Ed Stein

Ed Stein
Denver, Colorado, USA
November 22
Former editorial cartoonist for the Rocky Mountain News. Creator of Freshly Squeezed, a comic strip about family togetherness after the economic collapse, syndicated by Universal Uclick


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MARCH 10, 2011 11:09PM

Difficult Labor

Rate: 18 Flag

The Republicans in Wisconsin finally found a way to impose their will without Democrats in attendance. Of course, everyone knows that the suppression of collective bargaining rights has nothing to do with the economy. This is about destroying unions, the largest source of funding for Democrats in the country. The lousy economy has given Republicans in Wisconsin the excuse they needed to achieve their long-sought goal of undermining the power of public unions, and other states with Republican governors and legislatures are sure to follow.

Funny, the same folks who cried foul when health care reform was passed on a strictly partisan vote are silent when Republicans eviscerate collective bargaining without a single Democrat voting with them.  I was tempted to make the elephant in the cartoon a caricature of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, but given that Republicans in other states can’t wait to do the same, I decided to make the cartoon more general. What I wanted to show here was what unions have accomplished over the years, not to mention the contempt the GOP appears to have for the working man. Without collective bargaining, we’d still have six day work weeks, no workplace safety rules, no child labor laws, no overtime, etc. I worry that we’re heading back to the nineteenth century, when robber barons ruled and workers served at the whim of their lords and masters. Where’s Charles Dickens when we need him?

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Unfortunately, if average people, both Republicans and Democrats, don't get together on this issue, the living situation for most of us will not get better over the long run.

I can understand why a lot of ill informed people vote Republican on ideological and religious grounds, but that mentality will not work to solve the economic mess we are in.

Thanks to the unions, we have a middle class in America, and the Republican party want to do away with it. Why? Simple, less money for the populace, and more money for the few...

Though I'm a younger baby boomer, somehow it feels we are re-living the 60's all over again, sans the bad clothing, and unfortunately, without the hippy movement, with its message of peace and unity for all...
There will be new Charles Dickenses when things revert to an even worse status - misery inspires novelists. Makes for better lit than the navel-gazing of prosperous people.
You say much in this great cartoon. R
"’We are entering the historical phase called ‘The Rise of Corporate Serfdom’" Lyn LeJeune
Would someone explain to me how raising taxes on the majority, with no input from the public, to pay for the gains of a few, helps Americans prosper?

The public Unions seem to forget about the people that have to pay for the higher wages, healthcare and retirement. I can't tell you how many people get taxed out of their homes to pay for this crap.

My mother is one of them that is slowly being taxed out of her home from the greed coming from the public workers and the Unified School district that takes 75% of every dollar in taxes, and most of that goes towards pensions and healthcare that unified, never, ever wants to negotiate on.

If I did not help her to pay for most things around the house she would have lost it years ago.

Another problem with the Public unions is that they are guilty of the same allegations they charge everyone else with, running a good-ol'e boy club. Anyone that does not have connections or have family members in the public unions are not likely to get hired, and the unions almost always hire from within.
I'd like ktseymour - or anyone else, for that matter - to tell me what is so sacred about taxpayers that people should be willing to work for us to their own detriment. And, no, I'm not a public employee. If the local tax structure is such that it's forcing the elderly out of their homes, I'd suggest that we look to that structure rather than refusing to pay living wages & benefits to our employees. (And I am not convinced there's any real public interest in helping old people to stay in houses that are way more than they need but cling to for sentimental reasons. I include my own mother in the that though that's hypothetical since she can easily afford her taxes.)

There has been a bill introduced in the the KS legislature removing all prohibitions on child labor.
Outstanding cartoon and you are so right -- on every point. When will the American public wake up. They wanted republicons in office, now they've got them. They say you get the government you deserve =(
Right ...
I had get up in the morning, at 10 O'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed; drink cup of sulfuric acid, work 29 hours a day down mill, and pay for the privilege of coming to work; Wait a minute, that sounds like a Republican Paradise.

Really awesome cartoon actually, I'm definitely going to share a link to your site with some friends. BB.
You ask where's Charles Dickens -- the real question is where the hell were all the Democratic voters in November 2010? Let us hope to hell they can remember all this come November 2012.