Skip to main content

A few days ago, Josh Marshall over at TPM published a map of how various States treat collective bargaining for public employees' unions:

workermap-1

There are some obvious patterns when one considers this map (including the Red State/Blue State memes of recent years).

Deeper pattens emerge when you look at a map of Free States and Slave States as of 1857 when the Dred Scott Decision opened all US Territories (and all Free States) to Slavery:

slavery in 1857

What thing becomes clear--as you consider the modern Republican Confederate Party's effort to attack workers, Unions, the Middle Class and their rights--is that their focus is all about the theft of labor. Stealing the labor of folks is a sure fire way to get rich and it has been since, well, forever. Fighting efforts to protect people from the theft of their labor is what the modern so-called Conservative and/or Gliberterian movements are all about.

What made slavery so damn profitable was the theft of labor. It served two important purposes: 1) Free labor from your slaves, and 2) the labor you steal from your slaves helps to suppress the demand for higher wages from the labor of workers that you must pay.

Slavery offered an elite class multiple ways to cut cost and steal labor. This system of labor theft has experienced two great threats in the last 150 years. The first was the Civil War, which ended the above ground buying and selling of humans and the theft of their labor. This was a major victory in the long fight for justice, but it was not long before gains were pushed backed.

By the 1870s white supremacists had successfully used terrorism to retake political control of the former Confederacy. By the 1890s they had re-introduced slavery through a creative use of the prison system. Prisoners were leased, rented, contracted out and even sold to private individuals or corporations by State and local officials. Laws were changed and made it very easy to enslave any man, woman or child that could be caught in the new system. These laws went by many names, but collectively they were known as "Jim Crow Laws" and they were not restricted to just the South. By 1900, legalizing white supremacy through these laws had spread in some manner to every State in the Union (click links to find Jim Crow Laws in the South and Jim Crow Laws outside of the South).

The selling of convict labor and the open-ended "legal" systems created to fill the growing demand for stolen labor created an industry that lasted decades--despite regular moments of shock and outrage when this or that story of abuse bubbled up into the news of the day.

There were basically three ways that labor was stolen for private profit and corporate gain. Convicts could be supplied with materials and forced to do piece work for a private person/company by the State. Or the State could sign a contract with this or that person and/or corporation to have this or that convict work to complete this or that task--sometimes reporting back to the State prison and sometimes becoming the "property" of the contract holder (Smithonia Y'all). Worst of all were the arrangements to just lease (sell) convicts to private persons/corporations to do with that prisoner as they saw fit for the duration of their leases. This was no different than slavery and the most common way to get out of a lease was to die.

In 1900, a Congressionally required report  was issued by the Commission on Prison Labor. It showed the rise and spread of these new systems of slavery:

Rise of Neo-Slaver_Selling of Convict Labor in 1900

This system of boldly stealing the labor of convicts lasted into the 1930s (and versions of it still can be found in almost every State of the Union). It was FDR and the new Democrats of the New Deal who passed a series of laws that made the theft of labor more difficult and help workers to organize and collectively bargain for a fair and living wage. It work. A great middle class in America was created and for almost fifty years prosperity was shared.

The effort to push back against labor rights started almost immediately. By 1947 this movement was able to pass the Taft Hartley Act and open the door to new restrictions to the rights of workers. By the Reagan era in the 1980s, the movement to steal labor was repackaged and resold to the most gullible and cynical among us. Since then it has picked up a lot of steam. Laws to restrict the rights of workers have been given the very Orwellian name, "Right to Work" laws--as in in you have the right to work, but not the right to come together and ask for a fair deal. In a "Right to Work" State, a worker is on his or her own. The State will always fight against you. You are on your own sucker and you just have to deal with it. In a "Right to Unionize State" you have back-up, regardless of whether or not you work in a Union shop.

Below is a map of Right to Work States (in red) and Right to Unionize States (in blue).

Pro-Union vs Free Labor States

When all the States turn from Blue to Red, then the Middle Class in America will be gone. It will be over. The Government will be organized to promote and support the theft of Labor by the elites just as the government of the Confederate States of America was organized.

150 years ago we fought a Civil War over the question of the theft of labor. Now the Republican Confederate Party and their shock troops of TeaBagger simpletons seek a new battle over the theft of labor. I say we give it to them.

Cheers

Reposted from Balloon Juice

Originally posted to dengre on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 09:07 PM PST.

Also republished by J Town.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, JD SoOR, a gilas girl, Kimberley, Thor Heyerdahl, chase, Louise, fly, claude, bink, Tookish, JekyllnHyde, Davinci, Joe Bob, Mimikatz, tmo, RF, Trix, jazzmaniac, PhilK, hannah, Odysseus, Savage, tundraman, jam, Izixs, debcoop, teacherken, Timaeus, grumbleberries, Geenius at Wrok, tiggers thotful spot, cosbo, pHunbalanced, saraswati, DebtorsPrison, greenbird, SteinL, TechBob, Emerson, tommurphy, wu ming, Heimyankel, Pescadero Bill, billlaurelMD, Andrew C White, tacet, strandedlad, John Campanelli, eeff, rubyr, phenry, movie buff, saluda, RKS, ltsply2, frisco, dash888, joeKelley, MarkInSanFran, musicsleuth, expatjourno, Gareth, Doctor Who, silence, rasbobbo, Gustogirl, workersuntie, TheMomCat, bronte17, missLotus, 88kathy, cardinal, cskendrick, annrose, nyceve, sfgb, Agathena, ask, bluesteel, Bensdad, Bionic, PBnJ, barath, SaltWaterCroc, roses, ovals49, slatsg, peraspera, Clues, jennifree2bme, MJB, sngmama, itskevin, wonmug, ctsteve, rioduran, Iberian, hopeful, sidnora, NMRed, tomephil, Copp, Getreal1246, psnyder, ManhattanMan, DeadB0y, pat bunny, wordene, virginislandsguy, dmsmith, kevin22262, agincour, cosette, yet another liberal, texasmom, NYFM, niteskolar, Chirons apprentice, Bluehawk, defluxion10, betson08, Greg in TN, rlharry, kalmoth, Timbuk3, lcrp, kismet, Pohjola, walkshills, One bite at a time, Oaktown Girl, horatio in il, zerelda, ybruti, sarvanan17, Curt Matlock, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, Mosquito Pilot, BigDuck, bablhous, Emmy, rickeagle, Toddlerbob, furi kuri, rolet, Sybil Liberty, pat208, GeegeeMI, bibble, Timroff, J Orygun, environmentalist, My Philosophy, TexMex, Ohkwai, Tirge Caps, rogue5, Julie Gulden, drofx, humphrey, maybeeso in michigan, marina, radarlady, Ckntfld, subtropolis, PsychoSavannah, Alice Venturi, Irons33, grimjc, panicbean, citizenx, nytcek, drewfromct, YucatanMan, Dobber, Laurence Lewis, reflectionsv37, cfk, buckeyedem08, majcmb1, wiseacre, where4art, SJerseyIndy, lotlizard, blue jersey mom, ivorybill, hilltopper, markdd, Sandino, ord avg guy, Savvy813, FindingMyVoice, sodalis, coolbreeze, Dunvegan, bunsk, Rogneid, Brian B, JanL, Ekaterin, SocioSam, JanF, mightymouse, xanthippe2, Snud, Land of Enchantment, big spoiled baby, bently, signalcamp, CJnyc, martini, occams hatchet, trashablanca, gwilson, BachFan, MissInformation, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Pinko Elephant, ej25, Mr Bojangles, edwardssl, ferallike, BlueInARedState, tobendaro, dharmafarmer, hungrycoyote, ActivistGuy, wahineslc, Yellow Canary, victoria2dc, Prognosticator, kestrel9000, technomage, KenBee, dougymi, Triscula, Knighterrant, Magnifico, MTmofo, carolita, sailmaker, kck, greenearth, Lefty Coaster, global citizen, cRedd, bubbanomics, nonnie9999, gooderservice, gatorcog, imabluemerkin, plf515, CTLiberal, Preston S, Jjc2006, OMwordTHRUdaFOG, Randolph06, dirtfarmer, onionjim, dirkster42, CA Nana, profh, breakingranks, zeke7237, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, WarrenS, frankzappatista, Dreaming of Better Days, blueoregon, kurt, MadMs, revgerry, Friend of the court, ms badger, markthshark, Nulwee, Pandoras Box, DBunn, orrg1, Thinking Fella, ladypockt, FlamingoGrrl, pgm 01, dotsright, Joe Archaeologist, Cronesense, sistersilverwolf, Russ Jarmusch, tgypsy, ninkasi23, mamabigdog, gloriana, Positronicus, jds1978, blue71340, FishOutofWater, Trial Lawyer Richard, Mary Mike, la urracca, SJLeonidas, terabytes, greenchiledem, DWG, jimbobb, eOz, FischFry, newpioneer, Strabo, bnasley, puzzled, Seneca Doane, artisan, HCKAD, rivamer, klnb1019, martyinsfo, SeaTurtle, jnhobbs, millwood, jhop7, rogereaton, Librarianmom, GeorgeXVIII, Got a Grip, A Person, cacamp, 2manychefs, TomP, gizmo59, MKinTN, Dem in the heart of Texas, memofromturner, Spruce, boojieboy, JeffW, BobBlueMass, NotGeorgeWill, ScottyUrb, Cordwainer, Youffraita, Fossil, opensorcerer, Involuntary Exile, bythesea, elwior, CDH in Brooklyn, OutCarolineStreet, wvablue, KJG52, VL Baker, mikeconwell, Greasy Grant, monkeybrainpolitics, moose67, royce, senilebiker, pamelabrown, MrJayTee, Jake Williams, bluesheep, Notreadytobenice, luckylizard, Ulysses795, pelagicray, Karl Rover, Quilldriver, marketgeek, briefer, dmhlt 66, sydneyluv, papicek, Fiddlegirl, madtowntj, dreamghost, maggiejean, lancecote, in2mixin, christine20, aufklaerer, jarbyus, greengemini, be the change you seek, pvlb, Partisan Progressive, Valhalla, iteotwawki, shopkeeper, DefendOurConstitution, John Shade, geebeebee, dansmith17, MooseHB, Denise Oliver Velez, kevinpdx, Shelley99, dehydratedcracker, winkk, IreGyre, avadoria, Knarfc, jfromga, Priest Valon, Livvy5, AkaEnragedGoddess, Randtntx, JaceInVA, Larsstephens, loafer3333, Railfan, smileycreek, Christy1947, mamamorgaine, loper2008, foufou, KroneckerD, FogCityJohn, p gorden lippy, TFinSF, roadbear, Johnnythebandit, Susan Grigsby, amk for obama, The Free Agent, marsanges, wvmom, FrankCornish, Melissa J, Lost and Found, NM Ray, Eddie L, ribletsonthepan, Arenosa, gulfgal98, samanthab, pixxer, paradise50, Kristina40, peacearena, sharonsz, nickrud, nirbama, Georgia Liberal, Betty Pinson, elengul, Floande, Loose Fur, nosleep4u, wwjjd, tgrshark13, translatorpro, Onomastic, gobears2000, Colorado is the Shiznit, redlum jak, targetdemographic, ladywithafan, Miniaussiefan, the mom in the middle, Walk The Plank, Old Jay, Oldowan, kirbybruno, Jose Bidenio, BillyElliott, soothsayer99, asterkitty, ubd, California06, AnotherAmericanLie, princesspat, Ebby, mydailydrunk, trumpeter, tkwasny, marleycat, zukesgirl64, Carolyn in Oregon, thomask, slooterdam, Wheever, Ojibwa, BarackStarObama, tardis10, MRA NY, phoebesdatter, jgnyc, JayFromPA, corvaire, peregrine kate, stargaze, yaque, Safina, sound of progress, Imhotepsings, randomfacts, Vatexia, Dbug, lincoln deschain, SoCalSal, dawnspantry, StepLeftStepForward, Regina in a Sears Kit House, aerie star, Mentatmark, PrometheusUnbound, good intentions, No one gets out alive, Azazello, DawnN, Dom9000, brown and blue all over, ridemybike, JTinDC, KiB, sow hat, stature, damfino, angry marmot, Siri, IndieGuy, Skwege101, oldcrow, J Brunner Fan, Joieau, Ultranaut, Trotskyrepublican, Ginger1, congenitalefty, middleclassadvocate, peachcreek, Forward is D not R, readerwriter, supercereal, Karelin, MartyM, qannabbos, ricklewsive, wxorknot, arpear, kcmitch, Julie Waters, etherealfire, jeannew, Belidonk, monkeybox, Kinak, FrY10cK, fritzi56, GAladybug, dotdash2u

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site