Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It Takes A Union...

Modern scientists say that hypothetically, there are a few unifying mathematical theories that - if ever proven to be true - would make some of our wildest possibilities reality. Like being in two places at one time.

While some people focus on the "theory" part of that fantastical description, it's often been our opinion that the "union" part of that explanation is really where the power lies.

With that in mind, it's easy to see why some of our staff has been perplexed for quite a while, now, as to why large numbers of Americans still don't seem to see the potential power in large numbers of people coming together for a common purpose - like securing decent wages for workers who give an honest day's work.

In fact, in many corners of the country, opinions and attitudes surrounding unions are still as unattractive as avocado gold appliances and shag carpeting straight out of the 1970's. Unions have matured and changed and grown since the days when they had much more clout - even if the average wage levels of most American workers hasn't.

Unions aren't like the characters portrayed in the movie "Hoffa" anymore, and haven't been for a long time - much longer than the lifespans of most of our staff. In short, unions are merely the flip side of the economic coin. Unions can be just as beneficial as corporations (More so, if you're not inclined to subscribe to the fantasy that the company will take care of the best interests of its workers first).

President Obama made his point - that what's good for American labor interests is also good for American business - while he was delivering a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday. What surprised us more was that this was an opportunity to speak that the Chamber had offered to him to give to their members.

The President didn't let this opportunity go to waste.

He hit corporations and business leaders with multiple truths during his speech on Monday. And while he may not have been as antagonistic as FDR, or as direct as Kennedy, his message came across just as clearly to many in the audience: the era where corporations can do whatever the hell they want at the expense of their workers and the communities they reside in, is over.

The President even spoke of how the union (there's that word again) between the government and business could be powerful and beneficial to all groups - workers, corporations, and government - so long as everyone takes care of their collective responsibilities.

Unfortunately in some states like Nebraska, unions have been treated so poorly, for so long - and have allowed themselves to be treated poorly - that their influence has weakened considerably.

Still, it now appears that even in states like Nebraska, unions are beginning to truly see a resurgence - and we welcome that balance.

As the President himself said in front of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Monday, without American labor - specifically American workers - American business won't get ahead in their competition with the rest of world.

It will take all of us, working together, for the benefit of everyone, to bring America out of the economic nightmare we've been having to live with these last few years.

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