megamedia obfuscation and confusion are a prerequisite for the civic personalityÉHow did our forbearers motivate their fellow citizens to organize person to person, reaching levels that organizers today, with all their communication and technology, view with unalloyed awe? Just how did the power of creeping corporatism over the past two hundred years take an artificial legal entity chartered by the state, called the corporation, and have it endowed with the rights of real human beings plus privileges and immunities denied human beings?"

"There are also distinct elements of courage to the civic personality. Thousands of men and women each year in our country blow the whistle on abuses in business and government, universities, unions, and other institutions to the detriment of their jobs, careers, and livelihood. Civic values drive them to expose avarice and wrongdoing."

"A civic personality possesses a keen awareness of how large corporations have institutionalized the shifting of their avoidable costs to police, soldiers, taxpayers, consumers, workers, and their environment, and how governments waste or redirect tax dollars to wealthy recipients who make up the corporate government."
– Ralph Nader
from Crashing the Party

"In this 'Biotech Century' of out-of-control technology, public relations spin, and indentured science and government, global marketplace pressure campaigns have become a powerful tool for consumers to demand safe and sustainably-produced food, to call for Fair Trade and economic justice, and to drive genetically engineered foods and crops off the market."
– Interview with John Stauber, author of Trust Us We're Experts:
How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future
and publisher of PR Watch

"There is enough in the world for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed."
– Mahatma Gandhi

"{Social} conflict clarifies values and makes latent values manifest."
– Lewis Closer

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts."
– Abraham Lincoln

"By 1998, discounting home ownership, the top 10 percent of the population claimed 76 percent of the nation's net worth, and more than half of that is accounted for by the richest 1 percent. The bottom 60 percent has virtually no wealth, aside from some home ownership; by any standard the lowest 60
percent is economically insecure …"
– Robert McChesney
Rich Media, Poor Democracy

"The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run."
– Henry David Thoreau
naturalist and author 

"Nothing would be done at all if a man waited until he could do it so well that no-one could find fault with it."
– Cardinal Newman

"To do great work a man must be very idle as well as very industrious."
-Samuel Butler

"True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made."
– Franklin D. Roosevelt

"All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
American Civil Rights Leader
Nobel Prize Winner

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
– Thomas A. Edison

"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."
– Lao Tzu

"Work banishes those three great evils, boredom, vice and poverty."
– Voltaire

"No work is insignificant or meaningless. The amount of love, the amount of heart which you pour into your work, makes it significant and beautiful."
– Ammachi 
Her Holiness Sri Mata Amritanandamayi

"There's no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love. There is only a scarcity of resolve to make it happen."
– Wayne Dyer

"Human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of [people] willing to be co-workers with God."
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


or not

"The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for not by our labor agitators, but by the Christian men to whom God in his infinite wisdom has given control of property interests of the country and upon the successful managment of which so much depends."
– George F. Baer
railroad industrialist

"The point is that you can't be too greedy."
– Donald Trump
Trump: The Art of the Deal

"Greed is all right by the way. . . I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself."
– Ivan Boesky
US Financier
(convicted of insider trading violations)

"The Rich Get Richer and That's All Right"
– Headline in the Wall Street Journal
July, 1995

"Blue collar" crimes generate harsh sentences while "white collar" crime – almost always for vastly greater amounts of money – gets kid gloves treatment by comparison. In 2000, for example, a Texas man received sixteen years in prison for stealing a Snickers candy bar, while, at the same time, four executives at Hoffman-LaRoche Ltd. were found guilty of conspiring to suppress and eliminate competition in the vitamin industry, in what the Justice Department called perhaps the largest criminal antitrust conspiracy in history. The cost to consumers and public health is nearly immeasurable. The four executives were fined anywhere from $75,000 to $350,000 and they received prison terms ranging from three months all the way up to … four months."
– Robert McChesney
Rich Media, Poor Democracy


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