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Sonoma County Gazette
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Addressing the Issues of Low Wages

Aug 29, 2017


Let's call this musings from the dark side. I'm a News Junkie I watch MSNBC CNN sometimes I'll even hold my nose and listen to Fox just assure myself they are still peddling the same old snake oil. This subject of what's wrong with America comes up a lot especially especially during these politically torrid times. Have you ever seen such a mess? I've yet to see anybody address what I think is the root cause of the low wages in this country or so they say.

In 1987 President Ronald Reagan fired air traffic controllers, of which I was one. This was not a spontaneous wildcat job action. It was a peeing contest between the administration representing big business and the union leaders the union leaders who were looking for a job action that would be unbreakable. The air traffic controllers stepped into the fray. But the administration was ready and as history has shown they had a action plan in place which was to fire five controllers, give military control (or anybody with just a passing understanding of the job) early outs from the military and put them in those positions. In the short term, it was a disaster for the air traffic control system it was purely the grace of God that there wasn't a major calamity attributed to that action taken against our country, by our country, against its own people.

I have no real issue with how that turned out, and it's not about whether it was right or wrong. This is about the fact that that event marked the death knell for unionism in this country. They have not to my recollection, been a major job action in years. There is no union power left in this country. And the reality of the fact is, when unions won concession from big business, it not only raised the level of living for the union members, but in order to stay competitive non-union shops whatever or wherever they might be, had to raise wages to stay competitive. Republican sparred with the unions through every major election that I can remember, finally accomplished their goal. It happened rather quietly one minute, there were unions and the next minute they're gone, and with it one of the major and catalyst for our economy. Those be the musings from The Darkside.


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