Unions Are Political Gladiators


As reported in Business Insider researchers said:
A strong union movement is not simply sufficient for high levels of intergenerational mobility and middle-class membership, but it could be necessary.
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

Senator Bernie Sanders and former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton thanks SEIU members for their endorsement

Career Contributions

Contributions for 2016 Presidential Campaign
From Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson:
Practically every aspect of labor and financial markets is shaped by government policy, for good or ill. As the great political economist Karl Polanyi famously argued in the 1940s, even the ostensibly freest markets require the extensive exercise of the coercive power of the state—to enforce contracts, to govern the formation of unions, to spell out the rights and obligations of corporations, to shape who has standing to bring legal actions, to define what constitutes an unacceptable conflict of interest, and on and on. The libertarian vision of a night-watchman state gently policing an unfettered free market is a philosophical conceit, not a description of reality.
The intertwining of government and markets is nothing new. The frontier was settled because government granted land to the pioneers, killed off, or rounded up Native Americans, created private monopolies to forge a nationwide transportation and industrial network, and linked the land settled with the world’s largest postal system. Similarly, the laissez-faire capitalism of the early twentieth century was underpinned by a government that kept unions at bay, created a stable money supply, erected trade barriers that sheltered the new manufacturing giants, protected entrepreneurs from debtors’ prison and corporations from liability, and generally made business the business of government.

"Winner-Take-All Politics"

When the political economy of the Gilded Age collapsed, it was government that reinvented American capitalism. With the arrival of the New Deal, the federal government took on a much more active role in redistributing income through the tax code and public programs. But the activist state that emerged did not just involve a new layer of redistribution. It fundamentally recast the national economy through the construction of a new industrial relations system, detailed and extensive regulation of corporations and financial markets, and a vast network of subsidies to companies producing everything from oil to soybeans. It also made huge direct investments in education and research—the GI Bill, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health—promoting the development of technological innovations and a skilled workforce that continue to drive American economic productivity….
Once we see policy, rather than electoral victory, as the grand prize of political conflict, we see politics for what it is: a contest with big and often enduring stakes—a contest more like the one that gladiators played in the Roman Colosseum than the one the Celtics and Lakers play in the Staples Center. And who are the contestants? Who are the political gladiators? They are not, for the most part, atomized voters. The main competitors, the ones in the ring from start to finish wielding their weapons and enduring each other’s blows, are organized groups….
What does it take for weakly informed and aware voters to attract Washington’s sustained notice? It takes organization. To be more than bystanders in American politics wondering whom to shoot, voters need strong organizational mooring and consistent cues to recognize and respond to changes in public policy.

United We Bargain; Divided We Beg


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s