On the plus side, they clearly acknowledge that “labor” includes all working people, not just the minority in labor unions:
Labor doesn’t just mean unions. One question that came up several times when Markos announced the launch of DK Labor was, “Will you cover workers who aren’t in unions?” In the United States these days, yes, “labor” is frequently shorthand for “organized labor.” But Dictionary.com defines labor as:
1. productive activity, especially for the sake of economic gain.
2. the body of persons engaged in such activity, especially those working for wages.
3. this body of persons considered as a class (distinguished from management and capital).
We could argue that defining non-union workers out of the term labor is part of a longer-term attempt to drive a wedge between union and non-union workers, to diminish class consciousness. But whatever the reason we’ve gotten away from identifying ourselves-as-workers with the term labor, the vast majority of us work for a living, “labor” is an appropriate term to describe what we do, and if you have to work for a living, your interests are more aligned with those of other people who have to work for a living than they are with the interests of the wealthiest 2 percent.
And they acknowledge the class war being waged by the wealthy against the mass of ordinary Americans:
But most of all, those waging class war from above know the rest of us are in it together, even when we don’t. Here’s just a sample of stuff we’ve covered in the past month: 88 percent of the growth in real national income between June 2009 and the end of 2010 went to corporate profits, while just 1 percent went to wages. No less a bastion of capitalism than JP Morgan said that wage reductions have driven increases in corporate profit margins. Two-parent families are earning a tiny bit more than in past generations, but only by working a whole lot more hours. Meanwhile Republicans in the House of Representatives are gearing up for an attack on minimum wage and overtime protections. Child poverty is nearly 25 percent, but hey, the Heritage Foundation says some of those poor kids have cable television, therefore they’re not really poor and we should cut the safety net. Meanwhile, over the past 12 years tax rates for the 400 richest Americans were cut nearly in half—but that didn’t prevent a mighty howl at the notion of eliminating a tax break for corporate jets. Corporations are helping to write legislationthat shows up in states across the country, while House Republicans shut down the FAAin a drive to strip workers of union rights and Senate Republicans promise to blockRichard Cordray, President Obama’s strong nominee to head the CFPB. Meanwhile,unemployment is at 9.2 percent, and we face the end of extended unemployment benefits.
On the negative side, their initial statement doesn’t comment on the central role of many Democratic politicians in weakening labor, facilitating the increasing corporate control of our society, and generally furthering the class war, albeit, with slightly less harsh rhetoric.
Nonetheless, I know that this blog will be added to those I examine daily.
July 25th, 2011