Wendy McElroy: Unions are dropping their enthusiasm for Obamacare. Some push for the new subsidies. Others bristle over the excise tax. Many protest the impact of health care cutbacks by employers who cannot afford to fully implement Obamacare.
Randy Shaw: Activists are in far better spirits than one year ago. Progressives see that the public is on their side, and, unlike in the aftermath of the 2008 elections, are staying engaged in the major policy struggles that elections are supposed to be all about.
Berry Craig: Romney and Ryan are two of the most anti-labor politicians around. But they think they can peel off some union votes with the old social issues sucker bait.
Randy Shawo: While Obama draws overwhelming support among African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, single women and organized labor, some progressives continue to attack him. But with Romney-Ryan posing a dire threat to progressive interests, this criticism should stop until after Election Day.
Berry Craig: While Romney saluted Solidarity, he conveniently omitted the role of trade unions in building the American middle class.
Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: The 99% Spring is the latest effort by those close to the Democrats to take advantage of Occupy, but the results were less than spectacular.
Walter Brasch: We can wave flags and tell everyone how much more patriotic we are than them, but we still can’t buy a minivan made in America by unionized workers—even when the price is lower than that of the non-unionized competition.
Randy Shaw: My chief concern about Occupy’s future is that I do not see enough resources devoted to organizing new people to get involved.
Mark Naison: If I dare to dream, I can see where this collaboration between Occupy and Labor might lead—to the unionization of Wal-Mart, to the unionization of McDonalds, to the unionization of financial services workers in the nation’s largest banks.
Topping this week’s list is, once again, Mark Naison, the Fordham University professor and editor of With a Brooklyn Accent, who writes so passionately on issues of education and race..
Randy Shaw: I expect many Occupy supporters to spend time from Labor Day to Election Day in 2012 on statewide initiatives seeking to raise taxes on the 1% in order to fund schools and other vital needs.
Sharon Kyle: Labor union membership has declined significantly in the United States over the last 50 years, but this segment of the labor market is booming.
Randy Shaw: If President Obama and fellow Democrats agree to a deficit reduction deal that cuts Medicare, Social Security, and other programs serving the 99%, expect an electoral calamity for Democrats in 2012.