Sunday, February 18, 2007

Hazard pay: Comparing a stateside CEO's job description with a Marine's in Iraq

Let's review the obvious once again. George Bush's spectacular boondoggle -- artfully known as The War on Iraq -- has gone on longer than World War II, has cost MORE than World War II and is totally disorganized, unplanned, and unfair. And, even more important, Bush is losing this war. Eisenhower never did that.

Of course there are Bush's glaringly obvious mistakes such as losing 363 tons of $100 bills, killing 665,000 Iraqi citizens in cold blood, getting caught red-handed with forged intelligence documents and looting the U.S. Treasury for the benefit of his war-profiteer cronies and his Swiss bank account -- those are a given. But what REALLY infuriates me is the way Bush mal-treats, mis-uses, exploits and neglects America's finest and bravest Marines who are now fighting in Iraq.

I have a friend who has a son in the Marines, currently serving over in bloody Anbar province, and he writes home that his unit isn't even being issued body armor -- let alone Swiss bank accounts!

Trust me. The Marines themselves, the ones who are doing the actual fighting and laying their lives on the line, are NOT getting their pockets lined off of this war. Not at all. In fact, they are being taken advantage of, exploited, used and abused.

To illustrate my point, let's look at our loyal and brave Marines from another point of view -- not as soldiers and fighting men but as workers who are performing their jobs for a wage. Let's then compare the work that they are doing (and the wages that they receive) in Iraq with equivalent workloads, benefits and pay that workers receive here at home in the USA.

Let's pull out some job descriptions here.

Your typical average Marine's job requires him to work up to (and sometimes more than) 18 hours a day and to work in hazardous conditions -- even coal miners never had it this hard. Farm workers' jobs are easy compared to a Marine's. He is routinely subject to hazardous materials, hazardous equipment, hazardous housing, hazardous work environments, hazardous food rations, hazardous overtime and hazardous assignments -- but NOT HAZARD PAY.

What American working stiff would put up with that kind of job description for even a minute!

Not since slavery was abolished, coal mine safety was instituted, "Robber Baron" monopolies were broken up and child labor was outlawed have American workers performed their jobs under such hazardous conditions for such little pay -- and under the thumb of such avaricious, scheming and cruel bosses -- as do our proud Marines serving in Iraq.

NO ONE would do this same job stateside for less that $100,000 a year. And doing it for $200,000 a year would still be a steal. Yet these loyal, trustworthy and skilled employees get HOW much take-home pay for the slave-labor they perform in Iraq? It's laughable.

Now compare a Marine's job description with that of a stateside CEO who takes home more than a million bucks a year. He sits behind a desk. He persuades teenagers to spend their parents' money on junk they don't need. He acerbates global warming. He outsources American jobs to overseas. And he gives money to lobbyists to corrupt our Congress. And he gets PAID bigtime to do this.

On the one hand, Marines are performing higher quality work at a much harder job. And they are laying down their lives FOR A LIE so that George Bush and his friends in Washington can line their Swiss bank accounts with our taxpayers' money. On the other hand, who in America is making 250 times more than their hard-working employees -- just for sitting behind a desk and making a few phone calls?

Who do you think performs the greatest service to America? And who do you think should be getting the highest pay? The CEO or the Marine? The Marine!

But in the corrupt and crazy world that the Bush neo-cons have created, who is actually getting the life-time gold-plated healthcare plan, the limo rides to the airport, the haute couture, caviar and fine wines? And who is lying in their own filth in Building 18 of Walter Reed hospital after returning as an amputee from their "job" in Iraq, living in trailer parks and eating PB&J sandwiches just to survive on the meager pension they are given and waiting for MONTHS just to be seen at the VA?

America, get your priorities straight. Marines? Join a union! CEOs? You need to remember that America is giving you all the big gifts that you demand and you're living LARGE now -- but you still put your trousers on one leg at a time just like the rest of us. And also remember that trousers aren't the only things that come with two legs. Orange jumpsuits do too.