Plutocrats, Politics and Propaganda
Right to work: A GOP-endorsed 'fraud'
By JOHN TUCKER
They've been pushing it in the name of freedom of association and workers' rights. That's what's so deceitful about the dishonest Republican ploy to kill unions under the guise of right-to-work legislation.
Sounds like a just cause, right to work. But it's just another craftily worded bill pushed by propaganda from the mouths of the GOP, Greedy Oblivious Plutocrats.
They claim not to be anti-union and yet they've been lining up in partisan formation -- most recently in Michigan -- in favor of labor-repressive bills flagrantly designed to cripple, if not kill, organized labor.
Corporate America already has enough bedfellows in its never-ending quest for cheap labor all over the world. Why are so many Republicans willing to jump in?
Large corporations have been sitting on record capital for several years, unwilling to invest in jobs at home while they fatten their pockets by opting for cheaper labor overseas.
Don't be conned by the bold-faced lies of their political bedfellows... Right to work is all about cheap labor.
If truth be told, the 24 RTW states – mostly in the South and West – are anything but worker and family friendly.
They have lower per-capita wages, lower levels of education, higher poverty and higher infant mortality rates.
RTW's true purpose is to destroy the institution that built the middle class – organized labor.
Collective bargaining efforts brought the five-day work week, overtime pay, paid holidays and vacation time, health care, safe working conditions and due process in the workplace.
Those benefits were not the result of corporate generosity. They resulted from the blood, sweat and tears spilled since the Great Depression by union leaders working in behalf of their brothers and sisters. Practically every working-class American owes them a debt of gratitude.
Now, more than a half-century of dogged determination to raise the standard of living for so many, to achieve decent living wages and benefits for the working class, is in jeopardy of being in vain.
To attempt to destroy unions in the name of freedom is a shameful, bold-faced lie.
These union-busting bills have nothing to do with freedom.
Follow the money and it exposes the interests behind them. It leads to the billionaire brothers Koch, Charles and David, whose underhanded anti-union tactics are employed across the country by the dubious astroturf organizations they finance – Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council.
And it leads to Richard Berman, the notorious D.C. lobbyist dubbed “Dr. Evil” by “60 Minutes.” Berman is America's modern day master of the Big Lie.
As big business's hired gun, Berman has orchestrated propaganda campaigns attempting to weaken drunken-driving laws, to convince the public that obesity is not a national health concern, to prevent increases in the minimum wage and to portray organized labor as an enemy of working-class Americans.
On April 3, 1968, the day before his assassination, Martin Luther King Jr. said this, in part, about right-to-work laws:
"In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as 'right to work.' It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights... Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone. Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights... We demand this fraud be stopped. Our weapon is our vote."
That last sentence should be resonating among voters and in congressional halls across the land.
In 1985, the late conservative publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, Nackey Scripps Loeb, wrote an editorial fervently opposing right to work, calling it the “right to low pay.”
Were King and Loeb just a couple of dim-witted folks lacking in foresight or do you think they might have been on to something, given the facts relative to RTW states?
The battle lines have been clearly defined.
Now is the time to make a stand against the GOP's oppressive assault on working-class Americans. Now is the time to fight the good fight, and to use your vote as a weapon against the attacks.
Lest we all end up selling our souls back to the company store.
Corporate-financed propaganda threatens unions, middle class
Author's note: When financially oppressed Americans inevitably revolt against the diabolical forces of corporate greed, the super wealthy – like the infamous Koch Brothers – and their fellow silver-spoon fed partners in government, remember this: Masterfully crafted propaganda, skillfully delivered to the masses, can threaten the free-thinking spirit, free will, and indeed the soul, of a civilized nation.
By JOHN TUCKER
Pummeled by escalating anti-union propaganda, the minds of far too many working Americans have been manipulated into believing organized labor is no longer a vital economic force in this county.
Consequently lost in the blitz of untruths is the remembrance of from whence, WE THE PEOPLE, came... From a nation of workers who sold their souls to the company store, to a dignified working class raised from the depths of poverty to a new, far better standard of living – made possible by the collective bargaining efforts of organized labor.
Think for a moment about the debt of gratitude YOU owe to unions for the 40-hour, five-day work week; overtime pay; paid sick days, holidays and vacation days; family and medical leave; pensions; health and disability benefits; proper job training; safer working conditions and, perhaps most importantly, due process in the workplace.
Unions were the primary force behind the building of America's middle class, which is slowly but surely being dismantled by corporate America and its subservient bedfellow, the GOP.
Lost in their devious campaign to paint unions as enemies of the economy, and of the common good, are the lessons of history vital to the very existence of a middle class.
Think for a moment, too, about how many lives have been terribly affected, some ruined, by the multitude of corporate scandals over the past few decades – from RJR Nabisco in 1988 to more recent cases of corruption involving Enron, WorldCom, Merrill Lynch, Arthur Anderson, Xerox, Tyco International and Countrywide Financial Corp., to name just a few.
Forgotten too, it seems, is America's heart-felt motto equally vital to a free-willed democracy: “United we stand, Divided we fall,” a counter to the maxim employed quite skillfully and with much success by big business's hired guns: “Divide and rule.”
How and why the masses could come to believe and trust more in the Wall Street forces of greed and corruption that drove this nation to the brink of a financial catastrophe, rather than trusting in, and uniting with, the fellow working men and women with whom they share hopes of decent living wages, benefits and working conditions, is mind-boggling...
Unless you realize the potential power of propaganda in the hands of devious people capable of crafting it masterfully to advance their ulterior agendas... Like billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, whose underhanded anti-union tactics are employed across the country by the dubious astroturf front groups they finance: Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Through AFP and other political maneuverings that allow contributors to skirt campaign finance rules, the Koch brothers have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more than a million, on deceptive political ads that benefited Scott Walker's gubernatorial campaign in Wisconsin and aided his full-scale attack on the state's public employees.
There was also a huge infusion of cash supporting Walker's campaign from the Republican Governors Association, to which David Koch personally donated $1 million in June of 2010.
Walker's efforts to cripple, if not kill, public employees' collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin ultimately prevailed.
As a self-proclaimed advocate for “public policies that champion the principles of entrepreneurship and fiscal and regulatory restraint,” the Tea Party-affiliated Americans for Prosperity has crusaded against health care reform, stimulus spending, cap-and-trade legislation and climate change talks.
AFP, which professes to be “advancing every individual's right to economic freedom and opportunity,” has also advocated for pro-tobacco industry stances against cigarette sales taxes and indoor smoking bans.
Talk about about deceitful and talk about big lies! You're not just talking about the Koch-financed propaganda campaigns.
Notorious Washington, D.C., lobbyist Richard Berman has masterfully carried out the Big Lie theory.
A former labor management attorney and restaurant industry executive, Berman would like you to believe he's working in the public interest. Another big lie, which explains why corporations are secretly funneling millions to his front groups so he can do their dirty work, and they can keep their hands clean.
It also explains why Berman has earned the nickname “Astroturf Kingpin” for his repeated practice of forming and then using those non-profit groups to advocate for big business while shielding his corporate financial supporters from public disclosure.
Berman's latest front group is the Center for Union Facts, whose cause is to tarnish the image of unions, and ultimately exterminate them, by insinuating they want to trample workers' rights and freedoms.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Scary thing is, too many people believe Berman's bold-faced lies, some of which are embraced by the GOP, an even more appropriate acronym for Greedy Oblivious Plutocrats.
Together, Berman, corporate America and the GOP waged a successful propaganda campaign to defuse the Employee Free Choice Act, continuously hammering home the big, bold-faced lie that the “card check” measure would take away workers' rights to a secret ballot and hurt the economy.
In fact, the bill would have made it easier to organize unions and to put an end to heavy-handed management scare tactics and corporate captive audience meetings geared to prevent union organizing. Workers would not have lost their right to a secret ballot vote!
Due to staunch Repubican opposition and the question of whether there were enough votes in the Senate for passage, the worker friendly measure ultimately fell by the wayside as health care reform took over as the legislative priority early in Obama's presidency.
More big lies are feeding the propaganda push behind anti-union “right-to-work” legislation recently passed in Michigan and Indiana, whose Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels has jumped on the anti-union bandwagon. His view of reality is so skewed, he actually called public employee unions the “privileged elite.”
In New Hampshire, House Republicans failed to override Gov. John Lynch's veto of right-to-work (for less) legislation last May, but they wouldn't give up. Their attempt to resurrect the bill this session died in the Senate.
Berman's anti-union propaganda isn't just hurting the union movement, it's threatening America's middle class.
It's no coincidence that as union membership continues to decline, middle America's seat is being pushed further away from the table of prosperity.
It's not the work of unions that is shattering the American Dream.
In truth, unions are the last bastion of defense for middle-class Americans, whose wages have plummeted while corporate profits have soared.
They need YOU to stand up with them, to fight the good fight.
Otherwise, we may all suffer a fatal knockout at the hands of the Greedy Oblivious Plutocrats, whose war on working-class Americans threatens to kill our collective hopes and dreams, and those of our children!
Unions campaign to drive Wisconsin governor from office
- New Hampshire Right-to-Work Bill Tabled
Republican efforts to turn New Hampshire into a right-to-work state have been put on hold in the face of a threatened veto by Democratic Gov. John Lynch.