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Tue Jun 12, 2012, 08:25 PM

This Chart Should Tell You Why The Rich Are Trying To Kill Off Unions


http://www.moveon.org/share/718694/this-chart-should-tell-you-why-the-rich-are?id=43545-3297678-Lr6RMcx&rc=dailyshare&t=113

Over the past hundred years, as union membership declined, the share of wealth of the top 10% skyrocketed.

:large

49 replies, 9647 views

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Reply This Chart Should Tell You Why The Rich Are Trying To Kill Off Unions (Original post)
Omaha Steve Jun 2012 OP
RKP5637 Jun 2012 #1
freshwest Jun 2012 #2
Egalitarian Thug Jun 2012 #3
RufusTFirefly Jun 2012 #4
Omaha Steve Jun 2012 #11
Overseas Jun 2012 #17
RufusTFirefly Jun 2012 #27
NJCher Jun 2012 #36
WillyT Jun 2012 #5
Overseas Jun 2012 #16
Stuart G Jun 2012 #6
senseandsensibility Jun 2012 #7
patrice Jun 2012 #8
Starry Messenger Jun 2012 #9
Ednahilda Jun 2012 #12
KansDem Jun 2012 #14
Starry Messenger Jun 2012 #20
Crowman1979 Jun 2012 #25
Bucky Jun 2012 #33
Starry Messenger Jun 2012 #38
Bucky Jun 2012 #46
bread_and_roses Jun 2012 #34
BlueIris Jun 2012 #10
SunSeeker Jun 2012 #13
Initech Jun 2012 #15
tralala Jun 2012 #18
Auggie Jun 2012 #21
Doctor_J Jun 2012 #40
denvine Jun 2012 #19
Starry Messenger Jun 2012 #22
denvine Jun 2012 #24
Auggie Jun 2012 #23
denvine Jun 2012 #26
INdemo Jun 2012 #28
robinlynne Jun 2012 #29
ErikJ Jun 2012 #30
flamingdem Jun 2012 #37
sabrina 1 Jun 2012 #31
limpyhobbler Jun 2012 #32
guardian Jun 2012 #35
Doctor_J Jun 2012 #39
Trajan Jun 2012 #41
TheKentuckian Jun 2012 #42
Trajan Jun 2012 #44
TBF Jun 2012 #43
L. Coyote Jun 2012 #45
rurallib Jun 2012 #47
Beartracks Jun 2012 #48
Omaha Steve Jun 2012 #49

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 08:40 PM

1. K&R !!! n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 09:00 PM

2. Yes!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 09:04 PM

3. Thanks for the confirmation. Now we need to get this info out to the workers that

 

don't like, support, or join unions.
K&R

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 09:08 PM

4. Excellent, albeit ominous, chart! I saw a related chart the other day...

... that showed how the middle class is declining in direct correspondence with the decline of unions. Anyone seen a copy of that? I can't remember where or when I saw it and can no longer find it.

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Response to RufusTFirefly (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 09:28 PM

11. This one?




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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #11)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 10:28 PM

17. K&R. K&R. K&R.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #11)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 10:48 PM

27. Bingo! That's the one! Thanks Steve! n/t

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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #11)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 10:04 AM

36. question

Do you have a source for that, OS? I like to send these to my union president. He has used things I've sent in presentations before, but being teachers, we like to quote the source.


Cher

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 09:10 PM

5. K & R !!! - Did You See This ???

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Response to WillyT (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 10:28 PM

16. Very helpful! K&R

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 09:10 PM

6. K and R nt. thanks for posting

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 09:17 PM

7. Oh no,Steve, you're wrong.

It's because the one percent are concerned that the union "bosses" are taking the working peoples' earnings. I really miss the sarcasm thingee.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 09:18 PM

8. K&R and To the barricades!!!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 09:21 PM

9. What happened in 1958? Anyone know if it was anything specific?

Or did post-war prosperity just start to wind down and the Marshall Plan got Europe back in shape?

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #9)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 09:46 PM

12. Must be my fault

I was born in '58.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #9)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 09:50 PM

14. Good question...

I suspect it had something to do with McCarthyism. His HUAC has concluded its witch hunt, we had just gone toe-to-toe with those Godless commies in North Korea, and we had just put "God" in the Pledge and on our money, so I imagine it wasn't much of a stretch to demonize unions (you know: unions support workers. Communism also supports workers ("Workers of the world unite..."), so in the eyes of Richie Rich, unions meant "Communism."

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Response to KansDem (Reply #14)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 10:32 PM

20. I'll bet you are right.

http://lpa.igc.org/lpv26/lp05.htm


The anti-labor drive in Congress came to focus on two bills: The House bill was introduced by Rep. Fred Hartley (R-NJ), a right-winger who had been friendly to Hitler Germany and imperial Japan right up to the eve of World War 2. A roughly similar bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Robert A. Taft (R-Ohio), the ultraconservative, wealthy son of a U.S. president who had political ambitions of his own. But both bills were written by lobbyists for corporations like General Electric, Allis-Chalmers, Inland Steel, J.I. Case, and Chrysler, and the Rockefeller interests.

<snip>

It was no surprise that corporations were out to get the unions: In a little more than a decade, the number of union members in the U.S. had grown from less than 4 million to some 15 million. Labor had flexed its muscles soon after World War 2 ended in 1945 with a series of strikes aimed at dramatically increasing living standards for industrial workers. Electrical, oil, steel, auto, rubber, and packinghouse workers, among others, went on strike simultaneously, bringing the U.S. to the verge of a general strike in basic industry. Their successful job actions modestly redistributed the corporations' bloated war-time profits.

EMPLOYERS VS. NEW DEAL

In response, corporations were mounting an attack on New Deal legislation that had given workers some of their newfound strength. Big business also employed the Cold War to whip up a "red scare" that wreaked internal havoc in unions across the country. C.E. Wilson, head of General Electric, frankly declared the Cold War had two targets: labor at home, and the Soviet Union abroad.



Wiki sets the end of the formal HUAC period at 1957. Good call!

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Response to KansDem (Reply #14)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 10:42 PM

25. The red-scare between 1919-1921 is the reason for the dip you see in the chart for those years.

Not to mention all of the propaganda Ford put out and all of the lynching against groups such as the IWW.

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Response to KansDem (Reply #14)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 04:28 AM

33. Gotta disagree

By 1958, both McCarthy and Korea were old news. I doubt tacking one nation under God onto that socialistic hagiographic pledge impacted the economy that much. But 1958 was the first fiscal year following a major reprioritizing of the federal budget. The previous October, Sputnik had kicked off the space race and a lot of federal money was getting directed into more technological defense spending and into educationally focused science programming. There's also the slow building effect of the Interstate Highway System, which increased the efficiency of transportation costs and shifted transport of consumer goods from rail to trucking. I'm not sure of the macroeconomic effects of the Interstate, but it certainly had to be pretty dramatic.

1958 was also a year of recession--a result of Ike's policy of preferring to fight inflation rather than promote business expansion as a means of stabilizing the economy. Inflation is often a function of expanding opportunities for working class households, while recessions often produce conditions where large corporations can wring out fiscal profits in the lag between resumption of consumer spending and the hiring of new labor to meet growing demand.

And now... here's a picture of a crazy blue lion

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Response to Bucky (Reply #33)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 11:01 AM

38. Didn't know that about Ike.

Why would he choose to fight inflation? What were the perceived advantages from his point of view?

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #38)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 03:03 PM

46. Inflation is the consequence of growth. It's like speeding on the freeway.

You want to have a little bit of growth, but too much of it can be destabilizing. Remember that too much inflation is what got us the Ronald Reagan presidency. The experience of the war years had had a lot of inflationary pressures--a lot of people were making a lot of money with the sudden drop from 10% to 2% unemployment. This pushes prices up and creates unsteady supply problems for consumer goods--which can be devastating in a war time situation. With the war over, inflation returned--there was less call for regulation, but the economy was booming like gangbusters. The occasional recession keeps prices under control in a normal economy. My favorite economist, Chauncey Gardiner, compared them to the role winters play in nature's balance.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 06:38 AM

34. Effects of Taft-Hartley beginning to be felt

is my guess - and Taft-Hartley could not have been enacted without the support of the Democrats. And anyone who thinks the Democrats have been friends of Labor should remember NAFTA, for just one major example. The Rs stick a knife in Labor's heart, true - and the Ds offer a band-aide and call themselves heroes while we bleed to death.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 09:28 PM

10. Ouch.

Illuminating.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 09:49 PM

13. K&R

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 10:11 PM

15. This is what happens when you repeatedly vote against your best interests.

You get greedy fucking power hungry tyrannical billionaires who are destroying you and your assets (if you have any).

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 10:29 PM

18. Might that decline in membership not correspond to larger social/economic trends

namely: exodus of labor-intensive industry to lower-wage regions and deproletarianization as a result of that? the liquidation (by attrition) of the labor aristocracy? the historic failure of the American trade unions to assert political independence from either of the bourgeois political parties?

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Response to tralala (Reply #18)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 10:35 PM

21. My first thoughts too

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Response to tralala (Reply #18)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 01:29 PM

40. Your last point is well-reasoned

If we had proportional representation instead of the two-party grip, there would likely be a Labor Party that wouldn't have to schmooze with the New Dems. then they would actually hold some power.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 10:30 PM

19. K&R?

Hey fellow DU members. I don't want to sound like an idiot, although I probably will. What is K & R? And what do you mean by kick? I am fairly new to the site, and I love to read the comments. I see this often and would like to get an explanation please.
Thanks

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Response to denvine (Reply #19)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 10:37 PM

22. A "kick" is just a post that pops an OP up back to the top of the forum.

The "R" is for Recommend. If you see the boxes at the bottom of the OP there is one that says "DU rec". You can vote on a thread if you like it and the higher number of votes it gets the higher it goes on the list of Greatest Threads. Lots of DU readers use that page as their front page to the site, so getting on there can be useful to visibility.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #22)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 10:41 PM

24. Thank you so much!

I truly appreciate the explanation.

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Response to denvine (Reply #19)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 10:39 PM

23. Kicked and recommended

Kicked sends the thread to the top of the forum or group. Five or more recommendations sends the thread to the Greatest Page.

Welcome to DU!

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Response to Auggie (Reply #23)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 10:42 PM

26. Thank you so much.

I love this site.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 11:05 PM

28. I once told a fellow union member that it was the Democrats that protected

our interests. His theory in 1996 was that our economy was booming because of Reganomics..Nothing to do with then President Bill Clinton..I told him that anyone the would vote for a Republican didnt deserve to carry a union card..the guy didnt speak to me for a couple years..
....I still believe that any union member that would vote for a Republican should not be allowed membership privileges..

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 12:58 AM

29. Amazing chart!!!!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 03:03 AM

30. Real reason: Death to the Dem Party

THe unions are the main financial support of the Dem party. No unions=no Dems.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #30)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 10:59 AM

37. +1000 correcto

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 03:17 AM

31. That should be turned into leaflets and left at every super-market and other public places until

the entire country has seen it and GETS it. Then everyone needs to get out in the streets and join Occupy and take turns so there is a round the clock presence of the people in the streets, until something is done to fix this before it is too late, if it isn't already.

That is coming really close to third world status.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 03:18 AM

32. we need to organize people who work in low-pay service jobs

like Mcdonalds and Target, Walmart, Arbys, etc .

That's the only way we are ever gonna turn this around. Can't just play defense, got to play offense. I know it is going on, but just that we need more organizing.

Good chart.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 09:26 AM

35. K&R n/t

 

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 01:26 PM

39. Wow. "Their share" dropped to a THIRD at one point

Had to cut back on country club memberships, and had to make their bentleys last two years.

Excellent find, Steve

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 01:41 PM

41. Steve ? .... While I find this chart useful ....

It isnt the most important picture ....

I am not sure how we can straighten this out, but NOBODY talks about family income ....

NOBODY talks about the paltry wage increases that have stultified family wealth over the last 3 decades ...

NOBODY talks about the every decreasing purchasing power that families have faced, with wages increasing at a far lower rate than the exploding costs and expenses that families face, day in, day out, year in year out ....

Kids clothes ??? ... food on the table ??? .... health care ??? ... housing ??? ... College ? .... Nest egg ? .... Comfortable retirement ? ....

ALL have been slowly decimated by the LOW wage policies of the 1% ..... These policies, I believe, have led to the stingy spending by the 99% of us who rely on wages to make a life for our families ....

Frankly: I DO NOT CARE what the rich make ..... They have what they need, and while it might be obscene that they make so much money, that should NOT be our focus .... When we talk about tens of millions of dollars, the eyes of the common folk glaze over ....

What I DO care about is whether regular families can make ends meet; Whether they can buy/rent a decent home; whether they can feed their children without fearing their own solvency; whether they can pay for spiraling college costs so that their children get do better than they themselves have done; whether they can save enough for a comfortable retirement.

I care about whether families can do what they need to do in order to move their families forward, and in the process, help the overall economy GROW so that other families will have opportunities to find decent work at decent wages, so they too can partake of an uplifting economy.

When we speak of the HUGE income of the 1%, we reveal a sense of envy that is unbecoming and cynical. We must focus on what the 99% can do, and how they MUST be provided a GOOD wage for their hard work ....

Families everywhere dont really care what CEOs make when they themselves are able to succeed ....

They WONT march in rallies that focus on envy of the rich .... They WILL march in rallies, by the millions, in order to achieve FAIR wages that lift their own families from the dregs of society, and provide opportunities for the children .... Simply cutting CEO pay does NOT achieve this most important goal.

Chasing after CEO pay is a rhetorical bromide that does nothing to lift families from their fear of failure and want.

WAGES !

WAGES !

Fucking WAGES are what families need .... We need to be paid FAIRLY for our work, and that alone will turn this moribund economy into a winner for everyday joes and jills ..... AND their kids ....

Show me a chart that includes wages ..... Show US a chart that shows NOT what a CEO makes, but how college educations have disappeared from the realm of possibility for regular families .... How they cannot afford those things that families want, simply because they are not being paid enough wage for their hard work ... Show me a chart showing how everyday expenses have skyrocketed while worker wages have stagnated, and yeah; show the participation of unions on the workforce in that chart too ...

We dont want a fucking handout - We want fair pay that values our hard work ....

I was a union worker for 24 years .... and while their are those that hide behind workplace rules in order to be 'lazy', the bulk of my fellow workers were the hardest working MFers I have ever seen .... Competent, dedicated, conscientious - THAT is the union worker I know ....

PAY familes what value they provide to owners, and the middle class prospers, and the CEO gets paid whatever obscene amount he things he deserves ....

I dont care what the CEO makes: I care if your neighbors are successful .... They will NOT be successful if they are not paid what their work is worth - THAT should be our focus ....

We need to go after corporations for their UNAMERICAN suppression of wages development, and how THEY have hurt families, and how THEY have strangled the economy ...

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Response to Trajan (Reply #41)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 02:09 PM

42. I think you have to care, the few gobble up the pie intended for 300 million.

There are no wages to be had when the resource pool is dominated by the greedy few.
Same deal on taxes, you give the wealthy and corporations a pass and that means workers and the poor pick up the slack. Worse, too low a rate acts as incentive to stifle wages and to pocket as much as they can.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #42)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 02:39 PM

44. But there are wages to be had ..... The slice keeps getting smaller ....

And THAT is where our battle lies ..... Giving workers a larger slice of the pie ....

And that slice doesnt necessarily need come directly from CEO pay ... I am not sure whether you can expect to extract CEO pay, and have enough to increase worker wages enough to make an impact ...

Something else is in the mix here - Investors ....

Investors need to realize: It is in their best interest to make sure the marketplace is 'seeded' with income so workers and families have enough wealth to buy their products .... The current system is degenerate, and will unwind until all workers are impoverished ... They need to recognize that they themselves cannot sustain a vibrant economy, and they NEED the lower and middle classes to maintain robust purchasing in order to maintain their own wealth ....

Two points I would add:

1) Stimulus was pumped into the economy in order to 'prime the pump' to help stimulate economic activity - That activity was required because lower and middle class workers feared spending their precious wealth in a down economy ... They cant squander rent money on frivolous purchases, like new washing machines, new cars, etc .... Baby needs shoes? .. Goodwill has them ....

2) The free and easy credit policies in the 90's help mask the paltry income increases by mortgaging home value as a substitute for income wealth ..... Once the credit bubble burst: real family income revealed just how weak it actually was .... Without a credit card to buy a fancy computer; families realized they didnt actually HAVE money enough to buy one, or a car, or durable goods in general.


Corporations object to stimulus spending ? ... fine - PAY FAIR WAGES, and stimulus spending will not be required ... Nor will cheap and easy credit be necessary .... with REAL DECENT wages; families can buy what that wish .... Dell/Ford/Best Buy/Nordstrom's/etc sells more, and producers produce more to meet sales .... EVERYBODY wins ....

Poor wages kill jobs and businesses ..... Without decent wages - small business cannot prosper as their marketplace dries up ....

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 02:20 PM

43. Excellent - K&R nt

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 02:54 PM

45. No lessons learned from the Great Depression, I see. History repeats ...

when ignored!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 03:13 PM

47. mark to return to

so I can steal that chart.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 07:27 PM

48. Are there any such charts that support...

... the conservatives' fiscal and economic arguments?

Imagine this scenario...

You and a Republican coworker are having a discussion about the economy, what's gone wrong with it, and what it's going to take to fix it. Your coworker trots out the usual rightwing bits about unions interfering with middle-class incomes, national employment levels, and general prosperity, and you respond with the Democratic viewpoint, which happens to be fact-based. Anyway, he of course say you're wrong, so you show him the charts in this thread and other similar charts that clearly demonstrate why you are right. Then, your coworker claims that the charts are misleading, wrong, full of spin, whatever, and so you ask to see some graphs that demonstrate support for the conservative positions on things. What does he show you? CAN he show you anything meaningful?

I really am curious.

===========================

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2012, 11:23 PM

49. Thank You DU


Labor Unions spent the day as the top R item!

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