Saturday, October 25, 2014

The issue to end all progressive economic issues: (legally imposed) CENTRALIZED BARGAINING

All we progressives can all bat all the air we want to with wonderfully understanding delineations of all the troubles we’ve seen … but wont ever be able to do a single thing about any of it until America is unionized by law via CENTRALIZED BARGAINING as its statute imposed centerpiece -- like Germany and so many other of the worlds most successful economies have done.  

Whereby, all employees doing similar work negotiate one common contract with all firms: ending the race-to-the-pay-and-benefits-bottom and reestablishing full parity of political muscle with ownership.

Open the issue up (that means mention it out loud in the public square!) and get out of the way of the stampede once people realize what it can do for them.  Supermarket workers and airline employees would kill for centralized bargaining!  !!!  (Look no further than French Canada next door for confidence -- or inspiration)

In his “The Seeds of a New Labor Movement” Harold Meyerson in his American Prospect article portrays David Rolf as the top (I would call it) “ground gainer” (Patton style) of today’s American labor movement.

He writes: “More than most union leaders, Rolf is a student of labor history.” Yet Rolf thinks collective bargaining is dying — just waiting to be dead: “Every condition and factor that underpinned unions’ power from the 1930s through the 1960s was gone: immobile capital, government assistance, the Cold War defense establishment, even organized crime, which propped up some unions so it could loot them. Not to mention losing two generations of workers by not organizing in the private sector after the 1940s. In the ’80s and ’90s, Andy’s [Stern’s] generation rediscovered organizing, but it was too little, too late.”

Top American labor leader sees the history of America and thinks labor is dead. Ever hear of the history of Germany and continental Europe, David? Or of French Canada or even Argentina or even of Indonesia? Wake up and smell the opportunity.   

Ever read a very recent tome by whom many think to be America’s top labor lawyer: Thomas Geoghegan, Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?: How theEuropean Model Can Help You Get a Life.

My personal reaction, a decade ago, on learning of centralized bargaining was: “Why didn’t I think of that?” After wondering for a decade what possible modality could reverse American labors tailspin, the answer seemed so perfectly obvious once you heard it.

It’s sort of like I wondered for two decades why energy increases with the square of the speed. Then, some kid on a science-fiction newsgroup explained to me that: you go twice as far when you go twice as fast; ergo, four times the energy. (If you are doing the two cars hitting head on at 50 miles an hour versus one car hitting a still care at 100, remember to double the weight when two cars are moving — figured that out myself :-))

So when are progressives going to stop pointlessly batting the breeze with their well reasoned complaints and start talking up the issue to end all the other issues?

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