09.02.16

The American Labor Day tradition — to attack labor

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Shoeshine, The Corporate Bund at 1:22 pm by George Smith

For the past couple of years I’ve posted on the corporate dictatotship’s great tradition — publishing anti-labor opinion oieces as good cheer on Labor Day. Despite inequality so high it menaces social cohesion nationwide and has brought on an election featuring the two most unpopular candidates in my lifetime, there’s never a shortage of white male douchebags from the right or some worthless corporate-cheerleading business institute pushing opinion pieces insisting the working man and labor has it too good on Labor Day. And the great thing about them is they’re all passed off as well-wishing or defenses of the rights of the commoner.

You could hang a few of America’s CEO’s from lampposts and set them on fire with napalm and white phosphorus, viewable by streaming on the web, and these guys would still be at it, railing about socialism, the necessity for more right-to-work legislation, the need for increased tax incentives/bribes for businesses (so they’ll allegedy hire more — which somehow never happens) and the holy sacraments of America’s free market and entrepreneurialism.

So roll this year’s selection…

Here’s Idaho’s governor insisting that firing local government workers during the Great Recession was virtuous.

Even in 2009-2010, when the private sector was taking it on the chin to the tune of an actual 1.1-percent decline in Idaho jobs, our State government reduced its employment by 5.3 percent. — the governor of Idaho, C. L. Butch Otter

Here, a simple and straightforward pack of lies from Paphlygonia on Shit Creek in Arkansas.

Labor Day signals need for labor reform … the labor movement is now turning its back on employees
. — The Mountain Mail of Upper Arkansas

From someplace in New York pretty much like the middle of Pennsylvania.

I championed cutting taxes on small businesses and manufacturers so they can have the capital they need to expand and to create good jobs … I will continue fighting to create and keep good jobs in Central New York
. — Madison Cunty Courier, New York

Can’t or won’t find anything nice to say about people? Pimp for mega-corporate beer owned by foreign interest.

The Budweiser Labor Day USA Survey touts itself as “a new national study that dares to ask the toughest questions about America’s most flag-waving, beer-drinking and charcoal-grilling end-of-summer holiday
. — Watertown Public Opinion

With private sector membership in labor unions at its lowest in my lifetime, thats still too much. Competitive enterprise, my foot.

With Labor Day around the corner, a traditional holiday honoring American workers, it’s an apt time to take a hard look at the value of labor unions
. — Newsday, opinion contributed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute

While workers here in Michigan can now refuse to pay dues, even while working under the terms of a negotiated contract, thanks to the signing of the Right to Work law in 2012, most feel intimidated and are afraid to exercise that right to resign from the union due to implied repercussions from union bosses and union loyalist coworkers. — Two page letter to the editor by a Right-to-Work anti-labor rep in Macomb County, Michigan

Then there’s the middle-aged white guy who imitates your grandfather at Sunday dinner get together to keep himself in good stead with the local chamber of commerce or whatever.

In fact, my father worked there during the 1950s and ’60s for a whopping $1.50 per hour (around $9 in today’s money), and that was some 30 cents higher than the minimum wage at the time … In my opinion, hard work is something to which a lot of modern Americans today seem to be allergic, for lack of a better description … I come from a long line of hard workers. There was no privilege in any branch of my family ..
. A corporate businessman we-ate-shoe-leather-and-we-liked-it type, G. L. Deer in the Point Pleasant Register of Ohio

And the cranky old white guy from way way out in flyover country who quotes from someone you’ve never heard of from 80 years ago because America is a socialist colony of quislings sucking the lifeblood of liberty and money-making.

Clark’s talk often referenced the roots of socialism that were planted by Roosevelt, the roots that have grown in size and today threaten to replace the Founder’s “Tree of Liberty,” the tree the Founders planted in 1776 … When Americans think of treason, betraying one’s county, they often think of Benedict Arnold. Today, America has its Benedict Arnolds. They are in the unions, in management, and in government …old man named Conkey in the Cherokee Tribune Ledger News of Georgia

Right wing business cheerleader think tank most people have never heard of, even in Michigan.

The state took a brave step forward by passing a right-to-work law in 2012. That reform did wonders for economic growth … More of this, please. The more we can root out many of the entrenched problems associated with compulsory unionism, the better. While much has been done in private sector unions, it’s important to move serious union reforms further in the public sector.opinion in the Detroit News, contributed by employees of the right wing anti-labor Mackinac Center for Public Policy

This one is great because it’s an uncomplicated fuck you, I’ve got mine. Shut up, get a job, because life’s hard and then you die.

Let’s stop telling young people to find their passion and start telling them to find a job … The work you do in the world is not supposed to make a fulfilled individual; it’s supposed to make you an employed individual.“Get a job!” type in the TCPalm of Stuart, Florida

I include the next one precisely because IT IS NOT like the others. Here’s one honest man.

Can we stop with the platitudes about celebrating the workers and face the reality of America?

For starters, let’s do something about the name of this three-day weekend. Instead of Labor Day, let’s call it Plutocrat Day or maybe Oligarch Day. — Bob Franken, The Sun Prairie Star, Wisconsin


And the very last, from the Wall Street Journal, deserving of very special notice. Because IT’S ME and 10 plus or minus a couple million more!


What do unworking men do with their free time? Sadly, not much that’s constructive. About a tenth are students trying to improve their circumstances. But the overwhelming majority are what the British call NEET: “neither employed nor in education or training.” Time-use surveys suggest they are almost entirely idle—helping out around the house less than unemployed men; caring for others less than employed women; volunteering and engaging in religious activities less than working men and women or unemployed men. For the NEETs, “socializing, relaxing and leisure” is a full-time occupation, accounting for 3,000 hours a year, much of this time in front of television or computer screens.

Clearly big changes in the U.S. economy, including the decline of manufacturing and the Big Slowdown since the start of the century, have played a role. But something else is at work, too …

Regardless of its cause, this new normal is inimical to America’s national interests … In short, the American male’s postwar flight from work is a grave social ill.The Wall Strret Journal, contributed by the American Enterprise Institute, corporate policy and ideology of which, over the decades, have contributed to the condition described

I fully intend to devote the remainder of my life to living up to the reputation of being a grave social ill.

4 Comments

  1. anon said,

    September 3, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    This “grave social ill” business will only get worse as more and more work processes are adapted to having a machine or computer do them. Combine relatively steady population growth against the decreasing number of people “needed” to do something involved in the creation of products or the providing of services, and you get a graph with two arrows pointing in roughly opposite directions.

    So, the real question, where is the breaking point?
    Does it come when too few people have jobs and thus, no spending money, so the “demand” for consumer products and services crashes and all those machines and computers are shut down from their jobs?
    Or, does it come sooner, when enough people with educations but no worthwhile jobs start using their educations in less-than-civilized fashions against the system that we currently have?

    The people at the top might not want to admit it, but a lot of how our “way of life” functions on a daily basis depends on the masses having stable employment that enables bill-paying and regular purchases at stores.

  2. Christoph Hechl said,

    September 3, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    The “machines took our jobs” argument is imho outdated.
    It turns out that machines are not as adaptable as humans are and unlike those cannot take care of their own maintenance. Furthermore they cost an arm and a leg to begin with. For newer machines, often bought with the intention of raising production rates, the swarm of workers to load/unload/take care of them is likely increasing.
    As for computers: They cannot really work for themselves. You know that old capitalist lie “Let the money work for you”? Money doesn’t work, people do. Same with computers, without someone working with them, they are only catching dust.

  3. anon said,

    September 4, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    http://money.cnn.com/2014/05/22/technology/innovation/fast-food-robot/index.html

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-08-18/uber-s-first-self-driving-fleet-arrives-in-pittsburgh-this-month-is06r7on

    I live in Pittsburgh. Yes, I realize they have a “helper” riding along right now, but I feel pretty certain they’ll push to reduce the number of helpers and to locate those helpers at one central location. If they can get a car to drive itself in this town, with the crazy topography, weird street layouts, bad weather, and regular road closures, not to mention unpredictably bad human drivers, they’ll make it work everywhere.

    We can agree to disagree, I suppose. I still contend that any and every employer is looking to make a product or provide a service as quickly as possible as cheaply as possible. Computers and mechanization help make that possible.

    Perhaps I wasn’t completely clear. I’m not saying that all humans will be pushed out of work by machines. I am saying that it will be harder to find a decent job, and mechanization/computerization is playing a part in that, reducing the number of humans needed to do things.

  4. George Smith said,

    September 5, 2016 at 10:21 am

    What’s the breaking point?

    It’s a good question and depending on your definition, maybe it’s already here.

    We have Trump, a government that will surely be paralyzed except for military action even if HRC is elected in a landslide. Which I don’t think is going to happen.

    Piecemeal failures. Inability to control, Zika because of politics which means the poor in the zones of the mosquito will get the worst of it. What does that result in? More severely handicapped children?

    There is the growthof opioid addiction and cascades of overdoses.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/08/29/this-is-unprecedented-174-heroin-overdoses-in-6-days-in-cincinnati/

    What can be done? Well, a lot. But there has to be a political will to do it and in the polarized society, no one will do anything for those at the bottom until it personally comes home to them and strikes down someone in the family.

    In the Middle East, 10 million men who are shut out of everything become radicalized by a war with no end.

    Here it’s different because everyone is isolated. The US is a big country, the plight is spread out geographically. In the white population, there is also a great inertia. Radicalization doesn’t occur, there is no unity or feeling of it, only desperation. Therefore, increases in suicides, earlier death due to misadventure, drugs, alcohol, giving up.

    Not so in the African-American population which has always had to deal with these conditions. In the cities, obviously radicalization, unrest, with the police now as a suppression force.