The founding fathers would be mortified at the condition of their/our country. Attacks on democracy by anti-immigrant Republican white backlash in the shape of xenophobia, Islamophobia, and the scapegoating and assaults on undocumented immigrants.

However, undocumented immigrants contributed $5 trillion to the U.S. economy over the last 10 years. They paid $13 billion in Social Security in 2010, but only received $1 billion in benefits. They also pay 8% of their income in state and local taxes, while the wealthiest one percent pay just 5.4%.

The notion that our economy rewards hard-working individuals and, if only the millions of people in poverty worked harder, complained less and prayed more, they would be lifted out of their miserable conditions. Beginning in the 1970s, wages for the bottom 80% of workers have remained mostly stagnant and today there are 64 million people working for less than $15 an hour.

Just three very wealthy “Americans” possess a combined wealth of $248.5 billion, an equal amount of wealth as the bottom 50% of the country.

The U.S. Constitution was established to “promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

With the abundance that exists in this country and the fundamental respect inherent to all humanity, every person in the United States has the right to dignified jobs and living wages, housing, education, health care, welfare, and the right to organize for the realization of these rights.

So . . . are we finally ready to organize?

Andrew Tasker, Lewiston


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