And we are. Those of us who believe that when Ronald Reagan changed the direction of the country that he changed it for the worse are fewer than common sense would imagine.
Two of my "nephews" hold Ronald Reagan as an idol, one named his son Reagan. (disclaimer-they're not actually my ehews, one is the son of a stepsister and the other is a nephew by right of my own adoption, so I can disavow any biological claim they might make-phew!)
I admit that when Ronald Reagan busted PATCO he did so with a righteous indignation he usually reserved for communism, but they all but begged him to do it.
For any union a strike is a gamble. They're taking the very calculated risk that if they prevent a company from producing it's goods, services whatev, they're using what little leverage they have to force advantageous changes to their employment situation, therefore, improving quality of life for their members.
This is not what always happens, and certainly not with PATCO. They went on strike and crippled the nations ability to fly. This understandably got the attention of the President of the United states, who being not only a conservative, but also a devotee of the notion that labor and everything else should be deregulated, Ronald Reagan went about doing just that. He fired thousands of them and threw more than a few in the pokey to boot.
It was 15 years before the union even tried to recover. And still it's membership, though growing, isn't national yet.
Unions, it seems to me suffer the same pitfalls that overcame my job and the jobs of several others at the library. No foundation was laid to ensure the continued existence of these jobs. I'm not privy to the machinations of these positions and therefore not able to provide any intelligent discourse on how or why this wasn't done.
But! The fact remains that the Director and Assistant director of the library that I worked for set out on a long range plan to expand the library system I worked for and yet they laid no foundation. They acquired a building, remodeled it, ran fiberoptic cable to provide the entire system better and faster and more readily expandable internet access. They bought new furniture, they created new positions, they hired movers to take us all across the street and install us in our new offices. I, in fact was the first person to occupy a new office.
That was in 2006. in December of this year it will all be dismantled. The Library administration will return across the street to it's original location. The fiberoptic cable will have to be re -routed, jobs have been lost, the building will be abandoned, and a new yes-woman has been installed in the position of Director.
See, no foundation.
Now, this was not a union position by any means, but the principle is the same. The people involved in the creation of this little legacy were smartly and rightfully attempting, during a time of what we thought was prosperity, which turned out to be smoke and mirrors, to create something that would not only last after they had gone, but something that would enhance the lives of the citizens of their particular little province.
That's where they, PATCO, and the liberals went wrong. They jumped in to make changes and made no foundation.
Therefore, in November when the conservatives take back the congress, since mid-term elections rarely support the party in power, we'll see a return to voodoo economics. I promise.
See the idea goes like this.
"Let's create a crisis. Say by not only extending tax cuts for the rich, but making them permanent. Then we don't have enough money to run this government and we can say 'hey, you got to cut back like we told you all along!' And then we can get rid of things like Health Care, and extended unemployment, which is only welfare with a different name, and maybe even get rid of Social Security. We'll be heroes to the people who benefit from our machinations."
Of course, real people will starve, and lose their homes and never be able to have credit again, never be able to attend college, etc. But who cares about all that?
Bill Clinton got a blow job from a woman who wasn't his wife in the White House! And though there are those who STILL aren't over it yet, it's not the real problem. Alan Greenspan, devotee of the ideas of Ayn Rand, of all people, Chair of the Fed for 18 years and six Presidents was in charge of the money.
Oddly Greenspan thinks Clinton was the best money manager of all the Presidents he served. But Clinton taxed the rich. The Conservative factions howled, predicted doom. And we wound up with a surplus.
Which George Bush spent...and then some.
Laying a foundation that the future can rest on should be considered the responsibility of any administration no matter the present concerns. "What's best for future generations?", should be the question always. "What can I do that will not only help right now, but benefit those to come and hopefully guarantee the continued existence of this Republic I serve?"
How many recent Presidents, I wonder, consider that...at all.
And so it goes: