TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Change is here & so is resistance

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, 9:16 p.m.
 

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

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Kang’s 9th-inning home run gives Pirates wild victory over Twins
  2. Rossi: ‘Hockey guy’ Sutter will be missed
  3. Steelers’ Wheaton adjusting his game moving to slot receiver
  4. Penguins trade Sutter to Canucks, sign free agent center Fehr
  5. School credit ratings a problem for several in Western Pennsylvania
  6. Pirates notebook: Prospect Tucker unaware of ‘trade’ frenzy
  7. Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell gets suspension, fine reduced
  8. Van Halen plays plenty of favorites in First Niagara show
  9. 5 face trial in beating of black man in Pittsburgh
  10. More than 100 stamp bags confiscated in Greensburg; 4 arrested
  11. Hempfield cyclist to cool wheels in jail during appeal