In Honor Of Labor

This weekend is Labor Day weekend. Most Americans are taking an extra day off from work to theoretically celebrate the role of labor. Unions built the middle class and modern day Republicans have been trying, with considerable success, to destroy them for over 40 years now.

The decline in Union membership and real wages can be traced back to the early Reagan administration. Ronald Reagan, who was America’s most harmful president, (and Trump gave him a run for that distinction), fired the air traffic controllers who were members of the PATCO union early in his first term. That gave the green light to increased anti-union activity and it hasn’t stopped since. In fact, it is part of the greed pedestal that holds up today’s GOP. Big business has found it cheaper to financially support anti-labor Republicans than pay fair wages and benefits.

I find it ironic – shades of a passage in Thomas Frank’s 2004 book What’s the Matter with Kansas – that blue color workers have defected from the Democrats and to the Republicans over their frustration at no longer having jobs that provide them with a sufficient compensation package. While I will agree that the Democrats didn’t do enough to defend the interests of labor the Republicans were and are clearly the enemy of labor. You might even say the enemy of the people.

It may seem odd to quote a Republican (a real one) but I can’t help but think of the words of Rick Wilson, “Everything Trump touches dies.” Let’s just hope America is to big to be killed.

Most of my points thus far have concerned blue collar along with clerical and service workers. Today we are starting to see some rumblings in the professional class as a result of Trump and his minions. Several Trump lawyers are in the process of being disbarred.

One of the latest phenomena to come to light is a small handful of physicians who are touting miracle “cures” for COVID-19 using debunked treatments, some intended for horses, cows and sheep not humans. Interestingly and not coincidentally they have a financial interest in these ventures. (Birds of a feather?) The right wing media is helping them in this venture and also gaining paid sponsorships in the process; you connect those dots. Certifying Boards are starting to investigate and action appears to be right around the corner. Even this may present another self-enrichment opportunity for at least one prominent elected Republican. Perhaps Kentucky Senator Rand Paul can just create another certifying Board and these physicians can simply transfer over. He did that for himself years ago.

One of the problems I see in American professions is the lack of ethics. Can we expect much else when one of the two major political parties has allowed itself to be taken over by amoral people?

One of the things I find so hopeful is that Joe Biden talks of union jobs. It’s only a word but it is the best start we have had since the dark days of Reagan.

A note of personal advice to my valued readers for the coming holiday weekend: conduct yourself as if you were in the midst of a pandemic, because you are.

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