The site has had lots of the, what do you call it, firebreathing in the last month or so, yes?
When I sat down with my phd supervisor a few weeks ago, he told me that one of the most important parts of doing a dissertation is to just write and keep writing. You can’t keep pounding away on one chapter until it’s perfect. You can’t let the best be the enemy of the good.
It’s funny that this story is in the news today, because I got to thinking about some stuff last night. For someone who’s really into trying to get things done for the country, for someone who cannot understand why Republicans can’t work toward a good, honest policy or give any ground to Democrats, I’m kind of an absolutist. Say, you’ve got an economic policy idea? Sorry, chief, talk to the invisible hand, you’re not doing things in the absolutely most fucking efficient way ever. This attitude is kind of dumb.
Sure, it’s helpful to have a good idea what the best ideas might be, but it’s also helpful to understand that you probably won’t get there, and that second best solutions are often not all that bad. I started thinking this last night, when for some reason the question popped into my head: if I were trying to convince myself that unions were a good thing, what would I say? And the answer was surprisingly simple. I’d say, you know, a big push toward unionization might have some negative effects on employment, there might be some unhelpful redistribution, there might be some measure of increased toleration of protectionism. But that shouldn’t be weighed against the benefits of an ideal world, where enlightened Democrats control the government and pass perfect policies. Instead, it should be weighed against the actual world, where the current political system seems absolutely incapable of finding, let alone enacting, progressive legislation. It’s a world whereÂ NO headway is being made on universal health insurance, or big increases in educational funding, or better transportation and housing policies, or wage subsidies for low income workers, or regulation of corporate malfeasance, or controlling wasteful use of resources. If unionization, or the political mobilization of the low-skilled and unskilled workers, moves us closer to any of those goals, then that just might cancel out the costs of organized labor. I’m not sure that it might, but it seems probable.
So, lessons are being learned, I guess.