For many years the middle class has been dumped on and forced into full, often humiliating retreat. Our standard of living and quality of life has taken a crippling hit. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the injury, grievous and slow-healing as it is, is not fatal. Now is the right time for us all to fight back with a revived militancy. Unions have held high and run with the torch for generations and have enabled the middle class to make progress for much of that time. And they are in the best position to carry on today.
Many people have been suckered into the myth that unions are part of the problem, not the solution. They’ve been tricked into believing that union members prosper at the expense of the middle class, when history shows a direct correlation between the ascendency of the middle class and the rise of unions.
The enemies of unions are the same folks who fiercely oppose the rights of all other employees also. They invariably side with bosses, no matter how blatantly arbitrary or flagrantly unfair their actions. They are foes of a living wage, due process, family medical leave protection, paid sick and vacation days, or any other mandated job security safeguards. And sure as hell they’ll never support any voluntary such safeguards!
These anti-union, anti-middle-class elements cloak themselves in “patriotism,” but they are the most unpatriotic of all Americans and in this sense they are far less “American” than people of undocumented status. They favor privatizing the military, privatizing the penal system, privatizing education, privatizing the postal service and anything and everything else (except maybe mom-and -pop delicatessens). With hellish fury they fought every act of mercy ever legislatively proposed as a safety net for Americans in agony.
Are you a patriot? Then regardless of your economic bracket, professional title or credential or position in the social strata, your personal interests are union interests and middle-class interests and American interests. Defend them!