The Unions Debate

The Philodemic Society (Union Local 1830) met in the Philodemic Room to discuss the resolution “Resolved: Modern American unions do more harm than good.” Tensions ran high between union supporters and union critics (the rats!). Affirmation keynoter Mr. Michael Desnick (COL ’11) of the great union state of Illinois presented five easy steps to union tyranny and then argued that unions don’t care about workers, are expensive, and suppress dissent. In rebuttal, negation keynoter Mr. Kyle Cavanaugh (COL ’11) of Texas presented evidence that unions work to prevent strikes and that unions benefit workers and stimulate the economy, in addition to raising industry standards. The floor debate was witty and pithy. Mr. Downes stated that modern unions are too powerful and that “the only place Labo[u]r belongs is…in opposition.” Mr. Askonas presented the Leninist argument that unions suppress the revolutionary consciousness of the proletariat, and thus benefit the American economy. After Mr. Max Gottlieb (COL’14) espoused the benefits of unions to West Virginia, Mr. Henderson argued that unions interfere with political affairs which should in fact be the domain of the federal government. Miss Green protested a utilitarian interpretation of unions, arguing that the symbol of unions in American culture is vital to the dignity of the workingman. Miss Bryana Tucci (SFS ’11) addressed Miss Green’s argument, pointing out that the resolution refers to actual modern American unions, not an ideal version. Miss McCarthy turned the floor debate on its head by arguing that blame for labor trouble lies with the corporations which do not represent themselves well. In the end, the Society affirmed the resolution 20-5-15.

Join us next week for “Resolved: The Lorax is a hero.”



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