Wednesday, September 02, 2009

To Your Health

While Camille Paglia, a columnist I still enjoy and used to agree with for the most part, continues her slide into becoming a neocon replete with raging denial, others are doing a much better job at defining the issues and problems in regards to the current healthcare debate.

The first paragraph of "Can Obama give 'em hell before it's too late?" by Michael Lind gives me goosebumps:
"We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace: business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering," President Franklin Roosevelt told an audience in Madison Square Garden in 1936. "They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me and I welcome their hatred."

It's riveting and deeply tragic that this particular cycle of history had to repeat. The right has pretty much managed to undo most of the great things FDR did, and undo most of the gains of the labor movement of the early 1900s, and by that I mean if you work in a "Right to Work" state, the only protection you have as an employee is that you are legally due any pay for any documented hours worked. That's it. Yes, if you feel you were discriminated against, you can sue. But, if you're a white guy under the age of 50, well, fuck you.

(And you can tell it was a Republican effort by the very name "Right to Work." They have a particular love of Orwellian, opposite-meaning legislative monikers.)

Lind's whole article is good. He even thumps the left for the crap it did wrong - something very necessary when we're trying to accomplish something this historical that has this much importance. (And I say "even" because Salon is openly lefty.)

On a lighter note, Garrison Keillor's "We need a public pet option," brings perspective by pointing out that if this debate were about pets, it'd probably be over already.


The Opinionated Homeschooler said...

The favorite (and quite straight-faced) explication by employers' attorneys of the supposed inherent fairness of our employment-at-will laws is: "Sure an employer can fire for 'good, bad, or no reason.' But an employee likewise can *quit* for any reason." See? Either party can walk away at will, so it's fair.

And as long as state judges as well as state legislatures (unless it's something unusual involving say ERISA or the CRA, these are always state issues) are elected rather than appointed in states like mine, and as long as only corporations (i.e. employers) have the money to fund someone's campaign, nothing will ever, ever change. Unions are dead in these parts (except for unimportant public employee unions) and employment law will always be written and interpreted to favor employers.

Aaargh I'm going to take the kids to church now and calm down. See how you made me rant. Your fault.

yahmdallah said...

I blame myself.