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Attacks on unions are attacks on the middle class

by Jeff Rosenberg on December 12, 2012 · 4 comments

Once again, a state under Tea Party control is trying to destroy unions. First it was Wisconsin, then Ohio, and now Michigan. Conservatives say they support the free market, but they oppose allowing workers to fight for the best compensation they can get. This is a glaring inconsistency, and it begs the question: Why do they hate unions so much?

The answer is simple: Unions are the only ones who fight the class war on our behalf. Without unions, the super-rich and massive corporations would take all the wealth, instead of just almost all. Attacks on unions are a direct attack on the middle class, led by the party that represents the wealthy oligarchs.

Strong unions and middle-class income gains are closely related. But that’s not all unions have done for us. Labor’s greatest victories are such a fundamental part of our society that we often take them for granted. We expect 40-hour weeks and 2-day weekends. We expect holidays, vacations, and paid overtime. We expect to receive at least a minimum wage. We expect that our children will go to school, instead of going to work in a factory.

But we should never be lulled into thinking that these hard-fought gains are permanent. In fact, they’re constantly under attack. Big business and the rich are hard at work trying to undermine the foundation of the middle class, and they’re succeeding handily.

The battle against our unions needs to be seen in the proper context. It’s a major front in the class war being waged against us by corporations and wealthy oligarchs. Whether or not you’re a union member, you benefit enormously from the work unions do. That makes this an attack on you and your way of life.

give2attain December 13, 2012 at 12:02 am

I was trying to decide if “Over Reach” would have been a good subject line. But I’ll stick with this for now.

I am betting that you could find a dozen things that are correlated to that income change.  Yet your source chose Union Membership.  How about they try “Buy American” brand loyalty, Barriers/Costs to foreign trade, Cost of Government (inverse relationship), Technology costs, Growth of Foreign Capability (inverse relationship),etc…

I don’t doubt that Union Membership and Incomes are correlated, however I am pretty certain there is not a causal relationship.  Though it does make for a good slide.

Alec December 14, 2012 at 7:03 am

The job of a capitalist is to increase profit through increased revenue and decreased cost. The largest cost is labor. For our regulated market system to work, there needs to be a balance between capital and labor. For our country to work.

Do you honestly, in your sincerest heart of hearts, think capitalists would have just magically bestowed all the gains of the middle class out of the goodness of their own hearts? No, it took a counter balancing labor force. Life works best in balance. Take away half the scale and our country tips.

zanjoehung December 15, 2012 at 6:12 pm
MichaelBreaker December 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm

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