So unions and many democrats are freaking out about today’s impending Harris v Quinn decision from the Supreme Court. Let me give you a little bit of detail about the case before I get to my point. This case is about public sector unions, which ultimately means it will be about all unions. The plaintiff, Pamela Harris has a son who needs ongoing medical care, which she provides for him. In order for her to be able to do this, she receives Medicaid funds and is therefore considered a home health care worker, employed by the state of Illinois. At some point, home health care workers voted to unionize so they’re represented by SEIU Healthcare Illinois-Indiana. Since the majority of them voted to unionize, they are all members of the union and must therefore pay union dues. Back in 1977, the Supreme Court issued a decision on union dues (I’m not going to do a deep dive into this case, but it’s Abood v Detroit Board of Education is you want to look it up). The court basically said that all public workers who are represented by the union must pay the fees associated with bargaining for them minus the cost of political activity.
twit shill Harris sued because she doesn’t want to pay her fair share. Why do I call her a twit? Before the union, wages in IL for a state employed home health care worker was $7.00 per hour. The union negotiated that salary up to $11.65 per hour now, with a scheduled increase to $13.00 per hour in December. Calling her a twit is clearly more flattering than she deserves, but I digress.
So now the court is basically going to redecide union dues. Remember, this was already decided so we’re looking at a major act of judicial activism here. Anyway the unions are freaking out because if the court decides that the twit doesn’t have to pay her fair share, they’re basically only get dues from their members on a voluntary basis. Unions represent both members and nonmembers so if people are allowed to opt out of paying their dues, they basically get all of the work that a union does to negotiate their wages for free. This is referred to as freeloading. I refer to it as twittery because if the union falls apart, the twit’s wages start to go back down immediately. Nonetheless, people are stupid and short sided and significant percentage of them will choose to get something for nothing, until it all falls apart and they’re left with nothing.
Unions are freaking out because this could effectively end unions. Democrats are freaking out because unions are the still biggest known (remember, our elections are mostly funded in the dark now) contributors to the democratic party.
I’m not freaking out. Not because I think the decision will be the right one, and not because I don’t think this will end unions. It will likely be the wrong decision and if it is, it will end unions. I’m not freaking out because when history repeats, the results always come out the way they did the first time around. Since a large percentage of humans are dullards who aren’t interested in history, (cause what could history possibly have to do with them?) we repeat history over and over again. Most people don’t realize that they have weekends off because of unions. They don’t realize that without unions, they would be working fourteen hour days side by side with their kids. Some dipshits believe they’re above exploitation because they’re "educated". Never mind the fact that the libertarian Paypal founder (Peter Thiel) and douchebag is trying to build a slave labor barge full of dirt cheap foreign software developers far enough off the coast of San Francisco, that he’s not subject to compliance with US labor laws. But that’s not going to affect "educated" people cause, free market!
Things are definitely going to go to shit for workers if unions disappear. But they’re slowly going to shit now as unions are shrinking. Disappearing them is just going to bring us to the end game of worker misery a little faster. So here’s how it’s going to go; unions disappear, workers’ already flat wages start to drop precipitously, democrats turn to corporations for money.
Democrats will definitely get that money. They’re getting it now. They’ve been getting it in ever increasing amounts since Bill Clinton put up the "for rent" sign at democratic national headquarters. That’s why it’s been harder and harder to tell democrats apart from republicans over the past couple of decades. Once the democratic party becomes 100% reliant on corporations to fund them (as republicans have been for four decades), their constituency will shrink dramatically to include only; GE, Verizon, Goldman Sachs, Lockheed Martin, Monsanto, and Pfizer. Notice how you’re conspicuously missing from that list? That’s because your only lobbyist, unions will be gone. Unions are your lobbyist whether you belong to one or not. Study after study shows that wages go up across the board in places where unions are strong.
Once they’re dismantled, you go back to being completely powerless. There will be no need for libertarian douchebag billionaires to invest in building slave barges because software developers in San Francisco city limits can look forward to being treated to the same conditions that a Bangladeshi garment workers enjoy now, but with a view of the Golden Gate bridge.
So why am I not worried about this decision going wrong? Because history repeats in the same way over and over again. We the people have been slowly losing our power and our voices since about 1980. It’s clear which way the pendulum of history is headed. We have about the same level of income inequality that we had in the 1920s. Thanks to the Supreme Court and decisions like McCutcheon v FEC and Citizen’s United, the government serves corporations almost exclusively (as they did in the 1920s). We are slowly digressing back to a time when conditions for the average American were miserable. I say we should speed that process up.
Americans are increasingly becoming aware that something is horribly wrong in America. This is why we’re seeing both parties fracture into different factions. Republicans have their teabaggers and their libertarians pushing up against the corporatists. Democrats have their Clinton, Booker corporatists vs the Warren, Grayson, Sanders populists. Right now, we’re at the stage of "horribly wrong" where people can be manipulated to act against their own self interest. Libertarians are clinging on to their unicorns harder than ever, and teabaggers have been duped into becoming foot soldiers for the Koch brothers. Democrats are actually excited about the possibility of Hillary Clinton saving the day, despite the quarter million dollar speaking fees she’s getting from Goldman Sachs.
This shitty decision from the Supreme Court is going to wake up the liberals. More and more of us have moved away from the democratic party and vehemently supported "socialist" candidates like Bill de Blasio and Elizabeth Warren. More and more of us are organizing to amend the constitution, whether it’s with Move To Amend, Wolf PAC, or Rootstrikers.
If you’ve been following me, you know that my opinion is that a constitutional amendment to get money out of politics is the only remedy we have left for our ailing government. I don’t know how many Elizabeth Warrens we can afford to support when our wages are going down. Remember that 94% of the time, the congressional candidate with the most money wins. Warren and de Blasio (I know he’s a mayor, but it’s not different) were the candidates with the most money. They weren’t the exceptions to the money statistic, they were the rule. The only amazing thing is that Warren managed to raise enough money from us, to defeat her bank backed opponent (de Blasio was a slightly different scenario that I won’t go into).
More liberals need to wake up and get to the conclusion I came to. The support I’m seeing for Hillary tells me that we still have a way to go on the path to "the awakening". Why do I focus on liberals? Because liberals always have been, and always will be the only ones who affect change. It doesn’t matter where in the world, or what period of history you look at, change is always brought about by liberals. Conservatives, by definition conserve. They don’t like change and they don’t rock the boat. The devil they know is just fine because "that’s just how it is". If conservatives had their way, the United States would be part of the UK. That’s just a fact. Liberals always have been, and always will be the activists.
The evisceration of unions is going to remove the thin veil that the democratic party still wears. Remember Obama bailed out Wall Street, appointed a Monsanto executive to a high level position at the FDA, and failed to put on his picketing shoes to help labor in Wisconsin. But that’s all okay for some democrats, cause he gave us the Affordable Care Act. Don’t get me wrong, I’m marginally satisfied with the ACA as a stop gap, but I want more. I want food that isn’t going to poison me, water that isn’t flammable, and a bank that doesn’t have its hand in my pocket at all times. As long as money determines our elections, we’re not going to get any better than Obama, and as long as democrats throw us some crumbs every decade or so, liberals aren’t going to wake up to that fact. I’m very clear on the reality that I’m never going to get these things as long as money is the primary driver and motivator for our political system.
I need more liberals to wake the fuck up and join me, because we are our only hope. Because I know that things need to get shitty enough to activate the activists, I’m okay with this incredibly shitty decision from the Supreme Court. We’re already on the road to shitty so let’s get there already so that we can turn this sinking ship around.