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February 27, 2014

Now that Senator Corker of Tennessee and his Republican friends in high places have torpedoed union representation at the Volkswagen plant in Scab City (aka Chattanooga, where Corker used to be the mayor), he has a different take on his role in reducing the wages of his fellow Tennesseans and the business profits of his fellow Tennessean merchants. He is now saying (and in broad daylight!) that he didn’t say what he said, and if he did say it, he didn’t mean it and that his words have been misinterpreted etc. etc. I call that mealy mouth. One can afford to assuage the poor and beaten down and unrepresented men and women of labor after your mouth helped put them back where they belong – in the poorhouse. You won, so with an election coming up, it’s time to make nice to the losers there in the SNAP line. Some of those in that line might fall for your line – again – and vote for their oppressor.
Given the senator’s predilection to follow right wing recipes and orders of his masters on Wall Street, I can understand how he wanted to beat up on labor which, after all, is a cost of production and must be kept as low as possible. What I don’t understand is why he also beat up on his friends and allies in the process of reducing expectations of increased wages that would have come with union representation. Such almost certain raises in wages constitute increases in purchasing power, power that translates in increased business for local merchants, merchants who vote Republican. Corker with his regal putdown of union representation has managed to beat up on both labor and business with his hangup of ideology (and campaign contributions from those who want parity of American wages with those of China in order to fatten their bottom lines). He is living a Second Gilded Age fantasy.
Whatever the mealy-mouthed solon from Scab City has to say to the contrary, it is plain by his anti-union and anti-business conduct that he doesn’t honestly represent anyone in Tennessee. He has proven by his conduct in the Volkswagen affair that he represents only a disproven ideology and the investment class on Wall Street. He is not for anything that would move Tennessee and its people ahead; he is not even for Republicans if doing so would conflict with his aged ideology and orders he receives from Wall Street. I think the good people of the Volunteer state should volunteer to remove this accident in office from his senatorial status and elect a Democrat or a Republican – their choice – because this guy is neither one. He is rather an ideologue blinded to reality by money and status.
Labor, of course, has been quick to condemn his unbelievable intervention into a labor representation election. Business should follow suit, since his intervention (bulwarked by other state-wide Republicans) has cost them in terms of their customers’ reduced purchasing power (and now uncertain Volkswagen plans for expansion, another demand downer). Volkswagen has announced that their future expansion plans in Tennessee may be on hold in view of the inability of politicians there to get along with workers. The senator is going to find out that there are consequences to the tactics of overbearing politicians who think they are still living in our last Gilded Age and acting it out here in the 21st century. Enlightened labor and management such as Volkswagen are having none of it, and neither should those of us who comprise the general public. People of means organize corporations to pursue their interests in making money; why should workers be denied the right to organize to pursue their interests in wages, working conditions etc.? Why such discrimination? Why a return to Gilded Age #2? Shall we deny people the right to incorporate and do business? No? Why not? Identical principle. Corker should resign. GERALD E

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