Career Calling

January 30, 2013

Why We Need Unions

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has put forth a big proposal:  unionizing workers at McDonalds, Walmart, and large hospitals that currently don’t have unions.  Reich’s real concern isn’t union growth so much as it is finding a way to deal with growing poverty and lost income in the U.S.  It’s not just the least among us who are suffering.  Reich cites a study that shows the bottom 90% of American wage earners lost 1.2% between 2009-2011.  He tracks the rise in worker income in the 1950s and its decline since the 1970s to the rise and fall of union membership.  Workers are losing.

Who has been winning this game?  The most wealthy Americans, the same people who attack unions and the poor.  Reich argues that a country with more evenly distributed wealthy would help all Americans.  Unfortunately, too many people don’t share his view.  We live in an “I got mine and I want more” culture.  Until that changes, expect more of the same.

P.S.:  Writing in Think Progress, Pat Garofalo reports that nearly 50% of Americans are one financial misfortune away from poverty.  Unions would help make our society more stable and secure.  Of course, so many Americans have been bamboozled by the corporate media to believe in a “freedom” that leaves them at risk and makes only the super rich more secure.

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