Impede the Poor; Exalt the Rich

Unions are bad. They give workers too much money, which cuts profit, weakens business, and makes the country uncompetitive. Thank goodness enlightened states like Wisconsin have righted the balance by destroying union representation.

Unlimited money and power for bosses is good. Millions of dollars for management creates incentive for investment, keeping business healthy, and thereby making it all better for everybody.

This is the conservative mantra. Needless to say, I don’t quite see it that way.

The billionaire Koch brothers told their employees that they were lucky they were not overpaid, because this made them competitive in the job market. Anyone who was paid too much would not be contributing the value of what he cost.

One has to assume from such statements that the Koch boys honestly believe they are worth the billions they have. Actually, they aren’t. Nobody is worth a billion dollars, and no billionaire actually earned that money, including the Koch boys. Knowing how to accumulate a lot of money is not the same as earning it. However, they aren’t much different from other ultra-wealthy nueva-fascistas who would prefer to dictate life to everyone else to allowing their employees to have their own control over a reasonably secure and abundant life. Conservative Republicans think this is as it should be. The rest of us beg to differ.

What they are saying is that workers should have no power at all, but bosses’ and owners’ power should be unlimited. Or perhaps, limited only by the Magic of the Marketplace, which brought us the current catastrophe. See a contradiction here? Conservatives don’t want workers to have any power, but they want them to assume complete control over their lives without it, including health care, education, and old age. They call this “individual liberty”. This clash apparently doesn’t bother conservatives; Contradictions R Us.

Sauce for the goose should also be sauce for the gander, some of us think, but the conservative position is that the rich deserve all they have because of their superiority. They should control everyone else, whereas everyone else must have no power because they are inherently inferior, not to mention lazy. Adequate pay for them is bad for business, which is code that really means less profit for the rich. So the rich have the power of their money, but others must not have their only defense against them, representative unions. Unions are are the wage earner’s only defense against the capitalist rule of paying the least wage the bosses can get away with.

This is more than a philosophical argument. There is evidence that lack of union representation is associated not only with a lower standard of living, but even such things as shorter life span. In other words, people with inadequate income are sicker. Should that be news to anyone? Is that really what Republicans want, because that’s what their policies mean.

This belief in the benefit of no representation comes to us direct from 17th century England, land of princes and paupers. Today the billionaires are the princes, the rest of us the paupers. Frankly, I was never terribly fond of the English class system, but maybe that’s just me. Someone should ask some of the other paupers what they think.

Thoughtful comments for or against are much appreciated.


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