George McGovern on Unions

By May 23, 2006General

Interesting op-ed in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times by one-time Presidential candidate George McGovern. It is remarkably sensible and clear-headed, and we agree with much of what he has to say, although his call for single-payer health care is still misguided. No matter. His points on business, and on the demonization of Wal-Mart — are dead-on:

“I understand the attraction of asking business — the perceived “deep pockets” — to shoulder more of the responsibility for social welfare. But there are plenty of businesses that don’t have deep pockets. And many large corporations operate with razor-thin profit margins as competitors, both foreign and domestic, strive to attract consumers by offering lower prices.

The current frenzy over Wal-Mart is instructive. Its size is unprecedented. Yet for all its billions in profit, it still amounts to less than four cents on the dollar. Raise the cost of employing people, and the company will eliminate jobs. .. Maryland recently passed a law aimed at requiring Wal-Mart to spend more on health insurance. This is an extremely flawed path to healthcare reform.”

In any event, it’s a great read and we’d recommend it. Never thought we’d be agreeing with George McGovern, but apparently the worm does turn. He says in conclusion what we’ve been saying all along, i.e., :

“[U]nion leaders who still see American businesses as the enemy must update that vision.”

Don’t hold your breath….

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Doug Kurkul says:

    That’s a pleasant surprise from Senator McGovern, who has been known to do the unexpected from time to time.

    In 1968, just days before Hubert Humphrey was to claim the Democratic presidential nomination in Chicago, Senator McGovern did the unexpected, and threw his hat in the ring for the nomination at the proverbial eleventh hour. Making the episode even more frustrating for Humphrey was the fact that McGovern had been his next-door neighbor for years in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

    McGovern’s comments on not saddling business with counter-productive burdens are welcome, but we can’t afford to wait until public officials have been out of office for 25 years for them to see the light. We need it to happen when they’re still active in the corridors of power.

    – Doug Kurkul