Regulation -- Who Needs It?
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/05/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21589
In Trump's vocabulary, regulations are ALL bad. (Of course Trump sees regulations around reproductive rights as good, but consistency isn't one of his characteristics.)
Regulations in capitalist economies enforce standards to protect workers or the larger community when people demand action. The passage of the Clean Air Act of 1970 and creation of the EPA is the direct result of unions, organizations concerned with public health and environmental organizations.
In particular, Tony Mazzocchi of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers read Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring and realized OCAW workers were in danger. He pushed workers to understand why they needed to fight for clean air legislation, made a bridge to the environmental movement and educated them to support worker health and safety. That's why it is shocking that the U.S. labor movement has been trapped by Trump's promise to create jobs through deregulation.
Building trades officials were delighted with Trump's order to the Army of Engineers for a go-ahead to complete the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines. In fact drastically reducing dependence on fossil fuels means employing people to make buildings energy efficient, building a mass transportation system both regionally and nationally and continuing to develop solar, wind, geothermal and water power. These are the jobs we need to demand!
My own union, the UAW, embraces Trump's "Buy American - Hire American" mantra. But it's not possible to oppose some of the Trump agenda and enthusiastically support other parts. Unions don't realize that the narrow "We only care about ourselves" perspective takes us away from seeing ourselves as having more in common across the globe with other workers than with the multinationals who employ us and pollute our cities and countryside.