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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Saturday, February 26, 2005


Everydayborday is Labor Day

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, February 26, 2005 permalink View blog reactions
Ezra Klein is determined to pay more attention to Labor issues, especially with the great fight ahead to unionize WalMart. Note that demonizing Wal-Mart is not the key here - as laborGuru Nathan Newman notes:

Wal-Mart is no doubt here to stay as part of the fabric of our economy. But just as the anti-union auto corporations of the 1920s were forced to improve job conditions for their workers in the 1930s and 1940s by a combination of legislation and union organizing, so too must we work to force Wal-Mart to become a responsible employer that is a net contributor to labor standards, and not a drain on our public resources.

Or, more succinctly by Matthew Yglesias:

Give me a unionized WalMart with decent labor policies, and I'll happily let the colossus stamp out America's mom and pop stores if that's what the market demands.

Quite so. The important point is that corporations provide jobs too. Equalizing the playing field of wages and benefits will mean that a job at Wal Mart and a job at Mom-N-Pop's Inc. will have the same "value", to both society and to the laborer. The rising tide that floats all boats is the direction we need to go. This view also largely informs my stance on illegal immigration, but that's for another time (though I would like to see Ezra and Matt and Nathan address immigration from a Labor standpoint too, given their vastly superor expertise in this regard than mine).

In the meantime, I shop at WalMart without shame for much the same reason. WalMart *will* be forced to unionize eventually (though we might have to wait for Hillary's era).


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.