That’s the dichotomy (or is it a paradox?) for me. I have no use for unions personally, yet I think they are important to America and most of the world. I’ve seen unions put newspapers out of business, or cripple them with strikes leaving them beyond repair, yet I want to see the union movement grow. Why?

Because unions helped to create the middle class, safety standards in the workplace, the 40 hour week, paid vacations, livable wages, benefits, etc. etc. etc. Unions also offer a balance of power to the fat cats who are hauling in the TARP-funded bonuses. How about a union for tellers, secretaries, messengers and clerks on Wall Street? Just a thought.

Only a fool or a tea party conservative (do I repeat myself?) would want to get rid of unions. Unions maintain the middle class. I’d like to see unions expand into all aspects of America’s working world, especially now when corporate greed is out of control. I’d like to see unions balance the political scene with more donations to politicians who truly are on the side of the working man.

Also, let’s be honest. Not everyone is a genius. The average person with average intelligence, or even a tad below, deserves a shot at the American daydream. It’s pure stupidity to allow a social system to get so unbalanced that anyone less than a highly skilled and talented person must live in poverty.

There’s work for everybody in this world, and each person deserves a livable wage, especially if those persons are making other people rich.

Will I criticize unions in the future? Hell yes. No organization, or person is perfect and as the great American philosopher Dr. Seuss once said, “Life’s a Great Balancing Act.” That goes for social institutions, too.

Stop by the Mark Twain House and Museum to see my exhibit of original editorial cartoon art. “Drawing Fire: Bob Englehart’s 30 years at The Courant.” It’s free and will be up through May. For more information, call the Mark Twain House and Museum at 860-247-0998. As long as you’re there, take a tour!

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