Saturday, September 17, 2011

What Have Unions Done For Us?

I don't imagine that many have seen this video, but it should at least give pause for thought about this country's ridiculous and staggeringly ill-informed assault on American labor. It started with Republicans, of course; they have hated working Americans for generations. But the real problem is that too few Democrats seem prepared to fight for what made this country great.

Nor can we depend on our feckless media to remind us of what we once had and why we had it. Without a more vigorous media, voters remain confused, uninterested, and susceptable to manipulative framing that has reached absurd levels. 

Ignorant shits who can't tell you what GDP stands for, or how many Senators are in their state have convinced themselves they know what this country needs. They have lapped up right wing crap about how "big labor" is strangling the economy. They don't hear, and don't bother to read about, how high union membership coincided and contributed to middle class stability, at a time when we had a much greater manufacturing sector as well as a trade surplus.

All of this happened while the US was a creditor nation, consumers had far less debt, did not rely on two or more jobs to make ends meet, and were able to save far more. Nor did our government depend on our trading partners' dollar surpluses to buy our debt. And it all happened when marginal tax rates were far higher than today.

Now look at the graphs below. You can see that most of America has not done well economically in the last 30+ years, not considering overall growth. This is why we have a stagnant economy; wages are too low, which has led to weak demand. Does it look like the tax burden, regulations, or labor unions have held back the rich? Does it look like they need more tax breaks?

FDR's New Deal created the middle class. Son, if you don't know that, you need to set about reading some American economic history. You do know what FDR stands for, yes?

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