***I am 49 & I had a dad & a step-dad. Both could afford a house with a housewife in it, and neither had to bother with college. One was a convicted felon who did not even make it to high school. Although I have had it better than some younger than me, I cannot touch the standard of living achieved by my two dads even with my Associates Degree. Is my story typical or atypical ?
The middle class is too big to fail & that is much of what the occupy Wall St. thing is about.
It is unfortunate that the Republican Media has succeeded in demonizing labor unions. It has been said that a union is democracy in the workplace. We are not suppose to have democracy outside the workplace according to eighteenth century English law; but for some boys in Philadelphia. Democracy in the workplace can ask for too much, have warped priorities, or become corrupt just like democracy outside the workplace. You wouldn't want to do away with the latter so why do away with the former?
A Michigan Governor(whom I cant quote exactly) said that labor makes up only about 8% of what it costs to build a car. Here are what some prominent Republicans of yesteryear had to say on the subject of labor: " Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."
"It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize."
"In a condition of society and under an industrial organization which places labor completely at the mercy of capital, the accumulations of capital will necessarily be rapid, and an unequal distribution of wealth is at once to be observed."
In fact, an ideal contemporary labor union could be a group of dedicated professionals who champion whole new initiatives for safety, quality & customer service. They could also cut through a lot of the b.s. and focus effort and assets on things that are really important. We all draw from the same well and we want that well to be as full as possible.
The traditional union function would still be there & probably the most troubling thing at the time-clock level in recent years is when the employer is doing well but uses a "poor economy" as an excuse to not share in the gains. Unfortunately we would no longer have teeth because Corporations have so much influence with Lawmakers.
Fox & EIB present small business as an absolute panacea. Well, it has yet to work out for me. I an nobody's nephew and when I was out there, there were no sponsors to be found. Large industrial employers especially manufacturers provided the most and the best opportunities for most people as I see it. I may try the proprietor thing at least once before i go into the ground, however. Stay tuned.