Charles Krauthammer vs the American worker

The latest Charles Krauthammer column that was republished in a recent Spokesman-Review attacked a perennial boogyman, the unions. The unions, you see disadvantage exports, the unions make competition from foreign businesses impossible. The unions however—well, given the anti-union laws in a great many states, aren’t exactly a presence or all that representative of the American workforce in general. And yes, while unions do have a history of pushing a lot of dollars into Democratic campaign war chests, their corporate bosses push a lot of dollars into GOP campaign war chests. And yes, guess who is going to be “heard” the loudest? Not the unions. And guess who is more likely to oppose competition, do harm to exports, and create other damage to the “free market?” Not the unions. It is the corporate bosses, not the more than 90% workforce that comprise the actual corporation that makes the business decisions, that hires the lobbyists, and puts money into politicians’ pockets to create favorable legislation. But, of course, don’t ever expect Mr. Krauthammer to be honest enough to admit to all of that. Instead, he’d rather “project” onto that faceless and “dangerous” entity called the union all the problems that the “free market” faces today, rather than blame the corporate bosses for why the “free market” is currently in disarray.

The high levels of unemployment in this country can not be blamed on what is left of “the unions.” No more than it can be blamed on the EPA. No more than it can be blamed on the “consumer” desiring cheap products. Instead, the blame should be placed on the shoulders of corporate HQ where the decisions of how the business will be run, who will be hired to produce the product or service, and where the business will be located, not to mention where the profits will ultimately be put. “The unions” have no say in that.

So, given the lack of clout that the unions have in the electoral process and the U.S. Supreme Court decision that made corporations (corporate bosses more specifically) “persons,” and thus assured a top heavy support for the GOP by corporate bosses by the mid term elections of 2010; the time of the unions and their influence had pretty much come to an end. So, while Krauthammer was whining away about “union influence” with regard to Boeing vs Airbus, it was only Boeing’s corporate bosses (not the unions) who pushed for Congress intervening against the Pentagon choosing foreign companies over domestic manufacture. Boeing HQ stood to lose a good share of profit if the Pentagon deal went forward.

So, why at this late date does Krauthammer want to inveigh against the unions? Besides the fact that we are only months away from the first presidential primary and a distinction needs to be made between the GOP who support corporate bosses and Democrats who support the corporate workforce… Because it is all of a piece with other forms of opposition to the very idea that the American workforce might actually stand to gain something with a Democrat who continues to hold the reins of government. And no, we can’t have that, can we?

I regarded the Krauthammer column as the saddest blast against the American worker as anything that Krauthammer could have said to date. Corporations are in fact more than 90% salaried and hourly workers and probably 5% or less shareholders, board of directors, plus CEO, CFO, and COO. That is going to be true, no matter what corporation that is discussed. No matter what form of industry, no matter where in what commercial district, no matter where in what financial sector. It seems to me that given the scarcity of actual union presence, that Krauthammer could have instead declared the opposition of the American worker to the kinds of legislation that ultimately hurts their having a job in the first place. Legislation favored by corporate bosses to maximize profit by way of cheap labor, tax breaks and subsidies, and relocating entire manufacturing plants off-shore to literally avoid having to be held to account in the production of quality durable goods (they may neither be quality or durable), meeting environmental impact standards (where they are not enforced in foreign nations), etc. What it also means, that when the jobs leave, so does the consumer and tax base.

Fareed Zakaria disclosed that while capital (wealth) was mobile, the workforce is not. What he could also have said, was that a certain amount of wealth is not mobile at all. Precisely, the wealth required to produce the “demand” for the “cheaply made product” that is supplied. No job, no wealth, and therefore, no demand. No, it isn’t possible to blame the unions for the decisions made by corporate bosses. The corporate bosses want all this short-term maximum profit, what happens in the long-term when the product or service goes unsold because of the lack of wealth? You see, the unions depend on the existence of the marketplace for their daily bread. The corporate bosses however, seem to depend on anti-marketplace legislation that favors their business at the expense of others. Krauthammer has for so long been a corporate shill, that he couldn’t state the truth on this if he tried. That was the saddest part of all.


One Response to “Charles Krauthammer vs the American worker”

  1. Panama corporation Says:

    .SIU Gulf Coast Vice President Dean Corgey..was very informative in providing information and was very hopeful that the US offshore drilling community would consider unions as a resource that workers could use to improve working conditions and increase workforce safety. The responses that were posted from the UK and Australia were nearly all positive while the responses from the US were few but mostly negative..While trying to understand the variation in attitudes towards unions from the different geographical locations many questions went through my mind. Were the negative responses contrived by those trying to prove their dog-like devotion to their company in order to get a pat on the head from their boss?.My conclusions are that a good many people are disenchanted with unions in the US because of past bad experiences with them.

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