Barbs for an Old Union Man

Reagan's relations with labor are bad—and getting worse

The performance was vintage Ronald Reagan: a laughing anecdote about how he had almost dropped a pickax on the feet of his boss on a youthful summer construction job; a wry translation of status quo as "Latin for 'the mess we're in' "; a visionary proclamation of "an American Renaissance" of high employment and low inflation. But the audience was as cool as any Reagan has played to as President. It gave him about the minimum of tepid applause required by politeness and respect to his...

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