The Fat Cats Alternate Reality Where Americans Are On Their Side
In the video above, financial analyst Jim Cramer comments on the current UAW strike and how shocked he is that Americans seem to be siding with the workers over the millionaires.
A recent AP poll on the United Auto Workers of America (UAW) strike shows a meager 9% of Americans are on the side of the automakers. To everyday Americans, these results are not surprising. A tidal wave of pro-union sentiment has been rising for years now. It’s palpable from coffee shops to construction sites; on social media feeds and at dinner tables. When Union Built Matters hit the streets of New York to ask residents how they felt about construction unions, the sentiment was clear there too.
But the message does not seem to have reached America’s boardrooms— a fact humorously illustrated in a recent exchange on CNBC involving Jim Cramer. When Cramer was informed of the results of the AP UAW poll mentioned above, he was stunned. Cramer is a former hedge fund manager and CNBC personality. He sources his information and worldview from his rolodex of Fortune 500 executives. His reaction in this brief exchange says a lot about how those in the management class view themselves and American workers.
Let’s examine his response line by line:
“I was shocked at that.”
Shocked? Really? The UAW demands amount to: a pay raise to match the raise CEOs have received, a pension to guarantee a dignified retirement, and more time off to spend with family. The majority of Americans are in the same economic boat as the UAW workers. Changes like these would drastically improve their lives. They know that, in the past, unions have won rights for workers everywhere— including weekends and the forty-hour work week. They are cheering for the UAW to lead the way in this next fight too. If you find that shocking, you probably spend too much time talking to management.
If you think brand loyalty trumps worker solidarity, you’re not living in the same America as the rest of us.
“I thought there were people who would say: ‘I have an F-150, I love it, they do a great job, and the workers are being greedy.’”
It’s revealing that Cramer phrases this statement as if Ford’s management is building the pick-up trucks, and the greedy workers are preventing them from doing a great job. Sorry Cramer, but you’ve got it backwards. Also, if you think brand loyalty trumps worker solidarity, you’re not living in the same America as the rest of us.
“The workers win.”
The workers have been losing for decades. Union membership has plummeted from 35% in 1979 to 10% today. In that same period, the share of income going to the top 10% has skyrocketed as wages have stagnated for everyone else. While recent labor victories are encouraging, there is still much work to be done.
Mark Colangelo is a writer and blogger.
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