of insurance company executives and labor leaders and businessmen and those who are part of government. The jugglers have outjuggled themselves and they need to put the balls down and do some serious thinking. There needs to be a rededication to dignifying those who labor and a new understanding of the responsibility of those who manage and the good sense to know there is no real division among business, labor and government. All three are necessary and must function in cooperative coordination. When the jugglers are functioning as they should, there is a proper allocation of the nation’s resources. Perhaps what we do not understand today is Maslow’s concept of hierarchy of values. A polio victim in the 1950’s was understandable. Today it is intolerable. A homeless person in 1900 was acceptable or more accurately, understandable. A homeless person in 1989 is unacceptable. I sense that more and more Americans are beginning to feel that way. Yes, there is great hope for our nation because we do have a sense of outrage at injustice. As the CEO and founder of a very successful company, I say to you that a strong labor movement is essential to a healthy economy. I want to say to union leaders, “You must organize.” Their quick response is, “The climate isn’t suitable.” They really are not wrong about that, but they can’t use that as an excuse. Then they quickly add, “We don’t have the money.” And they really don’t, but they didn’t have the money years and years ago. The sit-down strike several decades ago brought new life and meaning to unionism and created within every union member a sense of pride that engendered initiative, commitment and spirit. The materialism and the acceptance of greed that is characteristic of our present society is likewise affecting unions. You might ask the question, “Well, what do you expect?” For unions to be what they are intended to be, their leaders of the movement have a right to expect higher standards. When unions adopted the same approaches as did management, to wit, that money has to be involved in everything that is done, they were in fact substituting money for spirit. . .and that never works. It never has and never will. When members walk a picket line, they have to learn to do that out of spirit. When there is organizing to be done, members are going to have to be unpaid organizers. Their movement is in trouble. It isn’t someone else’s movement; it is their movement. If they want it to be successful, they are going to have to tear a little piece of their gut out and give it to that movement. The most insignificant part of unionism is putting up the $10, $15, or $25 and signing a card and saying, “I am now a union member.” More importantly, with that check for membership, there should be a commitment of 3, 4 or 6 hours a week which is devoted to organizing. That is the number one problem. The larger the percentage of the work force that is union, the more strength unions have. If there is one attribute that contributed to the success of the labor movement more than any other, it was the belief in the brotherhood and sisterhood of mankind. That is what unionism was all about. When people struggle side by side for an idea, there is a binding that produces an inseparability. We live in a different world today. We have many institutions that take a lot of the bad shocks out of life. There is social security, unemployment compensation, medicare, food stamps, but we may need more of such reforms. Yes, there are too many poor people in our nation. But there are millions less because unions fought for social changes that superseded their own special concerns. Most specifically, two questions must be addressed: unemployment and under-employment plus national health insurance. For unionism to grow and prosper, the members have to feel consumed with the ideals of unionismof fighting for things that are right and necessary even though it is not pragmatically attainable in the so-called near future. If someone had suggested social security in 1929, the skeptics would have said, “Perhaps it will be possible in 1980 or 1990,” but it came in the 30’s. Yes, unions are at their best when they fight for the things that benefit the entire populace and their history confirms1 hope the jugglers take good note of thisthey have always been in the forefront of bringing to the attention of our government those areas that needed attention. What will thwart the good intentions of the good jugglers more than any other single aspect of our economic life is the concentration and acceptance of paper entrepreneurism. The stock manipulations, LBO’s, mergers, golden parachutes, the rewarding of the so-called financial geniuses who earn unconscionable profits without risktaking is contributing to the erosion of public confidence in our economic future. These kind of actions produce no social good, no material goods and in most instances not only does not increase employment, but generally has the opposite effect. It is interesting that Senator Sherman some 90 or 100 years ago saw the evil of what is transpiring this very day these financial manipulationsand introduced the Sherman AntiTrust Act. The jugglersthose who are in power evidently have forgotten that this piece of legislation is on the books or, even worse, don’t understand the need for enforcing it. I say to the business community that you will do better in a climate where we have both a strong business and a labor community and where we have a government that acts as a catalytic agent to improve the social and economic product. If we in business are too myopic, there can ensue a serious attitudinal change. The battle which should not be is a contest between the “have’s” and the “have not’s.” I submit that is not a situation that any intelligent businessman would want to contemplate. This is the kind of confrontation that carries the seeds of revolution. Our jugglers must understand this. They must not be misled by false mythologies. There is one that is infecting us and poisoning us this very day. I allude to this false. idol which we are coming to worship, “Taxes must not and will not be raised.” No, the jugglers have to make a commitment and a real commitment to having.a kinder and gentler nation. Yes, it requires a reallocation of our resources. They must be juggled so we can meet the social needs of the people of our nation and will do so in a manner which will increase prosperity for all. If need be, perhaps tax rates will have to be readjusted and if necessary, raised. It is, indeed, a small price to pay for a kinder and gentler nation. What we must never forget is the admonition of Antigonus some twenty-three hundred years ago when he said, “Is it only the mouth and belly which are injured by hunger and thirst? Men’s minds are also injured by them.” Let us remember: we can, indeed, be a kinder and gentler nation; and, yes, a healthier one! I am optimistic that we will strive and achieve it. William Faulkner said it best: “I believe that man will not merely endure; he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.” THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15
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