Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Technocrat speaks...

President Obama, technocrat par excellence, has spoken.

Not one word about labor unions. Not one word about card check.

Obama simply does not understand, or perhaps won't allow himself to understand, that there is a connection between no labor unions and the mass of service jobs that pay so poorly. So poorly that even an increase of the minimum wage to $9.00 is an improvement, but is too little to make that much of a difference for the economic health of our nation.

Just imagine had the president pointed out how hard and fast the fast-food workers work. Don't believe me? Try the job for a week. Don't want to do that? Well, watch the workers carefully next time you're at McDonald's or somewhere like it. Tell me it is easier to do their job, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, than welding a part in a Ford Motor Co. factory in 1935. Just imagine had the president said, "If we supported and promoted--yes, promoted--the workers in our nation to form unions and demand their wages doubled over the next three years, we'd be a stronger nation." Then, his welcome rhetoric about the importance of well paid workers being great customers would be more than rhetoric.

Yes, I love his stuff about promoting efforts to limit climate change. Yes, I agree with most of his position on gun control. Yes, I agree with increasing the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. Yes, I agree with him about increasing and protecting voting rights. And I am thankful this imperialist is finally going to end the the U.S. war in Afghanistan after fourteen years (though his rhetoric there sounded awfully like "peace with honor" and therefore, Nixonian).

But notice he made a pitch for the Trans Pacific Trade Treaty, a treaty that will codify the trends that so decimated American manufacturing these past fifteen years. Notice he pushed for more trade treaties that make imports into the U.S. easier, which helps Obama's rich donors and friends, but puts American workers further at risk of losing to cheaper labor.

Obama is again a technocrat. A humane one, but still limited in his understanding of the fundamental importance of labor unions for true growth, for true support of workers and their families.

He has failed and most of his economic initiatives will amount to very little or nothing at all. The American dream continues to wind down and die. Unless labor unions are promoted, and the split of profits from productivity going to workers significantly improves, we will continue to beggar the middle and working classes in the United States. It is really that simple. And it is a sad spectacle that we have to deal with the dumb rhetoric that calls Obama a "Marxist," a "socialist" and the like.

My Dad, who is a good union supporter, said, "Well, what do you expect him to do? What can we do?" That is the extent to which the propaganda of corporate broadcast media is complete. My father knows better. My father knows there is a need for labor law reform and things like card check elections that are the end of the matter, not the beginning of a long, arduous battle that workers cannot withstand with their limited personal economic situation. Yet, corporate broadcast media talking heads yabber on about anything but what I am talking about here. And so, the most fundamental economic issue is crowded out while we make sure gay guys and gals get to die in imperial wars, we argue about guns, about not teaching Shakespeare anymore but pushing instead for vocational schooling for all in high school, as if that is an answer for a beggared middle class in our nation.

Oh well. Enough for the evening.


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