Unions And The Middle Class

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Workers are not just men or blue collar

The middle class is under attack in this country and it is not just blue collar workers but white collar employees as well! A DailyKos writer has lamented that her students label themselves as “middle class” as opposed to “working class”! I believe however it is time to break free of 19th Century lexicon! Not simply because it is old fashion but more importantly it lays us open to right wing psychological warfare that wishes to make the issue: “Communism or Patriotism“! The time has come to recognize white collar workers as working people also! By not doing so Democrats are setting themselves up for failure!

This reminds me of my hippie days when we were supposed to be ashamed of being middle class! But then again we liberals seemed to suffer from a secular version of Adam and Eve. Instead of having collective guilt from being the descendants Adam and Eve we are to share collective guilt for being white and middle class! Oh my God to have “bourgeois middle class hangups“! Oh the shame ….. the shame!

Nixon and latter Reagan used this to shame liberals out of calling ourselves “liberals”. Now we call ourselves “Progressives” not liberals! Nixon seized our shame of being middle class and pounded the airwaves daily about supporting the “Silent Majority”! He was very successful at this game but that was because we liberals allowed him to steal the football!

Today we “Progressives” use the term “middle class” constantly. Hell even Al Sharpton uses it constantly! That is why I disagree with the writer from Daily Kos. But it goes further than that. Unions have to reexamine their attitudes.

White Collar Employees Are Exploited By Corporations Also

My dear old dad was one of them. Down sizing victimization is not just a blue collar thing!

Computer and other white collar professionals are seeing their jobs shipped out of this country while our social betters add more to their grandiose “sense of entitlement“. When will it ever end? Many would like to rationalize that the election results in Wisconsin are a partial victory for the Progressive agenda. I wish!

The reason why unions lost in Wisconsin are not just the standard reasons that MSNBC commentators like Ed Schultz will list. I am a Euro – Social Democrat. But I believe the reasons unions are loosing is mixed because:

  1. The Republicans used the tactics of “divide and conquer” very well to make average Americans incur what I call “union envy“.
  2. Americans resent when union members refer to themselves as the “working man” as if to imply that others are not working also! White collar employees can get really turned off by that attitude, not to mention woman! In a prior post I suggested that the term “working man” is to 19th Century and that we should substitute the term “employees”!
  3. Many voters have forgotten that the union movement helped indirectly all working Americans. Ever hear of the “weekend”? But there is a dark side that many Democrats do not want to touch.
  4. Many union members are elitist! That’s right and this from a blue collar union member! Most in my union vote Republican and are conservative! I have known many union members and in particular Civil Service Union members who vote Republican. They are so stupid they do not even realize how their jobs are financed! Non-union members, blue collar and white collar, know this and resent that union members do not cares for their plight!
  5. There is still some lingering after effects from the Vietnam War when unions backed Nixon and blue collar unionized construction workers beat the krap of of medical students in down town New York City. The Hubert Humphrey vs George McGovern battle still lingers under the surface.
  6. White collar employees have to be considered as working people. They are!
  7. We have a wimp as our President! Where was he when the unions needed him! When Obama became President we were going to have an expansion of union membership with “card check”! Now with this wimp as our President we may not even have unions left. Plus we have a Congress that is the best Congress that corporate money can buy! When I say that I include most Democrats as well! There is a definition for this! In case you wondered it is called “Change We Can Believe In”!

Dirty Secret: Many Union Members Vote Republican

While I am a blue collar union worker I am a college graduate with two years of college after my B.A. I attended college during the Vietnam War. Many in the Democratic Party were and are still turned off by union members. This is especially true when many blue collar union members seem to only worry about themselves!

I wonder how many Verizon union employees and Wisconsin Civil Service union members voted Republican over the last ten years? I bet you would find that the majority did! Their non-union neighbors resent that they feel safe and no longer care. After all these Civil Service workers did not pay the price of creating these unions they just inherited them without the struggle! The same way a trust fund baby benefits from the work of an ancestor years ago!

From my prospective most union members today forgot the legacy of President Roosevelt! Many in my union even love the Tea Party! Believe me non-union members resent their lack of caring for the economic plight of the rest of society!

True years ago the unions gave the middle class birth. But I will not back away from this dirty little secret:


They thought they were not vulnerable! Now they are finding out the opposite! On a personal note I still remember the ads from the early 1970’s:

“Hey Joe what’s the story?”

The narrator would ask while Joe had a college cap on and took it off throwing it with disgust and contempt  to the ground.

“Joe” then picked up a union hard hat and put it on his head. He then advertised some stupid store and said it was only open to “union members and their families“! I still remember vividly the hard hats beating up medical students in down town New York City. The ad I mentioned glorified these idiot hard hats! My point is not this commercial but that it reflected the conservative Republican values of most union members.

The fact is most employees in this nation are just sick of union members thinking that what is good for them is good for all! Believe me I worked as a white collar employee and now as a blue collar union worker!

When I worked as a computer operator on Wall Street nothing enraged me more than to hear union workers refer to themselves as “the working man“!

The last time I checked my plumbing I had male organs and I also worked for a living! As a Progressive Euro Social Democrat I resent union members who only discover the left when it suits them! I resent their smugness that they are the only working men!

Let me inform many younger readers here that going to college during the Vietnam War was not the only way to avoid the draft! I personally know of several guys who were not “deferred” but “exempted” because of their construction unions!

This bald hippie still remembers those days! That is why I am fed up with Barrack Obama and those who will not advance the Progressive Agenda. Be it the Wall Street Chuckie type politician who gets his funding from corporations while playing “make believe liberal” or my fellow blue collar union members who just love Sarah Palin!

We Progressives Need To Take Stock

The fact is that many if not most union members do vote Republican! Union leaders are Democrats but may not always be Progressive! What we need today is a President who will remind union and non-union middle class employees and small business owners that 400 people in this nation have more wealth than the lower 150 million!

The time has come to mobilize Progressives for change:

  • We must become aggressive!
  • We need unions to recognize that college graduates also work for a living!
  • Union leaders must educate their members about “aggregate demand” and the work of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, else the Tea Party will continue to recruit them.
  • We need to up the rhetoric and talk class warfare because it is being waged against the middle class. Sure we need to recognize those who are rich and are progressive also. But we still need to up the rhetoric.
  • We need to push for a Progressive¬† alternative to Barrack Obama so that we can have “change we can believe in”!

Meanwhile we are all going to work well past 65 because we would not want to add taxes on our social betters who rake in the millions! What is really sick is that many in my blue collar union love the Tea Party and vote against their own class interest!

Only in America!


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  1. I also agree that the term “middle class” is a bit tired. I proposed a better set of labels in a recent blog post.

    The ubiquitous class structure (lower, middle, upper) is losing its usefulness (especially considering the incredible shrinking middle class) as a tool to explain our economic differences and conflicts. I suggest we try these class categories: Dependent, Working, Rich, Crazy Rich.


    P.S. I’ve now add you to my Blogroll