President Trump signed a series of executive orders today that attacked the unions representing federal workers and made it easier for federal agencies to fire their employees.
According to The New York Times, the leader of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Andrew Bremberg, said the president was “fulfilling his promise to promote more efficient government by reforming our Civil Service rules.”
Government employee unions described it differently, labeling the orders an “assault on democracy,” as far as the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal employee union representing 700,000 workers, is concerned.
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The move represents the latest move in what former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon once Trump’s goal of “the deconstruction of the administrative state.”
“This is very clearly an administration trying to do all it can to weaken the role of public employee unions as part of a far broader strategy that in many ways has been bubbling up from the states to turn the Civil Service into at-will employment,” said Donald F. Kettl, a professor of public policy at the University of Texas at Austin, who is based in Washington. “For many people involved in this debate from administration, that is the ultimate goal.”
The conservative agenda of dismantling the public employment sector while suppressing wages in the private sector amounts to a rollback of the social contract in this country that’s been in place since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, and an attempt to hasten our return to the extreme social stratification of the gilded age when the country was dominated by a handful of oligarchs who controlled a majority of the nation’s wealth.
The horrendous working conditions of that time were what led to the development of unions in this nation to begin with, and with income inequality and the concentration of wealth approaching the levels of the late 19th-century American economy, it’s not the least bit surprising that Trump is furthering such a regressive agenda.
It’s just another entry in the litany of reprehensible actions taken by the worst president in history, who is now so frequently and flagrantly violating all previous norms that the public is at risk of becoming jaded and shrugging them off.
The only solution at this point would be a massive repudiation of Trump and his agenda at the ballot box in the mid-term elections. They are only 165 days between now and the potential light at the end of the tunnel that the midterms can represent, but only if you and everyone one you know votes to give the Democrats control of both houses of Congress and set up the scene for Trump’s impeachment.
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