The Wisconsin union fight isn't about benefits. It's about labor's influence.

The battle between Republicans and labor unions in Ohio, Wisconsin and other states is ostensibly about public workers' pay, benefits and bargaining rights. What is really at stake, however, isn't labor's income. It's labor's influence - not just in the American workplace but in American politics. Full Story »

Posted by Jon Mitchell - via Memeorandum

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Jack Dinkmeyer
4.2
by Jack Dinkmeyer - Mar. 11, 2011

Great opinion piece and historical perspective about the Special Interests and the Too Rich assault on the middle class, which builds to its major point: the right wing’s all-important objective is “to protect the special interests that represent corporate America and Wall Street from any serious challenge.” The author describes the current state of labor as: “battered but still standing”. However, if Americans don’t realize what’s being done to them, labor will not be standing much longer.

In their fervidness to transform America–land of the free, home of the brave–from Democracy to Corporatism–land of those in bondage, home of those made fearful–and to decimate individual rights, it’s absolutely critical for Special Interests and the Too Rich to wipe out the middle class. As the article bears witness, unions gave average Americans an organized voice strong enough to stand up to money and power. What kind of America do the spoilers want? Look at America of the mid-to-late 19th century. Tragically, Americans are falling all over themselves helping them do it. (Results of the 2010 election, anybody?)

Unions also carried the battle beyond the ballot box. Organized labor was on the front lines during the struggle for universal health care and the fight for Medicare for the aged. They were the main champions of organizing rights for workers and of the gradual transformation of Social Security into a strong foundation for a dignified retirement. Unions even lent crucial support to the civil rights movement, leading one congressional champion, Missouri Democrat Richard Bolling, to later observe that “we would never have passed the Civil Rights Act without labor. They had the muscle; the other civil rights groups did not.”

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