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For many years, in another life, I was an official in a broadcast industry union local. As you all know, unions are no stranger to a process known as collective bargaining, otherwise known as the fine art of negotiation. At contract renewal time, that process of give and take between union and management can amount to months of tedious hours of nitpicking, or it can go smoothly. The take away from that process is that there are a set of proven techniques that, if followed, usually lead to a successful outcome.
The most important thing to remember is just pure common sense. When you present a particular issue for negotiation, you always start the bargaining process by presenting your MSP or maximum supportable position. The maximum supportable position is the most that you can ask for without getting the other side of the negotiations so upset that they walk away from the bargaining table. It's the starting point that you ask for with the realization that it is going to be bargained down. A numeric example is if you want to get say $40,000 annual salary for the people you represent, you would start out by asking for $60,000. If you asked for 70,000, management would walk out. If you asked for $40,000, management assume that is your starting point and proceed to bargain down from there. That's not rocket science, it's negotiating 101.
I feel that one of the main reasons we've had problems with the Republican's and Teabaggers being able to block any health care legislation is that, from the beginning, the President and the Dems. haven't started the health care debate by demanding full European-style national health care as a maximum supportable position. The fall-back could then be single payer health care. The public option should have been absolutely not negotiable and the thing we settle for if all else fails.
President Obama was a community organizer. I'm sure he knows the rules of the road when it comes to negotiating. By originally turning the debate over to Congress and the Senate and letting the issue fester by taking what is essentially a passive role in the debates, I felt that his support was luke warm at best. By releasing his health care plan without a public option, he is starting from a rock-bottom maximum supportable position. It makes me wonder if he considers his health care campaign promises to be a liability, rather than an asset and wants to sign any law that has the words health care in it just to say that he fulfilled a campaign promise.
Has the Democratic party become the party of maybe? Visit my Listen Here! page to find out.
If you've ever applied for a job and wound up with nothing but one of those canned rejection letters to show for it, you're going to love what's on my Listen Here! page.
Despite the best efforts of the special interest groups, there seems to be a breath of life left in the pending health care legislation. One of my favorite sayings is, "Where there's life, there's hope". For the sake of ALL Americans, not just the rich, I am going to give the health care issue some quick CPR.
In my travels, both in person and on Twitter, I've met many people who have had their lives destroyed by our present for profit health care system. Some of them have gone into bankruptcy because they couldn't pay their medical bills. Some friends are suffering with major illnesses like cancer without the benefit of health insurance. Tragically, others have lost family members to conditions that would be minor issues, but escallated to life threatening and life taking conditions because they didn't have insurance and couldn't pay the pound of flesh that is needed to get "the best health care in the world", under the present system of greed that we call health care in the "good old USA".
What galls me is that almost every industrialized country in the world has some sort of national health care except for our country. Yet, special interest groups, who have been profiting from our present system for years, have been able to convince certain segments of the middle class that having a universal health care safety net that covers everyone is somehow bad for them.
Some of you are going to blame the right wing radio and TV media for blowing the astro-turfed town hall meetings and demonstrations out of proportion, but the mainstream media has also been guilty of giving the people involved in those demonstrations lots of face time and lots of false credibility. There's plenty of blame to go around, so let's move on to my favorite culprits..
Most of our electeds seem to be listening to health insurance lobbyists and not to the REAL voices of the people who elected them. The Republicans seem to support the big corporate insurance interests and not those of the average working person, big surprise there. The Democrats appears to be a house divided. The efforts of many good intentioned members of that party are thwarted by the blue dog democrats, who are marching to the tune of the Republican party's drum.
The blue dogs cause just enough problems to tie up legislation that benefits the average voter. That amounts to a virtual one party system.
The cure for any foot-dragging on health care is to make our electeds walk a mile in our shoes. Take away their taxpayer financed health insurance and make them buy their own individual policies from the same insurance corporations that we have to deal with. Currently, we are all paying for their insurance out of our taxes, even those of us who have no insurance of our own, yet they have the nerve to deny that p! When it effects their health care, they will give use national health care in the blink of an eye.
Now a few loose ends:
1- Mr. President, I hear rumors from various sources that your interest in getting a health care bill passed is waining. That was one of the main reasons that I supported and voted for you in the last election. Mr. President, say it ain't so.
2- I want each and every one of you to keep calling your elected representatives. Tell them that you want single-payer health care, but will settle for a public option.
3- Give yourself a hand because you are the driving force behind The Jack Wade Show.
Stay tuned because my next show is going to be a blockbuster!
I have a few choice words for those of you who are working people and still think that the Tea Party represents you. To hear them visit my Listen Here! page.
It never ceases to amaze me that there are working people out there who have actually fallen for the Tea Party's line of bull that any health care legislation will harm the middle class. By "Teabagger" logic, preventing a government provided safety net from ever happening that would provide health care to working people, even in the case of prolonged job loss is a good thing. That the Teabag puppet masters can get any working person to listen to them for even one second is a tribute to the media-corporate complex that we have in place in the good old USA. They give the Teabaggers plenty of face time on the six o' clock news and never mention that the movement isn't a populist one, it's just a case of media manipulation that would make a cold war Soviet politician blush.
That same line of reasoning applies to working people living in "right to work" states who say that they are anti-union. They are so convinced, mainly by their employers, that unions are taking away the "right" to be non-union from them that they are doomed to work for whatever pay and in whatever working conditions the "boss" decides is fair. Oh, did I mention that the "boss" can also fire them at will with little or no recourse.
So Wade, what are you driving at? I feel that the only way the American dream is ever going to return for working people is for unions to return to power in this country. The reason Europeans have a higher standard of living than us in all the ways that are meaningful to the working person is that they have strong unions. European unions are respected by European companies and in some cases may even have direct input on company policy. That sounds like the real American dream to me, not the bogus one we now have here.