Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s effort two weeks ago to end collective bargaining for public employees in his state was the worst thing to happen to the union movement in recent memory—until it unexpectedly became the best thing to happen to the union movement in recent memory. Give the man some credit: in seven days, Walker did what unions have been trying and failing to do for decades. He united the famously fractious movement, reknit its emotional connection with allies ranging from students to national Democratic leaders, and brought the decline of organized labor to the forefront of the national agenda. The question is: will it matter?At this point, it’s a safe bet that the proposal Walker is pushing in Wisconsin won’t spread far. Ambitious Republican governors in Indiana and Florida have backed away as unions have made it clear that trying to yank away collective-bargaining rights is a lot of pain for modest gain. But therein lies the problem: a “win” for unions here is no win at all, but, at best, the avoidance of a loss. It doesn’t end their seemingly decades-long slide into irrelevance—fewer than 7 percent of private workers are unionized, down from about 25 percent in the 1970s. It doesn’t earn them new members, or make it easier to organize Walmart, or create a new model for labor relations that’s better suited to the modern economy. But it does give them a fleeting instant in which America is willing to ask questions that have been ignored for years: Do we need unions? And, if so, how can we get them back? What we’re about to find out is whether the unions have answers. In recent years they haven’t. “They seem like a legacy institution and not an institution of the future,” says Andy Stern, the former president of the Service Employees International Union.But unions still have a crucial role to play in America. First, they give workers a voice within—and, when necessary, leverage against—their employer. That means higher wages, but it also means that workers can go to their managers with safety concerns or ideas to improve efficiency and know that they’ll not only get a hearing, they’ll be protected from possible reprisals. Second, unions are a powerful, sophisticated player concerned with more than just the next quarter’s profit reports—what economist John Kenneth Galbraith called a “countervailing power” in an economy dominated by large corporations. They participate in shareholder meetings, where they’re focused on things like job quality and resisting outsourcing. They push back on business models that they don’t consider sustainable for their workers or, increasingly, for the environment. In an economy with a tendency toward bigness—where big producers are negotiating with big retailers and big distributors—workers need a big advocate of their own. Finally, unions bring some semblance of balance to the political system. A lot of what happens in politics is, unfortunately, the result of moneyed, organized interests who lobby strategically and patiently to get their way. Most of that money is coming from various business interests. One of the few lobbies pushing for the other side is organized labor—and it plays a strikingly broad role. The Civil Rights Act, the weekend, and the Affordable Care Act are all examples of organized labor fighting for laws that benefited not just the unionized. That’s money and political capital it could’ve spent on reforming the nation’s labor laws.Of course, organized labor is not always at its best. It can be myopic and hidebound. It can fight for rigid work rules that make workplaces less efficient and workers less happy. It can argue for pension and health-care benefits that, in the long run, are simply not sustainable.
But to paraphrase Tolstoy’s insight about families, all institutions are broken in their own unique ways. Corporations and governments have their flaws, too. Like labor, they’re necessary participants in a balanced economy. A world without organized labor is a world where workers have less voice and corporations are even more dominant and unchecked across both the economy and the political system. That isn’t healthy—not for workers and, in the long run, not even for corporations. But to change it, labor has to do more than cheat death. It has to find a new lease on life nationally. END go to article
Monday, February 28, 2011
We all have two voices in our head. The first, our conscious voice is often the voice of doubt. That voice may say I can't. I can't get that group closed; I can't go through that door; I can't go ask for them to listen just one more time. The second, our subconscious voice is what I call inspiration.
Inspiration is something that is important to you, a part of your values and you feel it as a part of your core. An inspiration is something we identify within us that becomes so important to us that we commit to that idea and it actually drives our conscious effort to go beyond our inhibitions and overcome our doubts. Inspiration and it's clear voice always trumps the voice of doubt.
Find your inspiration, Commit to it and Live it! Your success will astound you.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
I do just love the present though! Already put it at the back door to "Welcome" visitors. Thank you Sydney! Thanks for bring it down mom!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Their beautiful cake
Thursday, February 10, 2011
BAKED CHICKEN BREAST
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
lemon pepper seasoning
Preheat oven to 375°F for 15 minutes before cooking. Brush chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with lemon pepper. Bake for 15 minutes on each side or until chicken is opaque in color and juices no longer run pink (160°F).
Could be served with baked sweet potatoes and green beans or creamed corn but I didn't use.
Submitted by: Barry Minton
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011
- Apollinaris (my favorite bottle 33 ounces)
- San Pellegrino
I used puff paint to make these bottles. Getting really good at the designing.