Saw this posted over at RedState by LaborUnionReport (who lives and breathes union issues; compared to him, I’m a rank amateur and dilettante): Jon Geenen, (current) International Vice President of United Steelworkers has belatedly come to the realization that these awful free-market libertarian Koch brothers* happen to somehow also manage to create jobs. Good jobs. Good union jobs. Good union jobs in America. This leads to a somewhat equivocal pushback against his own side’s message:
This presents a dilemma and a paradox. While the Koch brothers are credited with advocating an agenda and groups that are clearly hostile to labor and labor’s agenda, the brothers’ company in practice and in general has positive and productive collective bargaining relationships with its unions.
It’s not a paradox – dilemma, I will grant (if one of Big Labor’s own making), but not a paradox. The Koch brothers and other practical libertarian types are generally hostile towards labor leadership, to be sure… because labor leadership is generally hostile to them, and their basic operating philosophy. Individual workers, or even individual private sector unions, may be (and often are) different stories. It is a particularly pernicious myth among the Left that industrialists and manufacturers wish nothing less than to reduce the American working class to the status of neo-peasantry; that this supposedly policy goal flies in the face of the self-evident truth that prosperous people buy more stuff is never adequately explained, mostly because the people who maintain the Left’s shared ideology take Karl Marx far too seriously**.
Geenen himself never comes close to facing that issue, and while I suppose he gets some credit for even timidly bringing up the subject he picked a fairly obscure venue in which to lapse into heresy. If he really wants to get the message out then I suggest he try calling up Fox, CNN, ABC, the Washington Post, the New York Times… heck, even a fringe network like MSNBC would have him on in a heartbeat. I suggest this – but I’m not holding my breath that he will.
*Whose political contributions are, by the way, dwarfed by the political contributions of Big Labor. I mention this because Geenen was lading out the anti-Citizen’s United porn again.
**Note that I am not calling them Marxists themselves, only that they take his basic arguments far too seriously. Because remember, folks: Marxism is intellectualism for stupid people.