Divide and conquer
All *true* red-blooded Americans hate labor unions. Obviously they are all corrupt and at the root of all our problems. Hell, America hates workers and labor in general. And don’t even mention government workers. They are the absolutely worst. Why, if we get rid of government workers and outlaw labor unions, all our problems will be solved.
And hell, while we’re at it, let’s get rid of all our workers and labor in general, and just send all of the good paying jobs overseas. And for any work that needs to be done, we’ll just get slaves who will work for whatever crumbs we might toss at them. If they die, oh well, cost of business. There are plenty more slaves out there to take their place. Isn’t America great?!!
Frankly, I’ve had it and it is really pissing me off. Not the labor unions or government employees, or workers in general, but the attitude.
Maybe I am alone in this but I am concerned that labor unions have taken it on the chin for far too long. Every time I turn around I find myself talking to a still employed worker (not management) who hates labor unions and sees them as totally corrupt and useless, whether it’s teachers unions or police or firefighter unions or whatever. The union employees are seen as getting too sweet of a deal, making too much money or getting too generous of a pension.
And I don’t know, maybe some labor unions do get too sweet of a deal, with more pay than what we think the job deserves or a pension that is to generous.
Indeed, they have better pensions than I do as my current job in industry doesn’t even have a pension. Wouldn’t I love to have retired at say 55 with a pension equal to my pay at the time or something like that? Absolutely! I’m a bit older now and I am tired, physically and mentally, and it is becoming harder and harder for me to keep going at it each day. But I can’t retire yet. I have to keep going as I don’t yet have the means to support myself in retirement. Hell, I haven’t even had a raise for the last 3 years and I am not particularly happy about that either.
But I don’t begrudge for a moment the union worker who is getting a good deal these days. No, I say right the fuck on! God damn it, right the fuck on!
Hell, I was just talking to a friend who was bemoaning the labor costs of the airlines. And he was complaining about a long time 30-year stewardess who had broken into 6 figures with her pay. I say right on to that stewardess!
Imagine if the airlines did this way back when she was first hired:
“Join our airlines with an exciting career as a stewardess. You’ll start off at minimum wage with no benefits. We’ll fly you to exotic places where you will often spend 12 hours a day at 40,000 feet where you can deal with unruly passengers while living with the risk that one day your plane will crash. Won’t that be fun? And after working your entire career in this exciting field, you will still be making minimum wage with no benefits and no retirement, save perhaps Social Security and whatever pennies from your minimum wage you might have saved in your 401k. Oh, you didn’t make the best investments in it? Too bad for you.”
Would you take and work for that deal? Would you like to be a fucking slave all your life? Or would you like your job to offer opportunity for growth?
And while I am ranting, lets not forget the evil government worker. They obviously make too much money, like my sister did, who had a BA degree in law enforcement and worked for over 30 years in the California prison system in a high stress job and yet never made more than about 50K a year. After a lifetime of performing that job as a California State employee, she retired “early” at 61 as she could not take it anymore. And her sweet pension after a lifetime of service? It’s about $2900/month. She will survive on that but I would hardly call that a sweet deal.
But you say, the states are broke and we don’t have money for anything, let alone schools or police or firefighters or parks or welfare for the poor or anything. We have to cut cut cut and too bad for the labor unions and government workers as we’re overtaxed and we’ve had it.
Well, I say bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.
I say there is plenty of fucking money in this country, enough to pay decent wages and provide livable pensions, and provide for education and the services we ought to expect from a “civilized” society.
You see, when I hear that 2 trillion dollars is unaccounted for by the Pentagon, or I hear about the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or that Exxon Mobile made 19 billion in profits last year on how many billions in revenue and yet paid ZERO, ZILCH, no income taxes on it and still got back hundreds of millions of dollars in tax refunds, I say there is plenty of money if we tax it and spent it wisely.
And when I hear that this CEO or that CEO got canned from this corporation or that and still walked away with tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars in severance pay, or that CEO’s make 300 times more than the average worker, I say there is plenty of god damn money to pay the workers a decent wage and provide a pension.
Instead, there is a PROPAGANDA WAR in this country to divide the workers from labor unions and from ourselves so that we fight each other and distract ourselves from the real sources of our problems.
Our problems are not because of labor unions. It’s not the “high cost” of labor, which has largely been sent off shore anyway so that the oligarchy in this country can keep more money for themselves.
Our problem is the oligarchy controlling government policy and stupid management that has abandoned even good business sense so they can have their own corporate piggy banks while their corporations, and the rich, pay little or no taxes and don’t want you or I to notice it. We pay through the nose while they get rich and I am god damned spitting mad about it.
So when I hear a union managed a sweet deal? I say right on union! God damn it, right on because no matter how sweet the deal they got, it's not going to even come close to the sweet deal the oligarchs have stolen from society for themselves. And yes, I say stolen because I defy you to show me what the hell they did to earn it. With the exception of artists or creative people who really created something of value, the oligarchs aren't rich because they earned it. They are rich because they took it. They just took it.
And so damn it, I don’t want to hear another god damn word about the evils or excesses of any union until the oligarchs have fully paid their dues and their fair share. Until then, I say we need more labor unions so we can reclaim the ground the middle class has lost. We’ll be a better society for it. Stumble It!