On Saturday’s Bulls and Bears (7/16/12), the excuse to bash unions topic was big labor helping to unionize the unemployed. Kicking off the discussion, conservative Tobin Smith quoted Milton Friedman and said, “Union members get higher pay because they allow fewer jobs to exist. Now, that’s what a cartel does. That’s the whole idea here. So by definition, it would not help jobs.” The almost all-conservative panel agreed. UPDATED:
Guest host Lori Rothman said, “Part of this union idea is that they’ll be connected on social sites, and they can share word of mouth hearsay about job openings or different ideas. It sounds like there might be some benefit to it.”
Conservative Gary B. Smith sneered, “Doesn’t this sound like some sort of Monty Python skit or something? I mean, it should be on Saturday Night Live. We’re unionizing the unemployed, and then as a threat we’re going to not work.” Rothman laughed.
“And how are they going to pay their union dues?” Jonas Max Ferris joked.
Gary B. Smith said, “Even Larry Summers… said unionization leads to higher unemployment rates.”
Susan Ochs was the lone dissenter. She said, “What they’re really looking to do is mobilize political movements to get people to push to get Congress and the President to pass jobs legislation.” She called that “a good thing. What I think would be really interesting for a group like this is to find a way to provide people health care.”
Todd Schoenberg played the class warfare card. “Unemployed. Ninety-nine weeks of extended benefits, food stamps, in some states you can even get cash and health care. Look, we’re giving these people enough as it is.”
Rothman said, “Long term unemployed, that’s the crisis in this country.”
Tobin Smith added, “We’ve proven over the last 60 years that the unionized approach has dropped jobs.”
Gary B. Smith said, “We needed unions back in the days of the 20’s and 30’s for crying out loud. We don’t need unions anymore.”
Rothman noted, “The unions in the 30s prevented child labor.”
In fact, unions help boost wages for all middle-class households – union and non-union alike. That wasn’t discussed, of course.
11:24 AM UPDATE: There's a problem with the video which will be fixed in a few hours.
It’s Peak Capitalism Time. Unions don’t really matter other than as dog-whistle material, because the 1% make their money on speculation. Use lots of dog-whistles on air, it hides the real MO of Peak Capitalism.
Um, excuse me . . . who was it who shipped manufacturing jobs overseas, again? The union workers, or the CEO’s?
I know right-wingers don’t like silly inconveniences like facts, but the reality of unions is that union membership is at all-time lows. Unions did more than just “prevented child labor,” they actually HELPED make that “American Dream” a reality. Unions helped ensure wages that allowed people to indulge in silly things like spending—on all sorts of non-essential things like cars and houses.
If these right-wingers would look at how wages for ORDINARY people (you know, the folks that FoxNoise’s hosts and guests pretend to be concerned about) have steadily declined as union membership has declined over the last 30 years (interesting economic tidbit—Reagan froze minimum wage at $3.35 an hour AND, instead of dealing fairly with PATCO, simply fired all striking workers, and 30 years later, we’re seeing the very safety issues re-emerge that the PATCO strikers were trying to raise awareness about). That, of course, is too much to hope for. Right-wingers, especially the FoxNoise crew, have a near-psychopathic aversion to facts and reality, preferring to remain in their little bubble.