Saturday, November 5, 2016

How foolish is the failure of progressive states to make union busting a felony?

Do you know what failure of progressive states to take the easy path to re-building union density reminds me of?

Of 19 Republican governors who oppose Medicaid expansion (90% reimbursement yet!) -- who always willing GIVE UP hundred of millions if not billions of dollars of tax breaks to attract businesses and jobs ...

... but who wont TAKE hundreds of millions if not billions of federal (payroll) tax raised money to create really top flight medical jobs ...


That's how foolish progressive legislatures who do not make union busting a felony look to me.

Even if it were just only for their own electoral good.

1 comment:

Denis Drew said...


A New Movement in Liberal Economics - The New York Times

"strengthening collective bargaining rights"

How do you "strengthen" collective bargaining rights -- like there is some kind of continuum? It seems mostly all or nothing at all to me. I mean, 6% union density is analogous to a blood pressure of 20 over 10 -- foiling not only labor market fairness but starving every other healthy process -- an moribund economic/political condition.

Easiest and most practicable approach -- most crying need! -- progressive states (WA, OR, CA, NV, MN, IL, MN, NY, MD, ETC?) can add to federal labor protections(just as with the minimum wage -- California presents many examples of strengthening; opps, that's where we came into this movie :-]), just not subtract (federal preemption).

The most crying need is to seriously CRIMINALIZE UNION BUSTING. Being muscled out of the only form of association that can create both a truly free labor market process and can supply the only true path to political power balance for most Americans -- needs to be taken at least as seriously as that FBI warning that you face 5 years and a $250,000 fine for making a copy of that DVD.

There isn't even a phony FBI warning against union busting: only placebo protections even for ORGANIZERS who after being fired for years can be reinstated only to be fired again for "something else"; not even a placebo deterrent to protect ORGANIZING -- nothing. If caught taking a movie in the movie the FBI warning comes back alive and you will receive a couple of years federal hospitality.

Whenever progressives take the Congress back, a practical addition to federal protection might be to empower the NLRB, on finding of union busting, to mandate a union certifying election. Who could argue? No involved accumulation of proof beyond a reasonable doubt; no fearsome penalties even for bad guys (who don't look like your regular baddies to juries): change America coast-to-coast overnight.

"Liberal economists may be engaging in wishful thinking ... that more powerful labor unions generate not just higher wages but stronger productivity growth and a faster-growing overall economy."

Stronger productivity growth and a faster-growing overall economy? That may be the kind of secondary effect tht economists focus naturally turns to. How about the concomitant POLITICAL MUSCLE associated with high union density?

Late dean of the Washington press corps David Broder told a new reporter that when he came to DC fifty years earlier the lobbyists were all union. Union lobbyists in sufficient numbers would burrow deeply into pressing issues that distress everyday working persons -- like for profit colleges, $100,000 drug treatments that cost $150 to manufacture, single payer -- with equal finance of the oligarchs and all of the votes.

This latter capability is of especial concern to me as I read Thomas Franks "Listen Liberal" -- and come to realize that this generation of so-called "progressive" technocrats aren't just accidentally out of touch with every day persons, but really don't give a hoot or a holler at all (sure fits the Clintons and Obama).

Stronger productivity growth and a faster-growing overall economy WOULD naturally occur with a better educated, healthier and wealthier workforce. ;-)