Date Posted

A Message from Business Manager Chris Erikson

This weekend, I had the opportunity to spend some time at the Long Island Educational Center in Cutchogue, NY. The critical thinking class this year explores the dangers of misinformation and disinformation, and how people can be swayed to accept as truth anything they hear or read over and over again. Harry used to warn us, “It must be true – I read it in the newspaper.” Today, the Internet is being used by all sorts of people representing different interests to influence you to believe what they want you to believe. The Nazis used disinformation effectively and falsely to justify the extermination of millions of Jews in Europe. Trump and the extreme MAGA right continue to influence people with lies. The Russians continue to attempt to meddle in our elections by spreading disinformation across the Internet until it gets picked up by elected officials who then spout it without understanding its impact.

Tell the same lie over and over and over, and people will be convinced it must be true. Bernie Sanders highlighted one aspect of this, exposing the Koch brothers' echo chamber on Social Security. They funded right-wing think tanks to write papers stating that Social Security was going broke, Fox News and other conservative media put them on TV, and soon the politicians were repeating it over and over, proposing to raise the retirement age and pushing private accounts to replace Social Security. Wall Street would have gotten rich and working people would have risked their retirement savings in the stock market. We have been showing that video at the LI Educational Center for a decade. Check it out on YouTube.

Our Democracy is at risk today. Our Union is at risk. Make the effort to get out to the Educational Center this season. Call the Educational and Cultural Trust Fund at (718) 591-2000 ext. 1530 and sign up for the Critical Thinking seminar. You won’t be disappointed; you’ll be enlightened.

Additionally, the 'A' rate, annuity, and HRA contributions go up this week. We awarded 47 $30,000 scholarships on Saturday, April 6th.

Despite our challenges, we continue to make progress, and as long as our members remain united and active, we will prevail.