‘Right-to-Work’ legislation part of ongoing attack on working people by the rich and the politicians they own
By Tom and Becky Berlin
WESTON, W.Va. – In an action that should be of no surprise to anybody, the West Virginia state Senate started off the 2016 legislative session with another attack on workers with the introduction of Senate Bill 1, the West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act, also known as the so-called “Right-to-Work” bill.
This is another thinly disguised attack on labor and labor unions, based on the insane idea that labor is the problem and that labor is somehow parasitic on capital and is taking too much of the wealth from the owners of capital. It is part and parcel of the four decade-long war on labor that has been waged by the wealthy and powerful against those who actually work for a living. This is a war that has not seen a trickle down of wealth to the working classes, or a flow of wealth from the top down. Instead, it is a flow of wealth from labor to capital, resulting in an immoral and unsustainable inequity in the distribution of wealth in the United States and in West Virginia, and a relative diminution of the rewards of working for a living.
Here are two truths to keep in mind:
- Capital produces nothing, and capitalists, owners of capital, produce nothing. Trees do not saw themselves into lumber and lumber does not build itself into homes, steel does not organize itself into automobiles, and consumer goods do not stock themselves on shelves or sell themselves to customers. One might own a huge manufacturing facility, but without labor that facility produces nothing of value.
- Wealth is only produced by labor when capital is utilized to produce marketable and valuable goods and services. Workers utilize capital to produce things that have value and thus multiply the value of capital and create wealth. In the bargain, we expect the producers of wealth to be given a fair portion of the wealth they have created. Capital is totally dependent on labor for growth of wealth. Wealth flows from labor to capital, not the other way around.
A big problem is that our economic system and our government value and favor capital (stuff) and disvalue and disfavor labor, (the producers, human beings). When labor is not valued, human lives are disvalued and cheapened.
If we do not take care of our creators of wealth and see that the producer class is strong and healthy, we risk having the whole system fall apart. The greed of the wealthy owners of capital, who are dependent upon and parasitic upon the producer class, cannot be fed forever without damaging the base of the system – producers or labor.
So, we implore the working class of West Virginia: Let your West Virginia delegates and senators know that you are fed up with this ongoing attack on the working people of this state. Insist that they vote against the West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act and all other legislation that further erodes the standing of the actual producers of wealth in our economy – labor.
© Tom Berlin, 2016. Tom and Becky Berlin are farmers. They write from their home in Lewis County, W.Va.
We are on Facebook
On Twitter: @appchronicle