Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why unions are suddenly under attack

Suddenly, public sector unions are under attack from Republican politicians like Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin (our nation's only Governor who does not possess a college degree,) John Kasich of Ohio, and Rick Scott of Florida (the only man among present governors to have taken the Fifth Amendment more than once in a single sitting.) This attack on unions, under the guise of fiscal conservatism, is the opening salvo in the GOP's newest battle to eliminate union representation in America, leaving our middle class truly powerless against the corporate moneyed interests. It is interesting to note that two of the three governors referenced were elected with significant backing from the Republican-in-disguise Tea Party. If they are successful in eliminating the bargaining rights of public sector unions, those of the private sector will assuredly be next.

The reason for these attacks are simple: in its landmark Citizens United v. FEC decision last year, the Supreme Court gave labor unions and corporations the same free speech rights as all citizens. Doing so, of course, means they are free to donate as much as they see fit to political campaigns and causes. The controversial 5 - 4 decision was hailed by conservatives as "fair" because both corporations and labor unions were included.

To call the decision "fair," is to ignore the gory details and to depend on the ignorance of those consuming the information (a typical Republican tactic, anyway.) First, as anyone can guess, corporations have infinitely more money than labor unions. Second, union membership has been declining since the 1970s. These two facts alone make Citizens United a ludicrous sop to the right-wingers who are now free to buy any American election they so choose.

This (short) blog article is not designed to be a bitch-fest, however. It is simply designed to show the malfeasance of the Republicans and as a testament to how well that evil intelligence works. Since 1989, the largest interest groups (including unions,) have donated $2,180,149,543 to political candidates. Twenty-eight percent of that ($619,535,364) were union donations. (These are donations of the groups and their senior officers, not the rank-and-file members.)

Here is where this gets interesting: Of the approximately $619,535,364 that unions donated, a full 90% went to Democrats. Of the thirty-one largest donating unions, only one donated a majority of their available funds to Republicans (American Maritime Officers.) The rest sent an average of 91% of their monies to Democrats. This alone is perfect motivation to attack labor union's ability to perform their duties. Without unions, the Democrats would be left with an even worse fund-raising gap.

The Republicans are utilizing the "Domino Theory" here to perfection. Safely written into Wisconsin's anti-union legislation is a little codicil that states that unions may no longer automatically deduct their dues from members' paychecks. Cutting off the flow of cash will starve the unions of their ability to do business. Eliminating their rights to collective bargaining will further erode the benefits of being in a union.

All of this means our unions, huge contributors to the very concept of a middle class, are in danger. They are being legislated out of existence by evil, surreptitious Republican business-owners and executives who will then be free to ship American jobs overseas without even suffering the mild consequences which exist today! This is why we all need to stay vigilant! People will tell you that labor unions are "socialist" or "do more harm than good" ... don't buy into it! By electing politicians such as Scott Walker and Rick Scott, any non-millionaire is voting against their own self-interest.

No comments:

Post a Comment