Newton man says leaders must take a stand for labor rights, standards

Newton man says leaders must take a stand for labor rights, standards
 
Date May 25, 2006
Section(s) Opinion
Brief  
 
To the Editor:

As I ponder the collapse of Maytag in Newton, I am trying to remember when I first encountered the phrase “worse case scenario thinking.” I believe it was during my first six weeks of Air Force training at Amarillo Air Force Base, Texas, in 1968. Reflecting on possible events such as a full nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union was not pleasant. But sometimes it is helpful for even the most optimistic person to be prepared for the worst.

When Matthew 19:26 attributes to Jesus the statement “… for God all things are possible” I think we have to assume that the word good could have been included — for God all good things are possible.

However, to say that some event is possible is not the same as saying it is probable.

Some politicians of both parties could use a dose of realism. Many elitist Republicans have a disturbing view of globalization. They seem to think capital should pursue low wages all over the world. In their view, wages should be driven down all around the world ad infinitum. Free trade may be a good idea, but the United States needs to use a full court diplomatic effort to get countries such as China to give a higher priority to labor rights and labor standards. The appliance industry may be extremely competitive on a global basis. But to maintain dignity and prosperity here in America, we need political leaders who will make negotiations over labor rights and labor standards as integral parts of ongoing international negotiations.

Michael Thielmann

Newton

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