The American worker is in bad shape this Labor Day 2020. In the labor day episode of Economic Update, Prof Wolff talks about the Federal Reserve's most recent pro-inflation policy that will continue to savage the working class. Labor journalist and guest Bob Hennelly reasons that the lack of response and militancy by unions to policies such as President Trump’s use of the Defense Production Act to force workers back to meat processing plants, is due to long standing issues within such organizations: corruption and lack of succession planning for bringing in new generations of leaders.
But amongst all the bad news, is there something to celebrate this Labor Day 2020? Both Prof Wolff and Bob Hennelly say “YES.”
Also in this episode, Prof Wolff talks about the recent strike actions by professional athletes in the NBA and beyond. He argued that the significance of this action is in its demonstration that these athletes no longer feel their political or labor representation adequately expresses their commitment and determination to their social justice goals, and thus they are going at it on their own, with “... the classic act of people who have really one thing to withhold to make their point, and that's their work.”
Prof Wolff explained that this is an expression of “Dual Power”: “It's when the old systems of power are so collapsed, so weak, so irrelevant, that human beings have to find new and different ways to express their political goals.” This is a turning point.
Prof Wolff also highlights and celebrates #ScholarStrike. September 8th and 9th will be days of action for teachers across the US, continuing the demands for social justice brought forward by professional athletes.
“Wonderful. Long overdue. And I'm at least one voice that wants to support and strengthen what these courageous political pioneers are doing.” - Richard D. Wolff