Thursday, September 27, 2012

Unions And The NFL Ref Strike

As usual, I am tilting at windmills, but Jaysus H. Christ on a Popsicle stick, if ANYTHING can get Americans to THINK about labor issues, this should be the vehicle. This article is long and involved, and worth every second of your time.

Choice excerpts:

The American right has waged a very successful war against organized labor for forty years, and when you conquer the enemy, you get to divvy up the spoils. We have long been complicit in perpetuating the image of union members as fat, sweating Teamsters on break #4 by ten in the morning. We internalized the propaganda and broadcast it back to ownership. We gave them the playbook, and they would have been fools not to run it.

The unions, progressives and socialists who created the weekend, child-labor laws, occupational-safety regulations and even the right to strike are dead. Having lived all our lives under labor's benefits, it's easy for many of us to internalize the decades-long right-wing talking point that "unions were once very critical, but we don't need them anymore." It's easy to believe that those rights fought for and won are enshrined as permanent.

In the vision of the Randian supermen he serves, there is a vast and legitimate number of jobs in this country about which decent Americans can support labor activism, and "NFL referee" is not one of those three. Like strikes in the public sector, this lockout only cost you by hurting your best friends, billionaire owners like the self-made men of the Giants and Steelers' multi-generational ownership—or Jerry Jones, who built a stadium with only the sweat of his brow, $325 million in public funding and a .5% sales tax, a 2% hotel occupancy tax and a 5% rental car tax in the city of Arlington.

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