Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Anti-Union = Anti-American

In a country filled with political braggadocio, politicians that despise unions are UN-American. I am sick and tired of listening to people blast unions. The landscape in America today has 1% controlling a near majority of wealth in this nation while the middle class struggles to pay the bills, put kids through college and plan for a decent retirement. When will the 1% be happy? When they control 100% of the wealth? Are we all to return to slavery - working our entire lives to enrich our owners. Now just imagine what this country would be like if there was never a union.

Unions have fought for the middle class and stood up to the powerful interests that could care less about worker health, safety, security and retirement. The system has been tipped too far in favor of the wealthy and this needs to change. Take for example the pension systems of private companies. Thanks to our enlightened Congress, pension plans of private corporations are company assets that can be leveraged in favor of the big money interests. When the corporation is sold, the pension plans frequently get stolen leaving the workers with little and the Federal Government partially filling the void. We subject ourselves to constant bailouts of industries that want to do business overseas so they don't have to pay taxes here at home and their actions are always at the expense of the working stiffs.

To get to my primary point, anti-union is anti-capitalism. Why in a free society can't workers organize to argue for justice in the work place? Unions have found a capitalistic niche that should not be overlooked. While unions collect dues from workers, they serve as a leveling force in our society. As unions falter, so will the middle class. Let me think of a government system that hated unions and outlawed them: How about communism? The Scott Walkers of our country, most Republicans and the fanatic radio talk show fringe would turn this country in the direction of communism. I'm serious, there are those that feel that outlawing unions is a good thing. There are those that feel that autocratic rule is the way to get things done. The way to keep the rich rich and to hell with anyone else.

Let's get one thing straight, unions are capitalistic ventures and free marketeers ought to be supporting their role in our society. Management at the negotiating table represent the many (stock holders and monied interests) while unions represent the workers. Unions have a way of leveling the playing field and Americans need to understand their importance to the middle class. Remove unions and we are far closer to totalitarian rule. If you oppose unions, you do not support free market systems. If you believe that the wealthy have a right to make their millions while workers are silenced, then you are anti-American.

We just witnessed another step towards autocratic rule in Rhode Island when General Treasurer Gina Raimondo pushed her pension reform legislation. She did not even consider negotiating with unions. She could not be bothered. Again; I tell Rhode Islanders and Americans, be careful what you wish for.


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