Monday, September 6, 2010

On Labor Day and its importance

I happen to like Producers as people.  I like watching what they can do which is often beyond amazing.  And considering how shabbily Producers have been treated throughout history, I seriously believe every damn one of them should be in a union--no matter how high their economic or social status.

They are not, of course, and the lack of Producer political skills has contributed to what Robert Reich has called the Worst Labor Day In History.
Welcome to the worst Labor Day in the memory of most Americans. Organized labor is down to about 7 percent of the private work force. Members of non-organized labor — most of the rest of us — are unemployed, underemployed or underwater.
Want to know how bad it is?  According to Steve Rattner, the government guy in charge of the bailouts of Chrysler and GM, Rahm Emmanuel expressed his official opinion of unions during the negotiations.
Rahm Emanuel: "F**k the UAW"
Rahm Emanuel, former Democratic congressman and President Obama's chief of staff, gave the UAW the Gettelfinger during the GM and Chrysler rescue debate, according to former auto czar Steve Rattner's new book. This could get messy. Especially because there's more.
Huffington Post says Rattner's book "The Overhaul" will offer some unstinting takes on Obama's inner circle during the time of the bailouts.
In addition to Emanuel's expression of the usually never-stated, but readily-shared opinion by many Democratic politicians of the usually Democratic-leaning union, the other early highlights include:
- Emanuel's spout about the UAW came during early debate on whether the administration should even try to rescue GM and Chrysler.
— In his first post-election talk with advisors about GM and Chrysler, Obama asked "Why can't they make a Corolla?"
Of course, the "White House" AND the UAW is denying that anyone ever said anything so unstintingly evil for a party that has claimed over the years to represent the workingman and woman.  But this is nonsense, the wildly anti-union Democratic Leadership Council brags about how influential they are in the Obama administration.  Emanuel is one of their guys.
DLC bragging
One of my favorite economic writers, John Kenneth Galbraith, claimed over the years that the sensible way for a government to economically coordinate the actions of its most powerful actors was to help balance their power.  For example, if a country has big business, it should also have big unions.  He called it "countervailing" forces.

If you believe like Galbraith that economic prosperity is a function of an economic balance of power, then labor unions are economically necessary.  Its a damn shame the senior members of the Democratic Party don't understand this anymore.  Of course, it is precisely because they no longer understand the economic ideas of the Great Prosperity--like countervailing power--that they suck so badly at running the economy.

Happy Labor Day!  Up with the Producer Classes!  And here's to folks who still remember just why unions are economically necessary to prosperity.

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