“Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost” -Ronald Reagan
Although Ronald Reagan, patron saint of the far right, was speaking about the unions in Poland and the attempts by the Communists to break those unions, He went on to talk about the universal right to belong a free union and have the right to collective bargaining. This shows me how close we have become to becoming another totalitarian country in the past few years.
Instead of Communists or Fascists, we have a few billionaires and multinational corporations who have a willing accomplice in the GOP. This is not an economic struggle to rein in deficits. This is an attack on the rights of all Americans and as Ronald Reagan later said in the same speech… we are only 1 generation away from the same enslavement if we allow these rights to be taken from us.
The most significant factor in the development of an American middle class was the union movement, and the most significant factor in the decline of the American middle class is the decline of union membership. The budget in Wisconsin (and in other States) was busted when the GOP enacted huge tax breaks for their corporate masters, not because teachers were being overpaid. The same Republicans who argued that multi-million dollar bonuses for executives of Wall St. firm bailed out with tax dollars are warranted to recruit the best and brightest, also argue that good health insurance and retirement programs for teachers, police and firemen are unaffordable.
Many experts argue that the present turmoil in the Middle East is simply a reaction of those societies to economic injustice. That same injustice is being perpetrated on Americans today.