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View Diary: Assault on labor in Michigan (12 comments)

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  •  We have to regroup (4+ / 0-)

    Losing a battle is not the end of the war. We have to resist the impulse to give up, lie down, surrender.

    We need to start making the case, LOUDLY and clearly, that unions are the road to prosperity for workers, all workers.

    Unions give us leverage to use against the rich and powerful.

    Unions benefit everyone, not just the membership.

    And if you go to work for a unionized company during the time when this state is unfortunately in the Right-to-Work column, it is to your benefit to pay the union dues, because if the union is weakened to the point where it has to decertify YOU WILL NEVER SEE ANOTHER RAISE and your benefits will exit with the union.

    We lost in the Legislature, but we can still win hearts and minds. And we can work to see that the instigators of this travesty are short-timers in the Legislature.

    Jase Bolger needs to go. We need a strong Democrat to run against him, and we need to shout loud and long about his shenanigans with election procedures and his leadership in destroying the right of workers to a fair wage and fair treatment.

    I'm not from western Michigan, so I don't know who looks good to go up against Bolger the next time he runs. But we need to start work on finding and promoting his challenger NOW.


    Wealth doesn't trickle down -- it rises up.

    by elsaf on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 12:55:15 PM PST

    •  Nationalize the debate stop fighting piecemeal. (2+ / 0-)
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      elsaf, Sarenth

      Winning hearts and minds happens when there's a broad understanding of the principles behind what you're trying to accomplish. When the whole culture is moving in that direction you have a better chance of succeeding.

      Unions didn't get the clout they had overnight. It built up over time, and was the result of a massive movement by labor to corral new immigrants at the turn of the 1900's for the purposes of organizing. It was a global mass effort with different outcomes in different countries.

      In America, we won a curious balancing act. Particularly because of the way industrialization occurred and partly because of labor shortages after both world wars, labor was eventually able to gain the upper hand.

      One of the biggest impacts on the value of labor occurred in the late '70s and early '80s with the rise of the two wage earner family. With two incomes, families could now afford what, in a one-income family economy, was beyond their reach. They now didn't need their employer to provide many of the benefits that were assumed to be part of employment, and so eventually the market stopped providing them.

      The destruction of PATCO by Reagan didn't help. And that was followed by "globalization." Manufacturing was hit hardest, and because real wages were diminishing, Americans couldn't afford not to purchase the very products that were depressing their wages.

      An economic death spiral.

      But by now, the market has absorbed the impact of the two wage earner family and globalization. China is not the panacea it once was as their own economy has absorbed the great influx of wealth there.

      China is in trouble. China does NOT have a middle class, and does not have an economy built to CONSUME its own products, but only EXPORT them. That is not an economically healthy situation. Furthermore, China's rabble rousing on the territory of the South China Sea is a very real and immediate danger. A trip to East Asia feels perilously similar to Europe in the 1930's. China would not be historically out of line to use its massive influx of wealth for territorial gain, and that rarely, if ever, ends well. World War III, anyone?

      That would put labor in the same footing as it was in the post World War II era, but none of it is very pretty.

      What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

      by equern on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 03:36:30 PM PST

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