Change is here & so is resistance
When a so-called “right to work” law was rammed through by Michigan's Republican governor and legislature last week, no one should have been surprised. It might have been a little knee-jerk vindictiveness. But anyone who thought that the big issues of the day were resolved by the last election better think again.
The bill is more a “right to steal the benefits that others have paid for” law than anything else, allowing workers to enjoy union-won benefits without paying the union dues that are used to fight for salaries, pensions and safer working conditions.
Still, these laws remain popular on some level, especially where Republicans control state legislatures.
The average full-time, full-year worker in states that have such laws makes about $1,500 less per year than a similar worker in states without such laws, according to a 2011 report by the very liberal Economic Policy Institute.
Any hope that President Obama's victory created renewed goodwill toward working families has been dashed by an American tradition of resisting change — even if that leads to likely defeat.
Accepting the need to change can be difficult. In spite of all the signs from this last election, the only benefit Obama supporters won is the right to continue to fight for their causes, but with a leg up. And they should expect their social opponents to dig in deeper.
Even the president's proposal to tax the super wealthy a little bit more than the rest of us is not a lay-down hand. Mitt Romney's plan to continue the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy was clearly rejected, but it is still embraced by many in his party, and the struggle continues.
When Romney suggested that undocumented Hispanics should face self-deportation, coercing them to leave by making their lives here unbearable, over 70 percent of Hispanic American citizens voted for the president, sending a clear signal. And still, immigration changes are not in the bag.
Whether the issue was same-sex marriage or a woman's right to make her own medical decisions, Romney's views were rejected and Obama's embraced.
The country is headed in a new direction. And while old minorities have become the new majority, the fight for change has not ended.
Joseph Sabino Mistick, a lawyer, law professor and political analyst, lives in Squirrel Hill. E-mail him at: SabinoMistick@aol.com
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Some White Oak students arrive home an hour late
- West Mifflin mayor names business, citizen of the year
- Gorman: East Allegheny’s Edwards performs juggling act
- Bryant suspension opens doors for other Steelers’ receivers
- Starkey: The kick returner and the grizzly bear
- Two wild-card format hurting Pirates in short term
- Steelers WR Bryant’s suspension upheld
- Suspect in 2 bank robberies arrested
- Plan to air Tuesday in McKeesport
- Wilmerding moves to fix Ice Plant
- Potential suspension of Pennsylvania AG’s license unusual