So the question that comes to mind this morning is why do we still see, even in the ranks of the New Democrats on line, claims such as the problems in our economy are "the stinking unions" ???!!!!
Now beside the fact that the person who posted this, and you all surely know who that is, constantly bombards the New Democrats Online site with racist tinged attacks on Islam, we now have blinkered, ignorant union-bashing on a site that is supposed express NDP sympathies.
Of course if you think, like our dear blogger seems to believe (along with Tory ideology) that a 'good' economy is a low-wage system of underemployment where workers have no rights or pensions for that matter, then yes, unions are a bad thing. But let's put paid to one blatant piece of misinformation once and for all. It is totally counterfactual that unions had anything to do with the decline in the North American auto manufacturing. First of all, this decline is in large part a result of a complex, multi-faceted process of globalization, the motivation for which has been to increase corporate wealth regardless of the impact on workers and the environment. But it should be obvious to any vaguely conscious observer that the decline of the so-called 'big-three' has had nothing to do with unionization. Simply look at this simple fact - while many non-unionized car makers (such as Honda and Toyota) were systematically gaining market share, their cars were demonstrably more expensive than the North American cars of the same class. This means that North American car dealers were producing a less expensive product even with a unionized workforce. We must, therefore rationally conclude that their decline has been a result not of unionization but of other factors. This is a fact that rightwingers and the media have simply ignored in their all out effort to undermine unions in North America.
The fact is, if you are familiar with the long waves of capitalist development (and one needn't be an expert in the work of Nikolai Kontratiev to understand these things), one understands that not only are unions good for people, they are actually good for capitalism in the long run. This is because without unions capitalism will revert to its maximum level of exploitation, eventually resulting in revolution and collapse. Men like FDR understood this very well and knew that labor and welfare reforms were actually a life-line to declining capitalism. Of course since FDR's time, things have changed because globalization has allowed capitalists to pit one country against another and workers against workers. But in the long run (as the global economic crisis suggests) globalization will suffer the same kinds of pressures and difficulties that national capitalism once did. Workers will realize that only by protecting themselves against the worst exploits of capital will they enhance their lives and when real threat of revolution comes along, capitalists will realize that the economic system that they advocate is a dangerous cancer which eats itself alive and they will attempt to control it to avoid disaster.
Meanwhile, fools like the blogger about whom we began our discourse, will blithely blame unions for every ill of society all the while enjoying all the rights, privileges, and luxuries that unions and union activists actually brought to him.