Skip to main content

What Does Labor Want?

We want more schoolhouses and less jails;
More books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice;
More leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge;
In fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better lives . . .

These are words of Samuel Gompers, which you can read on the wall of the meeting room in AfL-CIO headquarters in Washington, DC.

We have come through an election cycle in which Labor played a major role.

We are in a time where workers are now asserting themselves -  against WalMart, against Hostess.

Some will attempt to demonize labor as selfish, but look again at these words:

We want more schoolhouses and less jails  we have already privatized much of our incarceration of people, we are willing to spend on Supermax prisons but not on schools that are not falling apart.  Labor knows which is more important.

More books and less arsenals - President and General Dwight David Eisenhower echoed these words both in his military-industrial complex remarks and when he said

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.
more learning and less vice  we seem not to have learned from the past what Gompers saw so clearly, that catering to the vice of greed and the whims of the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the many does our society little good.

More leisure and less greed Think of the large merchandisers who have moved from Black Friday to Thanksgiving Day itself - profits over thanks, over time with families and friends

 more justice and less revenge The just concluded election was about justice on so many levels - marriage equality, decriminalizing marijuana, fair taxes, sustaining of the social safety net . . .  as for revenge, we can see it in the attacks on Ambassador Susan Rice, in the actions of CEOs laying off workers, closing plants, raising prices rather than paying their fair share of health care out of their already excessive profits.

Samuel Gompers was right.  Labor is right.

What labor wants is In fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better lives . . .  Our government and our politics should facilitate that.  

That is what this election was about.  


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

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site