The Aug. 25 Bellingham Herald featured an Associated Press report headlined "Most laid-off workers paid less at new jobs" telling of the dismal state of affairs in the labor market. Nearly half (of those looking) can't find work, and those that do usually find themselves underemployed and underpaid. In part, the article speaks to the challenge this is to Mr. Obama and his re-election. No doubt. But the more formidable challenge is to the American people and the values they vote. One of the reasons so many of the freshly re-employed are now earning less is that they lost public service jobs with good pay and benefits. True, they are casualties, along with many others, of the Great Recession. But also ongoing, well before the calamity, was a ferocious propaganda campaign intended to set worker against worker, the people against their own government and the very real work it does on our behalf. Instead of organizing to improve their own working lives, many Americans have allowed themselves to be duped into attacking their neighbors who have reasonable lives at work. Friends, we have been conned into resenting in others what should be the norm for all of us. The saddest consequence of all is that hard-fought battles long ago won on behalf of working people will now have to be fought again. And we did it to ourselves.