Why 3rd Parties?

OPP member Barbara Ellis has put together a post explaining the purpose of 3rd parties for her political friends who still cling to the Democratic Party as the only hope Americans have for the nation's survival. Read on.

"...when the variety and number of political parties increases, the chance for oppression, factionalism, and nonskeptical acceptance of ideas decreases."-- James Madison

"The old parties are husks, with no real soul within either, divided on artificial lines, boss-ridden and privilege-controlled, each a jumble of incongruous elements, and neither daring to speak out wisely and fearlessly on what should be said on the vital issues of the day."-- Theodore Roosevelt

"How many more decades are we going to give them before we get rid of this least-worst, this lesser-of-two-evils mind set and start breaking this corporate grip . . . and have alternative candidates from alternative parties that stand as if people mattered first and foremost?"--Ralph Nader

Why Third Parties?

They rarely win, but 3rd party candidates are essential.

By ROBERT LONGLEY (About.com/Guide)

While their presidential candidates stand little chance of being elected, members of America's third parties have historically promoted concepts and policies that have been incorporated as important parts of our social and political lives. Here are some major examples:

Women's Right to Vote.  Both the Prohibition and Socialist Parties promoted women's suffrage during the late 1800's. By 1916, both Republicans and Democrats supported it and by 1920 the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote had been ratified.

Child Labor Laws.  The Socialist Party first advocated laws establishing minimum ages and limiting hours of work for American children in 1904. The Keating-Owen Act established such laws in 1916.

Immigration Restrictions.  The Immigration Act of 1924 came about as a result of support by the Populist Party starting as early as the early 1890's.

Reduction of Working Hours.  You can thank the Populist and Socialist Parties for the 40-hour work week. Their support for reduced working hours during the 1890's led to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

Income Tax.  In the 1890's, the Populist and Socialist Parties supported a "progressive" tax system that would base a person's tax liability on their amount of income. The idea led to ratification of the 16th Amendment in 1913.

Social Security.  The Socialist Party also supported a fund to provide temporary compensation for the unemployed in the late 1920's. The idea led to the creation of laws establishing unemployment insurance and the Social Security Act of 1935.

Read more ...

OPP Member Barbara Ellis Proposes a New WPA with 15 Million Jobs

Put 15 Million Back to Work Fixing $2.2 Trillion in Infrastructure: the Works Progress Administration

[NOTE: The Oregon Progressive Party (OPP) has become the first party in the nation to endorse the resurrection of the WPA (Works Progress Administration) as a major solution to hiring millions of the 15 million unemployed to work on the $2.2 trillion needed repairs on America's infrastructure.

The author of this article is Barbara G. Ellis, an OPP member. It appeared in TruthOut, a major internet new/analysis website dealing with progressive issues. The first third of the article involves the current spate of nationally known columnists strongly urging a WPA-II: Paul Krugman, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, Bob Herbert, Rich Lowry, Michael Moore, and others. The middle third gives a brief history of the WPA and its accomplishments during the Great Depression. And the last third includes a suggested plan for the program to be implemented under the co-direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Navy’s Seabees (the construction batallion).

The Corps of Engineers directed the program throughout the 1935-43 period of the Great Depression. Some 8 million of the 25 million unemployed were WPA-ers, and almost every county in the nation were touched by the many programs under its umbrella, especially Oregon with the Bonneville Dam and Timberline Lodge, and Government Camp.

The full article is presented, if you click on its title above.]

by: Barbara G. Ellis Ph.D.
Truthout July 23, 2011

Perhaps all is not lost for the republic's economic future, even as its leaders let this nation hurtle toward the abyss of the Great Depression II. An immensely successful, sensible and practical solution is being signaled by increasingly thunderous shout-outs from prominent people: pundits Paul Krugman, Bob Herbert, Rich Lowry, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, filmmaker Michael Moore and two new web sites - not to mention millions of voters with long memories and the friends and families of the nation's 15,000,000 unemployed.

Their solution? Resurrect the phenomenally successful Works Progress Administration (WPA) of 1935-1943. It put food on the table, kept a roof overhead and put spending money in the pockets of nearly nine million jobless. They built everything from roads, bridges, dams and utility systems to schools and hospitals. They staffed libraries and taught more than a million adults and 90,000 draftees how to read.     Read more at Truthout...

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