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Jul 10, 2023·edited Jul 10, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

Absolutely. Biden needs to be called out on this and regularly. A lot of us have also not forgotten the way this ‘pro-union’ President fully threw railway workers under the bus with his forced strike break that gave the workers nothing and the railroad barons the green light to keep on with their abusive business practices. Even aside from his excuse about doing this for the ‘economy’ there is no reason he needed to play it this way. Not a good look especially for the guy who’s supposed to be our line of defense against Trump & neo-facism. Step up, Biden. We need action not talk.

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Jul 10, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

True. Biden was wrongly calling for healing right after his inauguration before there is justice on the insurrection of Jan 6.

Healing this wound is like making a seriously infected wound heal. It will surely break open again much worse.

I've been saying this ever since Biden foolishly started calling for healing.

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Jul 10, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

I must say that merely Biden's presence in the seat of power allowed my psyche to begin healing from the frightening drama of his disordered predecessor. He then accomplished so many improvements in a short time, but it appeared they weren't being noticed by those who were still taking in the never-ending message of the disordered and conspiracy idiocy that had been growing before his reign. I agree, it is time for him to act a bit stronger. And what does that mean? Yell, repeat over and over lies, hate, and stupid ideas? No. He can stay calm, and keep his eye on the whole country (not only his fans). Repeat and repeat what his admin has done and are working on. Develop a large and strong team of coherent advocates who also repeat and repeat what he has done and what he will continue to do. Putting Harris forward and giving her more airtime is not helping, frankly. Put forward strong speakers like Newsom , Kinzinger, Raskin. Hey, also those like Jon Stewart. Direct these ideas to the red states who will be most advantaged by these improvements - they just don't know it yet. Unfortunately, the US doesn't have the greatest education and needs reason and facts taught repeatedly, not fought

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Education is a problem. My son is in his 50s and never had a semester or even a quarter in public schools of CIVICS.

For those unfamiliar with the term, civics educates us on how our government works; separation of powers; how bills are made, roles of each chamber in making bills; why things operate the way they do.

It doesn’t and Must Not teach politics- but an educated population is absolutely necessary for democracy to work and exist!

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Nancy Jane, I agree with a lot of your message, but I am not sure why it is necessary for even Democrats to insult Kamala Harris. If we actually listen to what she is saying it is important and intelligent. She is not blustery as some, but neither is Biden. I want those others (I noticed those you named were all men) too, but I like Harris also. Why can't it be all of the above all standing together to get the message out?

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Yes, Kamala is very smart and I like her, but she needs to be part of a bigger team and out there without the suspicion that Biden is putting her out there to campaign for herself. She's not a strong speaker either though she says the right things. I'd like to see a woman succeed in the US - not sure enough voters are ready for one at the top yet. This is a time to have likable (to the majority) and able speakers to be out there. We need people who impress Independents and I don't care personally if they are blue-skinned with a lisp, but I want someone in that position that a majority of USers can like, trust and learn from.

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I, for one, find her demeanor to be a bit offensive. I realize she has great speech writers, but, I do not think she can speak extraordinarily well without preparation. I would prefer a Jamie Raskin. Not because he is a male, but because he is believable.

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America Is Doing Just Fine

The United States deserves a robust defense.

By Joe Scarborough

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2023/07/uncle-sam-american-military-patriotism/674644/

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Good article. Perspective. A broader view of America in relative terms. Actually, sort of reassuring. He is right.

But Joe needs to write another piece that describes the epic level of corruption in our system where the oligarchs have bought elections, courts and hoodwinked Americans with bigoted cultural grievances - all the while stealing human rights and prosperity from millions of naive, misinformed hard working "new day" slaves.

I defend many aspects of America. We are lucky on lots of levels. But let us not kid ourselves about the direction of money and politics in this bought and paid for political power play. Time for a revolution. Follow the money.

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Reference my previous comment above, I agree with getting corporate money out of politics. Citizens United was wrong. But I also want age limits and term limits.

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Only SCOTUS can be on the job for a lifetime and they were never elected. Representatives have to win an election every 2 years, Senators have to win every 6 years, and Presidents have to win every 4. It was less dangerous to democracy when the SC followed the constitution which created them as a non-partisan body, but that day seems to be over.

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Age limits are discriminatory and term limits are the dream of RWNJ organizations like those run by the remaining Koch billionaire brother. It takes years of experience in Washington DC to be able to be an effective representative. Senators too. It requires knowledge that can not be obtained with ease. Be careful what you wish for. Unless you think we need more in Congress like MTG and Boebert.

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When oligarch yachts are now bigger than the Titanic somehow we have crossed a threshold.

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As long as we have millions in poverty - many eating poorly, many homeless, many medically uninsured or underinsured and not having been educated enough to detect outright lies and conspiracies - I don't think we're doing fine !

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Thanks, Daniel, good article. I would say to Joe, keep writing and broadcasting! The only thing I winced at was the comparison of the GOP to a hippie's moment.

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Their program about it this morning was excellent

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As Renee Dean said above, the Railroad Workers outcome shows how equivocal Biden really is. We need an advocate as strong and even bombastic as Trump himself, only standing on the side of truth. As you say, America doesn't have the greatest education; in fact, I'd say, overall, we have the most ignorant population in the developed world. What we need is for our progressive leaders to stop playing political chess and jump in with an unrelenting barrage of no-holds-barred REALITY

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It will be a long time before we can recover from the last few years of the previous president - the negativity, rudeness, lies, divisions, anti-intellectualism, greed, disconnection with global organizations, hate, loss of respect for people that we don't understand, etc. I do see that we are on the upside of it and hope the growth continues. History tells us bombastic, authoritarian, and negative doesn't work for long and leaves a country weaker.

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I believe that it is necessary to speak truth, and do so forcefully. One does not need to be rude and insulting to do it, but being meek and polite all the time is not the answer, either. Biden has said some good things, but they get lost because he says them in such a forgettable way. They're often barely noticed. We need a stirring orator of the type of John, Robert and Edward Kennedy, and they must not shrink from naming names and showing exactly what's happening. They need to present the Republican cult for exactly what it is, and rather than worrying about alienating Trump's base, they need to show that base exactly how they're being had by Trump and all the fascist GOP.

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True, he doesn't have a voice that projects and he also struggles with a lifelong speech impediment. He will never be able to sound like a past Kennedy or an FDR or even an Obama. I can think of Democrats that might fit the bill, but they aren't running. So let's promote a team of Democrats that are good orators quoting him, touting his achievements, showing his reasoning ability, and playing up his international negotiating skills with important leaders. They could also confront misleading statements and lies from the other party. Did you see him at the State of the Union? His strength and quick thinking were displayed there. Who do you think could "finish the job?" I'd like to see a younger great orator too, but this is what we have and it is darn good.

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Not because of Trump's base, but for Dems and independents. Trump's base isn't going over to Joe. But I agree about the forgettable.

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I ❤️ POTUS BIDEN! ❤️ Him as a 27 Yr. SENATOR! ❤️❤️ Him as OBAMA’S 2 Term VP! ❤️❤️❤️ Him as POTUS! We ALL R AGING! He’s a Smart Guy! Here n Around The International 🌎... yes, I’d ❤️ for Him 2 be ‘what He Once Was’ as a Brash Senator n VP but, We ALL Change in Time! Maybe There Should Be an EXPO on BIDEN being Asked 2 be a SENATOR when He was Too Young to be 1.. When, @ the same Tome of His First Wife n Daughter’s Death! N His RISING up the Governmental Reigns...

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I agree. I hope Biden continues to get out to the areas that are benefitting economically from his policies. I believe few voters follow politics as closely as many of us on this site do. ... But when the president comes to town, that gets their attention, and perhaps those who benefit will begin to realize that much of what they're seeing is the direct result of Biden's policies. And, as for the lack of education, yes, yes, yes: we need to require much more civics education. The ignorance of some people is astonishing!

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Do you and I live in the same country? I don't like Donald Trump as a person, but I certainly don't like President Biden's agenda to hand control of my life to a union boss or a bureaucracy chief. Think before you give up any of your freedoms.

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But, having your freedoms controlled by billionaire sociopaths like Schultz, Bezos, Koch, Zuckerberg, Musk, Crowe et. al. doesn't bother you?

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SOMETIMES Some People can’t Find Another First or Second Third JOB! They-WE Need The $$. Plain n Simple.,

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I don't understand your reply comment. Care to elaborate?

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Lynn, I can honestly say I have no idea what you are talking about. I suspect you have picked up someone's talking points and blurted them out as though they are in any way what is reality. I also suspect you have never been a member of a union. I have and would recommend it for anyone. My union was not always able to help everyone, but it did keep us moving toward reasonable salaries, from being fired because of someone's personal biases, or being abused by the powers that be. How is that being controlled by a union boss (ala Jimmy Hoffa I guess) or giving up one's freedom? It simply isn't.

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Unions built the middle class!

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I have been a union member and fully believe that when workers band together they have the power to change things for the better. Now some union leaders have been less than inspiring but none of them stoop to level of Musk, Zuckerberg, Bezos, et al. Unions are the greatest hope for decent working conditions. If run right, they are the finest example of democracy. Power to the people.

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I was a union member for 19 years and I think you are confused. Unions represent workers and fight corporations through collective bargaining. Yes, there were some abuses by their management but the vast majority have the worker's best interest in mind. Without unions, there would be no 40 hour week, paid vacation, paid sick leave. healthcare benefits and job protection. In 1972, because of work by the CWA I was able to get a technical job that just a couple of years before was closed to women. I got the same pay as men and learned the same as them.

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I TOTALLY Agree! If U scroll Down n see my comments to someone who’d posted about opposing Unions n my Opinions of My DAD being a Union Ironworker.. see for yourself

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I have lost many freedoms I had and it wasn't caused by Democrats.

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Union bosses don’t take control of your life. They amplify your voice give direction to your actions

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You should stop right now. Unions and civil rights go hand-in-hand and to deny either one is the first step to fascism. Once again, be careful what you wish for.

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Those CEOs all have contracts. Why should all the rest of the workers be without contracts that help to protect their rights on the job?

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Why, do you assume you “give up” your life to a union boss? Unions, as our country, are supposed to be democratic. The bosses are supposed to be chosen by the membership. Yes, yes, I know. Unions had their own Mob days ... So, we write them off and have NO labo power in the workplace? We write off our freedoms to the Corporate Boss?

What’s the lay of this land? Without resorting to talking points and calumnies?

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You watch Fox News, don't you?

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I believe to you meant to write "News," yes? :-)

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Unions are what raised workers salaries well above what the bosses wanted to give. Unions are the reason that we have such a large middle class. I think you need to read up on the history of unions.

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I Disagree, I Was Raised UNION. My DAD only Had a sixth grade education! My Grandparents were directly from Sicily.. 🇮🇹 Immigrants who struggled with the English language.. My Dad, ANGELO, was a Union IRONWORKER! IRONWORKERS n STEELWORKERS of AMERICA! Local # 16 n Baltimore MD. He Worked Extremely Hard. Put 6 kids through 12 yrs of CATHOLIC Schools n a few through Colleges... He eventually rose to become The Mediator-Litigator (The Union VS The Corporations) for Better Wages/Safer Conditions etc. All by His Paying His UNION DUES we had Health Insurance until we were 23! Unfortunately, my Dad Died (On The Job!) when He was Only 52 n I was 25. Unions Force the ‘money big shots’ to Pay More because Union Workers have a Standard.. LIVE BETTER/WORK UNION! Unions Do HELP The MIDDLE Classes! The CORPORATIONS Hold the Middle-Lower Classes DOWN!

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Why are you disagreeing with me? I fully support unions, read my comments and think.

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I'm not sure what you mean about "hand control of my life to a union boss ..."

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Maybe YOU Should Find a Different Platform with Your Opinions

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Once again, it's all about the message / marketing..... I don't think I can handle one more election where Democrats blow this again, esp when there's so MUCH good stuff to work with.

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Totally agree with you ..excellent

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I Totally Agree with Ur opinion! I’d, Also, like to hear a lot more from WHITEHOUSE! That guys Really has a Way of Exposing trump,... on Many Fronts! He’s n INDEPENDENT so, it doesn’t ’appear’ so Red vs Blue. He’s Actually just started his own Podcast... whenever He’s on 1 of my favorite MSNBC shows of LAWRENCE O’DONNELL I record them to go back n listen to past, present, n future Historical points of views... He’s starting a show on THE CONSTITUTION... which I’ll be addicted to for sure..

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Agree with all except the emphasis on reason and facts. Not saying to get rid of that, but the message has to be personal, entertaining, moving, etc.

He really needs to have frontmen as you state. Shirtless on the beach is not the way to project strength.

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I’d Love to Know HOW to Share OUR Opinions directly with POTUS Biden! To Encourage Him to Make a Verbal Stance Opposing The Corporations that Oppose paying Their FAIR SHARES of Taxes n Opposing UNIONS ! Any suggestions..?

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where does one compromise with outright treason, with killing police in the line of duty, with feeding the hungry, with child labor, with food and drug bans on poison in food and drugs, with treating education as a commodity, with the right to family medical care, with the right to child medical care, with basic human rights.

in 1862, dred scott v sanford ruled that no non-whites were human capable of being anything but cattle. Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 584 U.S. has just ruled that no LGBTQ is a person if someone, anyone thinks not.

303 Creative L.L.C. v. Elenis et al goes further, further in ways inconceivable by a court increasing its divinely inspired legal revelations from undead counter factual persons's briefs, based entirely on a hypothetical with no tort anywhere at all but merely on the basis of the possibility of an imaginary loss, the court has ruled that personal opinions now de jure take precedence of any person's de facto humanity. If I merely think someone is inferior in some way, especially some revelation from a fictionally fabricated god, the mere existence of that thought now takes precedence over facts.

it's a no brainer now, LGBTQ are no longer humans. who goes next. hungry homeless children? atheists? first nations americans? people with physical disabilities? your grandmother, favorite aunt, our favorite uncle?

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That whole hypothetical case should not even been heard. We will see it reversed, as it should be. Our present 'Supreme' Court is legislating from the bench ; Which needs to stop!

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bush v gore opened the way to rewriting all us law which the court has systematically been going through twisting theenglish out of recognition to rewrite the first ten amendments and 13 14 15 out

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Isa Kocher ; That 'Court ' certainly showed that they have no brains ; for sure! Ignorant of the Constitution too! The ones responsible should not only be kicked off the bench ; but Dis-barred!

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they have brains alright. no hearts, no compassion. but they clearly know what they are doing why and who's paying

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Laurie, you are right, but we have no effective mechanism to remove an SC justice, but should. I don't think our founders imagined the level of corruption we would have nearly 250 years later. Admittedly, the corruption began rather early, but often the SC was used when it suited and ignored when it didn't. That is what happened with the Brown v. Board of Ed. States still haven't complied fully. I suspect that is why they decided to overturn Roe and put the ability to do as much harm to women as possible on the states thinking they, the precious justices wouldn't be blamed or could sit back and say to themselves "well, it was the states that did that," or something equally untrue. Colleges and universities must call their admissions practices something other than race, but they might admit people with appropriate abilities based on a variety of hair types and colors. Maybe they could find another term to use. There will be challenges, but maybe eventually the Court will be forced to claim their racism and white supremacy and the nation can say, we can't have supremacists on our SC and find a way to fire all the conservative racists, or just ignore them the way the whites ignore Brown v. Board.

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the constitution require congress to investigate wrong doing at all levels and to impeach, try, judge and remove from office, anyone the congress deems wrong. anything can be wrong, but high crimes and misdemeanors frequire impeachment trial and comviction, the duty of congress, the voice of weethe people.

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Boy don’t we wish!!!

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i'll trade you the favorite uncle for the right to buy a big mac for a starving family? deal?

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Favorite uncle? Biden is Mr. Rogers’s evil twin.

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Jul 10, 2023·edited Jul 10, 2023

Mr. Rogers was not an evil twin of anyone. He was committed to teaching young children about being good neighbors. After serving in war, he was inspired to do that. Neither is President Biden anyone's evil twin. Hey , Greg ; Who do YOU want in the oval office?

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senator sanders, the closest ideologically to the Roosevelts of anyone since 1945. and the bravest.

OCR.

nobody else comes close.

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If that's your opinion of our President, what's your take on the two lead Republicans that want his position?

Evil Personified...

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OMG! Can I gag now? Evil twin? Nonsense, of course!

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... And then they can for me and there was no one left to object.

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This is what is called a screed. What does Dred Scott have to do with us today.

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Jul 10, 2023·edited Jul 10, 2023

Lynn ; "in 1857, dred scott v sanford ruled that no non-whites were human capable of being anything but cattle". Can you read this and see what this has to do with us today?!? Do you agree that anyone in that description ; any non whites are not human, and only capable of being cattle?!? the way this court is behaving/ruling anyone could end up in that status including women of any race or skin color!! They are most of the way there with the overturning of Roe v Wade! So much for the Equal Rights Amendment! Look it up. It is about your rights! this Court is almost there! WARNING!

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Oh Lynn, you know precisely what Dred Scott has to do with us today. The case was designed to claim that African-Americans and implied anyone not white had no rights as American citizens. It was a racist rant that everyone should have learned about in US History because it set in law white supremacy and pretty much Okayed the lynching and other violence against Black American citizens. It has permitted even Republicans today and our own "modern" Roberts Court to ignore our Constitution as if a Supreme Court had or has a right to override it. One can understand that kind of deep racism at the time because the chief justice had to protect his southern way of life that he knew perfectly well was wrong, not now. Defending a big lie worked(s) for a lot of white people then and now.

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Wait, what does our history have to do with us now? Come on!!! Learn from it, ma’am. Learn about our court. Learn about out OPTIONS regarding the court. Or let it run roughshod over you ....

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Vau, you are right about not calling for healing too quickly. We have seen that in history. It rarely works out. After our Civil War, Andrew Johnson was so quick to call for healing before African-Americans who has been enslaved had a chance to find a positive place in society and before white Confederates had had a chance to come to terms with what had happened, so continued their violence and cruel disrespect of Black Americans. After Watergate, Ford was so eager to do Nixon's will, claimed we all needed healing, so pardoned a criminal. We have not fully gotten past that either and President Biden is continuing that quick healing insanity. It is not really healing but sinking the wound in so deeply it festers below the skin until it bursts out in violence, physical or political. We need Biden to do better whether related to the Jan. 6th insurrection or to dealing with unionization and anti-union illegal behavior on the part of corporations.

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A bit of a “pipe dream’ but perhaps worth striving for…

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Correct! We need first to REMOVE THE DEADLY TUMORS, or the Trumplican party and it's raging lunatics, BEFORE we can even THINK about "healing." Very tone-deaf, but we knew that was coming when we elected President Biden.

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I’d prefer a call to healing over a call for it to “will be wild”.

That crap was so destructive and exhausting and Nothing Positive For The Average American was done. Daily BS was what that was & only BS.

The “infection” we have has been present since before the 30’s ... a read of Hitler’s American Friends by Bradley W. Hart is an eye opener.

Also, podcast Deja News is a solid look at the attacks on our & other democracies in history.

We All need to remember that a president is only one man.

A government includes the courts, the House & Senate and a presidents’s administration. There are scores of cabinet positions still open Because the Senate republicans are blocking the confirmation hearings.

If it made her president for life, MTG wouldn’t work with Biden or any democrat to help heal this country!!

The fact that Hitler looked at and studied the American Confederacy & Jim Crow laws as a how-to-guide, Should Be Sobering to us all.

No man is an island, and one president cannot fix and heal everything in 2 years...but it’s been a solid start!!

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@isakocher Dred Scott decision was 1857, i.e. before the war.

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I Disagree... Without Our POTUS Biden Not attempting to enforce Some form of a Healing of Our Very Twisted Political Parties, there may have been a furtherance of a Civil War Worse than we’ve had with what was done After the Killing of George Floyd n BLM.. Biden Understands a lot more about Our Government/International Affairs as well. His 26 yrs n The Senate, 2 Terms of OBAMAS VP..

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I didn't say there would be a time for healing, there will.

But now is z the time for justice, not so much for people who have suffered get revenge but most of all to curb the threat of another insurrection which currently still is growing because those who instigated it last time are infiltrating US institutions.

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It also gave the railroad barons the green light to keep on with their unsafe practices, as we've seen repeatedly just in 2023 alone,

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I agree with Prof. Reich on the Starbucks and Amazon unionization drives.

But a rail strike is vastly different and far more complex. Protecting America's economic recovery is not trivial. A rail strike would have inflicted major hardship on millions of other workers, negatively impacting virtually everyone.

Most people are unaware that the Biden administration has continued to mediate and facilitate ongoing negotiations. Just last month they announced an agreement on the rail workers getting paid leave, which was one of their main demands. But no one noticed because, well, who cares once there's no crisis headline.

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Jul 10, 2023·edited Jul 10, 2023

Jerry, I had understood that the main point of contention, still unresolved, is that freight rail companies operate under the euphemism “Precision Scheduled Railroading,” virtually an inhumane 24/7 on-call system that actually is neither precise nor scheduled.

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Inhumane and dehumanizing. Destructive. Incredibly short sighted.

As one who wrote thousands of schedules in my business career, I watched as computer models predicted foot traffic and purchasing habits. All the while, the employee concerns were dismissed.

Being able to know one's schedule more than a few days ahead seemed pretty basic to me. But the computer was spitting out next week's whacko schedule on Thursday. How to plan a life? How to schedule a kids doctors appointment? How to find a consistent sleep schedule?

I left as the "robots" were taking over and were destroying a work culture that I had been mostly proud to participate in.

President Biden will be recorded as one of the greatest, most important presidents in our history. But this railroad decision was wrong. And Robert Reich is right today. Time to stand up for workers over the oligarchs. It is the right thing to do morally. It is the type of thing that will spread support for him politically.

Win Win!

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Bill, I seem to be thanking you almost daily for your elucidating remarks. I consider it immeasurable service that you extended my brief comment.

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I look for your incisive comments. They are instructive and well framed.

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To be clear, I'm 100% pro-union (got my first card at age 18), and I agree with you on the issues here, Barbara Jo.

Paid sick leave was one of two main points of dispute in the original contract. The unions wanted 14 days, the settlement had 1 day. Due to President Biden's continued engagement, that has now been raised to 7 days. Scheduling is still being addressed.

Where we disagree is on strategy and tactics.

I question the wisdom of striking in the Fall of 2022, which would have inarguably set off a chain of dire consequences. Those would include massive supply-line disruptions during the holiday season when most merchandizers normally reap most of their profits. Millions would miss pay-checks, tens of thousands of small business would face bankruptcy, unemployment would spike, as would prices, to name just the most immediate effects. Plus there was an election in November. All candidates would have been on the spot, and it could easily have cost Democrats the Senate.

The negotiations involved multiple unions and the details are incredibly complicated. But the actual number of employees is relatively small--maybe 120,000. President Biden made the best decision he could given the alternatives. I'm not sure what commenters here think he should have done differently. Let a nation-wide rail strike take down the nascent economic recovery? Nationalize the railroads?

The Labor Dept. under Marty Walsh had been deeply involved with negotiations all along. Assertions that workers "got nothing" or were "thrown under the bus" are just not true, and no honest evaluation of the terms of the contract would support that view. (Ruth, the agreement protects two-person crews.) But obviously, there's a lot not yet achieved. The struggle continues.

When the rank-and-file voted down the agreement their leadership had endorsed, there were only two choices: accept a strike or pass legislation imposing a settlement. To his everlasting credit, Mr. Biden chose the latter and committed to following up with an ongoing process to push for better and safer conditions for workers.

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Barbara Jo. There are a few other things too including the number of workers on each train and the size of the trains. I am not sure that either of these has been resolved to date. As was mentioned here, once the crisis was over, most people and definitely the media, lost interest.

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I agree with many voices here urging Biden to use his strength and authority to reclaim the ideals that defined our country and not by catering to the billionaires, robber barons, or oligarchs. These characters are still clever, whiny, manipulative children in adult bodies who most likely bullied and held their families hostage to their demands as they grew into greedy psychotic demigods. Remember the old adage that when you offer a beast a finger, prepare to lose your whole hand.

Outlawing corporate lobbying and imposing a hefty tax on anyone possessing in excess of ten million dollars in assets would be a good place to start. Socialism has been much maligned but there is something to be valued in the ideal of economic equality. BTW, some proceeds from a wealth tax might be directed to political campaign expenses instead of depending on corporate influence/bribery.

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I agree that a rail strike would have inflicted hardship on many, but Biden should have come down on the railroad tycoons, not on the rail workers. They were asking for rules that would protect their health and safety, as well as the health and safety of people living in all of the communities that railroads go through. But Biden chose to ignore this and force them to continue working in dangerous conditions while giving the railroad tycoons all of the money and power they wanted. Not a good call. 

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What I am not understanding here is why do the railroad tycoons seem to think that train wrecks are more valuable than running a safe rail system with fewer accidents. Logic tells me there is a reason for this. I know they are not stupid. Maybe we should follow the money. Are the wrecks insured? Is getting loads someplace faster than safe worth the cost of an accident? Someone, please explain the facts to me. Where is the profit? Especially after an accident like the one in East Palestine, Ohio.

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Yes...and all unions should take a similar stance/action.

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I give Biden a pass on a number of things that drive many progressives nuts because I believe he's doing the best he can Like the railstrike, or some of the climate harmful things he has allowed.. I consider myself a progressive. Not a purist.Things are complicated.

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That is exactly the leverage a strike holds! The more hardship a strike instills, the more the public outcries, and the owners are then pressured into negotiating more favorable labor contracts with their workers.

Americans have become too complacent of Corporate abuses, and intolerant to even a little discomfort for the sake of supporting better working & wage conditions.

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The whole point of a strike is to be inconvenient; that's intended to be an incentive to reach a settlement quickly. If employers can count on the President to force striking workers back to work, what incentive do the former have to reach an agreement?

My grandfather was a railroad worker back when a lot more freight went by rail than it does today. When he was on strike, the US economy did not collapse; I doubt it would today.

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Maureen and Rebecca, you are absolutely right that the point of a strike is to cause inconvenience, and that it typically imposes some hardship on some people. When deployed wisely and judiciously, strikes can be an effective negotiating tool.

But while a strike that shuts down your neighborhood Starbucks is inconvenient, a nation-wide railway strike is a national emergency. There really is no comparison. That's why Congress has the power to impose a settlement, and why it's crucial that they do so. (The President can not act unilaterally, but only signs the legislation.)

The last nation-wide railway strike was more than 30 years ago, 1992. It lasted just 2 days, and ended exactly the same way: an act of Congress -- in that case, an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress and a Republican President. Since then, the tonnage of freight carried by rail has increased by about a third.

President Biden's team was involved in negotiations for months before the settlement and is continuing to work with all parties involved to get more days paid sick leave and to modify work/rest schedules. There has been progress on both fronts, and he remains the most pro-labor President of our generation.

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I agree that Biden is the most pro-labor President of the current generation (though not of my life; Truman and Eisenhower were more pro-labor than Biden), but that's not saying much. Ever since Reagan's neo-conservatism and Clinton's neo-liberalism, labor has been under attack from both parties. The 1990s were the era of "Greed Is Good.," so saying a 1992 neo-conservative President and neo-liberal Congress are a model that should be followed is nonsense.

As long as the CEO's (and not just of railways) know that the US government will intervene (and, indeed, rescue them financially if they screw up), they won't negotiate in good faith; nor will they run their businesses responsibly if it means giving up a multi-million dollar bonus at the end of the year.

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Yes, and RR comment and these are exactly why people get frustrated - and vote for a 3rd party candidate. Bernie Sanders talks issues. It doesn't matter if people agree on everything but they all like the fact that he TAKES ACTION and talks issues not gossip.

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I wish I could remember the details, but a couple years ago I read a piece about Bernie in which he went to a Deep South state and met with union workers who were negotiating. They were highly suspicious (and most were MAGA fans), but he won over the workers’ spokesman, who kind of grudgingly admitted that Bernie knew his stuff and was not at all what he had expected.

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Ckipps, yes, racism and MAGAs can work like that sometimes, when they are exposed to someone who understands their basic concerns, then can connect with them on a human level. It can make a difference. I wonder if that experience was retained by any of the people Sen Sanders met with.

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He also appeared on a Fox Town Hall to an audience who were, unsurprisingly, dubious about him. At the end, they gave him a standing ovation.

I still think he could have beat Trump if the Democrats had run him instead of Hillary Clinton. He had good policies and spoke sense; all he needed was the exposure running as the Democratic candidate would have given him. I also think he'd have made a better President than she would have (and, of course, better than Trump).

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FEEL THE BERN!!! He's a true Hero!

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Jul 10, 2023·edited Jul 10, 2023

My suggestion to Biden is to explain how universal healthcare benefits small businesses. Honestly, for a truly small business that wants to offer it - it's hard. Universal health care with a line item for % on my accounting sheet means the following: a) I can afford to compete with big business for labor (they can afford to offer benefits) , b) It's easy and less paperwork than figuring out plans and costs, c) I can also have health care too. : ) It's a huge win for small businesses to have universal health care as a single line item in my quickbooks payroll taxes. :)

Health care, managed. Next on my to do list.....

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...and talking.

He needs to tell us what he is doing!

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Recent union successes on paid sick leave for railway workers have thanked Biden administration for supporting them. “We’re thankful that the Biden administration played the long game on sick days and stuck with us for months after Congress imposed our updated national agreement...” I saw little media coverage, but several unions sent out press releases: https://www.ibew.org/media-center/Articles/23Daily/2306/230620_IBEWandPaid

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You beat me to it. It's more than being seen as an ally to workers, he has to actually be one. You can't be "pro-union" and then shaft the rail union to keep consumer shopping humming, while its companies run understaffed and overlong derailing trains as you do so.

It's one thing to lose on optics. It's quite another to lose by unforced errors.

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I watched a biography of Sandra Day O'Conner on PBS yesterday. She was obviously conservative having been a Republican State Rep. in Arizona and worked for Republican Candidates. I was shocked to see Biden tell her with a big smile at her confirmation hearing for SCOTUS that she had his vote before any questions were asked. She was part of the the conservative court, along with Thomas, that chose Bush over Gore despite Gore winning the popular vote.

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Gloria, I always have thought she was responsible for Gore ‘s loss. When we push to get matters solved too quickly, we regret it later.

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Jul 10, 2023·edited Jul 10, 2023

Biden is going to do what the corporate donors tell him to do. Which is why his "pro-union" stance is pretty much BS. Biden has always been corporate wall street Democrat. He was senator of Delaware for 36 years. Which is a heaven for corporate tax shelters.

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Renee Dean - agree with your comment. With every politician, barring only a few, getting lobby money, especially Congress ($4B in 2022) and all that goes with it, it must, to some degree, control politicians' response in these situations, as I'm sure you know. Citizens United needs to go, to start us on a better path.

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Spot on, Renee. Could not agree more on all points. Biden can't be counted on to hold the line in many instances. Drilling in the Arctic, for example. Privatizing public infrastructure. Abandoning a public healthcare option. Now, cluster bombs for Ukraine. Wish it weren't true, but it is. Biden is an Establishment Dem, period. Big Corp will always come first, as we saw in the railroad strike.

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I think the railroad thing was less cut-and-dried than you make it out, but it WAS bad. He insisted it was not the last word on the issue, but still, it was not a good occasion for him. He needs to be ON THE SIDE of unions -- except, as a pragmatist, the power of unions to deliver votes has waned badly under the pressure of Republican demonization. So, how does Biden show he’s on the side of the WORKER, and not fall into a trap set by Republicans who tout “right to work”???

Tight rope.

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I totally agree with you. For too long I've felt that Democrats overall have been too silent about the abuses of corporations toward their employees. They also aren't vocal enough about how many people have been forced out of their homes due to asset management companies jacking up rents, how many people are hungry, and how many are suffering because corporations raise prices for food, gas, and utilities. I think all Democrats from President Biden on down to local legislators should be up in arms about these issues. I see only a few lone voices like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and the Squad. Not enough.

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But the "Democrats overall" are beholden to monied interests as is our friend Biden. Don't expect them to pour mud in the trough that feeds them. Not gonna happen.

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Sadly, I agree with you. Most Dem legislators are like that and is why they're not speaking up

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Jul 10, 2023·edited Jul 10, 2023

I also think they're not speaking up right now because they don't need to. Just let the Red Party continue to espouse their hate, Christo-nationalism, failed trickle-down economics, the rule of law, etc. Instead of digging out of their hell hole, Reds seems to be digging faster and deeper.

I was once Red. They look like fools to me. And the silent 'normies' are complicit in this foolishness. I've called out one of our senators, Jerry Moran, to speak up. Crickets. I don't bother with Ron Estes. He went off the deep end long ago.

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If only there was a way to convince the red voters that they need to redirect their anger to corporate/conglomerate greed instead of the Blue party. If they need to put a face to rage against (as they do w/Pres. Biden) let it be the faces of Musk, Zuckerberg, and the CEOs of Big Oil, Pharma, etc. Their Red representatives do nothing to help them because they, themselves, are under the power of the new robber barons

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Thanks for bringing up the housing issue and asset management companies etc. The Democrats and left leaning media don’t seem to want to talk about the power and money in housing that is leaving the most vulnerable stakeholders with nothing. Local politicians who have the power to control much of this have been totally played and outmaneuvered by the money for the past twenty years. I had a local upscale supermarket worker living on the third floor of my house because he couldn’t find anywhere to live. The local Democrats had pushed for new zoning “that would help the housing problem”, but it only helped those looking for luxury apartment buildings, and it threw gasoline on the gentrification problem. The worker living on my house finally found a 500 sq ft efficiency in an old building for $1100./mo but the huge company that owned it wanted 3 times the rent in income. He would have had to make $46K to qualify and he was only making about $36K. Too many Dems in politics are caring and idealistic but have zero business sense and are no match for the entourage of real estate attorneys, land use consultants, etc that developers and big LLC’s use to make sure they get what they want.

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I had no idea about the asset management companies until I saw an article about senior and disabled homeowners losing their homes when the lot rents were increased to an amt they couldn't afford. They also couldn't afford the cost of losing their mobile homes. They were evicted and lost everything. It's outrageous and I agree that most Dems seem to be looking the other way. I was thinking of contacting my representative about this issue. He's been responsive to other letters I've written. I wonder what else can be done? The people being hurt many times feel powerless to speak up. Yet, if all the marginalized folks in this country would come together, we would make a huge and powerful voting bloc.

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There is a huge bloc that could come together but only if the media and Robert Reich start drawing attention to the “money in housing” issue. For twenty years we’ve heard that building affordable housing would solve the problem, but it’s really an oxymoron to say that because no new housing is going to be affordable unless it’s subsidized. More attention should be focused on preserving old residential and commercial buildings that are providing reasonable rents. Jane Jacobs, the famous city planning author said it takes 50 or more years for buildings to depreciate into affordable rents. Once those homes and apartment buildings are gone, they’re lost forever. There are ways to build new apartment buildings (similar to those built in the 1940’s and 50’s) that would have lower building costs (no elevators, shared basement laundry, etc) but luxury gives the investors the most money. At this point, I think only private altruistic investment money can solve the building problem, LLC’s are too beholden to their investors. Also, don’t forget the huge amount of “Meds and Ed’s” money that is fueling the economies of many former factory cities and towns. These very high paid employees of Medical affiliated companies or Universities are demanding a lot of bells and whistles in local schools for their children. Real estate taxes keep going up, landlords, even the not so greedy ones, are forced to raise rents. Seniors and the lower income residents are forced to move or sell, and the income divide and increasing lack of empathy among elite Democrats continues. In the town that I used to live in, not far from Philadelphia, one passionate Democrat didn’t believe me when I told her there were many residents making less than $50K. She thought there were zero in that income range. Idealistic, clueless people like this are very scary to me.

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Thank you Anne Stillwell for drawing this clear picture of the paradoxical relationship between real estate and meeting the tax needs of the city/town/state. "Meds and Eds" really nails it! I am extremely fortunate that I got into a subsidized apartment over a decade ago after a 2 year wait. There is no hope in sight for anyone waiting for housing here now. I live in a college town just outside Boston, where you literally can't "swing a cat by the tail" without hitting a college or a teaching hospital, and the recent boom in new housing is all luxury townhouses, condos and apartments....WAY out of reach for most people, especially seniors and the disabled who only have Social Security for income (like me). I think we need social-housing similar to what England did after the war, the "council housing" that eventually could be purchased by the tenants in some cases. My rent is based on my income and my medical expenses are deducted, and I get re-evaluated annually. If my income goes through any changes, like a sudden medical expense....or I win the lottery (which can't happen since I don't play), then I can get an adjusted rate. It's not luxurious, but it's comfortable and well maintained. I would be lost without it, and my heart goes out to anyone who is facing homelessness or housing insecurity. I consider it a national emergency and it should be a top priority. Massachusetts is one of the better places for social support, and yet we are still facing a huge housing shortage. Meds and Eds rule here!

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Thanks for responding Paula. I’m so glad you have a place to live, but you’re so right about the housing issue being a national emergency. Fifteen years ago politicians could get away with promising a “ripple effect” of affordable housing that would follow the building of luxury apartments buildings, but they can’t say that now because it’s obvious that the new buildings are not helping, and most often they are making the situation worse by incentivizing tear downs by other building owners. I spent several years, with no luck, trying to get my local newspapers to expose what’s really going on behind the scenes with big money developers (often hiding behind LLC’s) and local politicians, because I’ve been convinced for a long time that the same story is playing out in towns and cities all over the country. Yes, some of these new buildings , if they are large enough, will offer a very small percentage of “affordable” units, but there are much better solutions like what you mentioned previously. We all need each other in ever community we live in. The ideal solution can only come from a wide range of residents agreeing on solutions where they live. Since the crash of 2008 , investors have been looking for a hedge to the stock market. Unfortunately, shady international and national LLC’s are infiltrating our towns and putting a great deal of spin on their intentions. They don’t care at all about the communities they are destroying, but they are laughing all the way to the bank as so many citizens continue the political party blame game.

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I responded to Anne Stillwell with a situation we have coming to our dying little town. This new development the council is forcing on our township will hurt us badly. Naturally, they have little to no plans for low income housing.

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I live in a small town struggling to survive. Residents are mostly elderly and on fixed incomes or are the working poor/lower middle class. We have a lot of homeless people here. The town council recently voted to convert land to make a super a few miles away and, you guessed it, luxury apartments and homes will be built there. There's supposed to be a percentage for low income housing but there doesn't ever seem to be many units for the number of people that need them. Meanwhile that new development is going to cause a lot of traffic and draw even more business away from our town.

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So sad! I’m sorry to hear about your community. There is an excellent documentary about Jane Jacobs titled Citizen Jane, Battle for the city. It’s about all the urban neighborhoods that were destroyed in the 1960’s to make way for housing projects that were considered visionary planning by the planning “experts” at the time. Most of these projects were torn down within a couple decades because they were such a failure. There are parallels in that story to what is happening now. Those most dependent on living in a thriving community are being pushed out as local politicians and planners promise revitalization. We can only hope that more people pay attention and get involved.

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I meant to write that that they couldn't afford the cost of moving their mobile homes

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I totally agree. In fact, strong unions are essential to democracy in late capitalist society; as long a Citizens United stands, they are the only counter-balance to corrupt politicians and bought-and-paid-for judges and Supreme Court Justices.

Biden started out invoking FDR's example; to win AND to save democracy in the US, he must return to it. In fact, he must be even tougher than FDR and take on the stacked Supreme Court.

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Money in politics = corruption. Our version of democracy is completely undermined by money. Elections need to be nationally standardized and publicly financed. (I can dream can't I?)

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I Agree!

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I think the dance between capitalism and Labor is a matter of balance. You don't like capitalism? Then l recommend you read the history of East and West Germany. You think unchecked unions are an inherently good idea? Then revisit the history of the UK economy between 1965 and 1980? I grew up there in that period, and it was awful. Margaret Thatcher drew the ire of the working class by taking on the unions and restoring a vigorous economy. Likewise, in different circumstances, FDR drew the ire of the capitalists by supporting the unions. Different times and places, but the effect was the same - restore the balance between capitalism and Labor and you have a booming economy.

The mistake Reagan made in 1980 was to do in the US what Thatcher had done in the UK - when there was no balance to be restored. The result was a massive shift to the capitalist and away from Labor. This has been a disaster for the economy, as the anger of Trump voters attests (although in their rage they are supporting the wrong guy - but let's not go there).

In the UK, it is amusing to see Tory ministers Sunak, Johnson, Truss and Mordaunt falling over each other to declare what proud Thatcherites they are, when Thatcherism is the last thing the UK economy needs at this moment in time.

It is less amusing to see the extent to which money has destroyed the American economy, the greatest economy the world had ever seen.

Marx was also wrong. He assumed the proletariat would never have the power to take on the capitalists short of revolution. He should have known better. Unions were already forming, and collective bargaining already taking place in England and Germany long before he died, and long before Kapital was finally published. The results of Marxism are a lesson for the world.

Here's to the unions in America, may they continue to wax strong!

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I agree. You can also compare the UK and West Germany in the 1970s to underline your point of the right balance between capital and labor.

Germany's economy was so much stronger then because of hitting pretty much the right balance.

Germany then had pretty much one union per one sector of industry. The UK after slashing the number of unions needs to give the remaining union am equal arsenal for their battle for fair pay. Germany now sadly is moving in the direction of where the UK came from with their rising number of uniond.

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I think you are entirely wrong on pretty much everything you wrote........but I can’t be bothered arguing with you. It’s so tiresome.

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It would seem that Michael has swallowed the Daily Mail Kool-Aid there. We didn't need Thatcher in 1979, and anyone fairly and objectively looking at the 1970s will quickly realise that whilst the economics of that period were somewhat disrupted, (try it being anything else when a main basis of the economy is oil, which increased in price four-fold overnight). The myth that the unions were unchecked also needs to be challenged - there were laws back then too, and the reason there was so much industrial action then is similar to why there is so much now: workers attempting to maintain a standard of living. If anything, workers in the 70s were far less militant in that they were dealing with inflation rates as high as 25% per annum. Of course, they weren't dealing with the effects of over a decade of artificial austerity that had eroded the value of their incomes massively, and at least in the 70s even the lowest paid workers could just about manage family finances on one income.

Remembering the time well myself, I think most of us saw Thatcher as a 'punishment' for Labour's rather lacklustre managing of the various crises, and not the end of the post-war consensus it turned out to be. Many of us thought that in five years, Labour would be back in power once again.

There is a tendency to paint the 1970s as period of grimness, but in actuality the UK came out of the 70s a much better place than when it entered that decade. 1977 was the year of greatest equality in the UK, where income disparities were less. There was much more social housing available and a whole third of the population lived in social housing and it was rapidly losing its social stigma. We also had a functioning NHS, not one limping from one crisis to another. The economy needed some attention and whilst the unions were demonised, little is said about the intransigence of management, which was unwilling to consider or address the justified concerns of workers.

There is, in my opinion, far too much eulogising of Thatcher and her neo-liberal trailblazing. All her economic policies have now been exposed for what they are, a scam, a con, from the privatisation of utilities to 'Right to Buy' Those who now claim to follow in the footsteps of Thatcher, (including Tony Blair and his new acolyte Keir Starmer) miss something by not remembering when Thatcher died; "Din-Dong! The Witch is Dead!" from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz became massively popular, though not played by the BBC, so unpopular Thatcher had become with a massive section of the population. That we've had long periods of Tory governance over the past half-century is more down to an electoral system that massively favours a two party system where governments are elected on a minority of votes. Attempts at reform are always stymied as it favours both main political parties who have no interest in changing, despite it being a necessary step if the UK is to be regarded as even as sham democracy.

Biden does need to double down on supporting workers. He's already outperformed Starmer in the UK's Labour Party, who shamelessly remains tight-lipped on supporting the workers, and has indeed prohibited Labour MPs from even standing on strike picket lines. This is scandalous, and should called out as such. Perhaps in this, like Biden, Starmer is wary of alienating corporate funding support, and especially the Murdoch media empire that did so much to see Tony Blair elected.

Perhaps this is a wise move on his part, after all, we all saw how the right-wing press launched a wholesale attack on Jeremy Corbyn for having the audacity to not only be a genuine democrat, but also offering as range of very necessary social democratic policy offers to the electorate. Yet I don't think that ultimately it was the right-wing press alone that saw Corbyn fail in his attempt. There were those in his own party who did their utmost to undermine and backstab, preferring another Tory government to one led by a decent socialist offering middle-of-the-road, social democrat economic reforms. However, I don't see that Corbyn would have made a wonderful PM, I don't think that at all, but compared to Johnson, he would at least be competent, and would have delivered what the UK needs. At the end of the day, he is a democrat - Johnson and the Tory party aren't. Neither is the Labour Party under Starmer.

Things are what they are, and even a lacklustre Labour government under Starmer is preferable to another Tory government. For me though, after having lending my vote to Labour in 2017 and 2019, it will be a return to voting for a party that backs Welsh independence from the UK.

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Margaret Thrasher.....what a bird. She's kin to her American counterpart, the Yellow Bellied $apsucker, Ronald von Reagan, who sucked all of the $ap out of the middle class!

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You might want to actually read my comment.

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I get it, Union strong, Thatcher sucked, just like her neo-liberal policies!

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Like I said...

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Then why do you even bother to post?

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Where is the Democratic National Committee? Why are Democrats so ineffective at public relations? The Republicans are masters at spreading disinformation and blatant lies. Can’t the DNC find a PR firm to post truthful statistics in a palatable form? Hell, hire The Lincoln Project, those guys don’t pull any punches and get their point across with attitude and style. I know most of them have much to answer for their pasts, but really WHERE is the DNC?I’m tired of individual candidates and multiple democratic organizations constantly emailing me for donations. DNC get your act together or disband.

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Bill Murray ; I don't support the DNC because they seem to be a bought out, establishment entity. Too much corporate money? They worked against Bernie Sanders and I will never forget it!

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founding

Laurie - me, neither.

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I get many emails from the DNC for donations also. The part about that is, they want me to donate to them in order to activate my DNC membership. I am not going to do that. I will gladly renew my DNC membership, but i do not think i should have to donate to them to renew my membership. It cost me nothing when i joined it, and it shouldn't cost me anything now. They do need to get their act together, and soon.

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FP Wellman who was exec dir of the Lincoln Project responsible for much of their ads will be our MOPAG guest speaker Aug 5th. More info and Register here https://www.mopag.net/

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Absolutely right. We could do with a leader like FDR in the UK too, and for the same reasons.

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All the good stuff about America is based on the laborer. We must waken her. Union? Yes!

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I totally agree, i was a union member for 34 years and their financial accountant officer for 15 of those 34 years for the United Steelworkers of America local 7261. Pres. Biden needs to support unions much more that he does now.

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Thank you. My union time was from August, '73 to September, '15. Union? Yes!

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My union time was from MAY '73 to June '2007 The company i worked for closed down in June 2007. Our union fought for and we got a fairly good pension plan from which i am still getting a monthly check from. Without our union, we would never have gotten our decent pension. Thank you very much for your great reply.

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One more thing, our union got us a generous severance payout too when it closed in June 2007. We got just under $10,000. Our union negotiated that too.

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I haven’t gone to Starbucks in over a year because of their union-busting behavior. I have been a part of a union for most of my working life. Was the once Union President and Chief Steward for my District. I know firsthand how Management acts when they got across a table from the Union.

I definitely agree that Biden should be supporting Unions. I was very frustrated by how he handled the Train Workers situation. It is probably one of the things I dislike the most about the Biden Administration.

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Biden has repeatedly been disappointing, as have the billionaires, even if none of it comes as a surprise. The fact that employees fight to create unions says more about the billionaires and how they (mis)treat their employees... not that they would ever reflect on how their actions have created their "problems".

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Natalie Blasco. The perfect is the enemy of the possible.

Biden has, on the contrary, been far more effective than anticipated. During his first two years, he presided over $1.7 trillion in deficit reduction—a larger reduction than under any other President in American history. He has signed legislation into law to reduce the deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next decade, including by ensuring the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations pay their fair share, cracking down on wealthy tax cheats, and lowering prescription drug costs for the American people by cutting wasteful giveaways to Big Pharma. And his Budget would reduce the deficit by another more than $2.5 trillion over the next decade with additional reforms, including requiring the wealthiest Americans and the largest multinational corporations to pay at least the tax rates that many middle-class families do.

Unlike House Republicans—whose plans would harm hard-working families—Biden proposed cutting taxes for working people and families with children by almost $800 billion over the next 10 years, including cutting taxes by an average of $2,600 for 39 million families that include 62 million children by expanding the Child Tax Credit, cutting taxes by an average of $800 for 19 million working individuals or couples by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, and continuing Premium Tax Credit plus-ups that are cutting health care premiums by an average of $800 for nearly 15 million people.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2023/07/uncle-sam-american-military-patriotism/674644/

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Jul 10, 2023·edited Jul 10, 2023

Natalie Blasco ; Greed is destructive ; Look at the way food delivery bicyclists have been treated in New York city ; the minimum wage is $15/hour there. Yet the food delivery workers are actually paid like $7.00/hour I have read. Since the beginning of the year, 18 of these workers have died from getting hit by cars or mugged and robbed. It is a very necessary job for many of the folks they serve. Rules are made and broken. In an imperfect world is is not easy to get perfection. Biden is better than tfg!

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Outstanding comment.

And a message that Biden needs to take very seriously if he wants to rally workers to support his reelection.

It is simply not good strategy to expect Americans to enthusiastically support Bidenomics simply because statistics confirm its effectiveness.

As you observe, that's "technocratic" Washington Beltway bubble talk, when billionaires are waging vicious class warfare against American workers.

You also correctly note that "Biden wants to heal America rather than pick fights" which really angers me, as Obama did the same thing to great chagrin and ineffectiveness.

When is democratic leadership going to finally grasp the fact that the republican party is quickly morphing into a take-no-prisoners authoritarian party?

Biden must channel democratic crusaders like FDR, Bernie Sanders, the progressive Squad and others, to rally our country, because boring "technocratic" achievements (while important) won't overcome the hoards waiting to destroy what's left of our democracy.

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Deborah Carroll ; "Hordes"! I don't think so! By the time voting begins the GOP/MAGA party could be 25%, not the 30% mentioned so frequently ; I don't look at poll numbers these days. Because it's too early ; and I know who is running them and owns them, with very few exceptions. I guess the 'Right' can hope and dream though. there are some things that will happen in the next few months that could change things : A lot.

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I hope you're right.

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He already showed who he sides with when he shut down the railroad strike

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Jul 10, 2023·edited Jul 10, 2023

You will surely disagree with me but I'd like to gently highlight that the world is a complex place with people coming from all sorts of varied backgrounds, experiences, etc. Thus, there's a need to allow latitude, be considerate, steer a middle ground and keep open conversation channels with every person. I feel Biden is steering this course. I am in a unionised institution and I appreciate many good things about where I am. But certainly "many" is important. Not all. Unions are great but there may be other unconventional avenues to achieve what unions do. I wish my institution had evolved from where it was 30 years ago and it hasn't. My local Starbucks is unionised, which is fine but that doesn't mean every Starbucks must be so. So in short, let's get off our fixed positions and try to talk, understand, negotiate etc. I believe most people have good intentions. Greed is bad and should be controlled. But many of the rich also try to (often fail) do good things. Example of someone trying to do good things but actually failing are Bill and Melinda Gates. They seem misinformed and misguided and unwilling to go down to the common man's level. Anyway, It's ok - let's generate more peace, dialog and goodwill than "usversusthemism." Thanks, Surajit Sen, Prof of Physics, SUNY Buffalo

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I don't think Americans right now can be 'middle of the road!'

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Unfortunately the middle ground is getting strewn with dead bodies, both metaphorically and existentially. Biden touted his pro-labor credentials loud and clear when he wanted the progressive vote. Now he's waffling on every issue and sending clusterbombs abroad as well. (They're not gonna be used on Russian territory, he says; just on Ukrainian territory? How effed up is the non-logic here). At any rate, gonna be mining the wheat fields, so only farm laborers will feel the pain. Or migrant workers and/or refugees. Probably Afghans. No unions there to complain.

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Ukraine needs weapons! War is not ideal! Don't let the 'perfect be the enemy of the defense of Democracy and freedom! We cannot allow Russia to win!

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Thanks! You make excellent points. The electorate behaves in a way that is tied to media (social/regular). Media is paid for somehow or another. Thus, the middle ground, as you point out has evaporated. But we as a nation need to focus on doing the right thing, i.e., love thy neighbor and care for each other, and this is not just by the poor and the oppressed but also by the rich. The academic and political leaders are important players here and they need to behave that way. The so-called leaders live in an inaccessible space. How can they seriously inspire from there? Unless this turn around toward a sustainable democracy happens, we'll continue to veer off course and continue to spiral downward as an economy and as a democracy. Humans have always waged wars. That won't stop. Strength is needed for peace, I buy that too, that shows up even in the Bhagavat Gita. But I also agree that ammunitions used without discretion can lead to disastrous consequences. Hope Biden has not forgotten the ICBL, which Clinton eventually did not sign off on.

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Jul 10, 2023·edited Jul 10, 2023

Surajit Sen ; Aren't Bill and Melinda Gates Catholic? With strings attached to their 'magnanimity"? They want to shape things in an 'image and likeness?' (Hint; Do they support women's healthcare?).

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Good question - apparently they do (https://www.gatesfoundation.org/our-work/programs/gender-equality/womens-health-innovations), but I don't know the details I am afraid. I work in deeply rural areas in India where no agency wants to get to. I also have connected/collaborated with some faith based groups (who are big players in this space) in the US, Liberia, India, etc. This is a complicated area by itself is what I know.

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Jul 10, 2023·edited Jul 10, 2023

Surajit Sen ; I doubt that terminating an unplanned unwanted pregnancy is included in their 'family planning' menu of services. An 8 celled blastocyst does not have a heartbeat and can't be considered a 'child'. Abortion services can be necessary to care for the pregnancies that go wrong; with infections, or implantation of the embryo in the fallopian tube, (ectopic pregnancy) which is very quick to kill the mother. Since the draconian rules have been imposed here, there have already been severe threats not only to mothers, but their developing babies because of these restrictions. It's a threat to those who perform women's reproductive healthcare as well; now keeping those interested in the field from entering it, because of the severe penalties imposed if they don't get the treatment 'just right' when risk is complicated, and guidelines unclear; written by those who are ignorant of these matters. Yet they have power, and an agenda that has nothing to do with science or women and babies' health outcomes. I would also point out that it is against the Constitution of this country to "make any laws regarding religion". Separation of church and state is well covered and undeniable. If one does not believe in abortion, they can just not have one!

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Jul 10, 2023·edited Jul 10, 2023

In civilized society there should be no room for banning/restricting abortion. I don't quite know (honestly) how much a President can do given all the guardrails concerning the actions of a President to help. For democracy to function, basic education and ability to think is critical no matter what one's religious thinking is. For what it's worth, education and human values are critically important for societal survival. I feel no human values are really taught anywhere in any normal education system now. United States remains at 79% literacy. So 21% of us are still illiterate - can you believe this? This country is no longer a functioning democracy. Grassroots work on educating the 330 M is needed to ensure our democracy can function.

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Surajit Sen ; Thank you for this detail.

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The problem is not just with Gates alone. In spite of best intentions billions spent on development don't make a difference. Why? We are not that clueless are we? The issue is that it is hard/takes time to connect with and understand people on the ground in a given country/region. And why would someone tell you their stories if they can't trust you? So to do development, often small monies (few thousand dollars of loans) is what's needed to fire up local leaders to solve problems. Anyway, sorry for sharing all this - but I wanted to say a few words about why in general development efforts run aground.

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Surajit Sen ; Certainly, countries and regions will vary with different levels of education, cultures and beliefs. Communication and trust must be earned, and that takes time. Also government and laws come into play. Equity is an issue. Do the funds get used as intended, or are they siphoned off into the wrong hands? Any of these factors can run good intentions into the ground. I see your point and agree.

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founding

Today is more complex many would agree. Today’s text from what FDR said might go over the top of many a head due style used then and now during public speaking. Unions have the potential to do marvelous things for all workers. Many have had lives in and out of union situations in the last 70 years. Many late twenties to mid-forties would likely have divergent views on unions and likely many have never been in a unionized work situation. Unions to GOP hardliners are non-starter situations. The country’s attitude towards unions or not is quite divided even if there is sufficient data to show good cause for them. President Biden to many does need to find a way to make sure the billionaire’s corporate world are on board to not try to bust up unions and somehow do that by ensuring the corporate and GOP worlds there is room for compromise. For those of us who are now retired but did work in both unionized and non-unionized employment, many of us would likely agree there were and are pros and cons but most hopefully would agree the union did help to keep everyone on either side of the fence in check. Agreed, there is no reason that in today’s diverse workplace interspersed with political points of view by employers and employees for sure, that cool heads presiding, unions and CEO can co-exist. Currently will and way attitudes are lacking on all sides of all things and until attitudes change the current situation, things as they are will likely continue, unfortunately.

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I agree with you about the unions. I am close to retirement myself. And yes, unionization helps more than it hurts. But it can also, at times, foster mediocrity, which I have observed in workplaces in two continents where I have lived and worked in. I hope the CEOs choose to coexist than be uncooperative. And yes, Biden should play a role there. If any one has that skill, I feel Biden likely does.

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If there was a line drawn in the sand and Donald Trump was on one side everybody with a soul would be on the other, including President Biden.

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Yes! Donald Hodgins.

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He'd Better be!!

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I had understood the compromises, had they been implemented, that had been reached in 2020, when presumptive presidential nominee Biden’s people had joined with Senator Sanders’ people, would have made Biden, according to Sanders, the most progressive, pro-worker president since FDR. Accordingly, I, and I hope others, will prevail upon Sanders to press Biden to use the bully pulpit in an effort to enact the mutually agreed upon pro-worker agenda.

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IMHO Biden is the most progressive president since FDR. I'm sure Sanders will agree.

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Jul 10, 2023·edited Jul 10, 2023

Daniel, In my view, were it not for Lyndon Johnson’s prosecution of the Vietnam War, I believe his “Great Society” reform package would have earned him that recognition. As for Biden, while he is to be commended for what he accomplished in his first two years, despite narrow majorities, particularly in the Senate, I fear his reluctance to seize the bully pulpit with regard to a host of issues could hurt us in 24.

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He certainly is the one we currently have! Right now, "would have been" does not count.

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I hope your blog (including Roosevelt's 1932 speech) comes to Biden notice, should he need reminding.

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Absolutely right. Cmon joe - I stick up for you very often but you need to pick the right side here.

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