Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Born on the 5th of July

from the National Park Service:

The National Labor Relations Act, also known as the Wagner Act, was signed into law on July 5th, 1935 and became one of the cornerstones of the New Deal. Reversing years of federal opposition to organized labor, the statute guaranteed the right of employees to organize, form unions, and bargain collectively with their employers.

from Wikipedia:

In its original version, passed in the midst of the Great Depression, the Wagner Act only prohibited unfair labor practices by employers. Congress amended it in 1947 to impose a number of restrictions on unions and to limit the application of the act in other ways; that package of amendments is commonly known as the Taft-Hartley Act.

George Bush,jnr often likes to compare himself to Harry Truman, who vetoed Taft-Hartley, resulting in the briefly Republican congress of 1946-47 overriding Truman's veto, the only overridden veto of his entire tenure as president. (Can you imagine George W. vetoing legislation that bound the hands of big labor?) Of course, we now live in another era of federal opposition to organized labor. Some people measure national pride in terms of attacking essentially defenseless countries or spending money to fly the shuttle to do whatever it does, or going back to the moon, or Mars.

When I hear about how GM is entertaining a possible buyout from Renault and Nissan, and I reflect on all those goons out there who are happy to support needless wars but would balk at protecting GM, I think some people just don't understand national pride, even on their own simple terms. ( like the goon in chief who has said he won't do anything to bail out Ford or GM should they need it.) For me, the idea that Americans might be unconcerned about protecting GM and Ford saddens me.

In less simple terms, I haven't even mentioned supporting federalizing healthcare, which would really make me proud of my country, and even make Ford and GM more competitive to boot.