I have been meaning to write about this for a while, but just haven't gotten to it. One of the more politically frightening things that I have read recently was Todd Beeton's write up of SEIU's Secretary-Treasuer Anna Burger's speech to the SEIU convention in Puerto Rico two weeks ago. I can't find the text of the speech anywhere, but Todd has excerpts. It focused on "Card Check" or the "Employee Free Choice Act" which would end the use of secret ballots in the votes to unionize shops. From Beeton:
And the key reason it is so important:
It is the fuel -- the opening -- for SEIU to change our growth curve from 100,000 to a million or more workers a year.
Which ought to be enough to scare anyone. More union members means more union dues spent on politics. It is clear that the unions get this incremental approach. Read on after the jump.
What seems like a minor technical change is actually something that gives them political access to potentially transformational political power. Back to Beeton:
That in itself, Burger argues, makes the Employee Free Choice Act larger than any one single issue, even more important than healthcare.
We are the leaders of the fight for healthcare. We are the biggest healthcare union in our three nations because we fight for it every single day. It's time that the United States and Perto Rico join our sisters and brothers in Canda and win quality, affordable healthcare for every man, woman and child in 2009!
The passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, Burger argues, will make the difference between incremental change and transformational change, because it will allow the creation of a movement that will not only demand that change, but enable it. So, the Employee Free Choice Act is more important than healthcare because without it, there is no healthcare reform, or at least not the real reform we want and need. Same goes for every other progressive legislation we hope to pass in the post-Bush era.
Imagine a world where five years after the Employee Free Choice Act is signed into law, SEIU is organizing a million or more workers a year and the labor movement has added 20 million members to its ranks. Through the Employee Free Choice Act we've built a principled, permanent workers movement that will redefine politics for the next century.
This is permanent majority language. However, when we were talking about permanent majority, we were talking about moving assets into the hands of more Americans. (this is the ownership society that Barack Obama belittles) This vision is about coercively moving more and more Americans into political organizations which use their precious financial resources in a way that they neither control nor even understand.
Given what is likely to happen in the Senate this cycle, this should be taken as dire warning of what an Obama presidency would mean for our society and our economy.
In addition, it is a call to arms both in the 2008 election for Senate seats and the White House, but also for analysis and data collection. The unions and their lackies in the Demcratic party are intent on a path that will destroy our productivity for a significant period of time. We need to document where we are and what happens.