Thank You, Nicholas Kristof

Kristof has a great column on unions today. He makes important points that I try to make when talking about unions. One, anyone who thinks unions have always been perfect and that there has been no corruption or abuse in unions, well, they are just smoking something. Two, anyone who thinks that we would have a middle class if we hadn’t had unions, well, they are smoking the same thing, only more so. And three, history shows this to be true; i.e., given that union membership is at its lowest point since the labor movement began, if you say unions are to blame for any of our economic problems now, then you have to explain how we did it when the economy was good, inequality was much lower, and union membership much higher.I would love to be able to make Bruce Rauner, our new anti-union governor in Illinois, read Kristof’s column and ask him how his proposals fit the facts. Of course that won’t happen; billionaires can afford to shield themselves from actual questions and actual evidence. The land of truthiness is expensive, and they can afford it. The best we can hope for is that as many voters as possible in Illinois read Kristof’s column, pass it on, and keep talking about it. For the voters are the only ones who can ultimately hold Rauner accountable for his views. Of course, polls are already showing some buyers remorse for electing him, even if that doesn’t mean they were happy with former governor Quinn. And that in a nutshell illustrates the problem in our politics. There is so much money involved now that we simply don’t have a choice between candidates we might like, or who would truly work for the voters. All we can do is vote for a change from one bad apple to another.
A new report from the Center for Responsive Politics has analyzed the data from the 2014 elections. At $3.77 billion, 2014 was the most expensive midterm election in our history. And for the first time since 1990 the number of individual donors decreased by 11%, while the average amount donated by each individual who did give to a candidate increased by 36%.
All I ask is that you read Kristof’s column and think about it.


About JP

We're two guys who met in college, in 1980. We've stayed in touch, and like to talk politics, current events, music and religion. JP is nore liberal than Sid, but not in every way. We figure that dialogue stimulates ideas, moderates perspective, and is in general friendly. These are things we need badly in these dangerous times. The blog name is taken from a song by Bruce Cockburn.
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