On Fireside Chats, Mark talks with Rich Yeselson, a veteran of the labor movement, about the Wisconsin recall election and the decline of organized labor. Do Americans hate unions, or are they just indifferent? Are we all just free-riders on the benefits unions obtained for us? Was it a mistake to go after Scott Walker? Have unions put too much faith in electoral politics? Why does the more affluent, liberal wing of the Democratic Party find itself at cross purposes with unions? Rich argues that while it’s great that liberals like Paul Krugman, Timothy Noah, and Mark finally appreciate unions, bloggers and academics are no substitute for a broad social movement.
Robert Wright speaks with Bruce Feiler, author of the new book Life Is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age, about the roles played by “agency,” “belonging,” and “cause” in a meaningful life.