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Dems Shoot Down Bargaining Rights in Massachusetts

Though I might not be enthusiastic enough about Massachusetts to spontaneously burst into song about the state a la Peter Griffin, it is definitely one of the top ten places where I’d like to live. As far as America goes, it’s the best; from its historic richness to its progressive politics—and how about that Atlantic Ocean?—it’s the kind of place where I wish I could be living and raising my child right now, instead of the Midwest where I was born.

And let’s face it, I’d much rather her develop a Bostonian accent rather than the twang she’d be sure to speak if she grew up just an hour and a half south from where we live now.

But I heard some news today that made me cringe. Why, Massachusetts, why?

The Massachusetts State House of Representatives voted to cut the collective bargaining rights for health care by public employees last night. The reason was apparently to save money—and perhaps the scariest part of the decision was the fact that union-endorsed Democrats were largely behind it.

Can you imagine what early union movement builders would say if they could see how we’ve allowed states to butcher the rights they fought so hard for? If my own child doesn’t have union rights in twenty years because we sat back and allowed politicians to eradicate them, she’s going to look back in history, see what we once had, and be pretty darn disappointed in her parents and the rest of the world for letting this happen.

Remember how we’ve been told—again and again—how today’s kids are the first generation who won’t be better off than their own parents? Yeah, these union-busting moves aren’t helping. In fact, between tax cuts for the wealthy, budget cuts for social programs, stagnation in job growth and minimum wages, the reduced value of a college education coupled with its massive increase in cost, and a lack of penalty imposed on countries that hire outside America, it seems as if we are actively, purposefully, condemning our progeny to permanent poverty.

I know how hard it is for us to fight Washington—in this case, Massachusetts—when we’re already struggling just to provide for our families, deciding whether to buy milk and bread or put a little more gas in our tank before it gets even higher. But if we don’t stand up against these people who, let’s face it, serve only one thing and that thing isn’t any living being but a bunch of dead ones portrayed on the few green bills we come into contact with these days, who will? And who’s going to answer our children when they ask why we did nothing?