Monday, January 28, 2019

What Did We Learn?

It is tempting, and not unreasonable, to think that the government shutdown was called off because a 'sickout' on the part of the air traffic controllers led to the ground stop of LaGuardia Airport. All told, the government shutdown is estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to have cost the US economy eleven billion dollars. Trump is running the government like he runs his businesses... in a really shitty manner.

The one lesson to take away from this shutdown shitshow is that workers have more power than we believed we have, even with union participation being abysmal in the United States. Six sick air traffic controllers were able to throw a huge proverbial monkey wrench into the nation's transportation system. The head of the flight attendants' union even called for a general strike if the shutdown weren't ended. It's an idea that has gained quite a bit of traction in the last couple of weeks, and if there's another shutdown in three weeks, it just might happen.

It would be ironic if the guy whose trademark line was 'you're fired' turned out to be the guy who revived the labor movement in the US. He's long be a shitty boss, and a hypocrite when it comes to immigration. Back in the 1980s, he hired undocumented workers to handle demolitions work when he transformed the old Bonwit Teller building into his original Manhattan Trash Palace. Currently, his organization is firing dozens of undocumented employees of his Westchester County, New York country club... conveniently, during the winter slow season.

Trump has never engaged in a fair fight before- he has a history of stiffing contractors and employees who didn't have the means to pursue legal action for long- he would just 'run out the clock' on his plaintiffs and 'win', if that's what you call stiffing people. Now, he's up against a determined opposition and he's getting his overinflated head handed to him. While the House of Representatives can investigate him and block his agenda, the real lesson is that the general public has the power to fight back, not only against the current maladministration, but against other bad actors in the corporate world, we just have to remember how to flex our muscle.


Harry Hamid said...

This whole thing isn't over, of course, but I am almost beginning to reconsider my skepticism about Nancy Pelosi getting the Speakership again. The Dems putting back in a bunch of the same octogenarians that got kicked out of those top positions in 2010, and they just might know the system well enough to beat the President at this.

I don't know. I'm watching from the cheap seats.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I think Nancy Pelosi is a canny political player, and she has personal reasons to despise the Republican Party, whose base tried to turn her name into a malediction.

I think she's stronger than the lot of them put together.