Friday, December 08, 2006

David Sirota catches Barney Frank giving the shop away to Corporate America ("It's literally taken all of--four weeks for these people to sell out")


Here we catch up with a post that David Sirota sent out yesterday, linking to this blog entry of his:

It's literally taken all of--four weeks for these people to sell out . . . I thought maybe they wouldn't, or at least it would take a little longer. I guess I was wrong . . . But no, no . . . we should trust them to do the right thing without real pressure, right?--D
This is How Skewed the Political Debate Is

CongressDaily reports that at a news conference today, incoming Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank reiterated his so-called "grand bargain" whereby he wants K Street lobbyists to accept Democrats efforts to raise the minimum wage and allow workers to unionize, in exchange for Democrats' help in pushing more deregulation and more corporate-written trade pacts that have no wage, environmental or human rights protections. Here's Frank's quote:

I don't expect people on the left to be jubilant when I talk about working with the business community on some of the things they have been working for like more foreign trade and outsourcing. And I know that it's going to give a lot of people in the business community heartburn to talk about letting people join unions by card check.

This comment really shows how skewed the political debate is in Washington. Frank is saying we should accept Democrats working with corporate lobbyists on things like more free trade and more job outsourcing, but that we should feel OK about that because he is going to work to get corporate lobbyists to be OK with legislation that allows workers to unionize through a card check election, rather than through the ridiculous process required now. So, Democrats will help Corporate America destroy the U.S. job market and drive down American wages and environmental standards, in exchange for lobbyists not getting in the way of a bill that allows workers to unionize without thuggish interference from employers.

Obviously, the card check legislation to allow workers an easier time of conducting democratic union elections is important. But the concept that it is so hugely controversial as to require Democrats to help Big Money interests to continue laying waste to American wages and our job base is absolutely absurd. Card check legislation should be a given--it should be the absolute least Congress should do to protect people's very basic rights to organize. It shouldn't require any concessions at all, much less full Democratic complicity in screwing over ordinary people.

This says nothing of the fact that Democrats can offer all the "grand bargains" they want--corporate lobbyists will never ever in a million years help them pass bills cracking down on employer's anti-union behavior. It also doesn't address the fundamental contradiction here: there are no unions if there are no jobs. If we continue outsourcing the entire country, we can have laws making unions easy to form--but there won't be anyone left to join them. Obviously, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but the point is clear: getting union protection laws in exchange for help in undermining the entire economy is not a good deal.

This is a "grand bargain" . . . for K Street.


At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is time to start a Labor Party here in the US. The Greens could not do it, but it is time to band together as laborers and as families and individuals who must make a living.

Americans are angry, and not just about the war!

We are tired of being in debt and losing our jobs and our health care.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

And here I was almost thinking that Steny Hoyer couldn't be all that bad if Barney Frank was supporting him. I guess Barney has shown his true colors.

At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank is saying we should accept Democrats working with corporate lobbyists on things like more free trade and more job outsourcing, but . . .
F*ck No! That kind of snare is Lieberman politics. Good on Sirota to catch it. Good on Howie to post it.

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