Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

Kevin Drum Has it Right

What’s more, the older I get and the more obvious the devastating effects of the demise of the American labor movement become, the less neoliberal I get. The events of the past two years, in which the massed forces of capital came within a hair’s breadth of destroying the world economy, and yet, phoenix-like, have come out richer and morepowerful than before, ought to have convinced nearly everyone that business interests and the rich are now almost literally out of control.

There’s more over at Mother Jones’ “Liberals and Labor” as well as a couple of past blogs Drum has written discussing the demise of labor unions.  I disagree with his taken on the inability of Unions to ever rise back up as a significant factor on the policy forefront.  On the other hand, there is a small part of me that fears he is right.

Of course…countering the attitude show in the poster on the wall in this clip from “Fun with Dick and Jane” would be a good place to start.  Did you catch it?  It says “Unions Serve Their Interests, Not Yours.”  It’s a tasty tidbit pandered about by the Big Boys of Business insinuating that unions are just a third party to the employment relationship.  I find that odd…considering that each and every union member IS the union.  In my mind too much focus is placed on union servicing organizations like AFCME or other umbrella organizations like the AFL-CIO.  These organizations are used by MEMBERS of a union who utilize their knowledgeable business agents in filing grievances and collective bargaining.  These services, while very helpful, do not a union make.

What we have here is not a failure in concept, but messaging.  Seriously, it’s as if the same fools who are in charge of the messaging surrounding various progressive causes got their start with the messaging about unions.  For once…would someone…somewhere start changing the spin machine?  Are we seriously going to let the same folks who got us here continue to control the “truth” (such as it were anyway)?


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