David Macaray

David Macaray

David Macaray, a former union rep, is a Los Angeles-based playwright and the author of “It’s Never Been Easy: Essays on Modern Labor” and “Night Shift:  270 Factory Stories.” His latest book is “How to Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows:  Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About India But Were Afraid to Ask.” He can be reached at Dmacaray@gmail.com

Articles by this author

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Monday, November 12, 2012
The Military Honor Code: Myth or Mission?
Even if we choose to ignore the numerous cheating scandals that, over the years, have plagued U.S. service academies (all of which adhere to rigorous and well-publicized honor codes), the most compelling reason for questioning (if not totally disregarding) the vaunted “moral rectitude” of these military colleges is the behavior of America’s officer corps during the Vietnam war.
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Friday, October 26, 2012
Rebooting Our Definition of “Patriotism”
Which is more “patriotic”—to loyally refrain from criticizing your government’s foreign policies, no matter how brutal or peremptory they may be (including those that result in quasi-legal, immoral military adventurism that kills thousands of innocent civilians), or to loyally pony up when your government asks you to make a relatively minor economic sacrifice?
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Friday, September 28, 2012
De-Bunking the Myth of the “Union Boss”
Among the many myths and outright lies being circulated about labor unions (e.g., union members can’t be fired, they are inferior workers, it was union wages that forced companies to relocate overseas, etc.), one of the most annoying and downright offensive is the Myth of the Union Boss. Because anti-union propagandists won’t risk alienating the rank-and-file by insulting them directly, they try to portray these people as “victims,” as regular, good-hearted working stiffs who, alas, are at the mercy of their corrupt, overpaid, dictatorial union officials.
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Politics Won't Fix What Ails Us
Assuming that the polls and surveys are correct, and Barack Obama earns himself a second term as president, what are the odds that he will evolve into the kind of pro-union Democrat organized labor always hoped he would be?
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Thursday, September 13, 2012
Labor Is Under Attack All Over the World
There are plenty of notable labor events occurring at the moment. And by “notable,” of course, we mean hideous and horribly depressing. Clearly, management people all over the world believe the stars are in perfect alignment and that they now have a tremendous advantage when it comes to negotiating with their workforce.
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Friday, September 07, 2012
Organized Labor at the Crossroads
If history has taught us anything, it’s that perception trumps all. While we like to believe it’s cold, hard facts that dictate our belief system, that simply isn’t true. It’s images that influence us. Images, postures and perceptions. I recall reading that when Marlboro cigarettes introduced the “Marlboro Man” (a rugged cowboy on a horse) way back in the sixties, their cigarette sales jumped by 3,100-percent in one year. Same cigarette, same package, different ad campaign. Perception is everything.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012
The Curious Appeal of Ayn Rand
Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, recently made news by declaring himself an unabashed admirer of quasi-philosopher Ayn Rand. Reportedly, Rand’s books are required reading for Ryan’s staff. I think the case can be made that Ayn Rand appeals to people for the same reason Friedrich Nietzsche appeals to them. Her bold “truths” are not only an exciting mixture of defiance and heresy, they are epigrammatic and digestible enough not to over-tax the intellect.
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Friday, August 03, 2012
Heaping Insults on America’s Teachers
When Joe Torre left as manager of the New York Yankees following the 2007 season, it was not without rancor. According to reports, Torre felt that, after years of faithful and productive service, he had been grossly disrespected by Yankee management. Torre turned down a one-year $5 million salary offer, which, while a large chunk of change in the real world, was a hefty $2.5 million less than he’d made the previous season.
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Saturday, July 28, 2012
Tattoos As Self-Mutiliation
Even though I was more or less in favor of it for reasons of health and hygiene, it was nonetheless a surprise how swiftly and irrevocably the ban against smoking tobacco went into effect. On Monday, we were all smoking in our homes and offices, mindlessly chugging away on those deadly cancer sticks, and by Friday, we were being told we could never smoke indoors again.
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Sunday, July 01, 2012
Joe the Plumber: American Icon
Like a bad penny that keeps turning up, we can’t seem to get rid of Samuel Wurzelbacher (aka Joe the Plumber). Introduced at a Republican rally in 2008 by candidate John McCain, who saw him as a metaphor for America’s common man, Joe climbed on stage and gave a speech about what a great country America was, and how sad it would be if “socialists” like Barack Obama were allowed to ruin it. The audience loved him. He was one of us. As tricky as “populism” is to define, Joe was its new poster boy.
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