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Forum Post: Have The Democrats Betrayed Unions?

Posted 5 years ago on Aug. 25, 2013, 4:29 p.m. EST by FEARLESS (-72)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Before leaving NY on a UAW bus to Washington for the 50th Anniversary of MLK's March on Washington

I said to one of the UAW organizers, 'I don't notice any Obama signs here.'

She smiled and said, "I think that ship has already sailed."



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[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

I love this whole pretense of naivety game. You couldn't be bothered to support unions.


[-] -1 points by FEARLESS (-72) 5 years ago

This is no "naivety game" for me GF

Just for your information, I was born and raised in a blue-collar, Union household

My Dad worked as a merchant marine, belonging to the NMU (National Maritime Union). With his savings, he and my Mom bought the little bungalow that my sister and I were raised in. He went onto work for USS (US Steel) as a Union member providing a good life for my family.

When the USS Union members went out on strike in the early 60s, President Kennedy threatened to flood the market with steel if the company did not settle the strike with their workers. And that little story, in a nut-shell is the difference between Democrats of yesterday and today.

And it was from this job that he left the comforts and ignorance of white America, and took a day off 50 years ago to attend MLK's March on Washington

I was a Union member as well for most of my work-life. I've stood on picket lines, with a fire going in a 55 gal barrel to keep warm, and received donuts and coffee by good people who brought them to us. For most of my career, it was a strong Union until the companies hired a team of Philadelphia lawyers to break our Union. They succeeded, and my family and I suffered the consequences for years after.

So once again GF, this is no "game" for me

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago


Really? For someone to have been raised in a blue collar union household AND the question that you propose is, "have the Democrats betrayed the unions?" is only about forty years behind the times. You reckon?

As I said, I can go back and pull posts from threads from several posters on this thread that played a bunch of crap on "if the unions fought for the rights of everybody".


[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago


It should have been titled FEARLESS, betrays unions, and attempts to place the blame elsewhere from where it should be placed...


[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

There is no betrayal. Again. It's an attempt at the naivety game.

The two oldest professions are actually one. It's simply semantics.

The utilization of the word betrayal implies that iron workers, steel workers, workers for MaBell, coal miners, auto workers were all a bunch of poor shmucks that couldn't find their ass from a hole in the ground. Misled this whole time.


But, if you really need a to fixate on betrayal. Then I would start with the following:


[-] -2 points by TropicalDepression (-45) 5 years ago

Wow, you have an incredible ability to find common ground with people.

[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

Wow, you are a blithering idiot.






[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

Bullshit. Kind of like your bullshit. You again fail to grasp the point of the response because you're nothing more than a multiple ID cockroach.

I can go back and find posts by a majority of posters on this thread where they say ignorant shit like: If only unions fought for the rights of everyone. So, save your assbackwards shit for your little crew of thugs.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 5 years ago

Why Can't Democracy Trump Inequality?

Sunday, 25 August 2013 09:47 By Sam Pizzigati, Campaign for America's Future | News Analysis


Fifty years ago, average Americans lived in a society that had been growing — and had become — much more equal. In 1963, of every $100 in personal income, less than $10 went to the nation’s richest 1 percent.

Americans today live in a land much more unequal. The nation’s top 1 percent are taking just under 20 percent of America’s income, double the 1963 level.

But no Americans, in all the years since 1963, have ever voted for doubling the income share of America’s most affluent. No candidates, in all those years, have ever campaigned on a platform that called for enriching the already rich.

Yet the rich have been enriched. America’s top 0.01 percent reported incomes in 1963 that averaged $4.1 million in today’s dollars. In 2011, the most recent year with stats available, our top 0.01 percent averaged $23.7 million, nearly six times more than their counterparts in 1963, after taking inflation into account.

This colossal upward redistribution of income took years to unfold, and — for many of those years — most Americans didn’t even realize that some grand redistribution was even taking place.

Few Americans remain that clueless today. Most of us now have a fairly clear sense that American society has become fundamentally — and dangerously — more unequal. The starkly contrasting fortunes of America’s 1 and 99 percent have become a staple of America’s political discourse.

So why is this stark contrast continuing to get even starker?

Americans do, after all, live amid democratic institutions. Why haven’t the American people, through these institutions, been able to undo the public policies that squeeze the bottom 99 percent and lavishly reward the crew at the top?

Why, in other words, hasn’t democracy slowed rising inequality? Four political scientists are taking a crack at answering exactly this question in the current issue of the American Economic Association’s Journal of Economic Perspectives, a special issue devoted to debating America’s vast gulf between the rich and everyone else. The four analysts — Stanford’s Adam Bonica, Princeton’s Nolan McCarty, Keith Poole from the University of Georgia, and NYU’s Howard Rosenthal — lay out a nuanced reading of the American political scene that explores the interplay of a wide variety of factors, everything from the impact of the partisan gerrymandering of legislative districts to voter turnout by income level.

But one particular reality dramatically drives their analysis: Societies that let wealth concentrate at enormously intense levels will quite predictably end up with a wealthy who can concentrate enormous resources on getting their way.

These wealthy underwrite political campaigns. They spend fortunes on lobbying. They keep politicians and bureaucrats “friendly” to their interests with a “revolving door” that promises lucrative employment in the private sector.

Bonica, McCarty, Poole, and Rosenthal do an especially engaging job exploring, with both data and anecdotal evidence, just how deeply America’s super rich have come to dominate the nation’s election process.

One example from their new paper: Back in 1980, no American gave out more in federal election political contributions than Cecil Haden, the owner of a tugboat company. Haden contributed all of $1.72 million, in today’s dollars, almost six times more than any other political contributor in 1980.

In the 2012 election cycle, by contrast, just one deep-pocket couple alone, gaming industry giant Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam, together shelled out $103.4 million to bend politics in their favored wealth-concentrating direction.

The Adelsons sit comfortably within the richest 0.01 percent of America’s voting age population. Over 40 percent of the contributions to American political campaigns are now emanating from this super-rich elite strata.

In the 1980s, campaign contributions from the top 0.01 percent roughly equaled the campaign contributions from all of organized labor. In 2012, note political scientists Bonica, McCarty, Poole, and Rosenthal in their new analysis, America’s top 0.01 percent all by themselves “outspent labor by more than a 4:1 margin.”

Donors in this top 0.01 percent, their analysis adds, “give pretty evenly to Democrats and Republicans” — and they get a pretty good return on their investment. Both “Democrats as well as Republicans,” the four analysts observe, have come to “rely on big donors.”

The results from this reliance? Back in the 1930s, Democrats in Congress put in place the financial industry regulations that helped create a more equal mid-20th century America. In our time, Democrats have helped undo these regulations.

In 1993, a large cohort of Democrats in Congress backed the legislation that ended restrictions on interstate banking. In 1999, Democrats helped pass the bill that let federally insured commercial banks make speculative investments.

The next year, a block of congressional Democrats blessed the measure that prevented the regulation of “derivatives,” the exotic new financial bets that would go on to wreak economic havoc in 2008.

We’ll never be able to fully “gauge the effect of the Democrats’ reliance on contributions from the wealthy,” acknowledge political scientists Bonica, McCarty, Poole, and Rosenthal. But at the least, they continue, this reliance “does likely preclude a strong focus on redistributive policies” that would in any significant way discomfort the movers and shakers who top America’s moneyed class. Conventional economists, the four analysts add, tend to ascribe rising inequality to broad trends like globalization and technological change — and ignore the political decisions that determine how these trends play out in real life.

New technologies, for instance, don’t automatically have to concentrate wealth — and these new technologies wouldn’t have that impact if intellectual property laws, a product of political give-and-take, better protected the public interest.

But too many lawmakers and other elected leaders can’t see that “public interest.” Cascades of cash — from America’s super rich — have them conveniently blinded.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.


[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

This thread betrays unions!


[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

That may be, but NOTHING as bad as the betrayal of this thread.

From it's very inception, it is based on half truths and ignores a much larger body of evidence.

Indeed it demonstrates a FEAR of certain proven facts. Facts that are free from anecdotal remarks.


Follow the links and admit the truth.



[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 5 years ago

And you betrayed us all, but failed to notice.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 5 years ago

Everyone has betrayed the Unions, including the Unions.

Nothing exemplifies the atrocious means to which Big Biz (and their anti-union comrades in arms) will go to defeat a perceived enemy than the plight of Labor Unions. Short of nuking Labor Unions and their members, they've done it all. They have even coerced and duped Unions to fight and/or betray each other. For that reason, some Union successes were so hard fought that they sometimes adopted an "I've got mine" attitude, exacerbating a myriad of touchy issues like healthcare benefits. And allowing anti-Union powers to whip the public into Crab-Mentality retribution.

The cult manifesto/platform of the 1%-GOP is (among other pro-private things) to abolish unions of any kind (except religion, sports, guns and money), outlaw all collective bargaining (except for the private sector), and reduce wages and militarize police to ensure that the public stays in it powerless place.

The platform of the Democratic Party is (among other pro-public things) to support and expand Labor Unions, collective bargaining and the democratic ascendency of the public. But after Dems fight the multiple-front war with 1% and their owned GOP (blatant obstruction, sabotage and blackmailing), MSM, Fox Lies, and 24/365 Hate Wing radio (disinformation and propaganda); and dealing with misinformed and disengaged Voters, worlds lowest turnout, inapt Big $ influence, there is little they can do besides grub for money to run in the next 1%-deliberately overpriced election. Which leaves a lot of people feeling neglected.

So let's work for Publicly Funded Elections to take the advantage and corruption of Big $ OUT ~ Instant Runoff Voting to bring third parties IN ~ and Full Voter Turnout to get our democracy ON!!

PS: Reading the replies here, I see tons of stuff we've (Libs, Progs, Dems) been advocating for decades. Where were you all during the 1% orgy Bush-Cheney nightmare? Or even the 2010 midterm newbie pout-fest?

[-] -1 points by JPB950 (2254) 5 years ago

Many of the unions see some betrayal from the Democrats, but if they are going to try to have any influence on the system where else do they really have to go?

[-] -2 points by FEARLESS (-72) 5 years ago

How long do you think it would take to convince the 530 or so members of Congress to vote in our interests and not in the banking and corporate interests?

This corrupt system will not change for the better until they are threatened with losing it all

The more that they resist systemic change, the more we will want

[-] 0 points by JPB950 (2254) 5 years ago

You're right, the system will not change just because it's unfair and corrupt. The typical person in Congress will go in whatever direction best serves their chance for reelection.

It doesn't matter what we want and how much we want it, what does matter is numbers, how many want change. Until we manage to increase our numbers and get our own representatives in Congress things are likely to stay as they are.


[+] -4 points by FEARLESS (-72) 5 years ago

Forming a labour party would be a start, but there is no substitute for direct actions which more Unions, and people from all walks of life will have to take part in if we going to succeed

The minor discomfort will be rewarded with a feeling of camaraderie in knowing that we are all part of a monumental struggle in which the lives of ourselves and our loved ones are at stake

It's called building COMMUNITY

[+] -4 points by TropicalDepression (-45) 5 years ago

They could take their organizing skills and create a real labour party.

Just the formation would scare the shit out of the duopoly.

[-] 2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 5 years ago


If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em, CU 'em, smear 'em, media blackout 'em, defraud 'em, then divide 'em.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 5 years ago

Yes they could. They could also unify with other groups, like occupy and either form a third party or run their own candidates and co opt one of the major parties.

Considering the past success of third parties and the loss of membership experienced by the unions I doubt there would be much concern on the part of the two main parties. I think the Republicans would see it as an opportunity to control Congress. The Democrats may show some concern but cold also believe the unions will return to the fold to prevent any Republican victory.

[-] -1 points by TropicalDepression (-45) 5 years ago

The Republican Party is in shambles right now because of defectors and the tea people that thought they were going to affect change and havent.

People are leaving the D and R parties by the millions, but it hasnt been enough yet.

When the people are finally ready to lead themselves it will happen. We just arent there quite yet.


[-] 0 points by JPB950 (2254) 5 years ago

There is a long way to go and at present there is no alternative to the two major parties. It remains to be seen if the trend you see in the public's growing awareness will continue.


[-] -2 points by TropicalDepression (-45) 5 years ago

Theres a larger contingent of people that hate these two parties than there is that support either of them.

We need to push that along as quick as possible.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33639) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Sorry but - OMG - are you forwarding a positive thought? Don't answer that.


[-] 2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 5 years ago

And there's a larger contingent of people who eat at McDonalds than there is support for better nutrition.

We need to turn this around as quickly as possible. Have we become masochists? Suicidal? Hypnotized?

What's the Matter with Kansas: http://whatsthematterwithkansas.com/



[-] -2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 5 years ago

Have the Democrats betrayed Unions? Absolutely, and it began during Clinton's watch, with NAFTA.



I tend to agree with the statements during you and shadz's convo on that other thread that what's needed is a new party organized around labor. And, in my opinion, it's always worth a few minutes to listen to Hedge's take on things:



[-] -2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 5 years ago

Those five tenets should be committed to memory.

And Occupy certainly has changed the discourse. It still surprises me how often you see references to Occupy or the "99%" when scrolling thru Internet sites. We may not be occupying the parks but we're certainly occupying a lot of minds.

"The cat is never going back in the bag." I definitely believe that. And change seems to be coming from a lot of different directions, too. Demands for a fair wage, rejection of GM foods, co-ops, public banks, marijuana decriminalization, and on and on.


[-] -2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 5 years ago

What's especially heartening is the changes already happening despite the relatively small numbers of people already aware. Just imagine how it'll be when millions more join in.

I think one of the reasons is the rejection of MSM as a viable news source. I linked a YT clip a few nights ago from last year that talked about how low the percentage has dropped of people that actually still choose MSM as their news source.

Edit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vqLIlVs99U


[-] -2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 5 years ago

True, but at least we have that. Personally, I like having access to the different points of view the internet affords us. Look how it was when we were younger. By today's standards, pretty limited.

Strike that. Extremely limited.


[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 5 years ago

Hey, the day after we had this conversation I came across a couple more links that pertain to your post:



And this is a pretty long read, and not really about the Democrats betraying labor, but I found it a compelling idea to fix a few of the problems with this country, unemployment being one of the biggies. Bookmark it and maybe read it later, since I know you'll be busy the rest of the week:


Of course, I'm pretty confident our beloved President will do NONE of the things outlined here. Why would he? Especially in regards to employment. I just got done reading another article last night that suggested high unemployment was part of the overall plan, but, damn it, I didn't bookmark it and don't remember which site I saw it on.

[-] -1 points by forourfutures (393) 5 years ago

Time to abandon party politics for awhile.

We can establish a party under common law that voter registrars will recognize. We can call it the "principal party".

If all citizens in all states use the same term it is defacto common law. Each state should have a running online petition showing approval of the defined and stated principals. The states are consistent with the definitions because they are prime natural law. The principals are acceptable to our deepest instincts. They are clear, current expressions of constitutional intent.

That is the basis of using Article V to assure constitutional intent in the principals controlling the federal gov and that of the states. When 3/4 of the states are ratifying, the congress, the courts and the president have no authority over the amendment.

All amendments must have constitutional intent, and we define that. The principal party is the movement that does it and does it right.

Another reason that is so is because logically principal party voters can vote for anyone that speaks to the principals. It inherently legitimizes write in candidates to compensate for party ballots.

[-] -2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 5 years ago

I'm all for starting a new party, regardless of what we call it. Let me re-read this comment of your in a few minutes.

What I liked about that last link of mine is it's things the Pres could do while he's still in office that would help the situation in this country NOW. A new party is, of course, something to plan for the future.

[-] 0 points by forourfutures (393) 5 years ago

Relying on any part of the political system for the creation of a new party is likely not going to work. The "principal party" as I've described it ends party politics as we've known them. In my reading to understand how to restore constitutional gov via Article V, the main thing about the proposed effect is manifestation of a new political paradigm based in the actual principals philosophy and law can derive.

Basically we just do it because it is right and everyone knows it. Totally informal until the ballot box. Then, because we have shared, understood and agreed upon the principals of the constitution we have almost exactly the same language, which is used as a write in format on the ballot.

We hijack the election with their ballot, human principals and politicians in office that support Article V and constitutional principals..

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 5 years ago

I think you're reading the wrong things into my comment to Fearless, or you misunderstand my position. My Truthout links deal primarily with labor and unemployment, not politics; in fact the second link essentially expresses the opinion that the AFL-CIO should disavow itself of its blind support of the Democratic party, which has betrayed labor, and is the crux of the OP.

The third link is a piece that outlines a series of things the government could do, if it were so inclined, to "restore prosperity to the middle class and the poor." Although there are ideas about removing the illusion of austerity, fixing the banking system, and student debt, the important part has to do with a jobs program to restore the country to full employment, which I think by definition means unemployment below 5%.

In short, my comment and links have to do with labor and employment, not politics, although they are intertwined.

Personally I don't care about politics, my interests in relation to this website are more focused on other social ills, like slavery or Monsanto. My opinion is both major parties were bought out long ago and any interest in politics I do have are exclusively third-party. With all due respect I don't care about Article V because I don't know enough about it to give an opinion either way, and I don't really have the time or inclination to spend a lot of time on it. No offense meant.

[-] -2 points by FEARLESS (-72) 5 years ago

Yes I share in your belief that our President will do little to help get this country get back on track again because in the last 5-6 years he has worked hard to do the opposite. He knows the hand that feeds him, and it is not our hand

It does seem like the AFL-CIO President, Richard Trumka has not come to the realization yet that the Democrats are not his friends

There is an old timer here too who lives in the past, and believes that they are the same party of the 60s

Thanks good links

[-] -2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 5 years ago

That AFL-CIO link was the one I was thinking about that I couldn't remember where I read it, about Obama really wanting unemployment high for ulterior motives:

"Obama’s policy to NOT address unemployment is a deliberate one, in accordance with his often-stated goal to increase U.S. exports. A policy of maintaining high unemployment automatically skews the labor market against all workers — by keeping the supply of labor high — thus pushing down wages in general."


[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

Faux arguments?


You are a one trick pony.


[-] -2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 5 years ago

Sorry bud, I didn't mean to add to your long list of things to do, heheh.

No hurry on the links, my friend. They'll be here. I will check out yours, tho.

Get some sleep!






[-] -1 points by forourfutures (393) 5 years ago

Correct, so we must develop ways to share and agree upon needs and which action to take to secure them.

The main method of infiltration depends primarily on false groups exemplifying agreement. They pretend to equally accept something which cannot be reasoned in comprehensive view of our political situation. When questioned on weak points or the effect of other factors they will have no reasonable response. Either nothing, or the false group chimes in support with no answer.

When we agree using reason, the wider audience sees it and knows we are real.


[-] 1 points by forourfutures (393) 5 years ago

Maybe you don't understand. We can take what we need if are unified. It's not about their power, it's about ours.


[-] 1 points by forourfutures (393) 5 years ago

"Agree" is unity. If it wasn't constitutional it would be the "tyranny of the masses". In other words, they have no advantage after we make agreement upon what defines constitutional intent.


[-] 0 points by forourfutures (393) 5 years ago

And when we agree on constitutional intent, we become "the rightful masters of the congress and the courts.". When we agree we can control Article V as is it supposed to be controlled, "by and for the people".





[-] -2 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 5 years ago

The last time a guy came to the door trying to sell subscriptions to the local paper, he sounded pretty desperate. He must not have been having too much luck because he was practically begging me to buy. I don't think he realized the state of affairs when he took the gig, heheh.

I was just talking to someone a few nights ago about newspapers and how odd it was that Jeff Bezos and the Koch brothers are buying newspapers considering it seems like a dying business. Maybe they know something we don't, I don't know. I mentioned how crazy I thought it was when the Pulitzer family decided to sell our paper back in 2005 after owning it for over 125 years. I now realize it was a pretty shrewd move. They must've saw the writing on the wall.

That's odd that you can't get PM's or vote. I thought after being here a week, that privilege was allowed. What gives? I sent you a PM a few nights ago but don't remember what it was about. Guess you didn't get it, eh? I'd suggest talking to the admins, but good luck with that. They don't seem too receptive. Guess Google has 'em working overtime, heheh.

Cool story about that cop. Think you may have made a convert? We need as many of them on our side as possible, you know?

[-] 1 points by FEARLESS (-72) 5 years ago

When i do give my spiel to the newspaper solicitors, I treat them with respect as i do realize that they are just trying to make a living

Yes i have found it odd that these billionaires buy into an often dying media business, but controlling the public mind is essential for them

It's most likely a small price to pay for keeping their lucrative businesses super profitable

That cop had called for a back-up since we were on a lonely road on the edge of the Pine Barrens. He sent him away though when he realized I was not a threat. We went on to talk for a while, and i knew that he was empathetic to our cause, and that he respected me for trying to do something to change the road our country is on. It's not too often that you feel good about getting a ticket albeit a minor one, but that was definitely an exception and well worth the $50 or whatever it cost....err although i would have preferred that he had given me money instead. ;-)