This link contains editorial as well as history

  1. Open only if you want to read an editorial that is mostly historical fact explaining Bill Moyers point of view.
  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Ted
    I just read the article, "This is Your Story - The Progressive Story of America. Pass It On." By Bill Moyers. (THANK YOU, Spacenurse, for finding this article and sharing it with us.)

    The article is long. But it's filled with historical insight to our resent past and present politics.

    It's brilliant. It elequently puts into words what I believe to be true. . . and what is best and worst for our country.

    It brings defination to what I would classify myself:

    A Progressive!

    I wouldn't know where to begin to discuss or debate this this article. Maybe there is not debate because it is what Spacenurse says it is. . . "historical fact explaining Bill Moyers' point of view".

    But, I dare say that it will challange some. . . hopefully! And inspire others, like myself!

    I'm going to re-read it again. And maybe even share more discussion.

    Please read! It's well worth the time and effort!
    Last edit by Ted on Jun 12, '03
  4. by   Ted
    Again, thanks for posting this article.

    And. . . don't stop!
  5. by   passing thru
    I always enjoy Bill Moyers. He is an intelligent, articulate, thoughtful and honest journalist.

    A rarity in America right now.

    He always gives a background to his topics. I watch him on PBS every
    chance I get.

    Thanks for the link Spacenurse. If you're cruising the net and run across something you find interesting, I hope you will
    post it here.

    My computer time is less than I'd like, so, I really appreciate it
    when someone posts interesting info that I can quickly access.

    Those who don't wanna read it...............well, ...duh !
  6. by   Ted
    Just re-read Bill Moyer's editorial again.


    More to follow at a later date! (Boy! Do I have lots of things to talk about from this one editorial alone! )

  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    Do you like days off, breaks, going home on time? History, important but not well written,. I'm a nurse; not a writer!

    Many gave their lives for the 40 hour work week, overtime, safety (drinking water, sanitary facilities, and an end to forced child labor are just a few issues.)
    Now nurses want equipment needed for their patients as well as to protect themselves and others from infection and injury. We want to have the staff and training to provide quality care. We want to take meal and rest breaks, use the restroom when needed, and go home on time. Let us be thankful for the laws and regulations that exist. Let's work to enforce and improve what our fellow workers struggled and died for.

    British labor history link:

    Most citizens of the United States take for granted labor laws which protect them from the evils of unregulated industry. Perhaps the majority of those who argue for "free enterprise" and the removal of restrictions on capitalist corporations are unaware that over the course of this country's history, workers have fought and often died for protection from capitalist industry. In many instances, government troops were called out to crush strikes, at times firing on protesters. Presented below are a few of the many incidents in the (too often overlooked) tumultuous labor history of this country.

    In 1825 Boston carpenters struck for a ten hour day. A decade later in New Jersey CHILDREN struck for an 11 hour a day six day work week!

    Many people were killed by police or hung for trying to get decent working conditions.
    Unarmed miners and railroad workers were killed. Many times authorities including President Mc Kinley brought in black men to replace striking workers.
    "Mother Jones" worked for CHILDREN to get a 55 hour work week!
    In 1909 female garment workers in New York went on strike. Of 2,000 strikers many were arrested. The judge told them, "You are striking against God!"
    In 1911 a textile mill burned and many workers died.
    1912 in Massachusetts Women and children workers were beaten by police during a strike.

    1914 the Ford Motor Company raised wages to $5.00 a day. Those jobs brought many, including my husbands' mothers' family out of poverty.
    1916 Federal employees won Workers compensation insurance. To me this created an awareness of safety for federal workers. Better to prevent injury than pay benefits.

    Also in 1916 a child labor act was enacted only to be declared unconstitutional in 1918. The Supreme Court in 1918 under threat of a railroad workers strike DID vote the 8 hour work day constitutional.

    In 1919 Calvin Coolidge, then Governor of Massachusetts called out the state militia when 1,100 police tried to organize a union.
    Link to mine workers struggles in West Virginia:

    1941 Henry Ford recognized the United Auto Workers union (UAW)

    Link for teachers:
  8. by   Ted
    I've only stated about 3 or 4 times that this is a brilliant commentary by Bill Moyers. I've shared it to a few friends and even posted it on another bulletin board (for musician) for that world to read (They loved it!!!!).

    I'm going to take some time here to discuss a few points Bill Moyers shared. I'll start with a few now, and then post more later.


    Bill Moyers wrote:

    In one way or another, this is the oldest story in America: the struggle to determine whether "we, the people" is a spiritual idea embedded in a political reality - one nation, indivisible - or merely a charade masquerading as piety and manipulated by the powerful and privileged to sustain their own way of life at the expense of others.

    Let me make it clear that I don't harbor any idealized notion of politics and democracy; I worked for Lyndon Johnson, remember? Nor do I romanticize "the people." You should read my mail - or listen to the vitriol virtually spat at my answering machine. I understand what the politician meant who said of the Texas House of Representatives, "If you think these guys are bad, you should see their constituents."

    But there is nothing idealized or romantic about the difference between a society whose arrangements roughly serve all its citizens and one whose institutions have been converted into a stupendous fraud. That difference can be the difference between democracy and oligarchy.

    I want to make the point that I believe that our government . . . or better yet. . . our society is moving more towards an oligarchy. If you read Bill Moyers's commentary, one might think that it's history repeating itself.

    The ground work for this current growing oligarchy probably started around the early 1980's. The Reagan era. And has survived through three presidencies including the Clinton and GWB administrations.

    And what got the ball rolling for this "oligarchy"? Deregulation and weakening of anti-trust related laws.

    And who would be the "few in power"? For lack of a better term, Big Business and a few other "special interests groups" including the Religous Right (a well vocal and organized group!). Let's just take a look at Big Business. Big Business has the $$$$$$$$$ and the organization. This "special interest group" hold the ears of the current administration more so than ever before, in my eyes. Or maybe I'm just opening my eyes more often now than ever before. Still, one can't deny the strong hold they have in influencing governmental policy (federal and/or local). From the influence of the really big business community there is the watering down of environmental standards, weakening media-owenership regulations which will put the control of the media in the hands of the few, a relaxation of anti-trust laws (or at least a "putting a blind eye" towards these laws), a huge lobby against regulation of soft-money contributions to political races, etc, etc.

    Couple the $$$$$$ and organization skills of "Big Business" and other "special interest groups" with the fact that less than 50% of the population tends to vote, and the witch's brew is rich with the flavoring of an oligarchal society. Our own country's apathy towards the self-education, discussion and debate important issues is. . . IN MY MIND. . . weakening our democracy!


    Bill Moyers comments:
    What will it take to get back in the fight? Understanding the real interests and deep opinions of the American people is the first thing. And what are those? That a Social Security card is not a private portfolio statement but a membership ticket in a society where we all contribute to a common treasury so that none need face the indignities of poverty in old age without that help. That tax evasion is not a form of conserving investment capital but a brazen abandonment of responsibility to the country. That income inequality is not a sign of freedom-of-opportunity at work, because if it persists and grows, then unless you believe that some people are naturally born to ride and some to wear saddles, it's a sign that opportunity is less than equal. That self-interest is a great motivator for production and progress, but is amoral unless contained within the framework of community. That the rich have the right to buy more cars than anyone else, more homes, vacations, gadgets and gizmos, but they do not have the right to buy more democracy than anyone else. That public services, when privatized, serve only those who can afford them and weaken the sense that we all rise and fall together as "one nation, indivisible." That concentration in the production of goods may sometimes be useful and efficient, but monopoly over the dissemination of ideas is evil. That prosperity requires good wages and benefits for workers. And that our nation can no more survive as half democracy and half oligarchy than it could survive "half slave and half free" - and that keeping it from becoming all oligarchy is steady work - our work.

    He raises some good points here! But I want to point out that we need to WORK. . . and work hard. . . . to keep our government from becoming a "half democracy and half oligarchy" as he puts it. I guess the means becoming active in the running of our government. That means, in my mind's eye, providing effective education (through schools, media, town-hall style meetings) of important issues, and discussing and debating these issues. Issues like Social Security, the privatization of public services, fair wages and benefits for workers, healthcare, environmental issues etc, etc.

    I believe dearly that we should be a nation governed by the people for the people. I don't see that now.

    What do you all think. . . . . . .
    Last edit by Ted on Jun 17, '03
  9. by   eltrip
    I commented on this (in greater detail) in the "disturbing poll" thread on this forum. Short Version -

    Ted, I agree with you that we should be more active in our gov't. and TEACHING the next generation about the foundations of our gov't as well as our RESPONSIBILITIES as American citizens. We are blessed to be in this country...if we don't speak out when it is our right & responsibility to do so, we may soon find that it is no longer a right but a privilege.

  10. by   Ted
    Eltrip wrote:

    . . . . we should be more active in our gov't. and TEACHING the next generation about the foundations of our gov't as well as our RESPONSIBILITIES as American citizens. We are blessed to be in this country...if we don't speak out when it is our right & responsibility to do so, we may soon find that it is no longer a right but a privilege.
    Here, here!

    Very well put.
  11. by   Ted
    Bill Moyers explains better what I've grown to believe. That this country is more an oligarchy than a democracy.

    Read the link that spacenurse provided. It is long, but well worth the read.

    The "Progressive Story" of America

    Last edit by Ted on Dec 13, '03
  12. by   SharonH, RN
    Ted is right, the editorial is brilliant. There is no other way to describe it. You know the old saying, "Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it," well that has never been more relevant than today.

    Bill Moyers wrote: " It is the most radical assault on the notion of one nation, indivisible, that has occurred in our lifetime. I'll be frank with you: I simply don't understand it - or the malice in which it is steeped. Many people are nostalgic for a golden age. These people seem to long for the Gilded Age. That I can grasp. They measure America only by their place on the material spectrum and they bask in the company of the new corporate aristocracy, as privileged a class as we have seen since the plantation owners of antebellum America and the court of Louis IV. What I can't explain is the rage of the counter-revolutionaries to dismantle every last brick of the social contract. At this advanced age I simply have to accept the fact that the tension between haves and have-nots is built into human psychology and society itself - it's ever with us. However, I'm just as puzzled as to why, with right wing wrecking crews blasting away at social benefits once considered invulnerable, Democrats are fearful of being branded "class warriors" in a war the other side started and is determined to win. I don't get why conceding your opponent's premises and fighting on his turf isn't the sure-fire prescription for irrelevance and ultimately obsolescence. But I confess as well that I don't know how to resolve the social issues that have driven wedges into your ranks. And I don't know how to reconfigure democratic politics to fit into an age of soundbites and polling dominated by a media oligarchy whose corporate journalists are neutered and whose right-wing publicists have no shame.

    Simply put, many of the Democrats have sold us out. Many of them are the same as the Repubs. I have never felt so disenfranchised as I have the past two years, baffled as I watched our elected leaders sell us out or simply refuse to fight. The other side uses wedge issues like race and sexual preference to divide us and we let them, so they get away with it. But we must learn from our mistakes and hold them accountable. We need to overcome our apathy and take back our country. As Mr. Moyers said, "Pass it on".

    Edited to thank Spacenurse for posting this.
    Last edit by SharonMH31 on Dec 13, '03
  13. by   Ted
    It is a brilliant article! One of the best that I've ever read regarding politics.

    I'm glad you read it.

    And we do need to Pass It On!!!

  14. by   maureeno
    standing together makes us strong

    did you see Bill Moyer last night?
    secrecy in government
    freedom of information going going going
    Last edit by maureeno on Dec 13, '03