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Commentary & Opinion
Tue June 19, 2012
Paul Elisha: On the Right to Work
From its very first use in our national history, collective bargaining by fiat has never been a fair or effective means of achieving justice or peace in American labor relations. The overwhelming material and political power of the financial/commercial/industrial amalgam has always wielded too great an influence over the official mechanisms set in place to police the process. Knowing this, the amalgam has used every available means to destroy the most effective defense available to American workers: their unity.
The prevailing commercial/industrial concept of a ‘right-to-work’ law is an oxymoron. The right to work is as inherent to a democracy, as is the right to initiate a business or pursue investors. Unified responses by a federated labor organization, united in a common purpose, is the one consistently effective defense against unfair labor practices.
Yet somehow, corporate amalgam propagandists take particularly outraged umbrage at the apparent injustice, of allowing federated unionists to organize defensive tactics against right-to-work stratagems. A Newsweek political analyst recently went ballistic over the hypocrisy of Republican millionaires, who tout cuts in government spending while simultaneously lobbying for larger government handouts in ‘corporate welfare.’
This commentator believes too much time has passed without awarding long overdue credit for corporate amalgam hypocrisy to one of its most flagrant and creative initiators, the actor-President without equal: Ronald Reagan… a past-master at giving all of his four-flushes a bonafide look. There was his suave performance when, as President of the Screen Actors Guild, he over-estimated the number of Communist consorting members who were then ‘black-listed,’ some declared persona-non-grata and put on FBI ‘watch-lists’ – which literally ruined their careers. Several were actually driven to suicide. None were ever formally convicted of criminally treasonous activity.
Then, there was the slick maneuver, when – as President - he sabotaged the Air Traffic Controllers union… a scheme from which it has never recovered to the present day.
But his most scurrilous and senselessly damaging act was the scrubbing of the welfare rolls, denying thousands of elderly and destitute dependents of livelihoods already below the poverty line. Many were later re-instated via an excruciating grievance process. Most were ethnic minorities afflicted with work related, health-debilitating issues. A number were re-instated only after medical examinations revealed their plights and pressure from then Congressman Sam Stratton forced re-opening of their cases.
The cost to taxpayers of rectifying such fiscal irregularities obviously wasn’t a cause for afterthought or regret, with a President for whom the chemical fall-out of non-regulated industrial smoke-stacks in the mid-west was a natural phenomenon, for which residents of large sections of New York’s Adirondack Park were told there was simply no redress.
All of which only adds to the proof, that bad actors make even worse Presidents.
The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors, and do not reflect the views of this station or its management.