CommunityFDL Main Blog

Bob Casey on Union Autoworkers: $73 an Hour is “A Lie, and They Know it’s a Lie”

It’s incredible that even after the drubbing it received at the ballot box in November, the discredited conservative economic philosophy — the one that has held sway virtually without challenge for the past 8 years, and has led to our glorious present economic condition — is dominating the media conversation around the auto industry bridge loan once again.

Richard Shelby owns this one. His face is everywhere, and his hostility to labor is overt. It’s certainly in large part on behalf of the foreign automakers in his home state, but it’s also a legacy of Southern racism that equates unions with African Americans trying to take white jobs:

The Republican Party below the Mason-Dixon Line has been transformed into the White Man’s Party, under the firm control of racist businessmen who are as vicious as mistreated pit bulls. In state legislatures across the South, multi-layered legal fortifications have been erected against union organizing, in the same way that the Dixiecrats piled on Jim Crow laws in overlapping profusion from the moment of Emancipation right through the middle of the last century.

In hindsight, we now know why the racists legislated with such mad, redundant energy: They were wracked with desperate fear of Black freedmen and women. Their awesome, bewildering framework of statutes made the system of racial oppression seem impregnable, but concealed a fragile inner structure, whose legal façade was made to crumble in the space of one decade—1954 to 1965.

Today, with wild and thumping pontification, these same bigoted bosses rail against “agitators” causing “dissension” among the “good working people” who stand to “lose their jobs” if “outsiders” wearing union baseball caps invade the sacred soil of the South.

It all sounds so familiar, especially to the insiders: southern Blacks.

Southern, right-to-work culture warriors like Jon Kyl are endlessly saying that legacy costs are what is crippling the Detroit automakers, and that they are rendered "uncompetitive" by union members who cost $73 an hour. It’s a lie, and Bob Casey finally called them on it:

The labor-cost gap with foreign transplant operations will be largely or completely eliminated. OK? So, it’s — I think it’s important to put this information on the record for this hearing. And then we’ve heard this garbage about 73 bucks an hour. It’s a total lie, and some people have perpetrated that deliberately in a calculated way to mislead the American people about what we’re doing here. It’s a lie, and they know it’s a lie.

Shelby told CBS this morning that there was absolutely nothing the auto makers could say to change his mind about a bridge loan.

Of course there isn’t. This is all about cultural conviction, not information. Religious zealots rarely have any use for facts.

Video h/t Scarce

Previous post

Won't Make The Same Mistakes He Did

Next post

Sheek Louch Is A Gangster

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
Subscribe in a reader