The rally in downtown Manhattan commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire is sure to get lots of media attention today.
The fire killed 146 workers and the tragedy spurred the creation of a myriad federal agencies to make sure nothing like that ever happened again. Union activists were also expected to use the event as a forum for criticizing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and others who are attempting to reign in the exhorbitant costs of union pay and benefit packages --the costs of which is bankrupting state budgets across the country.
But here's what nobody is likely to mention at today's event: The biggest enemy of today's unions aren't abusive American corporate bosses. No, it's the 13-year-old Chinese girl willing to work long hours for pennies an hour.
Union leaders are constantly evoking the nostalgia of their earlier days as a way of convincing the broader public of their relevancy now. But nostalgia can't be the basis of an economic policy. Our leaders need to stop looking backwards for answers to today' problems.