Libertarian for President; Former Democratic Senator (AK)
Communists helped unions end child labor & set 8-hr workday
The Communist Party had been involved in organizing major labor unions since its inception in 1919. Let me say it: the pressure exerted by these unions ended child labor and won the eight-hour work day. But the Smith Act of 1940, signed by
FDR, made it illegal to advocate the violent overthrow of the government. That gave the unions authority to purge Communists from their ranks, making Communism pretty much a spent force in America.
In addition, American workers bought into the explosion of consumerism, not Communism, as the way to improve their lives in post-war America.
McCarthyís hysteria was based largely on his own lust for power and notoriety, as he exploited television as a new factor in American politics. He also exploited the fear that spread with the Sovietís explosion of a nuclear device in 1949.
Gravel supports the following principles regarding jobs:
Increase funding for national job-training programs that retrain displaced workers or teach skills needed in todayís job market.
Increase the federal minimum wage.
Support the right of workers to unionize.
Source: Presidential Election 2008 Political Courage Test
Apr 22, 2008
Claims 100% rating with AFL-CIO for full legislative career
Former Sen. Gravel was the only Democratic presidential candidate who didnít appear at the forum. The AFL CIO didnít invite him because he failed to return its questionnaire on time, which was distributed to all Democratic and Republican candidates.
According to CNN.com, Gravel said, ďItís our mistake, but they are using our mistake to deny me an appearance before the AFL CIO group and I had a 100 percent voting record for twelve years as senator and four years in the state legislature.Ē
Source: FactCheck.org on 2007 AFL-CIO Democratic primary forum
Aug 7, 2007
Minimum wage as president OK, but we need living wage
Q: If youíre elected to serve as president, would you be willing to do this service for the next four years and be paid the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour?
GRAVEL: Oh, yes, I would, but I would say that we donít need a minimum wage; we need a
living wage. We donít have that in this country because of what they passed.
DODD: I donít think I could live on the minimum wage, but Iím a strong advocate to seeing to it that we increase it at least to $9 or $10.
OBAMA: We could afford to do it for a few years. Most folks canít. And thatís why weíve got to fight and advocate for [an increase].
Q: Would you serve at minimum wage?
RICHARDSON: Yes, I would.
BIDEN: I couldnít afford to stay in the Congress
for the minimum wage. But if I get a second job, Iíd do it.
KUCINICH: I think we need to increase the minimum wage and so all my neighbors can get an increase in their wages.
Citizens Wage: individuals share in nationís total affluence
For a nation supposedly devoted to the ideas of democracy, it is a curious fact that the most important aspect of daily life in America--the aspect of work--is almost totally removed from any association with democracy.
The question a peopleís platform
must address is how every American can participate in the economy and obtain from it the basic financial security which is their share of this material affluence. I believe it should be done through a Citizenís Wage, to which everyone is entitled
at birth and which is available to the worker and the poor alike. The Citizenís Wage should be seen as a dividend from the nationís total affluence and as a reflection of each personís right to economic security. The amount paid to the individual should
be geared realistically to the level of income needed to maintain a minimum, decent standard of living. The Citizenís Wage should also become an effective tool for the long-run economic improvement of our entire society.
Sponsored bill helping employees buy closing businesses.
Gravel sponsored helping employees buy businesses that are closing or moving
OnTheIssues.org EXPLANATION: Provides federal loan guarantees for Employee Stock Ownership Plans for businesses where the business is moving away or going bankrupt.
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: A bill to preserve jobs and stabilize communities by facilitating employee or employee-community ownership of concerns that would otherwise close down, move out of the community or be sold by existing owners to unrelated outside interests, and to promote broadened stock ownership of such concerns through employee stock ownership plans, general stock ownership plans, and other broadened ownership plans.
EXCERPTS FROM BILL:
Job Preservation and Community Stabilization Act:
Directs the Secretary of Commerce to identify those business organizations which are in danger of ceasing operation and whose closing or relocation would result in substantial unemployment and economic dislocation in the community.
Directs the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to provide loans for technical assistance and loan guarantees for startup and operating costs to a employee-community corporation in order that it may assume ownership and operation of an organization so identified.
Conditions loans upon allowing new employees to participate in acquisition of stock, and making it available to all employees on a nondiscriminatory basis.
Permits such organizations to adopt any ownership form they choose, provided that: (1) all employees of the concern will be offered an opportunity to participate in the ownership plan; and (2) employees subject to a collective bargaining agreement will be included in such an offering, unless the representing union waives uch participation.
Provides for nondiscrimination in the programs funded by this Act.
Source: Voluntary Broadened Stock Ownership Act (S.1058) 79-S1058 on May 2, 1979