My Favorite Samuel Gompers Quote

Since it’s appropriate to Labor Day, and since NEA Executive Director Bob Walsh has already invoked his name in an earlier comment, let’s post a few more quotes from Samuel Gompers, the first President of the American Federation Labor. This is my personal favorite

The worst crime against working people is a company which fails to operate at a profit.
Anyone want to take a stab at applying this wisdom to public-sector organizations?
Also, here’s another quote from the Gomp, less pithy but still interesting, on the subject of social welfare policy…
Doing for people what they can and ought to do for themselves is a dangerous experiment. In the last analysis the welfare of the workers depends upon their own initiative. Whatever is done under the guise of philanthropy or social morality which in any way lessens initiative is the greatest crime that can be committed against the toilers. Let social busy-bodies and professional “public morals experts” in their fads reflect upon the perils they rashly invite under this pretense of social welfare.
Is the entire Gompers package of ideas still in play over on the left, or has the modern labor movement reduced him to a guy on a street corner shouting “I want more”?
(And is Pat Crowley now going to write Samuel Gompers off as a right-wing neo-con plant?)

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Pat Crowley
Pat Crowley
16 years ago

No Carroll, thats you: the neo-con plant.

Brian Moran
Brian Moran
16 years ago

To get a perspective on unions, one only needs to read the following:
Is it any suprise that the Cranston FIre Department is all white male. I’d be curious to see the racial makeup of the NEA. I’d be willing to bet it is similarly rascist.

Bob Walsh
Bob Walsh
16 years ago

How much did you want to bet? I’ll pass along your wager and your uninformed comment to Reg Weaver, our twice-elected national president. As an African-American male from Chicago, he’ll get a kick out of it. Do your homework next time.

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.