By Soren Wuerth
April 08, 2007
A gentleman at the local chamber of commerce meeting made a statement the other day that needs to be challenged.
He said that the chamber represents "70 percent of the community."
While chambers of commerce sometimes represent the views of the status quo, they more accurately represent the interests of the upper class. More often than not these views are out of line with those outside this so-called elite club.
Take minimum wage, for example. While most Americans support an increase in minimum wage (as evidenced by polls, electoral votes, and surveys), business circles are unequivocal in their opposition to raising the wage standard.
To further say that chamber members represent the views of their employees is to recognize America as not a democracy, but an oligarchy or plutocracy.
When this group tries (and sometimes succeeds) to craft legislation and laws in its interests, we slip dangerously closer to losing the diversity of views that are fundamental to a free, open and participatory society.
I'm sorry, sir, but I believe employees have a right to differ from the views of employers, just as family members have a right to differ from the person who pretends he or she controls the roost.
About: Soren Wuerth is perhaps Alaska's best known community activist, and is the winner of the Alaska Press Club's 2006 'Best Columnist' award.
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