Dear Friend of The Nation:
Nation columnist Eric Alterman, warning of a new "class war," commented that "conservatives, having shifted the tax burden from the rich to the rest of us, now seek to use state financial difficulties to destroy public unions."
With mainstream press coverage "led by the nose" to cover public employee union stories through a narrow "either-or prism," where can you turn?
Turn to the American magazine that has been fighting for workers every week since 1865.
The Nation is the most independent, strong-voiced champion of middle-class working families–including public employees–in the country. We are not owned by GE, Comcast, Disney, Murdoch or Time Warner.
We are reader supported.
Please join the fight.
John Nichols, reporting from Wisconsin, found the strongest defense of public services and public workers has come from National Nurses United. Among Rose Ann DeMoro’s list of the things "all working families should know," Nation readers learned that:
- Banks, speculators, mortgage lenders and global corporations caused the economic crisis;
- 2010 third-quarter corporate profits of $1.6 trillion represented the biggest one-year jump in history;
- State and local workers typically earn 11-12 percent less than private employees with comparable education and experience.
- Union victories like the eight-hour workday and weekends off are now threatened with the three-decade-long attack on unions spurred by right-wing icon Ronald Reagan;
- Increased wages and guaranteed pensions put money into the economy, with a ripple effect that creates jobs and improves the economy for all.
In this economic downturn, New Jersey’s governor is bullying middle-class public employees and teachers; Indiana Republicans propose "right-to-work" legislation; Congressional Republicans, under the pretense of fiscal austerity, voted to slash the EPA, the Securities and Exchange Commission and consumer financial protection. Clearly, conservatives are exploiting the perverse desire of some victims of this economic downturn to see public employees suffer to the same degree.
But Nation Editor and Publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel hit the nail on the head: "Such coordinated and well-funded union-busting has more to do with power and the future of basic democratic rights than with balancing state budgets."
This is a fight we can’t afford to lose. Please join us.