Next Up

Sorry to go back into political nerd world, but this just came to me: next up after they end Social Security (or at least attempt to - that is what they're doing, make no mistake), the GOP is going to go after labor unions. Now, they've been going after labor unions for a while, but this next phase will be different. How?

They are going to challenge the ability of labor unions to even exist.

The way this will happen will be as follows: for the next several years, the economy is going to continue to sputter along (there's a growing chance that everything will just go to shit - this might help this particular effort, but it also would introduce certain elements of uncertainty that I can't quite account for yet), and there will be growing dissatisfaction with the economic situation. Then, sometime in 2005 or 2006 (maybe '06, after the midterms), the GOP will come up with the solution, the thing that is holding the economy back - unions.

Of course, this is ludicrous, as nearly all high-wage industries with heavy union saturation have been more or less eviscerated in this country (e.g., steel, heavy manufacturing). The remaining sectors of the workforce that are largely or partially unionized - teachers and other public-sector workers, hotel, hospital and service workers - are, for the most part, still underpaid relative to their value to society and/or their industry.

Breaking the back of America's remaining unions would do nothing but increase the debt level of middle class families who are already having trouble making it.

But no matter! The presence of unions - any unions, anywhere, in this country - keeps business from squeezing every last cent of short-term profit from the balance sheets (long-term, unions are essential for an advanced capitalist economy), which as far as the Bush administration is concerned is pretty much pure evil.

I didn't develop this idea quite as much as I could, but I think you get the point.

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