Tuesday, January 15, 2008


One of the worst things that have happened to this country in the last couple of decades is the demise of the labor union movement. Just some perspective: I worked as a full-time bartender at a Labor Temple in northern Wisco in the early '70s. The bartending staff was organized by the Teamsters & I enjoyed a wage of $3.50/hr. I also had full benefits, which included coverage for any possible wife. I also received double time on 7 days a year. Man, $7/hr. I did get married while I had that job, but we left before we could enjoy the pregnancy benefit. The point is, there weren't too many bartending job back then that actually was a living wage, with benefits. Today, I was young people, baristas as well as bartenders, who are great in their jobs, but the jobs do not support a living, or a family. They often have a two, if not more jobs, just to keep up a semblance of a life. Very, very few can afford to buy a house. Luckily, I have seen some be able to buy a house, mostly with assistance, in some form, from tax dollars. An organization that I am familiar with now provides down payment help, closing costs, etc. It has helped a small number of people. With unions, however, the workers, as well as the bosses, thrive. The country is way better off with unions that without them. It is something that better be reversed, or this country will continue to struggle. This is well worth watching. It's from Crooks & Liars.

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