By Peter Galuszka
Not that long ago during last year’s presidential campaign — before Bacon’s Rebellion became the mush it is now — brave conservatives were skewering Virginia’s and America’s most venomous threats and holding them high for us all to see.
They were, of course, labor unions and the very unsavory thought that working people had the absolute temerity to think that they had rights as workers instead of bowing gracefully before their employers to thank them for the money in their hands and the pork rinds in their bellies.
Our own James A. Bacon Jr. was having his own little tea party bashing the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (which does deserve bashing, but never mind) for having on its board a former union official. Union man! Bolshevik! Beelzebub! Don’t get him started on right to work laws or public employees unions.
The Wall Street Journal all but buried a revealing story this morning. At the bottom of A6 comes news that union membership is at its lowest level since World War II. Private sector organized workers have dropped from 6.9 percent to 6.6 percent of the labor force.
The big issue was public service workers unionizing but they have also slipped from 37 percent to 35.9 percent of the total. One reason the Journal says is state-level bargaining battles such as ones in Wisconsin and Michigan cheered on by the conservative commentators we all know and love.
So, let’s give this a rest. I don’t what to read another Chamber of Commerce diatribe about the wonders of right to work. I’ll go ballistic if I have to read another puff piece about how right to work has made Virginia the No. 1, 2 or 5 choice for business as if we really give a damn what some trade magazine in bed with the bosses says.
Enough is enough. You read it here first.