Thursday, February 17, 2011

Getting Serious For a Minute

Okay, I'm going to get political.... again.

I tend liberal.

I may start tossing around some swear words here.

You have been warned.

You still have time to avert your eyes and come back when I'm happily discussing knitted crap, Doctor Who, comic books and comic book related subjects.

Are you still here?

Okay then.....

Democratic State Lawmakers in Wisconsin not only staged a walkout they actually fled the state so that they could not be forced to vote on a State Bill which would, among other things, remove collective bargaining rights for state employees.

Story on NPR

Here's what I don't understand... I really don't...

There are so many people out there who blame the UNIONS for businesses leaving the U.S. and heading to other countries. They claim that the Unions demand too much of businesses -- too much in pensions, too much in health care, too much in wages and that's why businesses go to China.

And they say this implying that the solution is to be more like China!

Dear Those People, do you know WHY businesses go to China? Because they don't have to pay their workers a living wage. If the people die on the streets because they can't make enough money to live they don't give a damn they'll just find someone to replace them. In China there is Socialized medicine -- so the companies don't have to pay health care costs. And you know, YOU are the same people who kick and scream against Socialized medicine here in this country. And again, in China, if a worker is injured on the job or gets too sick to work... kick them out the door and don't care what happens to them because there's always someone else to fill the job. Also, in China there is no one looking out for worker safety. So if the factory conditions are deplorable, if people are exposed to chemical agents which can make them sick, if there are conditions which are likely to lead to them getting maimed or killed... again, who gives a damn -- there's always another worker waiting in the wings.

And you want to know something? The United States used to be the same way. Go look up the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. I'll wait while you Google it. Are you back yet? So... yeah. That happened. And other stuff happened too. Children used to be able to work instead of going to school so they could better themselves. We used to have a six day work week with only Sunday off as the "Sabbath". There was no payment for overtime. There really was no such thing as "overtime" as you worked for as long as your boss told you to work. And you were paid less than a living wage unless you were lucky enough to be a white collar worker. And there was little to no chance for upward mobility -- if you were a blue collar worker your children would be blue collar workers because likely they left school early so they could help earn money so your family could survive. There was virtually no chance you could afford to send your kids to higher education so they could become a white collar professional. And if you got sick and couldn't afford a doctor?.... You either got better on your own or you died. And if you were injured at work? You didn't get work men's compensation. You lost your job and your family eked out a meagre living... or you all ended up homeless on the streets... or maybe you just died.

And ALL of the changes to these things. ALL of them didn't come from gracious corporations suddenly seeing the light. Oh HELL NO. All of these changes came from Unions fighting for them.

And yet YOU people. All of you who seem to want to blame the Unions for all of this would seemingly happily return us to those days. Because THAT is, essentially, what you are saying. Do you honestly think corporations give a DAMN about their workers? They don't. That's WHY they go to China. And if all the unions were gone tomorrow how long do you think it would take before the corporations started eating away at these protections? And if they couldn't eat away at the protections they would STILL go to China because, in the end, a worker is something to be used up and thrown away like a dirty dishcloth and in China they don't have to give a damn.

And that's my rant.

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