Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Unions and Law - Protecting Your Brother

Let me give you a scenario.  There are two 8 yr old boys, same size, same abilities, same characteristics with one exception.  One has an older brother, let's say he's 12, and the other doesn't.  Both 8 year olds start to get picked on in school.  Let's say there's one main bully for each of the kids, and those bullies each have a little group of hangers-on, but the groups wouldn't have formed without the bullies.  Then, one day, the older brother of the one protects his younger brother.  Maybe he threatens his little brother's bully, maybe he punches him in the nose.  The end result is, the older brother promises the bully any time the bully picks on his little brother, the bully will have to face consequences.  But what happens to the little boy without an older brother? He gets beat up. Maybe if he's lucky or smart, he is strong enough to eventually deal with it, but chances are, he's going to be beat up and picked on for a long time.

People are like the little boy.  Without protection from the forces that attack us, we will be bullied.  There is nothing in check to prevent it from happening.  The bullies of people can be the government, or corporations, or individuals who act in ways that harm us.  Unions and laws that build consequences for societal bullies are like the older brother.  They protect us and enforce what is right. 

Some people will argue that unions are some kind of communist bi-product, but really, they were a reaction to the problems of capitalism.  Capitalism isn't perfect.  In fact, if taken to its illogical conclusion, it's messy, ugly, and incredibly destructive. If we didn't bail out AIG, if we didn't bail out Fanny and Freddy, what would have happened? I don't know, but it would have been messy.  If we didn't break up Ma Bell, if we didn't create child labor laws, if we didn't legislate civil rights - I can guarantee you this world would be a lot uglier.  But that is why we have unions and laws - so that kids can be kids, rather than lose their arms in a factory.  That is why we have unions and laws - so that a worker can live on the pay he or she makes doing his or her job and can't be fired for having different skin or being a different gender. 

Some might argue that I'm a radical, but to the religious people out there, I would challenge you to look at the arguments about money, and taking care of people which are made in your sacred texts.  The things I'm saying are as old as your scriptures, it's just I'm saying them in the context of today, and for some people, that's too painful to hear.

No comments:

Post a Comment