Monday, February 21, 2011

Krugman Weighs In

I don’t know about you but I always fell better when somebody smarter than me weighs in on the same side I’m on.

Wisconsin Power Play

You don’t have to love unions, you don’t have to believe that their policy positions are always right, to recognize that they’re among the few influential players in our political system representing the interests of middle- and working-class Americans, as opposed to the wealthy. Indeed, if America has become more oligarchic and less democratic over the last 30 years — which it has — that’s to an important extent due to the decline of private-sector unions.

And now Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to get rid of public-sector unions, too.

I hope my controller friends realize how the PATCO strike in 1981 looms larger and larger in history as time passes. To paraphrase Vice President Biden, it really was a big f!@$%&g deal.

I’ll say this again but in a slightly different way in the hope that I can get your attention and inspire you to think. If the air traffic control profession was important enough to hold such a pivotal place in history -- in the demise of labor unions -- air traffic controllers have the potential to be the pivot point for the future. Your actions could mark the turning point, where labor took on the power of the oligarchs and brought some balance of power to this country.

In other words, NATCA has the capability to lead labor into the future. To lead us into a time when working-American’s wages were rising instead of declining. Into a time where American’s retirement savings were held in safe investments instead of in a glorified casino. Into a time where American’s could raise a family on a single income instead of having to put mom to work.

NATCA can’t do it by itself. But it can lead. It has that kind of talent. It has that kind of intelligence within its ranks. It has that kind of power. All it needs is the will to use it wisely.

Don Brown
February 21, 2011


John Milton said...

One misconception was that the PATCO strike was a turning point for union membership. In fact, union membership has been on the decline since 1945. In this article, it looks like the steepest decline began in the mid-seventies, not under Reagan's administration:

Don Brown said...

Agreed John. It was, however, when union busting became government-tolerated.

Don Brown