Monday, May 5, 2014


The failure of the Senate to pass the minimum wages increase does not surprise me. What surprises me is the lack of right wing rage over the bill even being offered for passage and the fact that it had to be filibustered, meaning it received a majority but failed the required 60%.

Consider the background of this legislation. For years, the right wing has been fighting to destroy labor unions that collect money from workers and make campaign contributions to those opticians who support workers and small businesses. The reason this happens is that labor unions are the only “collective” force in society that stands in opposition to corporate management. They fight for increased wages, better working conditions, and workers rights. Workers are responsible for legislation such as EPA and OSHA regulations, all of which big business hates; they own “it” so they should not be questioned “by anyone for any reason” about what they do to increase profits, even amoral bottom line MBA-ism

The truth is that labor unions are good things for all American workers. I don’t care if you a union member or not; it makes not difference if you set in an office programming, are a bank teller, a small store owner, or a construction equipment operator. However, the right wing does not see it this way; they looked at unions as being a destructive force. They fail to see the broad sweep of the good they do for America but only as an almost personalized affront to their individual rights. As a result, they have successfully destroyed them with restrictive legislation after restrictive legislation, both at the state and federal level. The America workers are standing around asking how did this happen. Why is it that worker productivity is going up profits are going up but wages are going down. They seem not to understand the collective impact of ALEC, the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern workers rights. They make sure that their “closed” meeting rooms are filled with a majority of corporate representatives with influential politician members signing a pledged to follow what the majority decides. The floodgates for corporate money opened by Citizens United plays a big part in filling the room with the “best politicians money can buy”.  The problem does not stop there.

The right wing has been successful in convincing Americans their government is pure evil. Taxes are bad, regulations are bad, unless of course the regulations restrict union behavior; then they are good. The fight is pervasive; look at such diverse things as rancher Clevin Bundy and Benghazi. Look at the trumped up IRS scandal and the “government is coming for your guns” rhetoric. A long time ago, I asked the same question of two different right wing proponents who I respected as rational self-made men, one a lumberman and one the owner operator of a small business painting interior decorating business, “What is wrong with the government? I asked the question years apart; however, the answers were the same; businessmen [sec: businesspersons] can do it better than government. These were two “take charge” people; no one had the right to tell them what to do or how to do it. In the context of the working class, they were saying they got rid of unions now the want to get rid of government; thus, all of this “hate the government” oratory has one objective. They want to have working people at “their” mercy; totally dependent on there good graces. The government is getting in their way; the government is acting like a labor union! The minimum wage bill made that clear, which is why I felt the radial right-wing reaction to the legislation was so subdued.    

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