In the United States unions are rapidly becoming something quaint from history like the Grange. Third world countries don’t have unions and don’t have a middle class. Union airline pilots have seen their wages and benefits slashed, working conditions deteriorate and pensions disappear into the hands of Mitt Romney and his friends at Bain.
It’s not all gloom and doom for the pilots however, the last remaining super power is rapidly expanding its airlines and will hire as many experienced American pilots as it can get. They offer 50% more pay and excellent benefits for anyone willing to relocate to the Peoples Republic of China. In fact experienced managers and technocrats of all sorts across the business spectrum can leave the Great Depression behind and find a first world career in China.
There is a small fly in that ointment however, you can bet all the co-pilots and junior executives speak Mandarin as their first language. The children and grandchildren of these American ex-pats can look forward to jobs back in third world America. A place where non-union airline pilots make the same pay as a manager at the local “fries with that” establishment, and the pay for all middle class jobs continue to slide downward.
I mentioned the Grange in the first paragraph, they were the first large scale “union like” movement, but it was organized for farmers. They were largely responsible for pushing through the Progressive reforms in the late 19th and early 20th century. They played a big part in the New Deal which made labor unions possible. Unfortunately the Grange never really got the hang of collective bargaining despite getting a Federal law passed to make it possible for farmers. They simply faded away.
A new more aggressive collective bargaining group organized farm strikes and secured contracts in the mid sixties. LBJ used the DOJ to kill that movement with court injunctions, having the law on your side isn’t always enough. The labor unions sat on their hands while this happened, and now they are gone too. How does the parable go? Something about, “first they came for…”, you know how it goes. In this case it was, they came for the farmers, but I wasn’t farmer, I was a Reagan Democrat.
We have never really stuck together as Americans for any length of time. The billionaire exploiters have been far better at dividing the 99% into 99 factions than we have been at organizing. We can’t all emigrate to China, of course there is a pretty good chance they’ll just come here. The Republicans think they are the big dogs on the block, but they could be learning to respond to “sit, stay, and lie down” in Mandarin, and they will obey.
In 1776 it was liberals that fought the British East India Company while conservatives collaborated. Sometime in the distant future, say 2176, when the liberals rise up to liberate the American colonies and create a new democratic government, will the new Constitution be written in Mandarin? Or will it happen sooner? The Constitution we have is a pretty good one, it just needs those clauses added that the original framers wanted in it to ban corporate monopolies. www.prairie2.com