Long-Form Political Discussion #1: Labor Pains

Hey y’all, we’re trying a new experiment this week. If it works, this is intended to be a weekly post for high-quality (or at least, you know, medium-quality) political discussion, emphasizing longer posts with historical context, statistics, and fact-based evidence. Because of that, this will be a no GIF/social media embed zone (we might revisit the social media embed thing in the future, but for now, to establish the tone, let’s skip ‘em).

The discussion topic:

In June, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 vote that government workers who join unions aren’t required to pay for collective bargaining. This is a major blow to public-sector unions’ future viability.

This week, voters in Missouri rejected a right-to-work law with 67 percent of the vote. Depending on who you ask, this is a public rebuke to the Supreme Court decision, suggesting that public support for unions is higher than expected even in red states—or it’s a brief bump in the road to a complete steamrolling of American unions.

  • What’s the future of the labor movement? Is it viable?
  • What can the left do to make it last (both inside and outside of the Democratic Party)?
  • What should be labor’s primary goals right now, and how can they make them happen?
  • What can we learn from labor history?
  • From unions around the world?
  • From unions in your state?
  • If unions are suppressed, what other mechanisms can the movement use to protect workers?