Monday, November 23, 2009

Frothy Ideas!

"On Labor Day, September 7, 1931,more than forty thousand union members marched downb Michigan Avenue...calling for more jobs. The parade...demanded an end to Prohibition as one answer to unemployment. Bystanders cheered placards stating "Give Us Beer and Employ a Million Workers" and "What the Country Needs is a Stein of Real Beer."

Dominic Pacyga, Chicago: A Biography

Even the egg inspectors got into the action by calling attention to the diminished consumption of eggs because of Prohibition -- that is, "pickled and hardboiled eggs."

Not only are these frothy ideas from the grassroots but the grassroots, at least a part of it, got out on the streets and marched. The unemployed organized and had their say -- in addition to stopping evictions and organizing relief.

I haven't witnessed any recent marches by the unemployed or those generally dismayed by the economy, foreclosure and our jobless recovery. But I could have missed something, with so much attention focused on the current policy "moment" and, of course, the dampening psychology of the "new normal."

And the last thing Obama needs is piling on from his friends while the right abnegates any responsibility except whining and pursuing their political strategy of "saying no" and presidential disparagement.

But local and regional marches would be fine. I suspect there could be some new allies, partners and sponsors if the "big tent" was big enough. That would be good. All we need are a few community organizers.

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