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Saturday, January 19, 2019

WASHINGTON — I try to be hopeful about things. I long for a time when people on the left and the right might exchange opinions without assuming the very worst of each other. I don’t view conservatism as a form of psychosis, and would like conservatives to harbor the same attitude toward progressivism. Happy warriors are better than grim antagonists.

In the weeks since the election, my hopes have been buttressed by conservatives willing to say that since Republican candidates have lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, new thinking might be in order. Democrats went through the same dismal cycle between 1968 and 1988, producing a reformation on the center-left. Conservatives are surely capable of the same.

For three decades, liberals were continually reacting to conservative criticisms. They regularly proclaim their love for markets, and Bill Clinton went so far as to declare that “the era of big government is over.” Now, finally, conservatives are responding to liberal insights — about rising inequality, about government’s proper role in the economy, about the utility of public action to promote social mobility. This is a promising sign.

Oh, yes, and conservatives realize they can’t win elections if they keep turning off Latinos, African-Americans, Asians and the young, particularly younger women. As one conservative friend said recently, “It’s not exactly a great approach to go to a Latino voter and say, ‘Well, we’d really rather you weren’t here, but we’d still like you to vote for us.'” The potential of a renaissance in conservative thought is enormous, if the right can overcome a certain intellectual laziness and inflexibility that, in fairness, have at other times afflicted the progressive side of politics.

There is, unfortunately, another school of thought on the right that rejects adjusting to a new electorate and to circumstances very different from the ones that Ronald Reagan inherited in 1980. Strategies for future victories are based on a naked use of government power to alter the political playing field in a way that diminishes the political influence of groups likely to be hostile to the conservative agenda.

The Tea Party movement cast itself as an authentic grassroots expression of democracy, and in some ways it was. But the conservative legislatures it swept into office in so many states in 2010 took decidedly anti-democratic actions aimed at reducing the size of the electorate through a variety of voter suppression measures — hard-to-obtain voter IDs, shorter early voting periods, new barriers to voter registration drives, and long ballots that slowed the lines on Election Day. The U.S. Supreme Court, in the meantime, changed the rules about financing campaigns in the Citizens United decision, enhancing the sway of wealthy people and moneyed interests.

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99 responses to “Which Path For The Right?”

  1. MRD1056 says:

    This article is great except Republicans have been attacking Unions for generations and I don’t see it stopping any time soon. This is one of the core values of the Republicans unfortunately.

  2. Lisztman says:

    I’m experiencing an extreme case of nausea at the moment.

    As we’ve seen in further developments, the RTW law was merely the first salvo in what has become a veritable shelling from the right. I don’t know that Michigan has sufficient courts to begin to process the inevitable outcome from all this. But I suspect the electorate may speak very loudly, come 2014.

    If there’s anyone left who hasn’t moved to some other state.

  3. The fight against organized labor in Wisconsin, Michigan and other states is not a spontaneous popular movement. It is being funded by people like the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson and other tycoons intent on accumulating more wealth at the expense of blue collar workers willing to give up their hard earned labor rights in exchange for a substandard job. What is at stake is not only the minimum wage, the 40 hour work, overtime pay, paid vacations, paid Holidays, and participation in 401k or thrift plans, but the future of the middle class.
    Additional gains by those who already own most of our financial wealth means the end of the middle class in the USA and the eventual decline of our standard of living, at a time when China, India, Brazil and Western Europe are improving theirs.
    What our greedy elite does not understand is that without an educated and motivated working class their own future is doomed. We have fallen so far behind in education we may not be able to catch up with the rest of the industrialized world. Our infrastructure is in desperate need of repair and modernization, and our education system needs immediate attention.
    The Unite States needs investment by both the private and public sector, with a special focus on economic improvement, job creation, and modernization.
    Cute slogans like “right to work” may convince the naive, it should not do much for those capable of rational thinking. Right to work, like right to adequate healthcare, are worthy goals to pursue, but not when we are being asked to give up essential benefits needed to maintain our standard of living. Our focus should be on improving our standard of living, not moving backwards.

    • nobsartist says:

      The John Birch Society lost the last election but will not go away.

    • RonaldS says:

      Dominick – right again. Further, lets us not forget that the rise of the unions was caused by employer exploitation- low wages, poor and dangerous working conditions, long hours, lack of vacations and lack of healthcare. While the pendulum of union power had gotten out of control, it is swinging back to the employers. Right-to-work means a loss in many of the above categories. There are companies that avert unions by offering union-competitive benefits but ONLY becasue unions exist.

      • idamag says:

        RonaldS, and if they try to eliminate the voice of the workers and then exploit them, the unions will rise up stronger than ever.

    • jarheadgene says:

      To turn the phrase more accurately it should not be “Right to Work” ; rather, the phrase should be, “Right to get treated like DOG Shit, as long as you get a paycheck.” Not quite as short and cute, or catchy, but a lot more to the point.

      • …or “right to work…on ours terms”. Ronald is right, the only reason companies that hire non-union workers pay them competitive salaries is because there are still union around. The moment the threat of organized labor is gone – and related labor legislation is discarded – the remuneration and benefits of American workers will drop to Third World levels. In fact, all we have to do is look at what is happening in the agricultural, hospitality, retailing and garment sectors to find abuses such as hiring part time help instead of full time workers, scheduling employees to work less than 40 hours to avoid giving them benefits, and making them work over 8 hours a day without overtime whenever they think they can get away with it.
        The end result is a decline in the quality of life and standard of living of middle class Americans who are likely to become a rarety before long.

      • onedonewong says:

        your blog name rightly reflects your IQ

        • jarheadgene says:

          REALLY? Actually the blog name just refers to my being a former U.S. Marine. What does yours mean….who did you wrong? Did you try to cut the hair of a hippie in the sixties, and instead they kicked your ass? Or did you have mommy or daddy issues growing up? I mean you hate Obama so much….maybe an African American stole your white girlfriend and that has you all “Fired up against that Mandingo President” Is that it? I guess I may be assuming you mean One done wrong and not wong. So I may be jumping to conclusions, and for that I apologize….REALLY why so much hate and venom towards people who care about people?

          • onedonewong says:

            So much hate…no just a total disdain for the colored and the 47% who don’t pay taxes being allowed to vote, seeing as they have 0 skin in the game.

    • Lynx says:

      You are talking the talk and walking the walk Dominick …What worries me my friend is there are still those in this country who think that by giving up their ability to think freely to the likes of the Koch’s and others, will make their lives better. The Germans did this in the late 30’s under the guise of national solidarity and the end result was the almost total destruciton of their country and the complete alteration of world history. If this world is to survive, this country and others like us must remain openminded, progressive and free-thinking. If the bible thumping, right-wing repressionists take over we are nothing but serfs in a land of overlords. Our freedom will be gone as well as our humanity.

      • idamag says:

        lynx, I was a child during WWII. I remember the newsreels of what was found in the camps. As I grew older, it bothered me that the German people went along with hitler. Nuts are born every day, but for a country to follow one was hard to fathom. I started studying hitler and nazi Germany and have read at least a hundred books about it. One book should be required reading, “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” It shows the insidious inception of the nazi party to the demise of hitler. Yes, the tactics remind me of what is going on now.

    • onedonewong says:

      What utter communist PAP

  4. bandrulz says:

    There are consequences of elections and the 2010 election of Republican majorities in statehouses will haunt us for a long time. The gerrymandering following the census will have devastating results in future state elections and the republican majorities are working at making it difficult to overcome.

  5. old_blu says:

    I live in a RTW state I don’t agree with it, but at least we got to vote on in instead of just getting it pushed through.

    I think it is bull sh*t that they pushed this through like this and they should pay dearly for it in 2014

  6. nobsartist says:

    In michigan, republiCONs can always count on getting at least half of the union worker vote.

    This should be a lesson to all dems. granholm did NOTHING for 8 years except try to create jobs by trying to entice hollywood to take advantage of the apocalyptic background that detroit offers.

    how did that work out? after 6 years, no “leader” has offered any real solution to the job loss in michigan. maybe thats because all of these politicians are making tons of money from investments in companies that are making tons of money by moving jobs overseas.

    I guess what is most obvious is neither party really cares about its constituency, its really all about how much money they can make by making life as miserable as possible for the residents of the United States.

    President Obama and the rest of the dems better pay attention because actions or the lack of, will have consequences.

    If they have not been able to figure out how the game is played, we are in real trouble. From what I understand about the way the dems are handling the latest fake crisis, I do not have a lot of faith.

    I think that we are in for 4 more years of lost promise and lost faith. After 1 month, it is looking like people talk tough but have nothing, no plan, nothing but capitulation under the guise of compromise.

    We are better than that.

  7. 13observer says:

    the left thinks they got a “MANDATE” last November………well now we will find out what Mr Obama is going to do for labor!!!!!!!!!! It looks like he can win elections and give AMNESTY to illegal aliens……but WTF about our people, our enemployed? You can’t keep blaming the republicans!!!!!!! Our MIDDLE CLASS is fu*ked with Obama leading the charge!!!!!! This is resistance against his GIVE AWAY PROGRAM for aliens and people that don’t want to work (very hard). Now comes the “MANDATE” he can do nothing about. Oh sure illegal aliens will have it better than where they came from………..but at a cost of OUR MIDDLE CLASS!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. NYretired says:

    All I can say is the mid term election is coming up. Vote ALL the Republican’s out. Or elected official who have signed this right to work law. I’m a union man and now being retired I appreaciate my pension and all the things my union did for me and fellow members.
    Vote everyone vote them out.

  9. neece00 says:

    I listened to Rick Snyder on NPR this morning giving his reasons and he said it had nothing to do with politics and I said out loud, “bull sh*t”. It has everything to do with politics and nothing to do with the people or communities.

  10. Grunge45 says:

    The story remains the same. Democrats at least try to help the people and this country, Republicans want help the corporations and the wealthy, and to have political power.

  11. disqus_K9DumnVTB3 says:

    Typical union thugs at work. They don’t want to help the working class all they want is to control the poor and ignorant. Right to work is the right thing to do.

  12. Nate says:

    this dosen’t surprise me. what more proof do you need that todays republican party is anti middle class. they want everybody to work for nothing and have no health care except for them. there headed for the wilderness for a generation.

  13. John_Medlin says:

    Americans need the right to contract negotiation even at the individual level. A right to strike while greivance arbitration is being negotiated should be a law same as the right to work law.

  14. TheOldNorthChurch says:

    EJ what you did not point out was that Michigan Voters support Right-to-Work; The survey, commissioned by Inside Michigan Politics, showed that 58 percent of likely voters support right-to-work. Opposition among Michigan voters participating in the survey was at 37 percent.

    America is a Republic where States follow the wishes of their Electorate on issues effecting their States. Republican’s now control 30 State governorships, Democrats 19. California is another strong Democrat State and it is also a Right-to-Work State.

    The President won the election by a margin of 361,055 votes (FL, VA, OH, NV). If Romney would have won 20% more of the Latino vote in these States, he still would have lost in all but Florida and lost the election. Winning more of the Latino vote will help Republican’s but not if they choose candidates like McCain and Romney.

    The United States is a Republic not a Democracy. This is why we have flourished as a country and so many Democracies have failed. Would Egypt be having as much of a problem developing if it were a Republic. Women and Coptic Christians might be having a say in the their governance, rather than being beaten,, killed and raped.

  15. As usual, if the Republicans can’t win at the polls legitimately then they resort to their usual tricks of gerrymandering,vote losing, shortening vetoing days or out right theft as in the 2000 Fla. election.

  16. ivory69690 says:

    WASHINGTON — I try to be hopeful about things. I long for a time when people on the left and the right might exchange opinions/// this will never happen as long as the GOP ding dongs are there . to them its like lets do for the 2 % greedy bastards of the country and the heck with the 98%. and all can see just that by what the ppl. voted for and want and the poll,s of how much the GOP,S are down in all the polls . even after the election the GOP still wants only what the greedy bastards 2 % want . well the only way the country can move forward and get something done is to get rid of the GOP me i have my own ways of doing that . but it the ppl. just wake up and under stand that the GOP dont want nothing for the ppl. the 98 % vote any GOP out of office . and that means and office . thy are like a cancer if you let a little of it stay it will grow and destroy every thing . ppl. you can give it a try what do you have to lose the country cant get no worse

  17. ococoob says:

    Let’s make sure we keep an eye on ’em in 2014 and 2016! WATCH OUT!

  18. ivory69690 says:

    The Tea Party movement cast itself as an authentic grassroots expression of democracy, and in some ways it was. But the conservative legislatures it swept into office in so many states in 2010 took decidedly anti-democratic actions aimed at reducing the size of the electorate through a variety of voter suppression measures — hard-to-obtain voter IDs, shorter early voting periods, new barriers to voter registration drives, and long ballots that slowed the lines on Election Day. The U.S. Supreme Court, in the meantime, changed the rules about financing campaigns in the Citizens United decision, enhancing the sway of wealthy people and moneyed interests. // and then when the tea party got in office with what thy ran on witch was (we are going to get the country jobs that we need so badly ) yup thy got in with something that sounded good . but at the end thy was just lies and what thy did is just join the party of no the had the chance to do what thy said thy was going to do and their chance was to get the roads and bridges fixed . and what did thy do ? nothing thy voted no on those jobs from the start .

  19. ivory69690 says:

    The political motivation here is obvious. Union families are the premier cross-racial Democratic constituency. Nationwide, President Obama carried union households by 18 points, but non-union households by only one — a “union gap” of 17 points. In Michigan, the union gap was an astonishing 32 points: Obama won union households 66-33 percent, the rest of the electorate by 50-49 percent //// all these percentage,s talks how is it that all thse ppl. cant see thy will never be able to fit into the greedy bastards 2 %?. these % points show just how out of touch the p[pl. in this country real are . what wrong with thje 98 % of the ppl. ? cant thy see its better to stand together as the 98% then to fall for the B/S of the GOP right side thats only standing up for the greedy bastards 2 % . whats so hard to understand here ? the GOP cares nothing about no one else but the greedy bastard 2 % .

  20. howa4x says:

    This is a cynical attempt to pit one sector of workers against another and play to the animus that non union people have. This comes after a historic period for the Michigan auto industry. Once on the doorstep of insolvency, management and labor each gave to save the industry and signed a labor agreement that added 115,000 jobs. The Michigan governor is playing to the anger that resonates in the blue collar community. They want them to look not at the ultra wealthy that is shipping their jobs out of america but to other blue collar people that seem a little better off. This is what Governor Christe pulled in NJ while fighting with the teachers union when he gave speeches to other workers and said they have benefits that you don’t to pit one group of benefit haves against those theat don’t. These are the same politicians that would give tax breaks to the top and crumbs to the middle and say you should be satisfied we gave you anything. In Michigan they want to break the power of the UAW and the sourse of funding members give to Democratic causes. Unions are now angry and what lawmakers there don’t seem to realize that a lot of blue collar republicans belong to unions too, and they too now have venom toward the governor. What the legislature dosen’t realize is when new workers come to a non union industry they will be paid much lower and have fewer benefits. They will be in the same towns as their union brethern and will not be happy and their new lot in life. They will resent the unions for a while but soon will realize they had nothing to do with it. That is when they will vent their wrath against the republicans
    Soon the war on women will start and this is why Republicans will have a hard time in 2016. They keep repeating the same mistake of catering to the few while harming the many

  21. gargray says:

    Dominick you said it all, but! the states that have the right to work law are the poorest and the least pain in the nation. I might add give out the most food stamops.

  22. jarheadgene says:

    OBAMA won by a larger margin than 360K of votes, except for in Karl Rove’s world ….I think he is still re-counting OHIO. And I like you phrase “If Romney would have won 20% more Latino vote….” That falls into my Drill Instructor’s phrase, “IF flys had .45’s, frog wouldn’t F**K with them.” Sorry ONC…looks like the GOP is tacking harder RIGHT…and that will NEVER win the Latino vote. They are done….as long as the DEMS make sure to close the lid this time, as Bullsh*t escapes from the GOP like air from an untied balloon.

  23. jarheadgene says:

    Yes….nice post I have worked both Union and Non Union jobs in my work history and appreciate both. I also realize that UNIONS drive up the wages for EVERYONE both Union and non Union workers in the same field. They also help the lower and middle managment of those GREEDY Corporations as far as pay and benefits. And yet many of them will act like the Union is the enemy. The Koch Bros must really HATE life, because all they do is throw money around to make everyone pissed off. They LOVE money….you cannot serve two masters, you cannot love money and GOD, you will love one and hate the other. We know they do not love GOD. As they continue, if I was them, I would worry about suffering the same fate of Marie Antoinette. Believe in GOD and try follow his two primary rules….Love GOD with all your heart and soul and treat others (YES, even the “have nots”) as you would be treated, and you will never live in FEAR.


  25. idamag says:

    What the extreme right does not get, is that if you push people around too much, they will fight back. Even a rabbit with its back against the wall will scratch and bite.

  26. Nascovek says:

    With the exception of Henry Ford’s decision to pay $5.00 a day to his autoworkers back in the early part of the 20th century, I can’t think of a single thing in the history of American labor that any big business ever voluntarily gave to its workers, other than in response to sustained pressure from organized labor. Only the ability to organize unions and use collective bargaining has created a huge middle class in this country. All gains in living standards, health insurance, pension rights and safety standards in factories were achieved over the strenuous objections of big business. So, the Michigan and Wisconsin war on collective bargaining is nothing but a major disaster for those states and for the country at large.

    • idamag says:

      Nas, I worked for an entity that employed over a thousand workers. I was in the management meetings as liaison for the emplyees. When grumbling started and a union was contacted, managment’s solution was to give the employees better benefits and higher wages. This shows the influence the unions had on even those firms that were not unionized.

  27. quasm says:

    Mr. Dionne;

    What is so evil about giving workers the freedom to choose whether to join a union? Is there some majority right that overcomes the individual’s right of freedom of association confirmed in the constitution?

    Dik Thurston
    Colorado Springs

    • Richie T says:

      Dwight D. Eisenhower,
      Five Star General
      34th President of the United States 1953-1961
      “Today in America, unions have a secure place in our industrial life. Only a handful of reactionaries harbor the ugly thought of breaking unions and depriving working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice. I have no use for those — regardless of their political party — who hold some vain and foolish dream of spinning the clock back to days when organized labor was huddled, almost as a hapless mass. Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice.”
      The right “TO” join an union, not that they have to.

      • quasm says:

        Mr. Richie T;

        You have made my argument for me. Included in the right to choose is the right to choose not to join a union. Thank you for that.

        Best Regards;

    • ObozoMustGo says:

      Dick… I am certain that you realize that this whole Right to Work protest in MI has nothing to do with workers rights. Rather, this is all about money. The money that funds lavish and lazy union bosses’ salaries. Money that is laundered from the workers to DemonRAT coffers and propaganda supporting DemonRAT politicians. They are pissed because they are losing their gravy train and their money laundering scheme. It’s not any more complicated than that.

      Have a nice day!

      “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.” — Milton Friedman

      • old_blu says:

        Hey Bozo how have you been? Pushing this bill through is also “all about money. The money that funds lavish and lazy” Koch brothers.

        You have a nice day too.

        • neece00 says:

          Old_blu, you hit the nail on the head!

        • BDC_57 says:

          You are right. Oboozo need to get job. That pays mln. Wage see if he can live on it.

        • ObozoMustGo says:

          IT’S MY BOY, BLU!!!! How are you Blu? I was thinking of you yesterday when I saw one of your posts, but didn’t have time to reach out. I hope you are doing well, Blu.

          You are correct that pushing it through is about money, but the Koch brothers have nothing to do with it. It’s about individual citizens NOT wishing to be shaken down into paying “protection” fees or being forced into associations they do not want. Unions are like the mafia, Blu.

          BTW… what is it with the obsession over the Koch brothers. Is it because they are conservative libertarians? Why not the same obsession over Soros? Soros has FAR GREATER influence over government, including Obozo, than Koch brothers ever will have. Why not bitch about him?

          Have a nice day!

          “The fact is that the average man’s love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. He is not actually happy when free; he is uncomfortable, a bit alarmed, and intolerably lonely. Liberty is not a thing for the great masses of men. It is the exclusive possession of a small and disreputable minority, like knowledge, courage and honor. It takes a special sort of man to understand and enjoy liberty– and he is usually an outlaw in democratic societies.” — H.L. Mencken, Baltimore Evening Sun, Feb. 12, A. D. 1923

          • old_blu says:

            They’re in an entirely different league of megadonors. I mean 60 million to 3.6 million and I can’t stand the way the Koch brothers thumb their collective noses at the EPA.

            Good to see you and I hope the rest of your Thursday is good.

      • jarheadgene says:

        Upcoming Headline…..”Governor finds out WOLVERINES fight back.”

        • ObozoMustGo says:

          Gene, my old buddy. How are you? I trust all is well in former jarhead world. 😉

          Re: your post… one only needs to go to YouTube to see how the thugs in the unions fight back. Like pack wolves preying on innocent old ladies, hot dog vendors, reporters, or average citizens excercising their free speech rights. Yes… those worlverines (read union thugs) sure fight back, alright.

          Have a great day, Gene!

          “Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.” ― John Locke, Second Treatise of Government

          • jarheadgene says:

            OMG….my friend “in opposition”. Had some good discussions, pre-election, happily agreed to disagree and voted…..and you know the results “all too well”, I’m sure.

            I’ll have to look for the links on you tube. If so, that is a damn shame. I have participated, in the past with Union affiliated demonstrations, I was a District Representative of my area. We instructed everyone, If you can’t behave, don’t show up. Sadly as the conservative wing of this country has continued to “PLAY” nasty the liberals are fed up and are willing to put up a fight now. I was surprised at how well the 99% movemennt played out. Guess some people remember the non-violent stances of MLK Jr and Ghandi. But Union leadership and many other entities will not play so nice anymore. They seem to believe the days of peaceful protest died with the MURDER of Martin Luther King Jr. Whose birthday is STILL not celebrated in AZ…… what a bunch of BIGOTs they are. The Koch Bros and the GOP Gov.’s may want to remember these guys believe in the 2nd Ammend. just as much, if not, more than any GOP person does. Time to pray …hard for this nation.

          • idamag says:

            Jar, I doubt if he can read or understand some real facts. Like the Ludlow Masacre where Pinkertons were hired to fire on unarmed workers and their families for walking out on deplorable conditions. They were paid in script, not money. This script was only good in the company store. They were required to live in company housing. The safety conditions were causing the loss of life every week. They didn’t have union, but walked off the job. Another good read for the dipstick is about the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. And if this whackjob racist enjoys a forty hour week and holidays and other benefits, his ilk did not fight for that.

    • jarheadgene says:

      The Workers did choose a union…..and created closed agency shops……WHY do you think it is a HUGE thing when a Governor tries to circumvent the WILL of the people, without so much as a hearing…..This goes beyond the GERRYMANDERING of Electorates issue, which also goes against the WILL of the PEOPLE.

      • quasm says:

        Mr. Jarhedgene;

        You chose not to address the question I asked. Do the wishes of a majority of workers supplant the right of an individual to choose whether to join a union.

        Best Regards;

        • jarheadgene says:

          It depends on the by laws agreed to by the Union members (Majority Rules). Most will go to a closed agency once they gain bargaining rights. And most will say you do not have to join the union or become active in the union, but you do have to pay dues. And I agree that at the head of lots of Unions are some major scumbags….but so are many politicians, bosses, CEO’s, preachers, policemen…etc., adnauseum. If you oppose unions, on principle or, for whatever reason, you don’t want to be in a union job, seek employment elsewhere. America is still a FREE MARKET society, and will remain so, unless the GOP decide to re-instate slavery. Both union and non-union workers cannot violate National Labor Relations Laws. I’ll give you ONE guess how that Act of 1935 came about, or you can look it up. Don’t count on FOX to tell you.

        • idamag says:

          Quasm. closed shops had to be voted on by 100% of the employees. Then as more labor was added, people came in to enjoy those things that were fought for collectively.

          • quasm says:


            Yes, but those employees who voted against the union were also force to accept the unions negotiations whether they felt they were in their best interest or not.

            Best Regards;

    • idamag says:

      Quasm, that is not the goal of those who are trying to eliminate collective bargaining. The goal is to destroy collective bargaining. Right now, people have the right to choose.

    • johninPCFL says:

      You have that freedom today. You can choose to work for a union shop, or work for a non-union shop.

      What the MI law did was to set up two classes of employees, but only in union shops. The “unionized” class voluntarily pays union dues, and the union negotiates pay and benefits for the various job positions represented by the union. The other, new, class, does nothing, pays nothing, and collects the benefits of the paid negotiator. The law is correctly named the “freedom to freeload” law.

      The fair way to set up this new class of employees would be to require that those who choose to work in a union shop without membership must individually negotiate annually (or whatever the union contract period is) for their own wages and benefits instead of riding free on the coattails of the other workers who pay for representation.

      • quasm says:

        Mr. johninPCFL;

        Did I miss something here. Is there anything in these laws that says how an employer must remunerate his workers, whether in a union or not?

        Best Regards;

        • johninPCFL says:

          Nope, and I’m sure every employer wants the morale issues associated with having two people on the assemply line on comparable seniority being paid radically different amounts. Ummmm….actually I don’t think they’ll give a crap.

          So, yeah, the non-union employee who bobs along paying for nothing gets the same pay as the union employee who paid for the negotiator that got both of their pay packages set up.

          “Freedom for freeloaders” is an appropriate description, don’t you think?

          • quasm says:

            Mr JohninPCFL;

            What every employer wants is to make a profit. If he doesn’t his business fails. He will pay what he determines is the minimum he can to keep an employee productive, union or non. He therefore must pay the more productive worker more. What each employee wants is the maximum return he can get for his labor, not always in the form of cash. Seniority has little to do with this exchange. All other factors being equal.

            In the end, both are working towards the same goal. Paraphrasing Samuel Gompers, the worst thing a business owner can do to his workers in fail to make a profit.

            Best Regards;

    • It would be fine as long as non-union members did not receive salaries and benefits negotiated by unions. Freedom does not include the right to benefit from other people’s labor.

      • quasm says:

        Mr. Grossman;

        If people want to join a union it is because they see a benefit from doing so. There is nothing to say they will benefit from union activity. My mother was forced to join a union when her shoe shop was organized. A year later the factory closed down and they were all out of work. She got a job at another shop at lower wages because she was skilled at her work.

        Best Regards;

  28. ObozoMustGo says:

    EJ Dionne… useful idiot du jour, once again spewing useless platitudes and cliches as though they are some form of truth. They are not. But you leftist morons most certainly realize that you have lost the battle in MI and you will lose the battle everywhere Right to Work is introduced to the people because it is about freedom of choice, and freedom wins most of the time.

    I will admit that I do like the fact that America can once again watch the evidence of what union thugs are really like, beating up reporters, cutting down tents and then trapping old ladies beneath them, tearing down a black man’s hot dog stand and throwing racial slurs at him as they do it. Yes, folks, THAT is your local union guy. He’s just thug like any mafia thug like Obozo is just a Chicago thug. It’s all there for all of us to see.

    That being said, here’s a great article by John Stossle on posted Real Clear Politics about government. Unlike the useful idiot EJ’s writing, this is good stuff. Enjoy!

    Government Gone Bad
    By John Stossel – December 12, 2012

    Politicians claim they make our lives better by passing laws. But laws rarely improve life. They go wrong. Unintended consequences are inevitable.

    Most voters don’t pay enough attention to notice. They read headlines. They watch the Rose Garden signing ceremonies and hear the pundits declare that progress was made. Bipartisanship! Something got done. We assume a problem was solved.

    Intuition tells us that government is in the problem-solving business, and so the more laws passed, the better off we are. The possibility that fewer laws could leave us better off is hard to grasp. Kids visiting Washington don’t ask their congressmen, “What laws did you repeal?” It’s always, “What did you pass?”

    And so they pass and pass — a thousand pages of proposed new rules each week — and for every rule, there’s an unintended consequence, or several.

    It’s one reason America has been unusually slow to recover from the Great Recession. After previous recessions, employers quickly resumed hiring. Not this time. The unemployment rate is still near 8 percent. It only fell last month because people stopped looking for jobs.

    Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute understands what’s happening.

    “Add up all the regulations and red tape, all the government spending, all the tax increases we’re about to get — you can understand why entrepreneurs think: “Maybe I don’t want to hire people. … I want to keep my company small. I don’t want to give health insurance, because then I’m stuck with all the Obamacare mandates.” We can see our future in Europe — unless we change. Ann Jolis, who covers European labor issues for The Wall Street Journal, watches how government-imposed work rules sabotage economies.

    “The minimum guaranteed annual vacation in Europe is 20 days paid vacation a year. … In France, it starts at 25 guaranteed days off. … This summer, the European Court of Justice … gave workers the right to a vacation do-over. … You spend the last eight days of your vacation laid up with a sprained ankle … eight days automatically go into your sick leave. … You get a vacation do-over.”

    Such benefits appeal to workers, who don’t realize that the goodies come out of their wages. The unemployed don’t realize that such rules deter employers from hiring them in the first place.

    In Italy, some work rules kick in once a company has more than 10 employees, so companies have an incentive not to hire an 11th employee. Businesses stay small. People stay unemployed.

    “European workers have the right … to gainful unemployment,” says Jolis.

    Both European central planners and liberal politicians in America are clueless about what really helps workers: a free economy.

    The record is clear. Central planners failed, in the Soviet Union, in Cuba, at the U.S. Postal Service and in America’s public schools, and now they stifle growth in Europe and America. Central planning stops innovation.

    Yet for all that failure, whenever another crisis (real or imagined) hits, the natural instinct is to say, “Politicians must do something.”

    In my town, unions and civil rights groups demand a higher minimum wage. That sounds good to people. Everyone will get a raise!

    The problem is in what is not seen. I can interview the guy who got a raise. I can’t interview workers who are never offered jobs because the minimum wage or high union pay scales “protected” those jobs out of existence.

    The benefit of government leaving us alone is rarely intuitive.

    Because companies just want to make a buck, it’s logical to assume that only government rules assure workers’ safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets safety standards for factories, and OSHA officials proudly point out that workplace deaths have dropped since it opened its doors.

    Thank goodness for government, right? Well, not so fast. Go back a few years before OSHA, and we find that workplace deaths were dropping just as fast.

    Workers are safer today because we are richer, and richer societies care more about safety. Even greedy employers take safety precautions if only because it’s expensive to replace workers who are hurt!

    Government is like the person who gets in front of a parade and pretends to lead it.

    In a free society, things get better on their own — if government will only allow it.


    Have a nice day!

    As William Voegeli put it in Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State, “Liberals don’t want the government to grow indefinitely. They just want it to be bigger than it is right now. The corollary of this stance is liberals’ refusal even to entertain questions on the dimensions of a welfare state that is exactly the right size.”

  29. elw says:

    When it comes to the Radical Conservatives that have taken over the Republican Party, there is no hope. They are deeply entrenched into their old fashion, disproven beliefs, policies and feel to bottom of their tainted souls that they are right. The best hope for the leaders of the Democratic Party is to hold the line and use the power that we the people gave them in the election. Whether they like it or not, we won by a good majority and most Americans agree with the President’s policies. Compromise should be made with that in mind. I am not saying they should not get anything they want; what I am saying is only give them what is right for the Country’s health not an inch more.

  30. Richie T says:

    At this point, voting ID is State jurisdiction, what they’re doing violates the 26th Amendment.

    Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

    Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
    “shall not be denied or “abridged”
    “abridge” is old English for limit.
    They’re playing games with it.

    The Federal government CAN slam them for doing it, it doesn’t matter if Voter ID is State jurisdiction or not.
    They’re screwing with a persons Constitutional right to vote.
    They’re worried about keeping their jobs, they should be.

  31. Sand_Cat says:

    Go ahead and keep harboring that hope of not judging the other guys while they take away your right to vote.
    Most of your right to privacy, protection from unreasonable searches, retailiation for free speech, due process, etc., are already gone as a result of their efforts along with the complicity of some weak and cowardly Democrats.
    But keep the faith: the other side is just like you. And if that’s true, I guess the Fascists and the Nazis were as well.

  32. JOAQUIM says:

    Republicans are neonazis

    • jarheadgene says:

      STARTING with Prescott Bush. That’s how far back the GOP nazi way of thinking goes. J.Edgar Hoover shut down his and his bank partners funding of the NAZI party back in the late 30’s. You probably already know Prescott was NIXON’s mentor and GW’s grandad.

  33. JOAQUIM says:

    in reverse… Or Robin Hood….in reverse…. or Jesus Christ….in reverse. I just had an insight: Republicans are the anti-Christ. That’s it! They lie, I suspect they killed Kenedy, they do not care for poor children or grown-ups for that matter. They take away any form of help to the needy. Oh, and by the way, they are religious phonies: No on abortion, they do not kill babies, just starve them to dead. And then we have the in sweats red neck republicans, braiwashed, living out of the same SS they want to destroy! Someday fundamentalists will come with their own political Fatima miracle: The holy virgin appeared to Cheney and told him to pass out to the American people that has long as there are Unions we, the people, we’ll have floods and hearthquakes, and signs of many wonders to come. But, considering the world will end by the end of the month, who cares!

  34. JOAQUIM says:

    and, at last. Isn’t it funny that corporations are PEOPLE and can organize and donate as much as they want to destroy organized labor, but organized labor, as REAL people, cannot do the same?

  35. Dirty pool Governor, dirty pool! Trust an Ohioan who went through this – it will be remembered at the polls!

  36. greghilbert says:

    This article talks to trees but overlooks the forest.
    Commencing with Regan, the wealthy commandeered the war of right versus left, eventually marginalizing the left. The dichotomy today is far right versus center right.

    Overall, as compared to pre-Regan, Obama Dems are center right.
    (A leftist President elected in 2008 would have tried to prosecute Bush-Cheney, the banking and Wall Street cartel, off-shoring tax dodgers, and the Supreme Court Citizens United 5 (yes, precipitating a constitutional crisis), and would’ve revoked the Fox News FCC licenses, withdrawn from Afghanistan, abolished the Federal Reserve, resurrected anti-trust enforcement, cut military spending, ram-rodded single-payor healthcare, and screamed bloody murder for reinstatement of pre-Regan tax rates on the wealthy. [Repealing the Bush cuts goes only a third of the way.] A centrist or or center-left President would’ve pursued some combination of the foregoing.)

    It’s naive to speak of the Tea Party in past tense. In part because of Fox News it still has far more influence and adherents than the left. The wealthy elite are expert manipulators of resentments, fears and myths, and their power and resources have not been checked. They lost a battle in November but not one constituting a setback to the war they are winning. Privatization is gaining, the wealth transfer from the 99% to the 1% will continue no matter the “fiscal cliff” outcome. If you think otherwise you are poorly informed. It may be slowed, but it will not be reversed.

    The wealthy will persist in orchestrating attacks on unions state by state. Public opinion will be turned against teacher unions (education is ripe for privatization), and I think majority public opinion already latently hostile to federal government employee unions. The working poor in the private sector (ie the majority of all employed Americans) will increasingly resent the pay and benefits of teachers and federal employees, and see themselves as being taxed to pay for them. The conceptual arguments of the unions — “employ and pay us well for the sake of your children” and “if we lose ground, so will you eventually” — will not hold sway among the working poor who themselves are losing ability to pay for basic necessities. The ranks of the private-sector working poor are growing, and they will continue to grow.

    The current semi-euphoria and wishful thinking over the right’s present loss of speed for having offended women and minorities is wholly naive, as is pre-celebration of the outcome of “fiscal cliff” and swooning in support of Obama’s “balanced approaches” and “compromise”. It’s what the non-right masses want to hear, and so media outlets not serving the right are dishing it out daily in article after article. It is sheep-fodder, being led to slaughter more slowly is still being led to slaughter, and it pains me to see so many eating it up and bleating their wishful-thinking approval.

    • your response is valid, if a little to moribund; but it does accurately reflect the movement of both parties to the right. Part of this change is due to the unequal level of misinformation purveyed to the general public. Unfortunately most Americans do not investigate statements made on supposedly journalistic news shows such as Fox. thus the info they ingest becomes the truth they tend to believe.Therefore , if you put a pretty face out front on camera , you can virtually spew any garbage you want and the viewer will accept it as the truth. The Republican party has been significantly better than the democratic party in using misinformation, and in some cases outright lies , to stir the fears of the American voting public. When you couple this with the voter suppression tactics and the ability of people Like the Koch bros. and the Devos family to reach the wallets of the politicians , you end up with a playing field much friendlier to Republicans than to Democrats, even with the democrats holding a significant edge in voter registrations across the nation. The only solution to this problem is the education of the American people , by news saturation to counteract the misinformation dispersed by networks like Fox. The proof of this theory is the success of commentators like Limbaugh and Beck. Their voices carry baseless and incendiary conspiracies thru the airwaves to a loving and loyal audience that has no knowledge of the truth, but treats every lie they spout as the truth.

      • greghilbert says:

        Thank you for replying. I agree with your characterization as to the right-wing Repub propaganda, both as to means, motives and effects. I accept you find me a little too moribund. I do so for believing too many anti-Repubs are now naively cheering for a Pres who is championing only a slow-down in the pace of their own economic slaughter. That’s the larger truth to which the public is not being educated, not even here in a non-rightwing forum. The great transfer of wealth from the many to the few is ongoing. Cheering for plans to slow the transfer is cheering for its continuation. Nothing will fundamentally change until the transfer is reversed.

  37. after reading many of the comments on this article , I am amazed at the lack of insight as to the real goal behind “right to work” laws. Yes, they are designed to limit the funds available to the Unions by minimizing the collection of Union dues; and yes the ultimate goal of the industrialists behind these laws { see ALEC legislative models} is to destroy the Unions; BUT the real goal is for the American Industrialists to be more competitive on the Global stage. This will be accomplished if they can slow down or actually reduce wage growth to the American worker, while demanding continued increases in worker productivity. Over the long run this will produce two goals for the Industrialists . 1]. this will not only increase the volume of product sold globally from the U.S.A. it will progressively increase the wealth of the Industrialists. 2]. It will reduce the the standard of living of All Americans and the quality of life to which middle class America is accustomed. Neither of these goals can be accomplished while Unions still draw a breath.Therefore it behooves the Industrialists to eliminate the only barrier to their ever increasing control over American society , by destroying the ability of the common man/woman to have a voice in our society.

  38. Dave_dido says:

    Remember, dear readers, that in every state, including states that don’t have a right-to-work law, a worker is free to not join his/her union. The difference is that in right-to-work states that worker who chooses to not join also does not have to pay union dues. That means that he/she will get all the benefits that the union fought for like higher wages, safe working conditions,the security of not getting fired on a manager’s bias or because one is approaching retirement, health and disability benefits, etc.-he/she will get all these good things and not have to pay a single penny for them. So you see that’s why Republicans favor right-to-work laws- they believe in getting something for nothing. All that talk about the “takers” in our society- the Republicans really support the “takers”. That’s why they think it’s OK for a newbie to waltz right in to a job that was made desirable because of unionism and not give anything to the union in return. And Republicans sure like it when that selfish bastard turns his back on the union because they know in the long run the unions will weaken and they’ll have more of the slave labor that they crave. Want to know what jobs would be like without unions? Take a look at the recent factory fires in Bangladesh and Pakistan in which hundreds of workers died. That’s where we’d be if it hadn’t been for unions and that’s where we’re headed as more and more states pass right-to -work laws. Don’t be fooled by the name “right-to-work”- it’s all about destroying the best friend the American worker ever had- the union. And as for the crooked union leaders, can you say Kenneth Lay, Bernie Madoff, The Keating Five, Jack Abramoff? Just as in management there are good ones and bad ones in union leadership- the bad ones always get the press.

  39. onedonewong says:

    5 of the last 6 elections?? 4 of the past 6 since none of the above won in 1992.
    As for the Right to Work law that was just passed,it was backed by the MAJORITY of voters in MI and by 40% of union households. It the Dems’ who think by providing a taxpayer funded present to their supporters is healthy for this country. Anytime you have 47% soon to be 53% of americans not paying taxes but voting themselves an ever increasing share of the public trough the country can’t survive

  40. Joe Narusiewicz says:

    The right to have no rights and be under Nazi owners like the Koch Brothers….I don’t think so. Democrats and honest people are never going to allow these vampires to win.


  42. ibincuft says:

    Capital v. labor has been an issue since the guy said, “Hey, help me build one of these here pyramid things.” Nevertheless, we would hope that any such disputes, in our times, would proceed more or less honorably. What happened in Michigan amazes, however. Rather than gerrymandering districts, denying the electorate their voting rights and playing such last minute lame duck games, the grownup thing to do would be to make themselves more attractive candidates to a greater share of that electorate. I doubt they have made themselves many friends, and I am sure they will find that out … unless they grow up.

  43. ssheila1950 says:

    We need strong union leadership again in this country, My husband both came from union
    jobs in Michigan, we have pension now, don’t get rid of unions, our ancestors fought for
    this many years ago, I feel sorry for all the non-union workers all over the country and in
    Florida where you don’t talk union at work or you out the door ! there is a good reason for
    this. You get no rights at all, all the company’s are doing now is nothing , no raises , no benefits
    to talk about and no pensions, please young worker take my advice and fight for unions.
    This is the only security left in this country. Besides God!

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