The bane of true democracy
Although Northwest Airlines declared bankruptcy, thousands of its employees are still on strike [“Northwest and Delta file for bankruptcy,” Business & Technology, Sept. 15]. In their fight, they stand for all Americans. They're protesting their employer's long-planned scheme to eliminate more than three quarters of them; slash pay and benefits for the remainder by more than 28 percent; and eliminate their hard-earned pensions.
In recent years, in the airline industry alone, more than 100,000 well-paying union jobs have been outsourced.
The beautiful, democratic solution was explained by Eli Siegel, founder of the philosophy Aesthetic Realism: “Jobs should be for usefulness, not for profit.”
The answer to the crisis in the airline industry is this: The U.S. government—the people—should take it over, instead of subsidizing these private companies with multibillion-dollar bailouts.
We the people already own and maintain all the major airports, employ the air traffic controllers and security personnel. Let's stop using government money to prop up multimillion-dollar salaries, bail out banks, investment firms and non-working shareholders.
This answer is in the American tradition. Our federal, state and municipal governments own or control, on behalf of the people, Amtrak, the post office, fire departments, subways, bus lines, schools, VA hospitals, utilities, highway departments and more. And there isn't one million-dollar salary in the lot. Despite efforts to weaken them and screams of “inefficiency” by some with private vested interests, these entities are generally efficient. And, most importantly, the services are provided for the good of the American people. And the management is answerable to the electorate, not to Wall Street.
Editor's note: The writer is president of Teamsters Local 1205.
This letter also appeared in The Record of New Jersey and, in a longer form, as an article in the Progressive Populist.
Eli Siegel's Preface to Self and World
Aesthetic Realism Books, including online chapters
Aesthetic Realism Online Library
The Terrain Gallery
Governor's & Mayor's Proclamations
In the U.S. Congressional Record
The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known
Biographical information: Eli Siegel
Biographical information: Ellen Reiss
Aesthetic Realism Foundation Faculty
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More Aesthetic Realism Resources
Aesthetic Realism Versus Racism
The Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method
Teaching Indian Culture in the United States
Friends of Aesthetic Realism—Countering the Lies
Essays in the Press on Aesthetic Realism
Photographic Education through Aesthetic Realism
On the Place of Aesthetic Realism in Culture
"Is a Person an Aesthetic Situation?"
Aesthetic Realism and Anthropology
John Singer Sargent's Madame X
Self-Expression and What Interferes
The Aesthetic Realism Theatre Company