Thursday, July 29, 2010

Deunionization and Deindustrialization

"If regular citizens had been running the show, they never would have abandoned our manufacturing base," writes David Macaray — Taft-Hartley Revisited. "They never would have agreed to enrich international oligarchies at the expense of the American economy," he continues.

"Taking the greatest manufacturing power in the history of the world and dismantling it—relegating it to the role of industrial 'spectator'—is something that working people would never allow to happen," he concludes. Never. "Only the U.S. Congress would see the wisdom in pissing away something that took 150 years to build."

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4 Comments:

Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

I'm not an opponent of Taft-Hartley (it was a necessary corrective to union abuses), but the collapse of the union movement, combined with the moving of manufacturing base of the country overseas (along with offshoring professional services) are among the key reasons this country is in the shape it is in right now. And Mccaray is absolutely right -- the vast majority of the populace would never have gone along with this if they had been allowed to decide the question. The last nail in the coffin -- NAFTA -- was only passed because the elites of both parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, abandoned the idea of an American first economy for the ideology of global free trade.

The only mainstream figure to stand up to this insanity was Pat Buchanan -- and he was quickly marginalized by both the Republican machine and the mainstream media. Buchanan's book on the economy shows what made this country great -- the old "American system" plan developed first by Hamilton and then expanded by Clay and the later Whigs. The prudent use of tariffs to protect American industry along with the development of America's industrial capacity through the judicious use of government facilitation of market-activities to foster individual enterprise and economic stability. It was this system that allowed our country not only to build and thrive, but to welcome millions of new immigrants to our shores and assimilate them. The current system allows neither the native born to thrive nor the opportunity for those who wish to come her to easily assimilate.

It is time for an economic policy that favors America!

3:00 PM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

The last sentence of the second paragraph should read, "The current system allows neither the native born to thrive nor the opportunity for those who wish to come here to easily assimilate."

It's 11pm where I am as I am typing this stuff out, so please forgive the typos!

3:02 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

I'm not all that familiar with Taft-Hartley. I suspect it corrected some abuses, but it seems also to have imposed some new ones. I'm laissez-faire, when it comes to unions also.

I oppose regulation of business and regulation of unions. Let 'em fight it out. The gov't should step in only when there's violence.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

I am opposed to unions extorting concessions from business through coordinated strikes designed to completely incapacitate industry. That's what Taft-Hartley was designed to prevent.

I am also opposed to compulsory union membership ("closed shops" as they're called). I believe in the principle of right to work -- one's ability to work should not be predicated on belonging to a union.

But neither should it be hindered if an employee willingly decides to join one. I fully support the right of workers to unionize to protect their legitimate rights. The right to organize by workers is a recognized principle of Catholic social teaching, being fully developed since the pontificate of Leo XIII. Further, my grandfather was a union organizer back during the Great Depression, so there is a strong union streak in my family.

But he also fought against endemic corruption within the unions he was a part of. Eventually, he ended up becoming an official with the Washington State Dept. of Labor, charged with ferreting out union corruption, among other things.

So, in my family, we always had a good deal of realism about unions. They are a wonderful thing when run properly for the benefit of the workers. But they can quickly degenerate into very corrupt criminal enterprises if not monitored carefully, both by their members and by the government.

1:12 PM  

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