On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 11:37 PM, Haim <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: ... > All the more reason to limit the power of the state. Our Founding Fathers understood this. >
BS. In terms of the power of the state and the power of central government - federal government - in particular, they were the most liberal and progressive bunch in US history. In going from the Articles of Confederation to the US Constitution, they implemented the biggest expansion of the size and scope and raw power of the federal government in US history by far.
> Even the architect of the welfare state, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, understood the menace of the public sector union and rejected them. >
"I have to correct the misinformation about the 1937 letter from President Franklin Roosevelt to then-National Federation of Federal Employees National President Luther Steward, a letter that many claim demonstrates Roosevelt?s disfavor of public-sector unionism.
I know this letter well because the original version of it hangs on the wall five feet outside of my office at the national headquarters of NFFE, the organization I lead.
?Organizations of Government employees have a logical place in Government affairs. The desire of Government employees for fair and adequate pay, reasonable hours of work, safe and suitable working conditions, development of opportunities for advancement, facilities for fair and impartial consideration and review of grievances, and other objectives of a proper employee relations policy, is basically no different from that of employees in private industry.?
So what is one to take from Roosevelt?s perceived dissonance about public unions? This letter was saying one thing and one thing only: Federal employees should not have the right to strike.
It is clear that this letter was written to federal employees about the importance of not having strikes in federal agencies because of national security concerns. Nothing more.
To suggest this is evidence that Roosevelt ? the father of workers? rights to form and join unions ? shares an ideological lineage with Walker?s union-busting tactics is outrageous and disingenuous. A voice in the workplace for teachers, firefighters and other public employees is not a matter of national security, it is a matter of dignity for workers.
I can say with conviction and history firmly on my side that if Roosevelt was around today, he would lead the charge for workers? rights to unionize ? public and private."
"But as anyone who reads the entire letter from which the article quotes, ever so selectively, can easily see - FDR did not oppose federal public employee unions. He opposed strikes by federal public employee unions.
[From FDR's letter:]
"I congratulate the National Federation of Federal Employees the twentieth anniversary of its founding and trust that the convention will, in every way, be successful."
Emphasis added. Also note that in these records, the addressee is listed as the sender, but as noted at the source, this letter was from FDR to Mr. Seward.
And who was this National Federation of Federal Employees that FDR was congratulating?
A union representing federal employees since 1917:
NFFE was officially created at a labor convention in Washington, D.C. on September 17, 1917. It formed as an affiliate of the AFL and was at the time the federal employees union, representing several trades and industries. NFFE and other unions were able to form after 1912, when Congress passed the Lloyd-Lafollette Act to overturn Theodore Roosevelt's previous executive order. Roosevelt's mandate, frequently referred to as the "gag rule" had previously prevented unionized activity. http://www.nffe.org/...
That's right. FDR's letter congratulating a federal employee's union on it's 20th Anniversary is being used by the GOP to claim FDR opposed government employee unions.
So, to repeat, another important lesson here: When middle-class destroying, union bashing Republicans quote FDR in support of their agenda, assume they are lying.
FDR would have changed his views about collective bargaining for federal employees and agreed with JFK.
It is obscene for conservatives to lie about FDR, to imply that he would support their hatred of all that is good and decent in the economic sphere even just a bit, that he would support their social Darwinism even just a bit. To see this, here is part of what this decent man said in 1944 during WWII when the outcome hung in the balance a half a year before D-Day, in his last State of the Union address, delivered as one of his fireside chats:
There is video of FDR giving this Second Bill of Rights was found by Michael Moore during his research for his movie on the obscene, ruthless, bloodthirsty horror devoid of all conscience that unregulated big corporate capitalism has become in the US (think of Romney's company - see the below). It is shown in this Wikipedia page - - press the right-arrow to see it. See many versions of it also at You-Tube by entering "Second Bill of Rights".
Just this past week, Romney's Bain, the 51% owner of Sensata, has killed these 17 dollar per hour American jobs and sent them to China - to pay them less than 1 dollar per hour. This, even though this company Sensata (making auto parts) has just posted record revenue and record profits, in part because Obama saved the US auto industry.