Unions are good for democracy

Color logo of the National Labor Relations Boa...

Color logo of the National Labor Relations Board, an independent agency of the United States federal government. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As union membership in the US has declined, so have the fortunes of the middle class. And a vibrant middle class is the measure of how well democracy is functioning. As US Supreme Court Associate Justice (1916-1939) Louis Brandeis said, you can have democracy or you can have great concentrations of wealth, but not both at the same time. I cannot prove that unions are good for the middle class and democracy, but there is empirical evidence that it is true. Rather than argue about it until our democracy is moribund, I think that we should act to increase union membership by any and all reasonable means and worry about the finer points later.

Enact card check to make union organizing easier. Repeal Taft-Hartley and encourage the states to recognize public employee unions. Repeal right to work laws. Enforce the laws already on the books to require employers to bargain in good faith and fully fund the NLRB, National Labor Relations Board. The time to act is now while we still can. The GOP is doing everything in their power to destroy all things union. In fact, if there is anything you wish to see damaged or destroyed, just put a union label on it.

5 thoughts on “Unions are good for democracy

  1. Well, I was busy with other things this evening. When I get time….

    Just an observation. Usually people become Conservative because of how much theory and real life differ.

    If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain. — Winston Churchill

    No insult intended. Actually, I expect the problem is more related to wisdom than brains, and I was still rather liberal at 40.

  2. walthe310 – I have yet to read enough of your blog to get a fix on your political views, but I sometimes wonder why you call yourself a Republican. What makes you think government arm twisting in support of unions is a good idea?

    We don’t want our government to favor anyone. When government shows favoritism, it has to do so at someone else’s expense. That is in fact the problem with corporations. At the expense of smaller businesses, local and state governments (and often times the federal government) provide big corporations favors. If showing favoritism for corporations is wrong, then showing favoritism for unions is also wrong.

    What helps workers is the same thing that helps consumers. That is competition. Just as there is no substitute for having more than one vendor who want to sell you his product, there is also no substitute for having more than one employer who wants you as his employee.

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