I was catching up on Cameron Getto’s excellent blog today, and came across this article.
Being that Cameron’s post is over a week old, I figured I should re-post my comment here.
The context (for those of you who haven’t read Cameron’s post) is the disenfranchising of the worker’s bargaining position through legislation that makes strikes illegal, staged in the broader context of the corruption that comes with power.
My comment to that issue reads as follows:
Coming from a country where the Government, the Industry leaders, and the Trade Unions sit together at an annual summit to set basic wages, cost of living increases, standards for working conditions and so forth, yeah I can see the benefits of a strong Union movement to a country's overall productivity and stability. We occasionally have major strikes, and when they occur, they bring the entire country to a standstill. We also have a living wage, national health, and a strong social security net, and we don’t pay much more tax than you do here.
Big business is working very hard to disenfranchise the unions in my home country. Bit by bit, with a long-standing conservative government at the helm, they are doing it. Big money is going to work to keep that government in power.
In its most progressive phases of history, the US is very conservative by world standards, and when it runs into a conservative slump like it has now, it is so much more so.
Neither political party is blameless in empowering the wealthy and disenfranchising the individuals who generate that wealth.
This bodes ill for the trade union movement, who rely on the impetus for change to drive their case forward.
How bad does it have to get before there is impetus for change? The answer is obviously “worse than it is”.
The greatest enemy facing both of our great nations is indifference. The average American and the average Australian are having a hard time working up a "give a shit" sufficient to the task.
Until that changes, we can piss and moan all we want, but not much will change.