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Redefining the Possible for Labor


Redefining the Possible for Labor

Erica Smiley

My dad has always been afraid of flying. Even when we had the money, he preferred driving, which was a challenge considering we lived in North Carolina and my dad’s family lived 16 hours away in Clarksdale, Mississippi. So we drove. I still remember my frustration as a kid about not stopping overnight in Alabama, regardless of how bad I needed to go to the bathroom. My parents were protecting me from some external threat — people who might hurt us for no reason. And they were angry about it, but they kept driving.


Good for you Erica and good luck! Workers of the world need a coordinated efforts to bring back value to labor. We all need to value ourselves and what we provide and not feel our livelihood is threatened by oligarchs.


Where I live the police and the teachers both have strong unions and are compensated very well. I feel that the public is encouraged to view them as overcompensated. I asked an old friend of mine, who recently retired from the police force, if he lived any better than his late father had, who had also been a police officer. He told me that , honestly he didn’t. His dad, who was active from the early '50s to the early '80s, was able to buy a house, a new car every couple of years, a vacation cottage and have his wife stay home full time to raise their four sons. This was relatively common during that period of time, going back even to the '30s or '40s when one could support a family with any number of blue collar jobs. Today the police and the teachers (at least where I reside) are the only ones not cheated by our devastated economy purely because of the existence of their unions. I see subtle and also not so subtle manipulation by our local media to foment resentment against them as if it was they who have caused us our economic hardship since we “pay their salaries” and not against the one percenters and their bought and paid for government who truly have.