Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Great Leap Backwards

Somebody identified as the "secretary of labor" authored a piece in the Wall Street Journal today which aptly summarizes the legislative and policy goals of the US Chamber of Commerce and other business lobbies for the next four years.

The writer argues forcefully against "special-interest groups that purport to have worker's interests at heart," because these groups do not share the business goal of making US workers "more competitive in the world-wide economy."

On the other hand, if the "special-interest groups that purport to have worker's interests at heart" can persuade you to accept the going rate for Chinese peasants living under political dictatorship, then maybe they really do have your interests at heart: If every American would imbibe the twin-elixir of poverty and repression, the US might become the next China, and we'd finally be able to steal jobs from everybody else. Cool, man!

Also of note are past achievements of what is described as the "Labor Department": the reclassification of cheeseburger assembly as "manufacturing" work (giving a much needed boost to a lagging industrial sector); and the fact that "[t]oday we have record-low workplace injury, illness and fatality rates."

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