Tim Francisco at Working Class Perspectives offers some helpful advice about framing what’s at stake in Wisconsin and beyond.
Walker’s “frame” [in his WSJ op-ed] parallels much of the coverage of workers’ issues that, in an earlier post, I criticized for failing to address the complexities and the realities behind the eye-catching and heart-tugging “working class” frames like his. For example, rather than simply accepting as unassailable inevitability the plight of Walker’s brother, why aren’t we asking why his health-care premiums are so high, or why the important work that he and his wife do to support their family is so undervalued at a time when corporate profits and worker productivity are at all-time highs?
Imagine the impact of a story that, after describing the plight of Walker’s sibling, actually examined the profit margin of the hotel and department store that employ the couple to let readers discern whether or not the couple is being asked to “sacrifice” because their employers are exploiting the recession to squeeze more out of employees.
The “unassailable inevitability” hits the nail on the head. A central component of neoliberalism is the acceptance of existing power and economic distributions–this is what is meant by “pragmatic”–and looking for solutions within that framework. But as I’ve said before, politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. Also the last paragraph highlights why I am so focused on union campaigns involving service workers, like Hotel Workers Rising!