Thursday, November 10, 2016
"All these histories are bullshit": why Trump won
As my old Bronx doctor, Seymour Tenzer, put it: "All these histories are bullshit -- I got punched in the chest; that's why I've got a lump."
Trump's victory is down to the disappearance of the $800 job for the $400 job. That subtracted from the vote in the black ghettos – and added to the vote in the white ghettos -- both ghettos being far off the radar screen of academic liberals like Hill and O.
I notice the white ghettos because that is me. My old taxi job (much too old now at 72 3/4) was “in-sourced” all over the world to drivers who would work for remarkably less (than the not so great incomes we native born eked out). Today's low skilled jobs go to native and foreign born who willing to show up for $400 (e.g., since Walmart gutted supermarket contracts). Fast food strictly to foreign born who will show up for $290 a week (min wage $400, 1968 -- when per cap income half today's).
Don't expect the 100,000 out of maybe 200,000 Chicago gang age males to show up for a life time of $400/wk servitude.
6% union density at private employers = 20/10 BP which starves every healthy process in the social body = disappearance of collective bargaining and its institutional concomitants which supply political funding and lobbying equal to oligarchs plus most all the votes ...
... votes: notice? 45% take 10% of overall income -- 45% earn $15/hr or less -- a lot of votes.
To shore up my usual assertion that states can make union busting a felony (taking same as as serious an economic crime as taking a movie in the movies – couple year fed hospitality), state and federal laws against bank robbing coexist side by side (so could copyright violation penalties, no?).
Right now, at the federal level we have placebo protection for organizers. Jobs can be reinstated after years of waiting – mostly fired again for something else. No deterrence to suffocating unionizing – nor recourse, like mandating elections on finding of union busting – zero; nothing at all.
As such today’s federal law sets up a union certification gauntlet most all employees cannot survive – an inherently lopsided contest in an inherently adversarial process. Being forced into the straightjacket of an inherently unworkable organizing process – preempting something with nothing -- is the equivalent of forbidding employees to organize a collective bargaining unit – a First Amendment right.
Interestingly, California has its own certification process for farm workers only. Seems FDR told Congress – trying to get the union law through; not written in the law – that it would not apply to farm workers. With this as an excuse states are able to set up certification of their own.
Leaving the esoteric aside – states can inarguably back up the federal labor organizing scheme by instituting criminal penalties for muscling in our most important market (would anybody doubt states may penalize unions for the reverse?).
Deterring union busting at state level should breeze through legislatures in progressive states (WA, OR, CA, NV, MN, IL, NY, MD?) which also happen to be our most prosperous states and therefore potentially the most influential.
From there it is "clear and hold."
I see collective bargaining as such a core social as well as economic right that I think that a US Constitutional Amendment should be prepared to enshrine it specifically – going beyond an (recognized) First Amendment protection.
A couple of years of Donald and I am sure we can take back the House and the Senate. If progressives' number one push is for re-unionization I'd be absolutely sure we could take them back. (Remember, Bernie beat the hell out of Hill versus Donald.)
The Wage That Meant Middle Class
By Louis Uchitelle, APRIL 20, 2008
"Leaving aside for a moment those who have lost their jobs, what of those who still have them? Once upon a time, a large number earned at least $20 an hour, or its inflation-adjusted equivalent, and now so many of them don’t.
"The $20 hourly wage, introduced on a huge scale in the middle of the last century, allowed masses of Americans with no more than a high school education to rise to the middle class. It was a marker, of sorts. And it is on its way to extinction."