It’s just a marvelous day to remember that most of us, even we professors, are working stiffs. So, I was listening to some music that made me wiggle, shuffle, clench my teeth, stamp, say “arrgh,” and smile. Here are a few of those tunes with links to performances by certain artists (but there’ve been many others’ covers of these, too):
- Union Made by the New Harmony Sisterhood Band
- Joe Hill by (good golly!) Paul Robeson!
- 1913 Massacre by Woody Guthrie;
- Dump the Bosses off Your Back by U. Utah Phillips or more recently by Mr. Phillips and Annie DiFranco
- Working Class Hero is Something to Be by John Lennon
- No list like this would be complete without something from Pete Seeger, of course, but how can one choose? Here are a few:
- We Shall Not be Moved
- Solidarity Forever
- You’ve Got to Go Down and Join the Union
- Roll the Union On
- Casey Jones (The Union Scab)
Mayhaps you’d like to look at the distribution of wealth in the world to get an idea of where the product of labor is going? There is a page on Bill Domhoff’s site, Who Rules America, explaining who has financial dominion in the USA; it’s called Wealth, Income, and Power. Also, there’s David Chandler’s LCurve showing graphically how much the median family income differs from the super-wealthy family income. (I hasten to note that Mr. Chandler uses Bill and Melinda Gates in his example, even though Melinda and Bill Gates—and many of their colleagues—are doing lots of wonderful philanthropy and I wish them well; I hope Mr. Chandler is only using the Gates’ wealth as a recognizable example). You can surely find other sources about inequitable distribution of wealth with those starters.