Skip to main content

Chart plotting union density against inequality. When union density is low, inequality is higher.
As the chart above from Unions Work shows, over the past nearly hundred years of American history, when union density has been low, inequality has been high. Union density isn't the only factor in that, of course. But it's not a coincidence. Neither is this:
Chart showing that union density and middle class share of the national income have declined along similar lines.
There are lots of complicated economic and political factors. But they tend to boil down to upward shifts in money and power, and workers getting squeezed. Even if you're not in a union, the fate of unions affects us all.

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

  •  Yeah. (31+ / 0-)

    Too bad there wasn't a national party that promised to pass card check union elections and then won both houses of congress and the presidency.  

    That would have really come in handy over the past few years.  

    •  Why is it that so many union members are no (5+ / 0-)

      longer Dem voters. Look at KY and the coal miners. Reagan convinced enough of them to "come on down."

      Many union members have a love/hate relationship with their unions and other unions.

      Union corruption was the start of union downfall. Their reputation has never recovered from the 50s. Everyone loves "On the Waterfront", but that was a wake-up call to the rest of the country about the bad side of unions.

      Multiple strikes by transport workers in Philly during the 50s and 60s did nothing to improve public approval. Working people depended heavily on buses, subways, etc. At the time many didn't have cars and those who did were stuck in traffic for hours or stayed home and lost their pay check.

      During the fight for civil rights, some unions refused to open their shops to blacks.

      In Philly during WWII the public transport union members went on strike when the company was forced to put blacks in driver jobs replacing whites who went off to war.

      Unions were part of their own demise.

      It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Mon May 26, 2014 at 10:42:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Amen (6+ / 0-)

        My dad was in the United Steelworkers union for 30 years.  he considered Unions "a necessary evil".  While he conceded that the Unions "got the working man everything he has", and that "Unions benefited the managers, too, because companies had to give them at least what the workers got,and more", he also HATED the fact that Unions protected the lowest common denominator.  

        He used to say that unless you broke a law while at work, there was virtually no way they could fire you, no matter how bad you worked.  Most of the Union guys I knew growing up loved the benefits, but hated the "protections" and the seniority rules.  They also thought the 13 weeks vacation at USS was ridiculous.  They never turned it down, though.  Those guys knew that was unsustainable.  They just hoped to get their pensions before the wolf broke through the door.  Sadly, a lot of them didn't make it.

        •  Not all unions are like that, and (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Proletariatprincess, hardwroc

          your father sounds kind of ungrateful for what he had.

          Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

          by Dirtandiron on Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:15:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're for protecting sloth workers? What does (0+ / 0-)

            that do to the morale  of the real workers?

            It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

            by auapplemac on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:03:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're putting words into my mouth! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JerryNA, wescher

              I never said that. I said not all unions were like that. And if he realized what the union had gotten for him, maybe he should have been more appreciative.

              Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

              by Dirtandiron on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:20:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There are sloths everywhere (5+ / 0-)

                Unions don't have a singular claim on sloths.
                Sloths work everywhere.  I've worked shoulder to shoulder with those jerks.  Almost all of it in private industry.  
                Today, I am union; have been for the past 12 years.  I love it.  For the first time in my working career, I have a voice.  A real voice.  
                As a union member, I know that we have a representative who will have access to the books, something we never had when I worked as a staff RN in the mid-south.  This ensures that the revenue brought in is appropriately spent.  
                I found out a lot when my friend was accidentally handed the bonus check for the CEO of the hospital I worked at.  
                $25,000.00 was the bonus for our hospital CEO, in the 90's.  This was in a town of 30,000 people---a small town.  $25 K made you a king in that town.  
                The bonus the rest of us received?  A turkey (literally)for RN's, and nothing for everyone else.  
                Sloths do get fired even when they're union members.  I've seen it.  The difference is, they have a voice on the way out.  That prevents 'right to work' (read: right to fire) laws from abusing employees for no real reason at all.
                Would I go back to being non-union? Never.
                 

            •  While odious, the Unions job (8+ / 0-)

              is both to represent all the workers at the negotiating table, AND, defend ALL the members when their jobs are threatened, much like a "public defender" does in court.
              As a 38 year union member, I have also decried the defense of unworthy members, using up valuable credibility where it's not deserved. My union, DID, counsel these people by warning they may not be able to save them, if they didn't try to save themselves.
              The key, is to compare those small numbers of workers that may not deserve to keep their jobs, versus, what we see in companies without union representation, where you can lose your job, because the bosses son, needed a job after getting out of school, and so they made him a spot at YOUR expense. OR, the contract negotiations are done with only Corporate sitting at the table, with empty chairs on the other side. Think you'll do well in those "negotiations"?
              I also worked with people that voted against unions, while happily accepting all the gains made on their behalf by the union, voted GOP, despite their wishes to eliminate unions, which would eliminate protections and gains earned over decades, because of single issues, like, abortion rights, gun rights, gay rights, or some other thing that they elevated above their own best interests.

              •  I am constantly amazed at how often people vote (5+ / 0-)

                Republican solely on the strength of their beliefs on a Single Issuetm, particularly abortion. It seems not to matter what else the party espouses aside from the Single Issuetm, as long as the party's stand on the Single Issuetm lines up with the voter's beliefs or desires.
                I have friends who are pro-LGBT rights, pro-environment, pro-education, but still vote "R" because they are also "pro-Life" (although "anti-abortion" is really the appropriate term).

                Republicans - A pathology, not a party.

                by storeysound on Tue May 27, 2014 at 03:34:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Sloth Workers (4+ / 0-)

              are a small to non-existent segment of union workers.  That "lazy/drunken union guy" was the anti-union BS I heard all my life---the equivalent of the beloved, by some, myth of  Welfare Queens.  EVERYTHING we have in retirement we owe to the UAW (and SS)---EVERYTHING!

              Yes, there have been some bad union "bosses," but not as many as there have been crooked politicians.  Unions were, are and should be the foundation of a strong economy and middle class.  They are NOT a necessary evil but they sure are necessary!

              Enjoying the Age of Aquarius so far?

              by sendtheasteroid on Tue May 27, 2014 at 07:39:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Life time appointments a bad ,bad Idea (0+ / 0-)

              Four years max like everyone else

        •  "A Necessary Evil" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chickenfarmerwood, samddobermann

          You know, like worker protection laws, minimum wage laws, child labor laws, environmental regulation, bank regulation, food and drug regulation, national defense, roads & bridges - heck, that whole darned Constitution thing and all of our laws.  All necessary evils.  In a perfect world, we wouldn't really need any of them, would we?

          Yeah, and that pesky Constitution requires us to provide public defenders for all of those criminals the police round up.  Oh, wait, not all of the people the police round up actually did anything wrong.  But couldn't we just agree with the police that they're guilty and get rid of that whole court nonsense?  Kind of like letting management decide who's a bad apple and let them can them without a fair hearing?  

          Just like the courts aren't supposed to just set everyone free because they have a lawyer, management is supposed to keep trying to fire actual bad workers.  It's not the union's fault that management wasn't doing that part of their job.  People where I'm from blame the UAW for bringing down the auto industry with their 'unreasonable' demands.  But no one said management had to agree to them.  It was management's job to force a strike every now and then, if necessary, to get an agreement the company owners could live with.  But people would rather blame the unions for management's weak negotiating strategy.

      •  So other than your right wing obfuscation (5+ / 0-)

        What do you think about the chart?

      •  As if no other group or agency (6+ / 0-)

        has ever had corruption or inefficiency? The reality is that no other group has been on the side of workers, so kvetching about corruption is simply doing management's job for them. Yes, rooting out corruption is a good thing, but throwing out the baby with the bathwater is not.

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Tue May 27, 2014 at 09:05:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So any means to achieve the ends is OK with you. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          2dot

          The right thing would be to get rid of the corruption when it's there.

          I think unions are necessary. Just don't like that the bad apples are not dumped from the barrel.

          It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

          by auapplemac on Tue May 27, 2014 at 10:26:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know if I'd call that a means/ends (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hardwroc, Dirtandiron

            argument, and I sure as hell disagree that I advocated "any means." I would take "unions with corruption" a whole lot more readily than I would take "no unions", and that seems to me to be the choice we are facing if we agree with anti-unionists' claims of corruption. Ending corruption/bad behavior 100% in any large organization comprised of humans is an impossible goal.
            1) What research shows that "bad apples" haven't already been dumped from the barrels?
            2) Or for that matter, where has it been proven that union bad apples exist(ed) in any larger proportion than in any other organization?

            "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

            by bryduck on Tue May 27, 2014 at 12:35:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed. Wouldn't it be a bit of "corruption" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dirtandiron

              for corporations to negotiate by themselves, over the future of their employees, without them being represented?
              Have we NOT seen a bit of corruption in the GOP by keeping important positions vacant via obstruction ? Does anyone think keeping the NLRB useless by obstructing appointments has possibly been convenient and useful for Corporations?

        •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kathybbb

          If we discard unions because of corruption then we should at least be consistent and discard government, capitalism, money generally, and we should probably get rid of humanity if we are to eliminate the root of the problem.

          Unions are necessary to stand against the corruption of business. Unions should set up their internal operating rules to maximise transparency so they can proudly prove they work without corruption. Then the right-wing would find it extremely difficult to work against them. Corruption in unions plays into the hands of those that would destroy them.

          ----- The brain is the only organ where you'd prefer to be the donor instead of the recipient.

          by miriam e on Tue May 27, 2014 at 04:20:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  A glaringly obvious example of unions being (0+ / 0-)

        part of their own demise occurred shortly after I moved to Atlanta in the late 80's. Carl Icahn was trying to acquire Eastern Airlines, and the airline mechanics' union decided to strike, because they knew of his history as a raider. They feared he would go the typical route of gutting and dismantling the company, so they struck to keep that from happening. What happened instead was the company folded. So instead of taking their chances working for Icahn, they ended up out of work entirely, taking the pilots, attendants, ground crews, baggage handlers, etc. with them.

        This was probably not the best course of action, and in the South, where unions have a hard enough time, it dealt quite a lasting blow to future organizing efforts.

        Republicans - A pathology, not a party.

        by storeysound on Tue May 27, 2014 at 03:25:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My former boss was a high ranking worker there, (0+ / 0-)

          in Eastern Airlines.  He managed to get a good sum of money for severance pay and he put it on a business of his own, with his wife.  They bought a cleaning franchise, and had a good business for about 12 years, sold it and retired.  He told me about it.  He had a good business sense about him, they poured all their funds into the business for 3 years and paid off the franchise fees and created a booming business.  I was with them 10 years, after they sold I stayed another 6 months and quit, partly because I didn't like the way the new owner did things and partly because of my husband's illness.  I had thought I would stay longer, and if Pat and Joe had kept owning, I probably would have.  They treated their workers well, sometimes better than they deserved.  I have a feeling he learned alot from his experience with Eastern.  

    •  Very funny albrt (0+ / 0-)

      Great tongue in cheek. It really is too bad that professional Democrats know that they have unions and progressives in their back pocket and can give us the finger anytime they feel like it. We have to quit giving in and be willing to take the risk in supplanting them with a party that takes NO capitalist donations.

    •  Card check and other musings (0+ / 0-)

      I read through the string.  It is apparent that the unions as a whole are still suffering from reputations established over 40 years ago for corruption and defense of poor performing employees.  It is far different today.  
      Firstly, bonding rates are lower for union officers than any other group that handles other peoples money.  These rates are established by insurance companies that write the bonding policies based on losses.  The Department of Labor audits every local every other year, similar to an IRS audit,  I wonder how many companies could stand that scrutiny?
      On defense of slackers, everybody gets representation, just as every defendant is entitled to a lawyer.  The attorney (or union representative) is to represent the accused to the best of his/her ability....that is federal law.  The responsibility to discipline, up to and including termination is the responsibility of management.  This includes proving "just cause" for the actions taken by management.  Translation, management needs to get off their dead ass and do their JOBS.  This means documenting the offenses, and using progressive industrial discipline as appropriate.  I have sat on both sides of the table, both management and union officer.  I have defended people that turned my stomach and smiled and danced when a good manager did as was called for.
      Lastly, card check.  I was an organizer for a card check campaign.  It was personal, I met with the employees one on one and plead my (the union) case.  Explained pro's and answered questions from the employee.   It was dignified, business like and I think the corporate crooks in this country are scared to death of card check.  My campaign was done through an agreement with the company (SBC, now ATT and CWA).  We (CWA) had over 60 years of history and work(ed) with the company for the betterment of both the company and the members.  The way it should be.  We may fight among ourselves but that is within the family, outside forces we almost always work with the company, that is why we got card check for the subsidiary.  I hope this diatribe helps dispel some of the misconceptions and out and out lies out there.
         

      I believe in separation of corporation and State.. It becomes class warfare when the serfs fight back.

      by tipring on Wed May 28, 2014 at 05:19:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unbelievable graphs. (7+ / 0-)

    Wait until the Financial Times gets to work on them...

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:12:30 PM PDT

  •  It's an interesting corollary that (23+ / 0-)

    the German economy has been doing well with the aid of it's large and powerful unions.  

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:14:31 PM PDT

  •  Upward shifts of money and power. (8+ / 0-)

    it's just an amazing and frightening thing to watch.  

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:15:30 PM PDT

  •  Thanks so much for posting these important (9+ / 0-)

    visual aids to understanding the importance of worker solidarity.

    The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

    by Alice Olson on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:16:42 PM PDT

  •  The tragic thing is: there's (17+ / 0-)

    much more hostility to unions than there is to 'upward shifts in money and power'.  

    Basically, on a personal anecdotal level, I believe that the decline of the US Auto companies during the 1980s was successfully pinned on the unions- by media and management- and still resonates with people very strongly.

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:21:22 PM PDT

  •  How about looking at State (5+ / 0-)

    Union numbers and then comparing life expectancy numbers, infant mortality numbers, high school graduation rates, divorce, the number of unwed moms, and the percent of people making a living wage and the percent of people on welfare, and the amount the state pays in taxes vs what they get back from taxes.
          Then do comparisons or even better take a look at congressional districts and these categories Rep Ryan's district I'm betting has some high numbers as far getting money from the federal government but he likes to cast stones at inner city people.  Inner City is GOP code for Black People.

  •  This post is a great example of (10+ / 0-)

    questions the GOP will never get asked by the media.

  •  This is why the Right keeps attacking unions (19+ / 0-)

    even though they're on the ropes already. Unions are effective in sending a greater share of the wealth society produces toward workers and away from corporate owners. It literally takes money out of the Koch's pockets -- they (and their ilk) know it and have unions right in their crosshairs.

  •  Speaking of a lack of union jobs (5+ / 0-)

    Steve Jobs is thought brilliant but his non Union factories in China have suicide nets. Warren Buffet a genius but a fake Dem has been making money off of McDonald's stock ( a Non Union company) for decades and getting great publicity arguing he should pay more taxes than his secretary.
          Maybe if he paid his workers a living wage he would?

  •  We have to hold our own accountable (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, 47songs, poligirl, auapplemac

    first we need to get order in our own ranks before we go march against the GOP.

  •  Correlation != causation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap, grape crush

    Meh, correlation doesn't establish causation, and you could pick all kinds of variables that peaked around 1950 and make similar charts.

    There's actually far more convincing academic research about the positive effect of unions on wages. But as we know, academic research isn't worth crap in elections.

    So file the charts under, "Useful for a Facebook meme to get a conversation started or to give a general idea of the trends," but pretty unsatisfying for those who really want an understanding of the causality going on here.

  •  It's interesting to muse (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, TomP, hardwroc

    about pols from both parties invoking a 'laserlike' or 'constant' focus on jobs and/job creation but being extremely hesitant to tout unions as a way to improve jobs themselves.

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:37:26 PM PDT

  •  One thing that's needed is union reform. (4+ / 0-)

    Instead of consistently letting the right get away with labeling all unions as run by thugs, they should be reformed into the entity they're supposed to be.

    They need to once again work for the people. It's no different than how federal and local politicians and parties govern the country. They represent big business and money. Unions need to gain back trust from the people they represent. Stop playing with money and politics.

    I know. I know. Easier said than done.

    It's all about the song.

    by 47songs on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:43:10 PM PDT

  •  Good post, Laura. (3+ / 0-)

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:00:31 PM PDT

  •  Number new immigrants also correlates (0+ / 0-)

    But it looks like it lags a bit. Any theories?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

  •  Too bad Unions abandonded Democrats (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Kahlow, auapplemac, METAL TREK

    and voted for Nixon and Vietnam War. Also Reagon, who then thanked them by destroying air controllers.

    Union leadership really failed in 1970s and 1980s. Paying the price now, and not doing a great job of organizing non-unionized labor.

    Look at Michigan, a case study.

    Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

    by coral on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:36:48 PM PDT

    •  Unions failed Democrats? (10+ / 0-)

      Huh? When have unions failed to put people money and volunteers behind Democrats?

      What the fuck is that? You do realize that politicians work for us. Not the reverse, right?

      Tyrion Lannister: "It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy."

      by psychodrew on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:51:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Teamsters endorsed Reagan over Mondale in 84. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        auapplemac, coral

        Even after PATCO.

        Scott Walker was endorsed in the recall by two unions that he spared in Act 10 cuts.

        Screw John Galt. Who's John Doe?

        by Mike Kahlow on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:58:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  so that leaves a what? 95 percent support of... (7+ / 0-)

          Dems by unions? or somewhere around that? i'd be curious at what the percentages actually are...

          "Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are." ~St Augustine "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." ~Charles Beard

          by poligirl on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:01:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, so that justifies (11+ / 0-)

          NAFTA, GATT, the failure of card check in Congress, etc...

          Of course.

          ANYTHING OTHER THAN 100% ALLEGIANCE AND YOU ARE A FUCKING FAILURE.

          I come from a union family of lifelong loyal Democrats. My family up and down voted for Gore. But George Bush's steel tariffs saved my fathers company and his benefits and retirement. If Gore had won the election, my family would have been much worse off. But we still voted for Kerry in 2004.

          Fuck this bullshit about a lack of union loyalty for Democrats. What we need is more demands for Democrats to be loyal to the MIDDLE FUCKING CLASS.

          Tyrion Lannister: "It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy."

          by psychodrew on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:08:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hey brah (7+ / 0-)

            if you have blue collar you don't count. Get a job on wallstreet and they will listen.

            I'm a Saltine American

            by LaEscapee on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:11:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I don't disagree with you about demands (0+ / 0-)

            on Democrats.

            Hell, I'm in Wisconsin. IAMAW back in the late 70's. The thing that finally got me supporting the party was when they decided to grow a backbone and leave the state to try to stop Act 10. And I fully intend on holding them to supporting labor. Trust me on that one.

            But you asked for examples where unions hadn't supported Dems.

            Screw John Galt. Who's John Doe?

            by Mike Kahlow on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:20:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  True. But you absolutely failed to support (5+ / 0-)

              this statement: "Too bad Unions abandonded Democrats"

              Tyrion Lannister: "It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy."

              by psychodrew on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:36:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  My 1980 union workplace thought Reagan (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                auapplemac, coral, METAL TREK

                was fantastic. Because he would put all those (blacks), (Mexicans) (not the words they used) and wimmen back in their place, & keep the good paying jobs for the union brothers.

                That union workplace had 1000 employees in 1980. Last year the last of the equipment was sold & shipped to China.

                We had a fail on both sides - unions supporting Dems and Dems supporting unions. If we don't acknowledge and learn from the past we're doomed to repeat it.

                Screw John Galt. Who's John Doe?

                by Mike Kahlow on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:50:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Carter was such a complete failure... (0+ / 0-)

                  that Reagan, a retired "B" actor, who couldn't beat the lame, unelected Jerry Ford in 1976, looked like a messiah by 1980.  

                  Blame Carter.  Blame the disco culture.  Blame the social upheaval of the 1960's that led Union Dems like my dad to watch the Dem convention and say "nobody in that crowd looks like me anymore."  Blame a lot of things, but don;t blame the Unions.  In this instance, they were just spoils of losing the war.

                  •  BTW,... (0+ / 0-)

                    as bad as GW Bush was, he was not as bad, or as damaging to his team as Carter.  Maybe it was just that the Right learned the lessons of the 1980's, and refused to let Obama consolidate  his agenda and ideology after the disaster of the Bush presidency (as the Reagan and the GOP did after Carter).  Maybe it was the Wall Street effect on the lingering recession.  Either way, Obama and Dems have surely failed to use Bush to transform America, the way the GOP and Reagan used Carter to do the same in the 1980's.

                  •  Carter was the most ethical and honest president (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Dirtandiron, JerryNA, METAL TREK

                    I still don't understand why Jimmy Carter is considered a failed president.  He didn't create the problems he was faced with...ie Gas shortage and hostage crisis.  He didn't go to war over those issues as other presidents would have done.  
                    He is a very good man and maybe his presidency will be viewed more favorably when he is gone.  
                    We won't see the likes of him again in this lifetime.   That is a sad fact.

                    •  war (0+ / 0-)
                      I still don't understand why Jimmy Carter is considered a failed president.  He didn't create the problems he was faced with...ie Gas shortage and hostage crisis.  He didn't go to war over those issues as other presidents would have done.  
                      I think this is why the wingnuts were able to paint him as a "failure."
                      He didn't go to war over those issues as other presidents would have done.  

                      Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

                      by Dirtandiron on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:22:22 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  minorities (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Mike Kahlow
                  . Because he would put all those (blacks), (Mexicans) (not the words they used) and wimmen back in their place, & keep the good paying jobs for the union brothers.
                  The Nixon administration was the first to enact affirmative action, not a Democratic administration. Supposedly to help blacks, but really because Nixon and his advisers thought it was good politics to turn blacks and whites against each other.

                  Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

                  by Dirtandiron on Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:26:50 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  I believe the Teamsters were angry with (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JerryNA, Mike Kahlow

          President Carter about the trucking industry deregulation. (See my comment above about Republican Lite) That put a lot of their members out of work. Before that to be a longhaul trucker you went to a trucking company and applied for a job. If you got the job you had a middle class income and benefits.  After that, you had to buy your own truck (basically another mortgage payment), but still have to answer to a trucking company and have no benefits.

          Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

          by Dirtandiron on Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:22:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Union members voted for Nixon (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA, METAL TREK

        and Reagan. The union leaders, some good, some not so good, usually supported Democrats, but often the rank and file did not.

        There is still a split between liberal Democrats advocating liberalization on social issues and blue collar workers who are more focused on bread and butter issues.

        If that split could be reduced, the left would have much more clout.

        Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

        by coral on Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:35:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think (7+ / 0-)

      you got it backwards.

      I'm a Saltine American

      by LaEscapee on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:08:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not sure about the 70s, but I know that since (0+ / 0-)

      the late 80s/early90s a lot of Democratic politicians have become "republican lite", third way, DLC type, "centrist", triangulators who are only a shade or two bluer than the Republican Party. If you have a choice between a Republican and a Republican.....

      Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

      by Dirtandiron on Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:18:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's an interesting take on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA

    unions.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/...

    Just when I thought the teathuglans couldn't go any lower!

  •  Correlation is not causation. (0+ / 0-)

    You'd be better off linking tax rates to income growth, like that Piketty guy did. Unions Work is putting the horse before the cart.

    Yes, unions have to be there to ask for wage and benefit increases, but there has to be money there to pay for those things...and given the choice between paying employees and handing a big chunk of your profits over to the government, business owners and management would rather spend it on their companies.

    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

    by grape crush on Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:50:26 AM PDT

    •  Then what was it then? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JerryNA

      Lower wages and having to pay for benefits out of pocket had nothing to do with the middle class becoming poorer? What was it then?

      Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

      by Dirtandiron on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:24:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  re: (0+ / 0-)

        "Then what was it then?"

        Like I said, the prosperity of the mid-last-century was more due to higher tax rates.

        "Lower wages and having to pay for benefits out of pocket had nothing to do with the middle class becoming poorer?"

        I didn't say that strong unionization had nothing to do with raising the standard of living for millions of Americans any more than Clawson says it's the only reason it does.

        "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

        by grape crush on Tue May 27, 2014 at 01:19:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Since the Corp person of interest is behind on tax (0+ / 0-)

    It is time that "He", this 'Corporate person of Interest' to pay taxes like the rest of us . It is time to support the market place transaction tax .

    Never, ever let the' Gold Over People'(GOP)party forget that the 'Corporate  person of Interest'  they are protecting is hiding 36 trillion dollars in off shore banks. The fines must match to the penny the amount of "tax credits " have and want..

    Do not let them have one "tax credit" until the pay taxes on the offshore money they made here

  •  Labor party (0+ / 0-)

    Labor should run its own candidates. Neither Democrats nor Republicans do much of anything for labor unions. Dems are slightly better than Repubs, but workers are going to have to organize politically and help themselves. If a labor candidate has no chance of winning he could throw his support to the candidate of her(his) choice, which would give labor a much stronger influence than it presently has.

    •  This political system is not conducive to an (0+ / 0-)

      effective third party challenge; the only power a third party effort would ever have is in monkey-wrenching the two party balance, i.e. as a protest against those who are your closest allies.

      It was kind of designed that way, which is why I'm generally against this form of protest.  But creating a labor faction within existing two party structures would be valuable.

      Welcome to Daily Kos. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Community Guidelines, the Knowledge Base, and the Site Resource Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.
      ~~ from the DK Partners & Mentors Team.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Wed May 28, 2014 at 06:52:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unions (0+ / 0-)

    I was in Alabama and saw a sign in a hardware store
     THE CONFEDERACY-PROUDLY NON -UNION.
    I guess that's why so many of them live in trailers.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site