“The high point was when we started receiving support, first from George Soros…”
—Jim Young Kim
Jim Yong Kim, erstwhile president of Dartmouth college and member in good standing of Barack Obama’s Harvard cabal, has been chosen to head the World Bank, the organization whose function it is to essentially redistribute wealth from developed countries to third world sinkholes. By almost all accounts, Dr. Kim is the salt of the earth, a modern-day Schweitzer determined to save the world’s wretched poor from the ravages of disease. And maybe he is. Still, the appointment begs the question: why does Obama believe a medical professional is the ideal person to administer the affairs of an international economic institution?
It doesn’t take much scratching on the shiny veneer of an Obama associate before the pink wood beneath is revealed. In September of 1998, Harvard’s Progressive (there’s that “P” word again) Student Labor Movement, aided by veteran agitators from the National Welfare Rights Organization and Obama’s old buddies from ACORN, initiated what they called the Living Wage Campaign, essentially an organizing scheme designed to unionize university employees. Their demands:
- Harvard must implement a living wage with benefits for all Harvard workers, whether directly-employed or hired through outside firms. Studies of the local cost of living, such as those conducted by the Economic Policy Institute and Wider Opportunities for Women, suggest a living wage standard of at least $12 per hour plus benefits. The wage standard must be adjusted annually for inflation, and at the very minimum should exceed the wage standard set by the Cambridge living wage ordinance: currently $11.11 per hour.
- Harvard must bring all janitorial, dining service, and security work back in-house. In recent years, Harvard has outsourced hundreds of service-sector jobs in order to slash wages and benefits, eliminate job security, bust campus unions, and deny responsibility for the resulting suffering workers experience. The damage done to workers and unions must be reversed by bringing service workers back in-house-meaning that they will be hired directly by Harvard and brought back into campus unions. Harvard has shown the feasibility of such a move in its recent reversal of its decision to outsource janitors at the Medical School.
- Harvard must adopt a card-check neutrality agreement. Card-check neutrality agreements are two-part pledges taken by employers which honor workers’ right to organize unions. First, they mandate that the employer will not launch an anti-union campaign when workers try to organize. Second, they mandate that the employer will recognize the union once a simple majority of workers has signed cards saying that they want to unionize. In creating a less oppositional climate for union organizing at Harvard, a card-check neutrality agreement would be consistent with the university’s claims that it supports collective bargaining.
- Harvard must create more opportunities for full-time work in the service sector. During the past ten years, Harvard has transferred a great deal of its service work into part-time positions in order to lower wages and eliminate benefits. Today, there are many service workers who want to work more hours but are told that they cannot. Harvard must make a formal commitment to create more full-time jobs and to provide full-time work-including year-around employment opportunities-to any service worker who requests it.
The Harvard campaign was, of course, supported by all the usual left-wing suspects. A partial listing of endorsements:
Jim Yong Kim, Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Co-Director, Program in Infectious Disease and Social Change.
Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA)
Michael Moore, performer and activist
Howard Zinn, Professor Emeritus, Boston University
Derrick Bell, Professor of Law, NYU
Donna Brazile, Campaign Manager for Al Gore
Senator John Kerry (D-MA)
Noam Chomsky, Professor, MIT
Rev. Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)
Cornel West, Harvard University Professor and Professor of Afro-American Studies and Professor of the Philosophy of Religion
Socialist Party USA Boston Local
The Bay Area Post of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (VALB)
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)
The Massachusetts State Democratic Party
Boston Democratic Socialists of America
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
Service Employees Union International (SEIU)
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., W. E. B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities
Lani Guinier, Professor of Law
John Holdren, Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy
KSG Progressive Caucus
KSG LGBT Caucus
LAMBDA (Law School Queer Society)
Middle East Law Students Association
Progressive Jewish Alliance
Society of Arab Students
Many, if not most, of the above names will be familiar to veteran Prog Watchers, and a full listing is available here: Harvard Living Wage Campaign – KeyWiki. But to gain a sense of what this group is really all about (guess), one only has to peruse their stated “Principles of Unity”:
- We work in solidarity with working people’s struggles. In order to best accomplish this and in recognition of the interconnections between local and global struggles, we strive to build relationships with other progressive movements and cooperate in coalition with other groups struggling for justice within all communities campus, local, regional, and international.
Ah, yes. Solidarity. That mating cry of the perpetually heated Redbird.
- We struggle against racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, and other forms of oppression within our society, within our organizations, and within ourselves. Not only are we collectively confronting these prejudices as inherent defects of the global economy which creates sweatshops, but we also recognize the need for individuals to confront the prejudices they have internalized as the result of living and learning in a flawed and oppressive society.
Recognizing the “inherent defects” in every society except the planned socialist utopia they intend to force on the rest of us, accompanied by self-criticism sessions—a hallmark of communist re-education. Go Harvard.
- We are working in coalition to build a grassroots student movement that challenges corporate power and that fights for economic justice. This coalition is loosely defined, thus we strive to act in coordination with one another to mobilize resources and build a national network while reserving the autonomy of individuals and campuses. We do not impose a single ideological position, practice, or approach; rather, we aim to support one another in a spirit of respect for difference, shared purpose and hope.
The goals are—in an amazing coincidence—the same as those of the current Occupy Wall Street movement. Redbirds don’t change their feathers.
4. We strive to act democratically. With the understanding that we live and learn in a state of imperfect government, we attempt to achieve truer democracy in making decisions which affect our collective work. Furthermore, we strive to empower one another as individuals and as a collective through trust, patience, and an open spirit.
Everything for the collective where everybody, as the Leader preaches, must pay their “fair share.”
“When it comes to domestic policy, I have no more important job as president than seeing to it that every American who wants to work, and is able to work, can find a job, and a job that pays a living wage.” —Barack Obama, 2010
Let’s face it—Obama’s goals haven’t changed from his student days. As Bill Flax writes at The American Thinker:
“It still appears preposterous to purport that America elected a communist ideologue. The world’s greatest beneficiary of capitalist bounty would never willingly empower a radical socialist to “fundamentally transform America.”
Unfortunately, we did, even if Americans loathe admitting it.”
Dr. Kim’s endorsement of a radical Harvard group may not be meaningful. But Obama put him in charge of the purse strings at the World Bank for a reason. Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, and Barack Obama ain’t just another president.
See: Obama’s Stink-Tank