Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A More Perfect Union: The Iraqi government has been taking its first baby steps as a democracy. Now the rest of this country has to learn to live in a free society. Joseph Braude reports that labor unions are becoming more prominent in a nation that doesn't treat its workers very well. Hopefully we can encourage the Iraqi government to let them thrive.

We need to remember that in the U.S., before unions began shielding members from actually having to do quality work, they used to serve a good purpose protecting workers from dangerous and unfair working environments. Labor unions often breed mediocrity nowadays, but without them workers had no rights whatsoever.

Living in a free society means more than voting for elected representatives and protesting openly. In fact, it should have very little to do with government at all. The economics and culture of a region have to be open and inclusive for a society to be free.

Right now the Middle East is burdened with rampant corruption. I know that we generally don't think of labor unions as the antithesis of corruption. But the rise of numerous entities that can effectively oppose the other powerful forces in the area, especially in favor of the workers, can bring a needed balance of power to a region that usually settles power disputes through harsh violence.


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