This was an interesting week with regards to the large number of major news items across the U.S. and around the world related to business and labor relations.
The big news in the U.S. this week was that the government appears to have passed a federal budget and it has lots of 'goodies' in the bill favorable to big business and the banks. This should be good for the economy over the short term, though it repeals long term protections for the country that were put in place after the last economic meltdown.
On the other side of the coin, low wage and middle class workers across the U.S. and around the world that bore the brunt of the pain during the Great Recession are now agitating for better pay, job security, and working conditions. A quick look at the news stories just this week cover the growing labor unrest and strikes in Italy, Germany, Nigeria, Belgium, and across the U.S. For example:
- More Job Strikes by Low-Wage Workers: Basic Economics Drives Labor Organizing
- Major US West Coast labor slowdown continues over pay, conditions, hours...
- Italy trade unions strike over Renzi's labour reforms, job security, conditions...
- Nigerian oil workers go on strike about pay and work conditions
- Amazon workers strike over pay in Germany as Christmas nears
- Strikes across Belgium cause transportation chaos
Big banks, major corporation, and the super wealthy have been reaping huge profits, paying themselves big bonuses, while working to cut health benefits, pensions, pay, job security, working conditions... for lower and middle class workers. This is not some form of labor propaganda - it's simply the truth backed by the facts. I expect we'll be hearing a lot more about striking workers across the U.S. and around the world in the coming years. Check out the blog on 'Lessons Learned' from Major Railroad Strikes.
Two final closing remarks -
First, people driven to commit minor crimes generally serve some jail time. Bankers and corporate leaders that are routinely caught in major illegal activities involving billions of dollars never seem to serve any jail time. The stock holders of the companies they mis-managed simply pay their fines.
Second, it always amazes me that working people and small business owners keep getting fooled into voting for politicians that work hard to get more tax breaks and loopholes for major corporations that make huge 'contributions' to their campaigns. Somehow, 'blame' is always miraculously shifted to working people and their representatives - and the voters buy it.
So many people still buy into the crazy 'trickle down' theory of economics. You might want to read one of my previous blogs on 'Trickle Up' vs. 'Trickle Down' Economics.