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Employee Collective Bargaining
We enjoyed our best and most equitable economy in the 1950s and 1960s. We had a strong middle class. Factory workers were full members of that middle class. They enjoyed wages which sustained their families with a good standard of living. They could send their children to college to prepare to do even better than their parents. Because workers had living wages, there was a market for goods and services and business thrived. So, our whole society benefited.
Collective bargaining by and for workers was the means by which employee wages and conditions were promoted and protected. By extension, collective bargaining was the cornerstone of our economy during that time.
Since that time, we have seen the era of corporate raiders, who dismantled corporations a raided pension funds for personal gain. That was follower by corporate CEOs who downsized work forces to drive up profits temporarily to increase their own bonuses. With unemployment rising as a result, wages were suppressed. Businesses no longer enjoy a strong market for their goods and services and are struggling. Corporate CEOs have sent massive armies of lobbyists to Congress and have become the funders of increasingly expensive Congressional campaigns, wielding control of Congress supporting their unending personal greed. In the Reagan and W. Bush administrations, Republicans gutted the progressive income tax to further satisfy the greed of their wealthy base. We are becoming a third world country of the haves and have-nots.
We must restore the economic balance we
had in the 50s and 60s. That means, among other things, a
reinstatement of the progressive income tax and a strengthening of
collective bargaining to represent worker (and society) interests.