• The Rise and Subsequent Downward Slide of the Middle Class in the United States Since 1938

    by John M Repp An economic historian looking at the USA over the past 70 years would be alarmed, assuming they wanted the American people to be healthy and happy. The two charts below tell much of the story. In the first chart, the minimum wage kept pace with the rise in productivity from 1938 to 1968 as the left-hand half of the chart shows. That was the period when the great American middle-class came on the stage of history. After 1968 the productivity curve climbed ever higher but the minimum wage and the general wage level stagnated. This means there was a great increase in wealth creation, but the wage earners, which was most of the American population, were…

  • September 2021 Newsletter print edition

    The latest print version of Pacific Call is now available as a pdf to view or download. See the latest articles including the ones posted since our last newsletter issue, plus some enlightning tidbits! Click here Full URL is https://wwfor.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/PacificCall0921.pdf

  • Making War Obsolete

    by John M Repp We should have abolished war after World War II. That war was so lethal and so destructive, even before the dropping of the atomic bombs, that had people understood that there is a real alternative to deadly violent conflict, humanity might have taken another path. Instead, we took the path of nuclear deterrence which is a desperate and bankrupt policy that endangers our very existence. Why have we not abolished war? Gene Sharp (now deceased) of the Albert Einstein Institute says it is because people see a need to defend themselves from foreign occupations, coup d’états and/or dictatorial regimes, and we do not know there is another way. The mythology of conventional history as told by…

  • Why North Dakota Wheat Farmers Needed a Public Bank – and Why We Do, Too

    by Stoney Bird North Dakota wheat farmers had had it. Mill owners, grain elevator operators, and railroads, mostly based in Minneapolis, had them at their mercy and their own state government, whether under the Democrats or Republicans, was not stepping up. So, the farmers took the bit in their teeth. They formed something called the Nonpartisan League. The League took North Dakota – and many neighboring states and Canadian provinces – by storm. To get the word out the League sent out organizers who were paid commissions each time they signed up a new member of the League and who were issued the newest thing in communications gear – a Model T Ford – so that they could traverse the…

  • Prohibiting First Use of Nuclear Weapons

    A letter to the Editor of the Seattle Times, written by Louise Lansberry, sent the week after April 22, 2021: Dear Editor, Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 21-1 (There are 12 Democrats and 10 Republicans on the committee) in support of the Strategic Competition Act of 2021.  It appears that the desire to support a very hostile position toward China is a bi-partisan affair.  All the old issues are repeated:  human rights abuses, absence of democratic institutions, unfair trade practices, stealing of intellectual property are among the complaints. As if the United States has an unblemished record on any of these matters.  The danger, as Henry Kissinger pointed out at a recent conference, is the doomsday potential…

  • What If a Tsunami Hits the Hood Canal Submarine Base?

    by Mary Hanson An article by Josh Farley in the 4-27-21 Kitsap Sun makes the case for closing the Bangor Trident Base as soon as possible. In 2012 and following years, Ground Zero and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility (led by Glen Milner of Ground Zero) filed a lawsuit to attempt to stop the Navy from building a second explosives handling wharf at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor. There were many reasons why this wharf increased the risk of a “dirty bomb” accident, mainly because the second wharf was to be built too close to the first one, and an accident at one would cause an accident at the other.  My concern, then as now, was that the chance of a…

  • Mother’s Call to End War

    by Tom Ewell One of the great, passionate statements opposing war was created by Julia Ward Howe following the Civil War and delivered on September 11, 1870, as an “Appeal to Womanhood Throughout the World.” Her initiative led to a commemoration of Mother’s Peace Day in 1872, and President Wilson eventually established America’s official commemoration of Mother’s Day in 1914, again as our country was about to absorb the reality of the terrible carnage of WW I. It is well to remember that Mother’s Day originated as a declaration against war. Howe’s declaration stated in part: “We will not have great questions [of war] decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses…

  • Racism is the cause of America’s lack of a good healthcare for all system

    by John M Repp America is the only wealthy country in the world that does not insure, guarantee, and pay for most of the health care in the country. In addition, our total healthcare costs are about twice what most wealthy nations pay. As a result of these sad facts, hundreds of thousands of people have to declare bankruptcy every year here because of the medical care costs. It is a disgrace and a national scandal. The question is why is this so? Thom Hartmann just completed a new book on American healthcare in his Hidden History series. I quote one of his findings:  “in my research (I) found that literally every single effort to provide Americans with a national…

  • The Wealthy Like Redistribution-If the Money Goes Into Their Pockets

    by John M Repp Published on Sunday, December 02, 2012 by Common Dreams, edited by the author in 2021. Republicans and the corporate media are always saying that taxing the rich is “redistribution of wealth”. As if the capitalist economy is not itself a great redistribution engine! In its normal workings, capitalism redistributes the money and labor of poor and working people to the rich. As John Ruskin wrote in Unto the Last in 1862, rich and poor are relative words like north and south. Gandhi read Ruskin’s book and he said that it changed his life. Most people think of wealth as an absolute and too many also think that everyone could become wealthy with the right application of…

  • No title

    by James Manista (edited by John M Repp) The military can no more forsake newer costlier weapons than flies above a summer pasture can avoid fresh cow flop. Whether it is iron over bronze for spearheads, steel over iron for cannons, titanium over aluminum for jets—despite the cost, the new is better and required.  No surprise. New weapons are like new toys to their minds, not shiny new—more likely black and drab. Yet except for a few old school hardliners, experts have agreed there are some weapons which—however technically perfected—should just stay banned.  Not everyone agrees. In recent memory Saddam Hussein used poison gas on his Iraqi countrymen. Syrian factions (they keep blaming each other) have barrel-bombed their helpless counterparts…