Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Unholy Union

I think we can all agree that certain members of the "elite" are well benefited by the policies of the modern Republican Party and the current manifestation of social conservatives, the "tea party" movement.  We can also agree that the elite would like nothing better than a permanent underclass in this nation that can be used for cheap if not slave labor.  We already see the start of it with high unemployment and the refusal of companies to hire those recently unemployed.

Now the Republicans have systematically been attacking organized labor, in particular those civil service employees represented by unions.  We have seen the attacks on public sector unions in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey and Florida.  The attempts to weaken if not destroy the public sector unions is mostly allow for the privatization of services provided by the various governments.  If there are no unions to represent the workers, they can't fight against privatization.

With the unions representing civil service workers gone, the next step will be to more or less criminalize private sector unions.  This has been the dream of American corporations for over a century.  If they can break the unions by criminalizing them, then they will have removed the last impetus to wholesale slashing of wages and benefits.

But getting rid of unions isn't enough.  You need people to be truly terrified of being out of work by getting rid of the social safety net.  If there is no social safety net workers won't want to demand higher wages for fear of losing their jobs.  We already see element of this with Michigan cutting the number of weeks someone can receive unemployment benefits and Arizona looking to remove up to 300,000 people from the state's Medicare rolls.

With permanent unemployment of 20% or more and no social safety net, those who will be lucky enough to be employed will be too scared to fight for better working conditions, higher wages and benefits.  It has been a long process in the making, requiring the right economic disaster to foment the right type of fear.  The Republicans are laying the legal groundwork for the elite to have their permanent underclass.

It is an unholy union that must be stopped.  The question is: Can we stop it?

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