Maine state politics isn’t often in the news (and on YouTube) until recently. For those who missed it, our Governor chose to remove a mural from our Department of Labor depicting the history of labor. I guess he felt it didn’t honor the businesses of the state. (Wait, this was the Department of Labor not Commerce, right?) Anyway, his solution was to remove it and hide it in the bowels of some storage facility. Now the Federal Government wants its money back from the grant it gave for creating it.

Seems like just another example of black and white thinking. Only being able to see it as one-sided, the Governor chose to remove the offending piece rather than look for a compromise. As my friend Donna would say, can you shift the box a little? Looking at a box from only one perspective, we limit our view. But, if we shift it a little to the right or left, we find a whole new panorama of options—perhaps even a new and different solution.

Here would have been a perfect opportunity to honor the interconnectedness of business and labor. We all know we can’t have one without the other. For a business to thrive we need great labor. And, for labor to thrive we need business opportunities. If both don’t cooperate neither is successful.

So without having to go into all the difficult issues of labor vs. business and business vs. labor; we instead could celebrate both by adding a tribute to business as well. Perhaps instead of insulting the artist, we could have asked for another panel showcasing this naturally symbiotic association. Maybe, just maybe it would boost both sides rather than enhance one at the expense of the other.

What a novel idea—what do you think?

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