Ronald Reagan on Union Membership as One of the Most Elemental Human Rights

Reagan was the only president in American history to have belonged to a union, the AFL-CIO affiliated Screen Actors Guild. And he even served six terms as president of the organized labor group. Additionally, Reagan was a staunch advocate for the collective bargaining rights of one of the world’s most famous and most influential trade unions, Poland’s Solidarity movement…. December 23, 1981….

REAGAN: The Polish government has trampled underfoot to the UN Charter and Helsinki accords. It has even broken the Gdańsk Agreement of 1980 by which the Polish government recognized the basic right of free trade unions and to strike…

From Ronald Reagan on Union Membership as One of the Most Elemental Human Rights

And yet he is more famous for his anti-union stance.

Wisconsin Power Play

There’s a bitter irony here. The fiscal crisis in Wisconsin, as in other states, was largely caused by the increasing power of America’s oligarchy. After all, it was superwealthy players, not the general public, who pushed for financial deregulation and thereby set the stage for the economic crisis of 2008-9, a crisis whose aftermath is the main reason for the current budget crunch. And now the political right is trying to exploit that very crisis, using it to remove one of the few remaining checks on oligarchic influence.

From NYTimes.com

The takeway quote.

The Writers Strike

I have one quick thought on the writers strike. Why aren’t the striker’s signs better? They should have creative, snappy slogans. They should have witty, catchy chants. The speeches given to the news crews should be moving. Or at least touching. What gives?