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Unions offer balance to conservatives, progressives

Excerpts from an opinion piece from columnist Bill Knight:

Conservatives occasionally concede that organized labor has been a reason for rising standards of living and making the middle class, and The Atlantic magazine shows that unions provide common ground for progressives and conservatives alike.

Historically, conservative pundits and politicians have praised unions. Columnist George Will in 1977 said, “I think American labor unions get a large share of the credit for making us a middle-class country.”

In 1991, Republican economist George Schultz (Secretary of Labor under Richard Nixon and Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan) said a “healthy workplace [needs] some system of checks and balances” and unions provided an effective “system of industrial jurisprudence,” a check on corporations’ focus on profits.

In The Atlantic, Jonathan Rauch writes, “Conservative Eli Lehrer believes the time has come for the American Right to
reconsider its decades-long war on unions,” Rauch says. “Their collapse, he says, has fueled the growth of government and of the welfare state, which has stepped in to regulate workplaces and provide job security as unions have died out.

“Unfortunately, in America in 2017, we don’t know how a truly modern union would look,” writes Rauch, “because it is mostly illegal to find out.”

Read the rest at the PJ Star

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