Unions remain important for workers, America

To the editor:

I think of all the words in the English language one of the ugliest is “stereotype.” When someone wishes to diminish someone or something else the often used method is to lump a group together and then brand the whole group with unflattering and exaggerated traits.

I have watched over the past years as politicians and the business community paint unions to be some evil and vile organizations that are in some way responsible for all the evils of the business world and the ones keeping workers from jobs and their part of the American dream. One merely has to pick up a history book and read about the treatment of workers before unionism to see why they exist and what they have done for the average citizen's life.

It has become popular by some seeking to weaken the voice of the workers and enhance the bottom line to paint unions as knuckle-dragging thugs trying to force workers to belong so they can get their dues and exploit them. Having worked at about a half dozen places in my working days, I belonged to unions at half of them. I assure you the treatment of employees at the workplaces with unions were far and away superior in all ways since the workers and owners were in a partnership and not a dictatorship.

In a time when profit levels are high, wealth among the top percentage of society is up and the middle class is disappearing, the eradication of unionism in America will only benefit the very few at the top, which seems to be the goal of the government. Somehow the fortunate in our economy feel it is OK for business groups to exist to promote the interest of business, bar associations to promote the interest of lawyers, medical associations to promote the interest of doctors, but organizations to promote the interest of the workers are evil. Where is the logic (or fairness) in this?

I think it is important to add another element into the discussion of unionism. Many in this country like to diminish those who join and support unions and sometimes reflect upon them as lesser persons. I would say to them that it certainly doesn't take a genius to join a union, but this one did – Albert Einstein, charter member American Federation of Teachers Local 552, AFL-CIO, Princeton University in 1938. Other notables, to name a few, who joined unions are John Dewey, Hubert Humphrey, Frank McCourt, Elie Wiesel, Senator Mike Mansfield, Donna Shalala and Ralph Bunch (not a knuckle dragger in the bunch.)

Einstein said, “I consider it important, indeed urgently necessary, for intellectual workers to get together, both to protect their own economic status and, also generally speaking, to secure their influence in the political field.”

Steve Cauveren

Independence

 

Disagreeing that people who curse are intelligent

To the editor:

The article by Jason Offutt “Cursing is good for you, I swear” (Sept. 30, 2017) I hope is a “tongue-in-cheek” response to the study at the University of Rochester which claims that intelligent people curse a lot and that it is good for you. I question the findings.

I am considered intelligent because I was put up a grade in grade school, and graduated from a university in the top 1 percent. I was inducted in the Golden Key National Honor Society and the Beta Gamma Sigma Business honor society. On my diploma it says I graduated with distinction. I think that is enough.

I do not curse, my mother and father and grandparents did not curse and most of my friends do not curse. Surely some are very intelligent. My wife has two cousins who are brothers and one has a doctorate in electrical engineering and his brother a master’s in electrical engineering and I have never heard either one curse.

My English teacher in high school once said that a person who curses has a very low vocabulary level. I believe that it is because the Bible teaches one not to curse and especially not to take God’s name in vain. Most of my friends and family are Christians and follow Bible teaching.

Roland Sneed

Blue Springs