Friday, March 4, 2011

Union Busting and Campaign Finance Reform

IMHO the fundamentals of this debate are rooted in broken political campaign financing. Big money from the rich are buying their way into government with huge campaign contributions (corporations shouldn't be legally recognized as persons). And once they are there, they want to kill campaign contributions from unions (not persons either). President Reagan went union busting, because unions were the biggest contributors to the democratic party. If neither corporations or unions could contribute to political campaigns, wouldn't this help solve the problem?

The degree to which things are askew is witnessed by the recent Supreme Court decision (Citizens United) recognizing first amendment rights for corporations. Jefferson is rolling over in his grave while the Federalists are chuckling.

Subsequent to the original post, I found the following written by Dr. Constance Nielsen on the Net.

"Again, the Pope primarily has the private sector in mind. Unions are actually meant to resolve economic issues in order to avoid undue intervention of the State, not to increase it (see RN 45 and CA 48). But his comments are even more pertinent for public sector unions where fiscal power, in the form of campaign contributions, could be wielded by the Unions in order to effectively choose their own bargaining partner. This has the potential for creating a relationship of mutual self-interest, leaving those outside of the arrangement marginalized and voiceless, but still paying for it. Such a condition actually poses a greater threat of excessive State involvement, which it is the very purpose of Unions to help avoid." Here is the full article.

Also subsequent to the original post was the appearance of Michael Moore in Madison who, in my opinion, showed us how NOT to reframe this debate ala George Lakoff. Lakoff's book "Dont Think Of An Elephant" argued for a more effective way to communicate with conservatives. Many of his writings were kept at his site associated with the now defunct Rockridge Institute. These writings are now archived here including Lakoff's "Talking Points."

Progressives need training in how to communicate with conservatives. Emotional venting by the likes of Michael Moore serves only to soothe the already convinced but does nothing to help sway a middle of the roader- so necessary to win political contests. Lakoff's book "Don't Think Of An Elephant" is highly recommended to achieve this end.

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