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Thu May 28, 2015, 12:45 PM

Bernie Sanders aside, politics won't help us as much as organized labor (Wearing the union label)


X post in Bernie's Group, Omaha Steve's Labor Group, & GD

http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20150528_DN_Editorial__WEARING_THE_UNION_LABEL.html

Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2015, 12:16 AM

YOU PROBABLY missed it. The TV news gave little if any news coverage to the presidential campaign announcement of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders ("Hey, we have 'serious' candidates like Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz to deal with," I'm guessing they'd say) but the speech was definitely an organic barnburner live from Ben-and-Jerry-land. Sanders wasn't more than a minute or two into it when he belted out what should become his campaign motto:

"Today, we stand here and say loudly and clearly that: Enough is enough. This great nation and its government belong to all of the people, and not to a handful of billionaires, their super-PACs and their lobbyists."

Enough is enough . . . when it comes to yawning gap between the Super Rich and everybody else in America. It's not surprising to hear this from Sanders, the only Democratic socialist (to my knowledge) in the 2016 race for the White House. But other candidates have adopted some variation on this mantra: Income inequality was the only issue that Hillary Clinton raised in her campaign-announcement video and was the topic of recent speeches. Over on the GOP side, the 2012 runner-up-turned-longshot Rick Santorum has ditched the man-on-dog stuff in favor of calling for a higher minimum wage. But Sanders is hitting this the hardest, so far.

But what to do? Government undoubtedly could help speed up the change we need. Sanders - who's fired up the most-engaged base of the Democratic Party even though it may be impossible to overcome the name ID and accumulated goodwill of Clinton with its rank-and-file voters - listed a number of fixes: A $1 billion program to create blue-collar jobs building infrastructure, a higher minimum wage, the end of so-called "free trade" deals, and higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Indeed, the once-ridiculed idea of a $15 living wage is on its way to reality in Seattle, Los Angeles and elsewhere. But there's no infrastructure job to repair a Congress that is likely to remain in reactionary Republican hands for the next few cycles, nor to fix the red-tinged conservative statehouses and town halls in many parts of America. And there are other limits to what government can achieve in a capitalist society.

FULL editorial at link.

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Reply Bernie Sanders aside, politics won't help us as much as organized labor (Wearing the union label) (Original post)
Omaha Steve May 2015 OP
HassleCat May 2015 #1
yallerdawg May 2015 #2
PETRUS May 2015 #4
Starry Messenger May 2015 #5
PETRUS May 2015 #3
TBF May 2015 #6

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 12:58 PM

1. And helping unions

 

I guess it's difficult to enact federal legislation that would help unions, since labor relations are determined pretty much at the state level. The infrastructure projects are a good place to put in some effort, because federally funded projects can mandate certain fair wage provisions for private contractors, and similar things.

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Response to HassleCat (Reply #1)

Thu May 28, 2015, 05:47 PM

2. President Obama has a $10.10 minimum wage...

on any federally-funded Davis-Bacon regulated contracts. This means all the unskilled workers on job-sites in every state in the union who might have been getting $7.25 an hour just got a nice little raise in January.

Now, if you were making around $10 an hour with a skill, and all minimum wages for every job classification are posted at the job-site by federal law, that unskilled laborer they just hired just got a raise? What are you going to want?

It looks like Obama has created a trickle-up economy!

Davis-Bacon specifies prevailing wages in the local area, even down to particular single county. So, this policy covers union and non-union wages, and benefits, too! If you are contracted and don't have benefits, you have to make up the difference in cash!

There are no exceptions!

"It's good to be king!" says Obama!

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Response to HassleCat (Reply #1)

Thu May 28, 2015, 08:23 PM

4. Taft-Hartley is still on the books.

That's federal legislation enacted to hurt unions.

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Response to HassleCat (Reply #1)

Fri May 29, 2015, 12:40 AM

5. We can help ensure that we won't lose more legal fights that hurt labor.

Harris vs. Quinn and other cases coming up are a direct attack on union dues. The next President will have a lot of power in the direction of the Supreme Court.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 08:18 PM

3. I tend to agree.

Not only are unions a direct way to alter income distribution, but the political establishment responds to power, and organized labor in sufficient numbers is a force.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri May 29, 2015, 11:19 AM

6. Agree - and it inspired me to go back to Marx

thank you for the inspiration and keeping us on task.

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