Saturday, March 5, 2011

Does the Ostrich read the newspapers?

Our friends at The Ostrich don’t have to put a lot of effort into their editorializing, especially since groups like the Maine Municipal Association (MMA), the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP), and the Democrat legislative offices are more than willing to provide more or less print ready drafts that only require a tweak or two to appear locally generated.

But that’s another matter. 

Yesterday, the editors got all teary-eyed recounting ‘labor history,’ and describing the rise of Frances Perkins from a virtual unknown to a member of FDR’s Cabinet.  The motivating forces for her efforts are indeed compelling.

The editorial seems, however, inappropriate to the moment.  The Perkins story is one totally focused on activism in advocating for private sector employees and their working conditions.

Clearly the item was inspired by the major ‘discussion’ in a number of states, including our own, regarding union contracts, and the perceived challenge to union supremacy.  Anyone who reads the papers, or otherwise follows the news, knows that in virtually every case, the current debate involves public sector, or more correctly, government employee unions.  Unless, I suppose, they only get their news from the NOTWIUN.

The editorial says that “the New Deal legacy of FDR and Frances Perkins is under attack.”

We could be wrong, but we think we’ve heard a number of times in recent weeks that FDR specifically believed that government workers should not be permitted to unionize, because he was perceptive enough to recognize the dangers that would present, especially as it related to total imbalance in the employer-employee relationship.

If we are correct, the facts seem to completely undermine the premise of the Ostrich point of view.

Not that there’s any surprise in that.  And shame on our local government watchdog and community conscience for using the word ‘attack.’

We could say we expected better of them, but we try not to lie on these pages.

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