700 Comments
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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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