'Unskilled' Stimulus Windfall: Where's the Union Outrage?

Doug Powers
Given the fact that a lot of skilled workers are union members, and given the fact that a lot of union members are white men, and given the fact that labor unions overwhelmingly if not entirely endorsed Barack Obama for president, where is the union outrage over one of Obama's economic advisors telling the president that the stimulus money should not all go to "skilled professionals and white male construction workers"?

Robert Reich, Obama advisor, former Clinton Labor Secretary, outlined his plan for the stimulus billions a couple of weeks ago in a post on his blog.

Here's video of Reich, who Noam Chomsky once affectionately referred to as "Mini-Me," outlining the same idea in at an economic recovery plan meeting earlier this month.

 My first thought was, "Where's the union outrage?" My second thought was, "How much of the 'stimulus' is going to go toward stimulating union bosses to keep their mouths shut?"

Sheer speculation:

To keep unions on board, Reich's stimulus "plan" (though to call this a "plan" is like calling cyanide a "sleep aid") will tempt union bosses with the means to quickly allow them to unionize these unskilled, unwhite minions with - here's the best part - stimulus money set aside to pay the union dues of these new workers (at three times the normal rate, no doubt), some of whom last month had neither the skill and/or motivation to bus tables at TGI Friday's but in a few weeks can be trained to wire an apartment building.

The white guy who might have done the wiring before the stimulus can always bus those tables (and later, if he's lucky, get his own stimulus job sweeping up the mess after the apartment building burns down due to faulty wiring). This way, everybody still has a job. Hey, it's a win-win!

Labor unions have always supported the most liberal political candidates, and on the surface, Reich's proposal should have them throwing a fit. But the unions' relative silence so far is more than likely a testament to the fact that unions know this kind of "stimulus" will greatly enrich and empower them while continuing to feed an ever-growing, self-perpetuating government monster. And if a few white guys bite the pink-slip bullet in the process, big deal.

Still, President Obama had better be careful with these stimulus-generated infrastructure projects, unless he wants his 2012 campaign slogan to be "Collapsed bridge to the 22nd century" -- that's assuming the money is actually used to construct anything.
Given the fact that a lot of skilled workers are union members, and given the fact that a lot of union members are white men, and given the fact that labor unions overwhelmingly if not entirely endorsed Barack Obama for president, where is the union outrage over one of Obama's economic advisors telling the president that the stimulus money should not all go to "skilled professionals and white male construction workers"?

Robert Reich, Obama advisor, former Clinton Labor Secretary, outlined his plan for the stimulus billions a couple of weeks ago in a post on his blog.

Here's video of Reich, who Noam Chomsky once affectionately referred to as "Mini-Me," outlining the same idea in at an economic recovery plan meeting earlier this month.

 My first thought was, "Where's the union outrage?" My second thought was, "How much of the 'stimulus' is going to go toward stimulating union bosses to keep their mouths shut?"

Sheer speculation:

To keep unions on board, Reich's stimulus "plan" (though to call this a "plan" is like calling cyanide a "sleep aid") will tempt union bosses with the means to quickly allow them to unionize these unskilled, unwhite minions with - here's the best part - stimulus money set aside to pay the union dues of these new workers (at three times the normal rate, no doubt), some of whom last month had neither the skill and/or motivation to bus tables at TGI Friday's but in a few weeks can be trained to wire an apartment building.

The white guy who might have done the wiring before the stimulus can always bus those tables (and later, if he's lucky, get his own stimulus job sweeping up the mess after the apartment building burns down due to faulty wiring). This way, everybody still has a job. Hey, it's a win-win!

Labor unions have always supported the most liberal political candidates, and on the surface, Reich's proposal should have them throwing a fit. But the unions' relative silence so far is more than likely a testament to the fact that unions know this kind of "stimulus" will greatly enrich and empower them while continuing to feed an ever-growing, self-perpetuating government monster. And if a few white guys bite the pink-slip bullet in the process, big deal.

Still, President Obama had better be careful with these stimulus-generated infrastructure projects, unless he wants his 2012 campaign slogan to be "Collapsed bridge to the 22nd century" -- that's assuming the money is actually used to construct anything.