Labor Unions

Dr. Wolff, One of the nuggets of wisdom I've heard you mention in your lectures on the evils of Capitalism, is that the Communists, and the Socialists were liquidated post FDR's New Deal, by the rich and the right-wing (due to FDR's taxing them to get our asses out of the Great Depression, and that they didn't want that to happen again), and that Labor Union memberships have been reduced steadily in the last 50 years, leaving Americans with little to no representation in the work-place. Granted. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "The union membership rate--the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions--was 10.7 percent in 2016, down 0.4 percentage point from 2015. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions, at 14.6 million in 2016, declined by 240,000 from 2015. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent, and there were 17.7 million union workers." OK, so, as Trump is already getting himself in trouble just being the poster-boy for the Russians, I wouldn't recommend a resurgence of anything that even sounds like Communism or Bolshevism, but, Socialism appears to be catching on again, and...the Labor Unions. Why can't we strengthen the Labor Unions again? I realize membership has reduced steadily, but what's the history behind that? Can't we reverse that trend, which would allow Americans to have representation again? You yourself have said that Socialism and Communism are dead in many American's *minds* due to the brainwashing against those ideas over the last 70 years. Again, granted. However, since it will obviously take time to get to "democratize the workplace" in this country, wouldn't it seem we could make head-ways, with Labor Unions, while we're working on the former?

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  • Donald Bellunduno
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-06-09 21:46:15 -0400