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Kennedy speach to Unions, benefits & full employment.


Guest Stephen Turner
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Guest Stephen Turner

Exactly one week before his death JFK spoke at the AM Federation of labour, and congress of independant organizations convention, and explained his economic beliefs in how a peicetime economy could thrive. And how important it was that all members of society be given the opportunity to participate in prosperity. Here are some high-lights from a long speach.

"We have increased the minimum wage to $1 25c an hour, which is still much too low."

" we will increase social security benefits to both men, and Women, and decrease the age of retierment to 62."

"Granting, for the first time in the history of the United States, public assistance too several hundred thousand children of unemployed Fathers, and extending the benefits of nearly three million jobless workers."

" I am here today to talk about the right to work, the right to have a job in this country, in a time of such massive prosperity."

"four million of our fellow citizen are without work, All the people who opposed the efforts were making to try to improve this situation, who talked to us for so long about Socialism, and deficits should take a long hard look at that figure"

"There are those that oppose more money for depressed areas and job retraining,AND THEY ARE POWERFUL AND ARTICULATE.they campaign on a platform of so called individual initiative, and talk darkly about socialism. AND THEY HATE THE EFFORTS WE ARE MAKING.

"This prosperity must be used to sustain a better society, to improve our Schools, rebiuld our cities, to council our youth, to assure our health, and to care for our aged and infirm."

"Next Monday the Houseways and means committee will open its hearings on a bill too long delayed, to provide hospital insurance for all our older citizens."

Look at the kind of society that JFK is proposing. full employment, good, free education, decent benefits, and health care, the right to share prosperity amoungst all society, early retirement, and an end to childhood poverty. Now contrast it with todays reality. no wonder they had to shoot the guy....

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Guest Stephen Turner

are those that oppose more money for depressed areas and job retraining,AND THEY ARE POWERFUL AND ARTICULATE.they campaign on a platform of so called individual initiative, and talk darkly about socialism. AND THEY HATE THE EFFORTS WE ARE MAKING.

quote]

One other thing, just who do you suppose Kennedy is refering to in the above quote? As it seems to go much further than simply describing GOP opponents. It also hints at efforts to lable JFK a "communist" and traitor, thereby legitimising his assassination.

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are those that oppose more money for depressed areas and job retraining,AND THEY ARE POWERFUL AND ARTICULATE.they campaign on a platform of so called individual initiative, and talk darkly about socialism. AND THEY HATE THE EFFORTS WE ARE MAKING.

quote]

One other thing, just who do you suppose Kennedy is refering to in the above quote? As it seems to go much further than simply describing GOP opponents. It also hints at efforts to lable JFK a "communist" and traitor, thereby legitimising his assassination.

Steve,

One would think he was referring to the Republican Party but it could also be a veiled reference to the (1963) existing power structure. "They" were obviously listening and this speech was just another nail in JFK's coffin.

Interesting stuff, Steve. Overall, it was an interesting reform pledge, although not a lot of meat on the bones. JFK probably would have delivered, or would have given it a decent shot.

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Guest Stephen Turner

Mark, I think your right, JFK is, I believe refering, even if obliquely to, for want of a better word, the vested interest group. As regards his reforming zeal, it must be remembered this was a speach to the Unions, but reading the whole speach it rings true, and as such was a harbinger for what his enemies really feared, a landslide victory giving Kennedy a chance to have at civil rights, and issues of equality, and all the time Bobby waiting in the wings..

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Mark, I think your right, JFK is, I believe refering, even if obliquely to, for want of a better word, the vested interest group. As regards his reforming zeal, it must be remembered this was a speach to the Unions, but reading the whole speach it rings true, and as such was a harbinger for what his enemies really feared, a landslide victory giving Kennedy a chance to have at civil rights, and issues of equality, and all the time Bobby waiting in the wings..

Stephen

There is an excellent book written by Irving Bernstein

titled, "Promises Kept." Bernstein writes of the domestic policies

Kennedy was working on at the time of his assassination. JFK

was indeed aiming at making a better life for the average American.

One area Bernstein writes of is the battle JFK had with

U.S. Steel's attempt at raising the general level of steel prices. I'm

sure Kennedy's successful fight against the huge steel company didn't

make him many friends within the corporate world.

Bill C

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Guest Stephen Turner

Bill, how right, and once we add into the mix the oil depletion allowance, and potential future battles with the federal reserve, we can observe just how deeply unpopular Kennedy must have been with American multi-nationals. Also, what if Mega companies like Dow, and Bell helicopter felt that Kennedy was about to depart S/E Asia in his second term? Not only must Kennedy be gone, but his manner of departure must be so graphic that no future President will attempt to tread the same path.

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Exactly one week before his death JFK spoke at the AM Federation of labour, and congress of independant organizations convention, and explained his economic beliefs in how a peicetime economy could thrive. And how important it was that all members of society be given the opportunity to participate in prosperity. Here are some high-lights from a long speach.

"We have increased the minimum wage to $1 25c an hour, which is still much too low."

" we will increase social security benefits to both men, and Women, and decrease the age of retierment to 62."

"Granting, for the first time in the history of the United States, public assistance too several hundred thousand children of unemployed Fathers, and extending the benefits of nearly three million jobless workers."

" I am here today to talk about the right to work, the right to have a job in this country, in a time of such massive prosperity."

"four million of our fellow citizen are without work, All the people who opposed the efforts were making to try to improve this situation, who talked to us for so long about Socialism, and deficits should take a long hard look at that figure"

"There are those that oppose more money for depressed areas and job retraining,AND THEY ARE POWERFUL AND ARTICULATE.they campaign on a platform of so called individual initiative, and talk darkly about socialism. AND THEY HATE THE EFFORTS WE ARE MAKING.

"This prosperity must be used to sustain a better society, to improve our Schools, rebiuld our cities, to council our youth, to assure our health, and to care for our aged and infirm."

"Next Monday the Houseways and means committee will open its hearings on a bill too long delayed, to provide hospital insurance for all our older citizens."

Look at the kind of society that JFK is proposing. full employment, good, free education, decent benefits, and health care, the right to share prosperity amoungst all society, early retirement, and an end to childhood poverty. Now contrast it with todays reality. no wonder they had to shoot the guy....

Hi Stephen,

So it would seem that JFK's position on social and domestic policy was just as threatening to the right-wing zealots in government and business (Nixon, military and intel types, Suite 8F, etc.) as was his foreign policy (getting out of Vietnam, peaceful coexistence with Castro's Cuba, Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, etc.). If Kennedy's foreign policy was the driving force behind his murder, his domestic policy was simply icing on the cake for the right-wing.

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Guest Stephen Turner

Greg, this is a snapshot of a president laying out his domestic agenda for his second term, he sounds confident and energised and openly talks of "those who oppose us" In the end analysis what got JFK killed was his almost certain re-election, with a landslide, in 64. No Dallas kill zone would have been needed if Kennedy was an obvious lame duck, one term president.

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Kennedy was fairly reactionary during the early period of his presidency. This is reflected in his choice of LBJ as vice-president (this cost him the support of a lot of trade unionists – LBJ had a long record of being anti-labour). He speeded up the arms race, adding $7 billion to the military budget in the first year of his term and $10 billion over the next two years. He also agreed to the Bay of Pigs and an increase in the number of military “advisers” in Vietnam.

However, his views changed dramatically after the Cuban Missile Crisis. His 1963 Tax Reform Bill was very progressive (it planned to bring an end to the oil depletion allowance and other tax loopholes). He also called for changes to the Federal Reserve and began trying to reduce tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, a policy that led to the Test Ban Treaty.

Most importantly of all, the began to attempt to clean up corruption in American politics. This is why he told Evelyn Lincoln that he was going to remove Lyndon Johnson as his running mate. Robert Kennedy began leaking information on Johnson’s illegal activities to John Williams that led to Bobby Baker resigning from office. Kennedy also sacked Fred Korth as Secretary of the Navy because of the TFX scandal (officially Korth resigned over using government notepaper to further his business interests).

JFK also started an investigation into the “stockpile scandal”. This, like the investigations of TFX and the Bobby Baker cases, were terminated by LBJ.

Kennedy also began pushing for a new Civil Rights Act. However, in 1963 it was still being blocked by LBJ’s mates in the Deep South.

Therefore, I do believe the statement on the minimum wage, etc. was significant. It was all part of a new program that suggested JFK had changed direction. In doing so, he was betraying his financial backers. He was indeed entering dangerous territory.

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Kennedy was fairly reactionary during the early period of his presidency. This is reflected in his choice of LBJ as vice-president (this cost him the support of a lot of trade unionists – LBJ had a long record of being anti-labour). He speeded up the arms race, adding $7 billion to the military budget in the first year of his term and $10 billion over the next two years. He also agreed to the Bay of Pigs and an increase in the number of military “advisers” in Vietnam.

However, his views changed dramatically after the Cuban Missile Crisis. His 1963 Tax Reform Bill was very progressive (it planned to bring an end to the oil depletion allowance and other tax loopholes). He also called for changes to the Federal Reserve and began trying to reduce tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, a policy that led to the Test Ban Treaty.

Most importantly of all, the began to attempt to clean up corruption in American politics. This is why he told Evelyn Lincoln that he was going to remove Lyndon Johnson as his running mate. Robert Kennedy began leaking information on Johnson’s illegal activities to John Williams that led to Bobby Baker resigning from office. Kennedy also sacked Fred Korth as Secretary of the Navy because of the TFX scandal (officially Korth resigned over using government notepaper to further his business interests).

JFK also started an investigation into the “stockpile scandal”. This, like the investigations of TFX and the Bobby Baker cases, were terminated by LBJ.

Kennedy also began pushing for a new Civil Rights Act. However, in 1963 it was still being blocked by LBJ’s mates in the Deep South.

Therefore, I do believe the statement on the minimum wage, etc. was significant. It was all part of a new program that suggested JFK had changed direction. In doing so, he was betraying his financial backers. He was indeed entering dangerous territory.

I think this is indeed getting close to the true picture of who Kennedy was and why the assassination. My contention is perhaps more 'perceptual'. What I mean is that the choices he made revealed his true self. Before 1960 he was NOT president. So to do what a president CAN do he must first get elected. Once elected he is privy to information and views that are not otherwise available. Being privy to this he then through his choices reveals his true self.

This true self is two Kennedys. Robert was integral.

These two 'upperclass' dudes became aware of things they may otherwise have been insulated from.

'Kennedy was fairly reactionary during the early period of his presidency.' 'his views changed dramatically' 'JFK had changed direction' are (IMO) incorrect.

There is evidence (his siding with Corretta and Martin in 1960 when Hoover described King as the most dangerous Negro. Roberts rushing to Charles Evers side in june 1963, for example) that he never 'changed', but rather once elected 'revealed' himself.

Similarly I'd argue he didn't change direction but rather he changed the direction of policy. Because of who he already was. (Basically, I suppose, a goodhearted man who was also a realistic politician.)

Among other things, in his first month as president, Kennedy

scroll down and click to further pages.

http://www.mdah.state.ms.us/arlib/contents...20|1|1|1|22876|

promised full steam ahead on .. number one priority ... added unemployment benfits, ,,, aid to depressed areas, medical care for aged, aid to education.

improved relations with canada

messaged Kruschev expressing a wish to better understand

brought end to flight engineer strike by promising investigation

appointed G Mennen Williams, governor of Michigan, strong liberal and supporter of civil rights, to the post of Assistant secretgary of State of African Affairs, calling the job 'second to none' in importance

appointed Dr Robert C Weaver to Director of housing agency, the first Negro (a strong civil rights advocate) to hold such a high political post. 25 million americans live in housing that is 'not good enough'

Choose the first native american to hold the position of head of Bureau of Indian Affairs in 90 years, Mr John O. Crow, while also strengthening this department.

Edited by John Dolva
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