Sep 9, 2022Liked by Thom Hartmann

Honestly I don’t think most Americans have a clue about legislation proposed for their benefit (such as this bill by Elizabeth Warren). And a shout out to articles like this one for highlighting the importance of what is at risk if legislation like this doesn’t pass. The lack of decent MSM coverage of what the current house and senate are proposing are sketchy at best. And anything that is beneficial to the middle class is downplayed and mocked by the Republicans and their goon squad “reporters” on Fox as socialism and inflation -boosting and we know Fox is where many Americans get the bulk of their “news”. So I’m pessimistic about America’s chances of keeping our democracy and advancing policies that move us forward into a healthier future. We need full on strategy to put progressive messaging out there that is compelling and speaks to every American. I don’t know the answer how to do that but somehow the Republican message is out there confusing Americans enough that they vote against their best interests. That needs to change fundamentally exposing the special interests in propaganda put out there on the MSM and right wing outlets.

Expand full comment

Thom; thanks for such an informative article. I am a proud 57 year member of the Machinist's Union. One of the most progressive labor leaders was my friend and mentor IAM president, William W. Winpisinger. I'd be willing to bet you have heard of him. Anyway; last week I sent out a post on Facebook and and email to hundreds of IAM members entitled; " The demise of the labor movement, a short history. I wrote several historical. But I emphasized how the courts and the Republican party will work to destroy organized labor. Your Report will be sent out today and will definitely make, what I wrote, much better and more significant. Thank you so much for all you do.

Expand full comment
Sep 9, 2022·edited Sep 10, 2022

Unfortunately it took a pandemic to show people what an "essential worker" is. The Great Resignation has gone world-wide, but I would argue it started here with women and Gen Z coming to the realization they aren't going to take crumbs and insisting they should get a full slice of the pie. And now, like Sally Fields playing Norma Rae, they have stood on the table with a great big UNION sign.

I have my own union stories and worked as management as well. When shouldering the management responsibilities, I was paid LESS than the union workers. This was my avenue to ask for raises, because obviously that pay structure is stupid. There is no end to just how stupid, mean, and dismissive corporate America can be.

Legislation for union rights IS the remedy. Senator Warren and her family struggled just like President Biden's did. It's no wonder they get it.

Crystal Lee Sutton was the real-life Norma Rae that lost her job for organizing. Take a sec to read her WIKI page. We are not going back to the 70's for that crap nor to the 50's to stifle women's rights!


Expand full comment

Basically, the goal of the NaziRepublican Party is unfettered aristocracy. Left alone, they would make Trump king, since he's proven that stupidity and gullibility breed true. They would fight a while, then eventually divide up the USA into estates where landless serfs are offered jobs at whatever the nobleman feels like paying. If they do it right, it would be like my last industry - we had so few companies that all the HR folks shared pay and employees couldn't move for more pay.

Expand full comment

Reviving USA's Dying Middle Class - Union Enabling Plus …

We need more than partial employee empowerment with unionization. We need additional employee empowerment and disempowerment of oligarchs.

Our glorious 20th century middle class was "intentionally created, by law, by having government “interfere” in the so-called “free market” on behalf of labor." However since 1975, much of that middle class wealth and income has been stolen by the oligarchs to shrink he middle class: https://time.com/5888024/50-trillion-income-inequality-america/, https://www.epi.org/blog/growing-inequalities-reflecting-growing-employer-power-have-generated-a-productivity-pay-gap-since-1979-productivity-has-grown-3-5-times-as-much-as-pay-for-the-typical-worker/.

One of the key factors for empowering employee labor was unions. “You see it, literally, all over the world today in countries where governments have not passed laws to specifically empower working people by giving them union rights.”

Unfortunately, that early 20th century cyclical government interference, including unionization enablement, has since been mostly eliminated by the oligarchs and their political lackeys. Oligarchs who prefer, and are empowered by, our anti-democratic, 'unencumbered' capitalist market will eventually destroy our middle class via the very same, but now enabling, government.

We need a better system. We need to re-strengthen union power and MORE. We need to maximize employee power and minimize oligarch power. We need to modify our capitalist system to permanently disempower the oligarchs and give labor a more direct, constant, consistent and permanent position of interference in the so-called 'free/unencumbered’ market. The market’s freedom needs the visible hand of the employee - not the invisible hand of the employer.

We will need government to enable this better system to replace our unstable government interference/enabling cycle with a more non-cyclic market controlled democratically by labor. We need the new Nationwide Right to Unionize Act (NRUA) as a start. We also need a National Employee Capitalism Control Act (NECCA) to prevent the undoing of the NRUA by the still present and powerful oligarchs, whom we never hold accountable for their abuse.

NECCA will enable and empower democratic employee control over the means of production and the distribution of profit. It will promote coops where employees democratically decide what is best for all stakeholders. Employees will democratically decide on the location of the means of production. Employees will democratically decide workforce utilization to minimize unemployment. Employees will democratically decide how work by-products are handled to minimize community contamination. Employees will democratically decide how their profit from productivity will be distributed with the goal of disempowering oligarchs and maximizing economic equality.

NECCA will also make sure unions will have voting power equivalent to all company shareholders. To further empower union representation, union votes will be boosted based on improvements in employee productivity - value/profit added by their efficient labor. This additional voting power would apply specifically to votes on board member compensation. More productivity, more votes, more control over CEO power and the pay gap between the average employee and the board members - disempowering the employers.

Once the oligarchs of the workplace are disempowered, we need to disempower all the grandfather oligarchs. We need to disempower oligarchs with both a new wealth and inheritance taxes, and new anti-bribery laws to end ‘money-is-human-speech’ and replace ‘corporations-have-human-rights’ with ‘nature-has-rights.’

We need more than union enabling, NRUA. We need democratic empowerment of unions/employees and disempowerment of existing and future anti-democratic oligarchs, NECCA.

Expand full comment