Thursday, 6/7/12, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

12 responses to “Thursday, 6/7/12, Public Square

  1. PrairiePond shared this wisdom yesterday.

    • prairie pond

      I think people know when they are underpaid for the job they do. And given that wages have been virtually stagnant for the last 30 years while corporate cash hoardings are at record highs, how could they not know and be pissed off? Workers need someone to blame, and rather than blame their corporate overlords, they blame their fellow workers who are doing better than they do. Which, of course, suits the overlords just fine.

      Reminds me of the “Please, sir, may I have another?” phrase. Too many workers grovel at the master’s feet because they hope another crumb will be dropped. And because they have no choice if they have kids to feed, rent to pay, and other expenses just to stay alive. Too many people have no clue that if workers organized and stuck together, the corporate masters wouldn’t have such total and selfish control.

    • I saw this from another blogger and asked if I could borrow it – and he/she said please spread the news.

      Teach a man to fish and he will eat for life. Republicans will steal the fish, pawn the fishing pole and then ask the man to pay a tax in order to give more money to corporations that sell fishing poles made in China. And then Republicans will whine because the man does not pull himself by his own bootstraps.

    • bobwhite

      But that’s not all! Those who do learn to fish will be transfered, immediately, to the nearest desert. Why? It is part of the corporation’s ‘business plan.’

      • Ah, I see you’ve been listening intently to Romney’s true plans – along with his NeoCon buddies that helped Dubya with that Iraq War…..

  2. This piece takes the unions to the wood shed, and spells it out for them in a clear concise way — not just the problems and challenges but offers real solutions. Labor unions aren’t what they used to be, nor what they need to be. Will labor unions respond to their almost total ineffectiveness. What labor the labor bosses of today excel at doing is negotiating the terms of surrender. Look at Wichita and Boeing.

    (from the link): A major reason for the perception that unions mostly help insiders is that it’s true. Though unions sometimes help out in living wage campaigns, they’re too interested in their own wages and benefits and not the needs of the broader working class. Public sector workers rarely make common cause with the consumers of public services, be they schools, health care, or transit.

    Since 2000, unions have given over $700 million to Democrats—$45 million of it this year alone (Labor: Long-Term Contribution Trends). What do they have to show for it? Imagine if they’d spent that sort of money, say, lobbying for single-payer day-in, day-out, everywhere.

    So what now? Most labor people, including some fairly radical ones, detest Bob Fitch’s analysis of labor’s torpor. By all means, read his book Solidarity for Sale for the full analysis. But a taste of it can be gotten here, from his interview with Michael Yates of Monthly Review. A choice excerpt:

    Essentially, the American labor movement consists of 20,000 semi-autonomous local unions. Like feudal vassals, local leaders get their exclusive jurisdiction from a higher level organization and pass on a share of their dues. The ordinary members are like the serfs who pay compulsory dues and come with the territory. The union bosses control jobs—staff jobs or hiring hall jobs—the coin of the political realm. Those who get the jobs—the clients—give back their unconditional loyalty. The politics of loyalty produces, systematically, poles of corruption and apathy. The privileged minority who turn the union into their personal business. And the vast majority who ignore the union as none of their business.

    Bob thought that the whole model of American unionism, in which unions were given exclusive rights to bargain over contracts in closed shops, was a major long-term source of weakness. I find it persuasive; many don’t. But whatever you think of that analysis of the past is rapidly becoming irrelevant. Collective bargaining has mostly disappeared in the private sector, and now looks doomed in the public sector. There are something like 23 states with Republican governors and legislative majorities ready to imitate Walker who will be emboldened by his victory. And there are a lot of Dems ready to do a Walker Lite. If they don’t disappear, public sector unions will soon become powerless.

    That means that if unions ever want to turn things around—and I’m old-fashioned enough to believe that we’ll never have a better society without a reborn labor movement—they have to learn to operate in this new reality. Which means learning to act politically, to agitate on behalf of the entire working class and not just a privileged subset with membership cards.

  3. Maybe republicans should stop their attacks on education? Mitt Romney’s campaign misspelled the name of one of the Republican party’s most-revered figures, Ronald Reagan, in a slideshow by the campaign’s pollsters to bundlers. Meant to show how Obama’s approval numbers compare with recent re-election campaigns, the slideshow spells the Republican party hero’s name as Ronald Regan. Just a week ago the campaign spelled America “Amercia.”

    • Sad to say – but how many of Romney’s supporters would even know it was misspelled?

      Seriously, I am not trying to be cynical here…..

    • R.D. Liebst

      I see it as just another example of the message is not the point as it does not matter what is said. It is that it is said to the masses. spelling and meaning does not matter it is the sprirt and intent to get Lemings in line for the trip to the chiff’s edge.

      • Do you see the Foxxies in the Hen House as their Pied Piper? I was at a clinic yesterday having some testing done and damn it if Foxxies was not blaring away. Some person who fit the stereotype of a Teapublican said something about the Fox News Channel being so good -my reply was ‘they’re just another corporate-paid gossip group’.

        She was furious…….

  4. prairie pond

    Some friends were at the VA hospital yesterday and said Fux news was blasting away in the waiting area. All of them, especially the vet there for treatment, were highly offended. I read somewhere how many Dr. offices have Fux on the tube, and it was a huge percentage. I think it’s especially bad in a government funded building to have only Fux on the air. I mean, what’s wrong with CNN or the History Channel or ESPN, etc.?

    Generally speaking, liberals are reminded to ask the desk person in charge for a remote so you can change the channel. They may or may not cooperate, but as Indy did, it’s good to tell them you don’t like it and register a complaint.