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Changing America Forever: Behind the AFL-CIO’s Push for Financial Reform

With outgoing SEIU president Andy Stern having forever changed America through the nationalization of health care, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka is picking up where Andy is leaving off

As President Obama goes out on the road to use his bully-pulpit to push financial reform, the AFL-CIO staged a major march on Wall Street yesterday.  However, as with nearly every union grassroots astroturf effort, there is always a hidden agenda.

A couple of weeks ago, we laid out the broad union agenda for the United States.  Beyond the nationalization of health care and mass unionization, another of the “visions” that unions have for America is what is referred to as European-style Participative Management.  What is the union vision of participative management?  Here is the simple definition:

Style of management that lays stress on the importance of good human relations and of workers’participation in management decision making, though such participation can vary in practice from being a hoped for safety valve for employee discontent to involving genuine consultation and even decision making. Source: European Union.

More specifically with regard to unions, it is the installation of union bosses (or their representatives) to serve on corporate boards of directors (of publicly held companies, for now) so that the “workers’ voice” is heard.  Another way to look at it is participative management is a way for unions to determine how a company operates.

Yesterday, between 10,000 and 15,000 union astroturfers showed up en masse in lower Manhattan to allegedly protest Wall Street “greed.”

As the Gothamist points out:

[M]any Wall Street workers didn’t appreciate being generalized as greedy fat cats. Empire Wealth Management Group executive VP Jeremiah Giddings told the Post“There’s a lot of honest firms on Wall Street that are trying to do right by our clients. Protesters can’t give all of Wall Street a black eye for a few firms.”

The Post’s Andrea Peyser also called the anger “misguided,” saying the protesters were using Wall Street as a common scapegoat for their myriad problems. And Mayor Bloomberg has already called for Senate support of Wall Street, though that didn’t go so well. Still, the protest went on, starting at City Hall and marching down to the “charging bull” in Bowling Green. “We’re tired. They’ve gotten richer, but we’re still poor,” marcher Loretta Manning told the Daily News. “We’re getting poorer. It’s not fair.” People also made some pretty interesting signs, from a papier-mâché CEO pig to the simple slogan “GREED KILLS.” And of course, the Raging Grannies made an appearance.

The protesters’ anger is not “misguided,” as the Post’s Peyser assumes. It is intentional, and it is sinister.

The push for “fiancial reform” isn’t to “reform” Wall Street, it is a push to remake America’s quasi-free market system into that of a European model.

Yesterday’s assemblage of the pitchforks and torches was a purposeful march to push a bill that will put unions onto the boards of corporations, as Warner Todd Hudson notes on his Union Label blog:

Senator Chris Dodd (D, Conn.) wants to give unions more power in the boardrooms of our nation’s businesses. In essence, Dodd wants to force corporate boards under the thumb of unions by federal fiat.

Carefully hidden in Dodd’s new regulations are provisions that give new powers to board members, powers aimed at giving unions more say in the operations of businesses from the inside through investments of pension funds.

The Dodd bill takes away from the states the ability to make rules governing how corporate boards are established and run and for the first time reassigns that power to the federal government through the SEC. Democrats expect to use this new power to affect corporate boards to force pension fund investors to obtain more seats on those boards and that means union pension funds will suddenly have more influence on business simply because of their influence in Washington.

[snip]

This is just one more small step in the elimination of America’s private business community and the implementation of a quasi-socialist business state. One more anti-American arrow in Obama’s quiver shot over the bow of America.

While unions are framing the debate as an issue between “Wall Street vs. Main Street,” the reality is, this is a push to expand union influence into the boardrooms of corporations. As unions, through the auto bailouts, have already injected their representatives onto the boards of both Government General Motors and Chrysler, why stop there?

Perhaps, instead of calling it “Wall Street reform,” a more apropos term would be: A Union Takeover of Wall Street.

photo credit: The Gothamist
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“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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Cross-posted.

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