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America Fights Back rally in Warren draws 1,500

Published: Sat, May 2, 2009 @ 4:35 p.m.

WARREN — The message was clear: the government needs to stop ignoring the struggles of the middle class.

That means some form of universal healthcare. That means fair, and not, free trade. That means having companies stop outsourcing and open manufacturing plants in the United States. That means treating the working class with respect.

What isn’t clear is how many heard it.

About 1,500 people, many of them wearing clothing with their union logo and/or name, attended today’s “America Fights Back. Enough” rally on Courthouse Square in downtown Warren.

Organizers wanted the rally to send their message to politicians in Washington and Columbus. The goal was to have national union leaders take the idea and hold rallies in other cities.

Jim Graham, president of the United Auto Workers Local 1112 at the Lordstown General Motors complex who helped coordinate the rally, didn’t hide his disappointment about the attendance.

“Not everyone thinks we’ve had enough,” he said. “This courthouse should have 5,000 people here. It affects everyone of you.”

Even so, Graham remained optimistic that the movement would grow.

“This isn’t the only rally that will take place in our country,” he said. “This is just the first one.”

For the complete story, read Sunday’s Vindicator or Vindy.com


1Stan(9923 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

Manufacturing wealth built this valley. Now that we have shipped manufacturing beyond our borders the wealth is withering away from us. We need to regain control of our destiny.


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2wolfrun1(100 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

I can only will say this from my personal viewpoint , i have contacted every one of our elected officials , from capri cafaro . gerberry , hagan, ryan , as well as the regional council of gov. , the regional chamber , and i have not received one bit of positive assistance or response back from any one of them . All i receive is " Lip Service" , and we all know what that is good for . i am a business owner and have hope of employing up to 65 people . i would like them to do a bit more then just talk .

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3Crowe(20 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

What's with the class warfare? The middle class in this country is in better shape than the upper class in most countries. And when did the Constitution get amended to require the government to provide universal healthcare? I must have missed that article or amendment in my government classes in high school and college.

Some form of healthcare reform is needed, but the notion that the government "owes" healthcare to anyone simply isn't based in the Founding of this country. And a quick glance at the state of universal healthcare in countries that has it shows it is very easily a very bad thing. The only reason it sort-of-works in Canada is because the Canadian government actually tells people who can't get a vital procedure done to come south of the border and *pay* for it here in the States. Procedures are rationed and put off due to lack of cash in the system, despite the Canadian government pouring more and more money in every year--while service goes down. Government services, since there is no competition, always, always, always lag in service and attention to details.

Then add in the cost-benefit analyses that become part of the rationing considerations and the government could well determine that neither grandma nor the down syndrome baby is "worth" keeping alive because they would cost too much. Don't think it's outlandish--that sort of thing is already done in European countries with government run healthcare.

As for jobs overseas, what concessions have fat-cat union bosses made over the years to help businesses stay afloat? Greed is a human weakness, so unless union bosses are other-than-human, those massive budgets they command and the fistfulls of dollars they get whether the workers want to yield them or not are mighty tempting. How many union bosses have taken pay cuts? How many concessions have unions made to prevent plants from closing? It takes two to tango--don't drop the blame solely at the feet of greedy corporate executives.

And, for heaven's sake, don't argue that the government ought to slap massive tariffs on imports. Retaliatory tariffs put on our exports would significantly hurt our robust manufacturing sector while massively driving up the cost of the goods Americans want that would still be imported.

Be angry about runaway government deficits with no accountability or transparency about why the money is being spent where. Be angry that the government is forcing its way into more and more previously private facets of American life. Be angry that idiotic regulations and politically correct pressures caused the housing bubble which sunk our--and the world's--economy. Be angry that no one in Washington seems to have a problem with layering debt upon debt on the backs of tax payers--union and non-union. But don't just demand that the government do more for you than you should rely on yourself to do for yourself. That's not, and never has been, the American way.

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4TB(1167 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

Class warfare is something that has gone on for centuries in American history. A simply look at our nation's history shows that workers standing up for their rights and the conditions of their employment went hand in hand with the rise of the American economy.

Since when is demanding a higher standing of living a bad thing?

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5Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

To anyone who believes in socialized medicine:

Did you know that the NHS now refuses to treat certain types of breast cancer in order to contain costs?

Why are many Canadian politicians going to the USA for medical care?

Did you know that private medical insurance is illegal in Canada?

Do you think delays and denials in basic medical care is the model you wish to adopt here in the USA? Do you think maybe we could try a few simple but effective things first (malpractice reform, revised hospitalization criteria, etc.)?

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6Crowe(20 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

Demanding something that one has a right to is not a bad thing at all. But two points: 1) the middle class in this country live at a standard that would be enviable to the upper class in the vast majority of the world; 2) Since when is it the government's obligation to guarantee anyone any particular standard of living?

Standard of living is a function of the prosperity and advancement of the whole society. Society is made up of individuals. So standard of living improves for everyone as the individuals in the society strive and work to improve their own and their neighbor's standard of living. Obviously, unscrupulous people can improve their own standard of living at the expense of others, and some level of that is rightly checked by the government. But maintaining civil order and the barest defense of the society from those who would harm it are the stated reasons we have a government: "form a more perfect union, provide for the common defense, etc." The government has no business defining what is an appropriate standard of living and assuring that all persons live it.

In short, don't just demand a higher standard of living as though you are owed it by me and the other tax payers regardless of how little you actually work to achieve it; work your own way to a better standard of living and help others along the way. If you and I and everyone else does that then we'll all have a much better standard of living.

The government can assure an equal opportunity to succeed, but governments do nothing but harm when they get into the business of assuring equality of outcome. That was the lie of Marxism.

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7Crowe(20 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

Oh, and TB, I agree that the rise of workers' movements was an important component of the development of the American economy. Indeed, the recognition of hard work and the just compensation for work done, plus improved workplace conditions and just labor laws, regulations on what employers could demand, harrassment laws, etc. All these things had, and have, their place in making our economy the envy of the world.


But those things can and do go overboard. Extreme examples abound beyond our shores to show either end of the spectrum. Europe's economy is about dead because of overbearing regulation of work hours and mandatory vacation time and requirements imposed by the government on emissions and all sorts of activities of business. Profit motives (tarred with an unfairly broad brush as "greed") have definitely played a role in the moving of manufacturing jobs to other countries, but so have overbearing and honestly unnecessary regulation regimes that make the cost of doing business, even for companies with every intention of doing good by their employees, prohibitive in a competitive market.

So yes, advances in labor laws have been a good feature of our economy within their reasonable bounds, but they are every bit as susceptible to abuse as profit motives and greed.

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8Rokscout(310 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

That's right nonsocialist, after living in Europe I will say it is great that you can just walk in and get treated for something small but Lord forbid you have cancer or something serious. People need to look at the mortality rates of people with breast cancer in Socialist countries. Much higher than here.

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9valleypoboy(227 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

How do you compete with all those countries like Japan and most of Europe when their companies don't have that major added cost? Whether you like it or not; believe it or not you cannot deny that American companies are at a disadvantage. Whoever above said "fair" trade not free trade got it right. Unless we are willing to have the same standard of living as a factory worker in Mexico, we cannot compete with them. Unless we are willing to have the air problems of China, we cannnot compete. You can get distracted by whether a reasonable cost medical system is a right or an option for the rich or you can focus up on how we might actually get fair trade. I guarantee you it isn't the unions that lobby the govenrment to keep trade free and don't care if its fair.

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10valleyred(1103 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

Universal Health Care
Fair Trade

Gimme a break.


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11Crowe(20 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

Valley poboy-- You say we can't compete. That's a strange claim considering until the economy took a dive when the housing bubble burst the unemployment rate was at a 5.8%, an enviable number by global standards. Prior to that, interesting to note, is that the unemployment rate began to drop from its 1993 level of 6.9% to 6.1% in 1994, the year NAFTA was passed, and then fell for 6 consecutive years to 4.0% in 2000. Since then it hovered in the 4.0-5.8% range until the latter half of last year when the housing bubble burst.

You say we cannot compete, but unemployment figures like that suggest free trade actually contributed to lowering our unemployment level.

(My stats come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/lf/aat1.txt )

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12UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

We sure scared those politicians yesterday. Why didn't more of them show up? We know who you are and will remember you at the polls. It's time to pass the unionize bill in Congress and eliminate that vote that secret vote that businesses always taint with their lies and promises whenever they get challenged to unionize. If you sign the card, that should be enough.

Long live the unions like the UAW who have brought so much good to the working man & woman of this country!!!

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13Stan(9923 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

Government has excelled in two departments. Defense and our highway system. Now both are deteriorating fast. Our depressed economy is losing tax dollars fast. After serving one term with little or no performance voters should not vote politicians in to freeload for another term. If you don't perform in the private sector see how long you retain your job.

Our downfall can be attributed to two things. Foreign wars and foreign trade. Why should we weaken ourselves with foreign wars that strip our wealth with nothing in return? Foreign trade without massive exports of American goods is quickly puting us in debt. We need to reclaim America for Americans!

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14Crowe(20 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

Dear UnionForever: who employs those working men and women, the union? Or entrepreneurs and business owners?

Policies that make it harder to open and run a business make it harder to hire workers --union members or not.

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15Crowe(20 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

The secret ballot is a sacred institution in our society. Union pressure on employees--yes, it happens--is every bit as sinister and wrong as tainted ballots by business owners. Card check won't make unionization fair, it will throw the balance radically in the other direction where union strongmen can (and do) pressure and trick people to sign up for something they do not want.

Measures to reduce the ability of business owners to manipulate the vote, sure. Stripping American workers of their right to a secret ballot on something as important as whether or not to unionize, that's un-American.

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