Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day 2007

Today is the official day set aside to honor and celebrate the labor movement in this country. And we find it in a state of disarray.

I was a union member for most of my working career, from the Retail Clerks to the Laborer's International to the International Woodworkers Union to the Electrical Workers to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, even when membership was not a requirement, and I never resented for one minute the union dues that I paid all those years.

If you enjoy your weekend off, your rate of pay, your working conditions, the protections provided you by your government, then thank the Labor Movement, because it was due to the hard work, the activism, the sacrifices, and yes, even the deaths of union members that made all of those things possible.

Unfortunately we've now had a series of presidents who have, in turn, treated the union movement with hostility (Reagan, Bush 1), benign neglect (Clinton), and open warfare (Bush 2). These guys, aided and abetted by the rightwing noise machine and its lackeys not only at Faux News but also in the MSM/SCLM, have tried -- succesfully in many cases -- to make the American union movement a minor irritant, reduced to nipping at the heels of the oligarchical pigs who now seem to be in complete charge of the economy.

David Podvin over at Makethemaccountable.com has an interesting think-piece on Labor Day that's worth reading, wherein he takes to task both the Democratic and the Rethug parties for their lackluster support for organized labor.

And he's basically right in many respects. The Dem frontrunners Clinton and Obama make the all of the appropriate pro-labor noises, but with Clinton leaping around from center to right to center to far right like a jumping bean on a hot skillet, Obama's unconsionable support for the Orwellian-named Bakruptcy Reform Bill, and the whole Democratic party's apparent refusal to roll back the obscene tax cuts for the ├╝ber-wealthy, it's hard to see the real support for labor in nearly any of them.

But Podvin ignores the one Democratic candidate who has, by his record, consistently been a friend to organized labor and the working class in this country: Dennis Kucinich.

It's our country -- let's take it back. Support Dennis Kucinich, and support only those candidates who support you, your ideals and your values. All politics is local, so if your own representative does not support these things, look for a candidate who does and throw the bastards out. Not until we do this will we have the kind of country that our Founding Fathers envisioned.

3 Comments:

Elizabeth Green said...

Hi, Farnsworth. It has been a long time, and I've missed your blog. I have been super busy at work and have had no time for blogging for a long time, but I am back with a new blog now, and, of course, you're still one of my favorite reads.

I have to compliment you on your post. It's well said. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't read anyone Democrat's platform yet, but I have heard that Dennis Kucinich has the best one so far.

As a member of a working class family, most of my relatives were in unions of one kind or other. My uncles worked at Caterpillar and went through at least 3 big strikes. I remember the Teamsters bringing Cat to its knees. Now that these guys are in their 80's they have plenty to live on--a good pension, great insurance, etc. For my generation (early 40's), retirement will be a myth unless you are independently wealthy or really know how to invest.

Keep up the good work. I love this blog, and I can't wait to toss the bastards out!

Liz

Farnsworth68 said...

Hi, Liz. Welcome back. I've missed you.

drainbamage said...

Why is it that when you mention Dennis Kucinich most Dem's roll their eyes and talk about Hillary and the rest? Is it too impossible for Democrats to vote for the right guy? Nobody says anything bad about him, he just can't win...