Cleveland Uber Alles

Untimely Dispatches from the Neighborhood of the Unrepresented & Inarticulate; Anecdotes that Pedal and Coast Through the Boot-Print of 20th Century American Urbanism

Monday, January 16, 2006

In Honor of MLK Read this post from Nathan Newman at the TPM Cafe, which points out, rightly so, that Dr. King also dreamt about a society in which labor is organized:

"In the dumbing down of celebrations of Martin Luther King Jr. as a national icon, the relatively radical demands for economic justice that he was making in his later years tend to disappear. . . . Most memory of Martin luther King Jr. emphasizes only individual equality but his legacy, including his death, was also dedicated to the collective organization and empowerment of workers. "

Meanwhile, Sherrod Brown, who's been vilified for skipping out on a Meet The Bloggers Q and A, seems to be doing quite well at the TPM Cafe himself. Here he is posting (so what if it is with a staffer's help?) on how labor and progressives' efforts at an economic justice agenda are all too often smeared with accusations of "class warfare":

"The fact is that the Republicans in the last decade have been committing class warfare themselves.

"Every day on the House floor, Republicans stand up for corporate give-aways and tax breaks for the rich while at the same time they cut programs for working families like student loans, food stamps, veterans benefits, home heating programs for the elderly, Medicaid and Medicare.

"All of this is making the rich richer while it squeezes the middle class and hurts the poor."

While I have no real opinion on the whole Brown/Russo cock-preening feud (which seems to be, well, pretty Russo-driven), and even less of an idea of who originally provoked whom, I do think that Brown deserves some support for his pro-labor stance, and I wonder if Hackett, who is our state's Wesley Clark (and that's a good thing) won't be more of a triangulator, thanks to his Cincinnati home base.

Finally, instead of writing posts for Cleveland Uber Alles, I have been busy trying to hold my own in the comments section of the Becker-Posner Blog. For those of you who don't know, Becker is the famous University of Chicago economist and Posner is the Honorable Richard Posner, a federal judge and law professor at University of Chicago. Trying to disagree with them is great fun. Right now, I'm delighted at how the conversation I've been adding to is filled with delarations about how unions are inherently less efficient that "at-will" employment arrangements; yet when I ask these presumably well studied economics folks to cite research that demonstrates this, they don't seem to be able to. Could it be that the assumption that an organized workforce is less efficient than an "open shop" is just that, an assumption? Feel free to post your academic or non-academic two cents worth here at Cleveland Uber Alles.


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