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Dear Trade Associations, Why do You Despise the Workers?

On Friday, a group of Trade Associations ran a full-page ad in the New York Times demonstrating their loathing for the employees of their members:

Expensive new mandates on businesses will result in lost jobs, lower wages, less flexibility and higher health care costs.

Let me translate that from scary talk to plain English. Business will dump every last cent of the costs of health care on employees. No business will give up a single penny of its profits to keep its workers healthy. Anyone who wants health care has to pay for it at whatever price the insurance companies want to charge, and business will cooperate in shifting costs to workers. And there is nothing you can do about it. The profits we suck out of your labor belongs to us, and you don’t get any.

There used to be an unspoken deal between labor and capital that profits from productivity increases would be split, wages would rise as productivity increased. That deal was broken in 1980, and since then, capital has taken all the money, at least the part that didn’t go to pay bonuses on Wall Street. Wages have been stagnant.
This ad trumpets the intention of capital to keep its privileged status: all the money goes to capital. Nothing goes to workers. Productivity was up 9.5% in the third quarter, but:

… the economy resumed growing even as employers pushed forward with layoffs and cuts in working hours across a wide range of industries.

Screw the workers. The signers are the people who truly believe what John Galt says in his tedious speech from Fountainhead Atlas Shrugged:

With the sign of the dollar as our symbol-the sign of free trade and free minds-we will move to reclaim this country once more from the impotent savages who never discovered its nature, its meaning, its splendor. Those who choose to join us, will join us; those who don’t, will not have the power to stop us; hordes of savages have never been an obstacle to men who carried the banner of the mind.

That’s what the capitalist heroes, executive directors of trade associations, who signed this ad think: workers are hordes of impotent irrational savages, while they in all their K Street glory, are the creative people, the productive people. I wonder what these parasites think they are producing. Here’s what Galt would think of them:

A leech would want to seek escape from the necessity to name its own nature-escape from the necessity to know that the substance on which it builds its private universe is blood.

Can you imagine this crowd of lobbyists moving to their shining city in Galt’s Gulch, Colorado, cleaning the toilets and growing wheat? As Galt explains, “… all work is creative work if done by a thinking mind, and no work is creative if done by a blank who repeats in uncritical stupor a routine he has learned from others….” Please, please, go Galt on us.

Here’s a list of the signers. You could send them an e-mail politely asking them what they have done that produced something of value to society.

Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council

National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors

Independent Electrical Contractors

The Associated General Contractors of America

Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

International Franchise Association

National Federation of Independent Business

US Chamber of Commerce

International Foodservice Distributors Association

National Association of Manufacturers

National Retail Federation

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