The Labor Day Whining Has Begun

 Which is all that this WaPo “would you like some cheese with that” seems to boil down to.

Now, before somebody accuses me of acting like a Republican (ack-put), don’t get me wrong.  There are definitely bad things going on in the corporate world, and even the WSJ is all over the CEO-vs-RandomSchmoe pay divides because of the outright chicanery involved.  For instance, when a corporation claims that it can’t fund its pension program, and it turns out that this is because it’s quadrupled its its CEO pensions, folks who’ve put in twenty-five years have a legitimate reason to be somewhere between severely pissed and borderline postal.

But this isn’t quite that critter.  No, this odd little lament devolves fast and furious into self-assuring mantras that whitewash the 20th century into a recognizable boomer vision:

In ways more difficult to quantify, the mass prosperity fostered a generosity of spirit: The civil rights revolution and the Marshall Plan both emanated from an America in which most people were imbued with a sense of economic security.

Nobody actually did anything.  People were imbued with comfort, and specific policies simply emanated from the resulting hazy goodness.  Yeah, pass that joint, man, the history final’s not ’til Monday.

Clearly, the war of American employers on unions, which began around that time, is also substantially responsible for the decoupling of increased corporate revenue from employees’ paychecks.

Learn some history, dude, you’ll need it on Monday.  The old labor organizers wed themselves to the antagonistic model from the very beginning.  That’s why Toyota’s been kicking GM’s ass — Toyota’s flavor of union, a cooperative labor model, simply works better.

 For the bottom 90 percent of the American workforce, work just doesn’t pay, or provide security, as it used to.

isitcanbe.jpgThese kind of kvetchings make me wonder if the folks writing laments like this are just scared of the future and need reassuring as all the old mantras start to look threadbare.  Now that money’s going to corporate bosses rather than being hauled out of union dues to labor bosses.  There are always bosses.  It’s still bosses.  That’s how the world works, and until we’re off this rock, and invent the new, shiny, arrogant and heartless Space Bosses, that’s the way it’s gonna be.

And besides, we’re much closer to having the rocket ships now.

Dude, I’m sorry that your world has changed.  But I’m living in it now, so chill out:  that world you’re so fond of, 1947-1973, has been gone for over thirty years.  If you’re going to wallow in cheap nostalgia, just crank up the Lawrence Welk and be done with it.

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  1. Yeah; only an idiot misses having the mob run your salary calculations and garnishing your paycheck. Telling you when you’re going to strike, because, in a union it’s really about imposing the leadership’s view upon the “unified”. urg.

    BTW, I’ll gladly be a heartless Space Boss if you supply the funding.

  2. Fuck this socialist douchebag piece of rancid dog shit and every drop of his anti-capitalist nostalgia for the good old days of skillless laborers holding their companies hostage..

    Ohhhh no.. not profit! How terrible it is for a company to make a profit when they could simply divvy up all that money and hand it out to the lazy trash that is always bitching about this kind of thing.

    Labor continues to drop in value yet the same people crying about it are the ones who want the minimum wage increased and the borders wide-open so that illegals can come in and ‘do the jobs Americans won’t’ (translation: do the jobs that companies will increasingly give them to avoid paying the increasing minimum wage).

    Fuck this liberal baby-boomer and fuck his whole generation. The USA will be much better off when all these pricks are dead and gone; hopefully their failed ideology will go with them.

  3. Superbiff,

    How do you feel about this issue? 🙂

  4. blair

     /  August 30, 2006

    It is kind of funny that a group of people who want to remind you how they stopped prejudice do so by selectively making blanket attributions about their entire generation based on the exceptional people with their cohort.

    “We fought the mass labelling and stereotyping of Blacks in America because every boomer has the principles and courage of Martin Luther King; he was a boomer.”

    It’s kind of like reincarnation folks. They’re always kings. No boomer who is inclined to this kind of wish dream stupidity ever invokes how much they were all like Robert Macnamara, Jimmy Carter, Jim Jones or the Gettys.

  5. Mike

     /  August 30, 2006

    I am a capitalist pig and I endorse all the above statements.

    No kidding either. I have no problems with profit, I have a few problems with certain corporations (Russ’s comments on the pension fund being one), but that is tempered by the simple fact of I would never trust my retirement to just one source. Social Security? A pension fund? Military retirement? Pat, I’ll take D. all the above, plus my own wad of cash I have squirreled away. Hell, I don’t even have issues with the concept of Unions, I DO have an issue with the way most are run now (cash cows for certain political parties who continually sell them down the river, Let’s hear it for the AFL-CIO Union revolt).

    I have learned one thing, and that is that the only constant is change. The days of a 30 year job at Ford are done, and anyone who preaches about bringing it back is a fool. It is dead as Hoffa. Its simple, we adjust or someone else cleans our clock and puts us out of a job. SO stop with the socailist bs, and the teary eyed reminicing of Union days gone by, and freaken jump on the change wave and surf.

    Its pretty ironic that the generation that was so big on “changing the system” now has such a problem dealing with “change”.

  6. Chris - Wichita

     /  August 31, 2006

    What? Hoffa is dead? I bet you’ll tell me that Santa and the Easter Bunny aren’t real either, but instead are just constructs used to keep bratty children in line. hmph. Now where did my Sheeple-brand Kool-Aid go…I know I left it around here somewhere…oh wait…I left it with the sheeple I go to school with.

  7. Mike

     /  August 31, 2006

    Yes Hoffa is dead. And so in Lenin, Marx, Pol Pot, Stalin, and Mao. And a bunch of other folks the boomers love to forget when compairing those on the right side of the line to Hitler.

  8. The boomers who like to claim killing Jim Crow as their achievement tend to forget that they weren’t the ones who bled and died for it — the oldest of them were just getting out of high school. Similarly, I would say that the treatment of those returning from LBJ’s war would make “generosity of spirit” increasingly difficult to quantify.

  9. As long as we’re bashing liberal baby-boomer pricks, my favorite is how they cherry-pick which racist Southern Democrats left the party and became Republicans (like Thurmond) so that they can deny the truth: that a lot of opposition to ending slavery and the civil rights movement in general came from Democrats.

    They’ll say “oh but all those old Southern Democrats became Republicans so its really the GOP who are racists” while ignoring people like Robert Byrd, William Fulbright, Al Gore Sr, etc..

  10. To a large extent, that’s a legitimate shot the Republicans of the era deserved to take right in the teeth: the Republicans *did* squander their goodwill amongst blacks by adopting the Dixiecrats into their “southern strategy.” And they did so as part of a calculated strategy that was pretty much shite.

    But you’re right, given what has occurred since then, the whiff of hypocrisy is pretty distinct.

  11. It’s not that their accusation with Dixiecrats-now-Republican is untrue.. It’s that they conveniently ignore all the Dixiecrats (like Carter, who ran on a VERY racist platform to get the South with him), people without KKK links (Byrd, Al Gore Sr) and unapologetic racists (William Fulbright, Al Sharpton – a man who got a NY Jew lynched) within their own camp.

  12. No argument: like I said, “the whiff of hypocrisy…”

  13. Who the hell said King was a Boomer? He was already 17 when the first Boomers were born.

  14. Boxing Alcibiades

     /  September 5, 2006

    Jonathon, you’d be amazed at how many Boomers I’ve seen try to take generational credit for MLK’s achievements and the end of Jim Crow.


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