Friday, November 16, 2018

Elizabeth Warren water balloons Fifth Avenue?

Donald Trump bragged he could go out on Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and not lose any supporters.  Normal political humans, conversely, often have elections pulled out from under them over  some last minute revelations of fairly peripheral interest: Gary Hart having a girlfriend (aah!) to Hillary’s irresponsible email practices (ooh!).

President Trump now talks to the world on an unsecured cell phone – laughs off sex assault allegations.  Smoked but did not inhale: not his style.  Are these upside down politic outcomes due to differences in candidates – or differences in issues?
Ben Bradlee Jr.’s book The Forgotten, portrays the discontented Democrats’ decisive issues as: alienation, alienation, alienation.

Somebody needs to tell “the forgotten” (and everybody else) that even if their Donald were constructed of kind hearted presidential timber (even if he were another honest Abe) he could not turn their fortunes around as long as America remains denuded of labor unions.

I’ve been yelling lately for federally mandated union certification elections at every private (non-gov) workplace – one, three or five year cycles; local plurality rules.  (not my idea)

Been hollering that once routine labor organizing efforts are dead – forever – in the only modern economy I know of where employers are capable of (illegally) squashing every unionizing effort.  And have been pursuing that wholeheartedly for two generations -- to the point only the most militant or naturally robust 6% of American private employees remain union members.

Blockading labor union formation has become an inseparable part of our labor market DNA (our economic retrovirus).  Even if US law got around to making union busting a felony (not required in any other modern economy) and even if we hired (tens of) thousands of enforcement agents, anti-union employers could just laugh it all off.  What is the government going to do, lock up millions of owners and managers – the entrepreneurial heart of our economy?

I thought I had the killer economic argument for mandated union elections there.  I thought the killer political lock was that any proposal that tries to so deeply re-shape politics and economics could not be bumped aside by the latest over blown episode (think “George W. Bush regrets driving under the influence of alcohol 24 years ago.” WashPost; Nov. 3, 2000).

The (hopefully) killer insight of this essay is that Donald Trump got there first – on alienation, alienation, alienation – but Democrats can get there bestest, with the genuine mostest.

According to NY Times Nate Cohn: “[Mr. Obama] would have won Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin each time even if Detroit, Cleveland and Milwaukee had been severed from their states and cast adrift into the Great Lakes.”  Talking 2012 election v. Wall Street Romney -- same story 2008, v. blue collar McCain.  Mssrs Gephart and Dukakis took a nosedive in 1988 Michigan under Jesse Jackson’s 54%.

Offer “the forgotten” (and everybody else) non-subliminal, consciously directed relief to the specific roots of their powerlessness and Elizabeth Warren can water balloon folks on Fifth Avenue all day long and not lose a single vote.  :-O

No comments: