Among the various interest groups supporting the campaign of Barack Obama (and increased Democratic Party control of Congress, one group that has largely managed to stay under the radar has been the trade-unionist movement in large part being spearheaded by Andrew Stern and his rapidly growing union, SEIU.
In their most recent annual meeting, Mr. Stern emerged from the shadows and years of preparation to make his move towards transforming his union from representing the interests of its members in negotiating their terms of employment, the traditional domain of American unionism, into becoming a dominant political force within the Democratic party, and through their control of the branches of the U.S. - a dominant political force in U.S. politics. And Mr. Stern has made no secret of his desires to move beyond America's borders to form alliances with labor movements in other countries to create an international trade-unionist movement
Previously, we have been seeing Andrew Stern's program to expand the number of members in his union through sweetheart deals with favored large corporations, betraying the economic interests of his union's members through less favorable wage and benefits in new contracts and promising labor peace in return for gaining new members.
In the last annual meeting, we saw two actions: creating centralized and virtually dictatorial control by moving to eliminate any opposition forces, notably California's Sal Rosselli and the UHW; and diverting to an unprecedented degree dues revenues that in the past have financed strike funds and other programs into political donations to the 2008 elections and specifically to the Democratic party and their candidates.
Evidently, Mr. Stern sees this election as his springboard to political power and the creation of a trade unionism power base with the Democratic party, which he sees has having the opportunity of dominating American politics for the foreseeable future.
So as the reader, you might ask what the implications are for the U.S. and our economy?
This election bears an uncanny resemblance to the election in Great Britain following the end of WWII. In that election, as I understand it, Winston Churchill had defending the nation successfully against German attacks and help bring about victory, yet despite his foreign policy success, the voters threw the Conservatives out of power primarily because of discontent over the economy. This electoral reversal opened the door to trade-union dominance of Britain's economic policies (and a more isolationist foreign policy that say Britain relinquish its international leadership) via the Labor Party that together strangled the British economy and finally brought the sun down on the British "empire" for generations until Margaret Thatcher broke this stranglehold of the unions and rescued the British economy from its stagnation.
Similarly we have in the U.S. the Republican Party who is gaining victory in Iraq and has suppressed terrorist activity since 9/11 who face electoral annihilation in this election due in substantial part to discontent with the economy. The parallel is not exact in that George Bush has very low popularity (and we do not have a Parliamentary system), but the structural changes that would ensue from an Obama victory, with his socialistic program and the dominant role of unions in the Democratic Party threaten to usher in a period of governmental intervention and union domination that bear eerie similarity to the post WWII policies of the Labor Party in Britain that stifled their economy and largely removed them from the world scene.
Just the new democracies of Eastern Europe are shaking off the fetters of governmental controls and invigorating their economies, the Democratic Party in the U.S. threatens to put us back into bondage to those discredited approaches.
However, one key difference between then and now is that after WWII, the U.S. was able to take the mantle of leadership of the Free World from Britain and restrain the advance of the Soviet Union and world Communism until the Soviet Union fell under Ronald Reagan's presidency.
Today, if America is removed from its leadership role, no other nation remains to take the mantle to preserve freedom world-wide, which means that Western democracy itself is in grave jeopardy of passing from the face of this planet given the rise of multiple dictatorships that are hostile to to U.S. and the values of Western democracy (notable Russia, China, and Islamic nations such as Iran).
But one key element to maintaining our world leadership is our economic strength; without a strong economy, our military strength and political influence abroad will pass away as well. And the rise of trade-unionism itself (not to mention the clear danger of a more extensive socialist transformation of our nation) will have a devastating effect on our economy, as happened in Britain.
And as I discuss in my companion article Putting it all together: the path to dictatorship, we will face the prospect from other Obama supporters of a movement to move beyond trade-unionism and to utterly destroy democracy in the U.S. in favor of a one-party government, i.e. leftist dictatorship.
As gamecock suggests, though alluded to on my companion post, let me list here three quick actions that Congress and Obama can take that would start us on the road to trade-unionism dominance
- card check
- elimination of union reporting requirements (especially regarding union dues and expenditures)
- elimination of oversight/quashing of investigations into union corruption