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Pushing the US political narrative more rightwards and ever increasingly anti-worker. September 16, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Very good piece in Slate by Jamelle Bouie who notes that presidential candidate Scott Walker is really upping the ante in his campaign on restricting union membership and activities. And in a way it is merely an extreme version – or a more extreme version, than that we see in the UK. As Bouie notes even though union membership in the US is about 11% of all workers, and at historically low figures…

For Scott Walker, that’s not weak enough.

Walker’s plan?

…a national version of the strategy he used to break unions in Wisconsin, although it’s far more forthright than the supposedly reluctant steps he took at the beginning of this year. He would end collective bargaining for federal employees, as per his move in 2011; he would require complete disclosure for union expenditures and total compensation of union officers; he would sign a national “right to work law” that blocks unions from making contracts that require all workers to pay dues to the union for negotating with management, whether they belong to the union or not; he would repeal wage controls for federal infrastructure projects; and he would eliminate the National Labor Relations Board, which conducts elections for labor union representation and investigates unfair labor practices.

And all of this due to an economically illiterate approach whereby unions are to blame for all ills and removing them will somehow let freedom reign.

Walker’s underlying idea—that unions are deleterious to American well-being—is unfounded. Yes, there are union abuses and union corruption. On the whole, however, the opposite is true: Unions have been an important ally for middle-class workers, and the fall of labor has widened the gap between productivity and pay, and increased income inequality. According to a 2011 study published in the American Sociological Review, titled “Unions, Norms, and the Rise in U.S. Wage Inequality,” sociologists Bruce Western and Jake Rosenfeld found that the decline in union power and density since the 1970s explained a third of the increase in wage inequality among men. And a study from the pro-labor Economic Policy Institute finds that wage stagnation has been worst among groups that were unionized in previous decades but have seen the greatest decline in union membership: men and non-college-educated workers. If the past is any indication, Walker’s plan would accelerate the trend.

BTW, kudos to Walker for his Orwellian use of language…

Perhaps aware of his anti-labor reputation, Walker’s plan is filled with pro-worker rhetoric. Unions are “union bosses” or “big-government union bosses” while anti-union regulations are called “pro-freedom” and pro-“employee’s rights.”

But as Bouie notes Walker – whether he loathes unions or not, and I think he does, oh yes – is doing this for a political purpose, in order to carve out some space alongside the dominance of Trump.

You know, I’ve been reading a lot about Nixon in recent years, and one doesn’t have to don rose-tinted glasses to see in him a very different sort of US conservatism. Whereas most of the current crop? What has happened? What has happened?

Comments»

1. gendjinn - September 16, 2015

Walker’s destruction of unions in Wisconsin has been horrific – eliminating collective bargaining for teachers and then using it to the hilt. He’s been a disaster for WI economically – where every neighbouring state has made great strides in recovering from ’08 crash, WI has not.

He is funded by Sheldon Adelson – he of the corrupt gaming casinos in Macau – whose two most important priorities are Israel and crushing unions. If it weren’t for the Citizens United decision Walker (along with several others) would already be out of the nomination race.

In happier news did you see Sanders speech at Liberty U?

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2. Gewerkschaftler - September 16, 2015

What has happened?

The ne…eral (swore never to use that term again) turn and the rise of Chrisitan conservatism, I guess.

Speaking of Nixon and his circle – this article is a fascinating picture of Kissinger as a kind of nuclear-armed existentialist. Kisssinger rode Nixon consciously after the release of the Pentagon papers:

But Kissinger’s rage was also as much about the leaker as about the leak, obvious in the way he swung between awe and agitation when describing Ellsberg to his coconspirators, as almost Promethean in his intellect and appetites. “Curse that son of a bitch, I know him well,” he began one Oval Office meeting.

Kissinger keyed his performance to stir up Nixon’s varied resentments, depicting Ellsberg as some kind of liberal and hedonistic superman — smart, subversive, promiscuous, perverse, and privileged: “He’s now married a very rich girl,” Kissinger told Nixon. “Nixon was fascinated,” Ehrlichman said. “Henry got Nixon cranked up,” Haldeman remembered, “and then they started cranking each other up until they both were in a frenzy.” “Kissinger,” he said, “was absolutely infuriated and, in his inimitable fashion, managed to beat the president into an equal froth of fury.” Alexander Haig said that Kissinger, “did drive the president’s concern” about the leak.

It was in the meeting where Kissinger gave his most detailed denunciation of Ellsberg that Nixon ordered a series of illegal covert operations, putting Nixon on the road to ruin. These included the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel and the burglary of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office in California, hoping to find information that could be used to “discredit his character.”

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3. CL - September 16, 2015

‘What has happened’ is that neoliberalism has triumphed.

Walker is fading fast in the polls,-not that the other loonies looking for the Republican nomination are any better. Its the Summer of Trump, and probably the Fall too, although Ben Carson from inner-city Detroit is closing the gap.

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4. Paddy Healy - September 16, 2015

WBS is right when he says “And in a way it is merely an extreme version – or a more extreme version, than that we see in the UK”
Of course, Northern Ireland is part of the UK. And now the OECD is recommending a further drift to the right in Ireland. All capitalist regimes world-wide are drifting towards the right.
OECD ADVOCATES AGGRESSIVE MOVE TO THE RIGHT IN IRELAND
http://wp.me/pKzXa-vk
Water charges, property tax and home repossessions too low !
The Tories are already Implementing these policies in Northern Ireland. This is a major factor in the political crisis of the power sharing institutions.

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5. Pushing the US political narrative more rightwards and ever increasingly anti-worker. | Socialist Fight - September 17, 2015

[…] Source: Pushing the US political narrative more rightwards and ever increasingly anti-worker. […]

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