December 12, 2012
Protest in Michigan
A large demonstration against Michigan’s right-to-work law at the state capitol in Lansing. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

If PostScript had known this morning she’d be a Pinkerton by the end of the day, she’d have worn her scarier army boots. But alas, there was no hint in the bunker of the upheaval to come.  

Many people lined up to comment on Harold Meyerson’s column arguing that Michigan’s new “right to work” law is about politics, not economics. Republicans, he said, want to defund unions because Big Labor is one of the biggest pro-Democratic spenders. Economics, Meyerson says, suggest that the income gap between corporate owners and their low-level employees is already too big. And worse, he says, pro-Republican unions have been specifically exempted from the law.

So this law would enable businesses to hire employees who haven’t joined a union (and thus don’t pay dues) but are still contractually obligated to provide union-negotiated benefits. This would cost unions a lot of money, eventually lessening their power to act politically and with employers.    

Sooo, it was all set up to be a glorious discussion in the comments on whether unions or lack of unions is responsible for more economic horror.  

RW_B

Big labor has continually supported the politicians who pass new regulations and build costly new bureaucracies. The piles of red tape and their associated fees are what’s driving heavy industry away.

truthwillout

Our right wing friends have been complaining about people who are moochers and want free stuff, but here they all line up behind workers who want to take advantage of union negotiated wages without paying union dues for the privilege. Disgusting hypocrites!

RichardCollins

People are not forced to join a church but if the church provides assistance during a natural disaster (many do), the people who benefit are not obligated to join or financially support that church — despite benefitting. Nor is one compelled to support the American Red Cross even if they benefit from disaster relief. Are you going to fund every cancer charity there is because you can benefit from their efforts?

DocWright59

So you are ok with people being forced to join a union in order to get a job? Is that fair? The right to work law says no union can force you to join as a stipulation to getting a job at that company. I should be able to apply to work anywhere I am competent to work and be hired according to my abilities and not according to weather I join a union or not.

All normal.  BUT THEN, the subject turned to commenting itself and the authors of those comments, helpless against the faceless machine that controls their means of production and has recently changed a couple of regulations:

FergusonFoont

The Post, instead of reducing the length of comments, should have implemented a MINIMUM character requirement of 1000 characters.
 
It would have kept the trolls at bay.

Okay, just a little worker agitation.  No big deal.  

lohengrin

Yeah, commenters should form unions. Why should we work for free?

Ha ha!  lohengrin is making a joke.  

lohengrin

You can always deactivate java. Now this is a good analogy with union scabs.

lohengrin is making a sophisticated, involved joke. Using code words PostScript doesn’t really understand, setting out to undermine the Post’s Web site  PostScript doesn’t get this joke, but the commenters are laughing. At authority.     

A commenters union! Maybe! But PostScript thinks there would be a problem of organization. You know, uniting. Into a group. For one goal. It is against the very nature of commenting! Keep them all in-fighting and separated…

motorfriend

If you let your boss know that you’ve joined a well-regulated militia, i.e. bought a gun, you’ll get that raise! Imagine “labor militias” instead of unions! It would be politically impossible to stop them, given our zeal for guns and the intractability of the NRA!

And that was when PostScript put on her steel fedora, found a fireplace poker to slap against her palm, and got a post-ironic PINKERTON T-shirt to show she means business.  Be afraid, union maids.