November 10, 2011

"But what if labor unions and young people joined together on issues beyond repealing Senate Bill 5, the law to restrict union rights in Ohio?"

"Such an alliance has the potential to create a powerful political force. Unions have the experience, organization, money and political know how. Young people have the numbers and the passion."

Linda Killian explores the potential for a serious, ongoing youngsters-and-unions coalition.

She quotes AFL-CIO Political Director, Mike Podhorzer, who says: "The primary goal of unions is to create good paying jobs and that's something that young people can't find these days."  

The primary goal of unions is to create good paying jobs? How is that?

I thought the primary goal of unions was to hold onto and to improve existing jobs, even if it means fewer jobs and shutting out people — like today's young people — who don't currently have jobs. I think a lot of young people like the idea of unions and will come out to rallies and elections in support of unions, and they're not analyzing their own personal interests very well. That's youthful idealism. But how far can you go with that when the interests diverge?

In Wisconsin, I've talked to many young people who are passionate about supporting union members whose jobs are far better than the jobs they have or expect to get any time soon. They seem to believe in the solidarity and to hope — without examining the causality — that the benefits will trickle down to them. Meade and I have challenged various young protesters about the cogency of their thinking, and they don't have a good answer. They want to believe they know who the bad guys are. As the chant goes: "Union busting/It's disgusting."

Having no job at all? That's disgusting too. But you have to figure out who to be disgusted with.

232 comments:

1 – 200 of 232   Newer›   Newest»
Brennan said...

The AFL-CIO kills many jobs as they should be created. With so much overtime going to union workers, isn't that grounds for hiring more laborers? Why pay 100 people for 60 hour work weeks if you could pay 150 people for 40 hour work weeks?

Carol_Herman said...

Sounds like a Disney "plan" ... if wishes could come true.

What went wrong, by the way, with Senate Bill #5, rejection ... is that Kasich isn't as good as Walker. Because Walker was politically CAREFUL!

He knew enough that teachers' union wouldn't get supported! Firemen, and police, however, WILL

Just as our military DOES. Stupid war involvements and all. Our military men garner respect.

In other words? Taxpayers are willing to see the contributions continue.

Where the fat gets trimmed, however, is in industries. And, teachers are on par with factory workers, here.

Too many kids have been exposed to the inanities and vagaries of "going to school."

Good politicians have gut instincts for doing what keeps their hands off the 3rd rail.

And, kids won't get behind any movement! Unions are just spending mega-bucks of union dues to win. (And, that has a downside. Not in politics. But among dues paying members.)

dennymac said...

Mike Podhorzer..."The primary goal of unions is to create good paying jobs and that's something that young people can't find these days."

Sorry Sparky but it's the employer that can create good paying jobs not the other way around!

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

The primary goal of a union is the perpetuation of the union. This is no different than about any other organization.

Would voluntary dues payments be good for members, yes. Good for the union, no. The number one union demand is the checkoff.

Canuck said...

Most likely you and Meade have a differing theory of macro-economics then those students.

It's tempting to hope that people don't understand the implications of their political ideas. And no doubt kids can be inarticulate.

But they often not that they aren't thinking, but they have different thoughts and assumptions about the outcomes of particular actions.

It's like a liberal telling a conservative that if they just !thought it through! we'd all agree...because liberals are so obviously right about the world. Because it's the smart thing to think!

Nah- people really do believe different things about how the world works.

Freder Frederson said...

I thought the primary goal of unions was to hold onto and to improve existing jobs, even if it means fewer jobs and shutting out people — like today's young people — who don't currently have jobs.

You have a very warped and limited view of unions. You apparently won't be happy until everyone (except the privileged few who have tenured professorships at state universities) are working in jobs with no benefits and low pay.

Carol_Herman said...

Do unions "make" plumbers and electricians? Schools don't supply these educations. But there's a way you can earn a living doing them.

But you need a "union card."

And, as a homeowner, I know I am better off when I hire a licensed person ... than a 'cheaper guy' who can do more harm than good.

Maybe, the media is looking to create a story that unions are "here to stay" ... when the truth is states that allow workers to get jobs ... without belonging to unions.

While the public sector has unions. Or, otherwise, we'd see staffing by politicians who would give out "jobs" when they get blow jobs.

It's the religious nutters who have to find a better way to play this baseball.

AJ Lynch said...

"The primary goal of unions is to create good paying jobs?"

You have to admit the American auto unions played a big role in creating thousands of jobs for workers in other countries.

Jay said...

The primary goal of unions is to create good paying jobs?

Hilarious.

The number of jobs unions have created remains at zero.

Bender said...

Racketeering and extorting -- the primary modes of operation for unions -- are disgusting too.

BarryD said...

A state run by unions and kids. Sounds great. California without the mild Winters.

Freder Frederson said...

Sorry Sparky but it's the employer that can create good paying jobs not the other way around!

Sorry, employers seek to employ workers for the lowest wage and least benefits possible. When unions are destroyed (as they have been over the last thirty years) wages and benefits drop because employers have more power when it comes to negotiating wages, benefits and working conditions.

Pogo said...

Unions create good paying jobs in the same way that Keynesian spending does.

The business unionized and the state socialized do far worse for their efforts, but an elite few do in fact have really good jobs.

Mostly jobs that weren't needed, or done more efficiently and productively without their control (and therefore better for all).

What remains unseen is the jobs that were not created, lost forever to union/government interference.

What remains unseen is how much better off the majority of people would have been absent their selfish behavior.

It's merely rain dancing and snake oil made modern.

Hagar said...

There is a lot of cognitive dissonance about what unions do as they develop from protesting workplace conditions to dictating the workplace conditions.

Shouting Thomas said...

How about being disgusted with Steve Jobs?

I've read excerpts from his bio, and he was a fervent supporter of H1B immigration, so that he could keep down salaries to American engineers and programmers. He lobbied presidents directly for more H1B immigration.

People think that the effects of immigration are felt only in low level jobs.

The H1B program encourages American companies to import Indian and Pakistani programmers, instead of hiring American programmers. This depresses everybody's wages and takes away American programmer's jobs.

Not only do Indian and Pakistani programmers work for less, they don't count on the quota balance sheets, like a native white hetero man does. So, in many cases, the immigrant programmer gets a preference over a native programmer.

So, can we get pissed off at Steve Jobs for undercutting the wages and job security of American programmers?

DADvocate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

In the end, the alliance is fated to fail, for the reasons that Ann suggested - that unions are interested in maintaining overpriced and over-compensated jobs for their members, and in this case, paid for by the rest of us, including those kids.

Unions do not create high paying jobs. Rather, they ultimately trade lower paid jobs for fewer higher paid ones. Sure, they try to jack up wages and benefits without giving up jobs (and, hence restrictive work practices that ultimately drive the companies into bankruptcy). But, ultimately, they sacrifice jobs for benefits.

ndspinelli said...

Well professor, You need to talk to kids away from UW. Many of the kids I've taught and coached have a cynical view of unions and governmemt. They saw better than many adults the laziness and incompetence fostered by teacher's unions. And, they almost all believe social security won't be there for them and resent having to be part of the system. They loved the Bush proposal to be able to invest @ least some of their own money. Experience the real world, Ms. Althouse.

DADvocate said...

The unions in Ohio ran scare tactics commercials about a lack of police, firefigters, EMTs, teachers, commode flusters, etc and the havoc it would wreak if Senate Bill 5 was not repealed. The ads were effective and the unions "won."

There will be lay offs in numerous municipalities in the areas mentioned above. The net impact of the union "victory" in the balloting will be a net loss of jobs. BUT, the unions will still collect dues and the union bosses will still reap benefits and pay beyond and above its members. And, the naive youngins will have just as hard a time finding jobs as ever.

Freder Frederson said...

What remains unseen is how much better off the majority of people would have been absent their selfish behavior.

So in your world, workers are selfish and greedy, yet business owners are altruistic and generous.

Talk about living in a fantasy world. And Ann complains about students being naive.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

"The primary goal of unions is to create good paying jobs

Boloney. The primary goal of unions is to force employers to pay them more, regardless of business sustainability, and to prevent non-union workers from obtaining employment.

Pogo said...

State-run or state-mandated unionism is a de facto tax on businesses, preventing the creation of new jobs, especially those on the low end/unskilled.

Unions engaging young people to ruin their own chances sounds a little too close to the shower scene at Penn State

Freder Frederson said...

unions are interested in maintaining overpriced and over-compensated jobs for their members

The overpriced and overcompensated jobs are in private industry, especially in the upper echelons of it. The gap between rich and poor has grown larger over the last thirty years. If the economic theories of you, Althouse and others were true, that gap wouldn't have expanded so fast over the last thirty years.

Pogo said...

"So in your world, workers are selfish and greedy, yet business owners are altruistic and generous."

Fail.

Everyone is selfish, everyone is greedy. No one thinks that of themselves; it's always "the other guy", as Milton Friedman noted.

In unions and Keynesianism, that selfishness creates job guilds, picks winning businesses (and losers), and makes everyone worse off en toto.

Freder Frederson said...

State-run or state-mandated unionism is a de facto tax on businesses

And in this country we have neither. In fact I can't think of a developed, democratic country that has either.

So what the hell are you talking about?

Scott M said...

They seem to believe in the solidarity and to hope — without examining the causality — that the benefits will trickle down to them.

Used to be that people felt that way about build their own fortunes. The thought that anyone with a good idea and hard work could rise to the level of the affluent was common. The problem is that hard work part.

Now, we've got a system that blatantly rewards sloth. All you have to do is get that first choice gig and you're set for life. Expectations have been dumbed down along with the population as we continue our tacit embrace of all things mediocre. So, why aspire to work hard when you can simply get that sweet union gig?

Only those gigs are drying up and those that are currently beneficiaries of union largess will fight to hold on to them without cluing in the young un-unioned pre-worker that they have less than a good shot at becoming one of the rewarded.

Bruce Hayden said...

Sorry, employers seek to employ workers for the lowest wage and least benefits possible. When unions are destroyed (as they have been over the last thirty years) wages and benefits drop because employers have more power when it comes to negotiating wages, benefits and working conditions.

You seem to be mired in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. The problem with your theory is first that we now have world markets. So, overpaying for autos or steel just doesn't work anymore. So, companies here are forced to either cut their compensation (including benefits), including enacting work efficiencies, or go out of business.

And enacting tariffs and the like to protect unions just costs the rest of us that much more wealth. Why should the rest of us work for lower wages and benefits to pay for our cars, etc., so that the union members building such can live better than those buying the products, when the rest of us would live better by importing these things?

So, the only place where unionization has been able to increase over the last couple of decades has been with government workers, who, up until now, have been immune from economic pressures. No more. For a lot of local governments, the cost of retirements often exceed that of active employees, which are higher than for comparably placed employees in private companies.

knox said...

What Dadvocate said. The ads here in OH were embarrassing.

What's the expression, "Pyrrhic Victory" ? But even when people are laid off in large numbers, the unions will convince them it's someone else's fault. It's too bad.

Tank said...

People act in their own self-interest.

Is this a new insight?

Freder Frederson said...

In unions and Keynesianism

And in laissez faire, businesses tend toward monopolies and cartels with the power to keep competitors out, wages low, and working conditions bad.

Meade said...

"The primary goal of unions is to create good paying jobs?"

For union bosses.

Tank said...

Tank said...
People act in their own self-interest.

Is this a new insight?


That Tank is a smart guy.

OK, just joking.

Meant to mention that the above remarkable insight applies with equal force to people who work for the gov't. This part is often overlooked, probably the most overlooked aspect.

Pogo said...

"So what the hell are you talking about?"

Teacher's unions are state-mandated. In Minnesota, for example, you cannot teach in public schools without an Edu degree, and union membership is not voluntary. By state law.

Ohio's repeal of SB5 reinstated state-run and mandated unions.

But you already know this.

Freder Frederson said...

For a lot of local governments, the cost of retirements often exceed that of active employees, which are higher than for comparably placed employees in private companies.

Actually, study after study has shown that the total compensation package for government employees (at all levels) is comparable for similar employees in private employment.

Bruce Hayden said...

I agree with Pogo. Everyone is greedy - labor, management, stockholders, government employees - everyone. It is a fact of nature. We have seen more than enough evidence over the last year or so that unionized government employees are no less greedy than anyone else, and, indeed, are more than willing to drive their government employers into bankruptcy in order to make sure that they get their own.

Scott M said...

Actually, study after study has shown that the total compensation package for government employees (at all levels) is comparable for similar employees in private employment.

Cite please.

caseym54 said...

I find this so ironic. The people who are going to pay the piper for these public employee union power grabs are the young people who are supporting them.

The very ideal of "young and stupid."

Pogo said...

Freder, Bruce Hayden said it best;
"You seem to be mired in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries."

But you already knew that. Your comments aren't rebuttals, but worn-out Marxist slogans.

Bruce Hayden said...

And in laissez faire, businesses tend toward monopolies and cartels with the power to keep competitors out, wages low, and working conditions bad.

Not really, but sounds good.

The reality is that the only way to enforce such monopolies over the long term is through government intervention - i.e. crony capitalism/crony socialism - which is not laissez faire, but rather, closer to fascism (which is a form of crony capitalism/socialism).

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KLDAVIS said...

For some reason I just don't see the typical Madison protester putting down their Alinsky to pick up a plumber's wrench.

Real American said...

when given a choice between keeping existing benefit packages or laying off workers, unions always keep the benefit packages. UNIONS DESTROY JOBS!

I have a new chant: "I AM LUSTING FOR UNION BUSTING!"

purplepenquin said...

I think it is kinda cute, in a naive sort of way, how some folks still beleive the old myth that there are "bosses" in unions. They seem to think that the people who are voted into those leadership positions have the power to "fire" someone from a local union.

Whenever I see someone use the term "union boss", it instantly tells me that they never looked into the issue/topic themselves and instead are just spitting back up whatever was spooned-fed to 'em...

traditionalguy said...

The 2012 Obama Campaign rolls along encouraging violent mobs every chance they get.

The Obama/Chavez cover story is that GOP controls Congress and this causes the Executive and its rioters to take desperate actions...and then the election can be called off.

Pogo said...

Someone doesn't know more than one definition for the word "boss."

Freder Frederson said...

Ohio's repeal of SB5 reinstated state-run and mandated unions.

No it didn't, it retained the right of employees to have a union if they want one--which is by the way a fundamental human right.

Unless you have redefined "state-run and mandated" to mean what you want them to mean, you are simply wrong.

Tank said...

Bruce Hayden said...
I agree with Pogo. Everyone is greedy - labor, management, stockholders, government employees - everyone. It is a fact of nature. We have seen more than enough evidence over the last year or so that unionized government employees are no less greedy than anyone else, and, indeed, are more than willing to drive their government employers into bankruptcy in order to make sure that they get their own.


Why use the left's negative terminology? People act in their own self-interest, and most people are not greedy in any evil kind of way. Most just want to accumulate wealth for the obvious benefits it provides. It would be illogical to desire to be poorer.

Bruce Hayden said...

Actually, study after study has shown that the total compensation package for government employees (at all levels) is comparable for similar employees in private employment.

The problem with those studies most often is that they do not disaggregate wages and benefits by education level and position. Thus, clerks tend to earn significantly more, esp. considering benefits and retirement, than do their private counterparts, while attorneys may earn less - but they do so without taking on the risks that the private attorneys do. The lower the education and training level required to actually do a job, the more the union (and government) workers make in comparison to their private counterparts, while the higher the level of education and training actually required, the better private employees do.

J said...

For blue-collar workers (ie, tradesmen), unions are usually to their advantage, and getting collective bargaining rights was a long battle.

For white collar "workers" (lawyers, accountants, executives, business owners, etc) unions are not usually advantageous.

Re Pink collar (teachers, cops, nurseys etc), the PE organizations are not really "unions" but they are to their advantage.

Maybe read Hobbes and start over.

garage mahal said...

Remember, this is just a coincidence!

Oops, there I go again. Smart True Liberals are for eliminating public sector unions. Always have been!

Meade said...

PurpleP, pardon me. Union leaders.

Ann Althouse said...

"People act in their own self-interest. Is this a new insight?"

It's not the insight I'm offering in the post. I'm saying the young people are idealistic and not quite ready to focus on self-interest. The more pragmatic organizers at the union level seek to exploit them... seek to exploit their idealism-driven belief that the corporations out out to exploit them.

Pogo said...

"People act in their own self-interest, and most people are not greedy in any evil kind of way."

That's the point. Only the "other guy" is evil-greedy, while I am always a good person.

"Greedy" is a term to simply mean "the people I dislike."

ic said...

The primary goal of unions is to create good paying jobs... for union bosses. No private employers are stupid enough to let the unions "create" good paying jobs. The only place they can "create" good paying jobs is to tax the private sector to "create" govt jobs. That's exactly what they are doing in Ohio.

Shouting Thomas said...

Whenever I see someone use the term "union boss", it instantly tells me that they never looked into the issue/topic themselves and instead are just spitting back up whatever was spooned-fed to 'em...

Well, you'd be wrong there.

My mother was a factory worker for over 30 years. For the first 15 years, she worked in a non-union factory.

For the next 15 years, she worked for a union factory. Everything was great for a while. Then, the endless demands for higher wages, shorter hours and more benefits finally pushed the company into closing down the plant and moving it to Asia.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Freder wrote: You have a very warped and limited view of unions.

No, Freder. You have a very warped and limited view of history.

Where in all your subsequent responses do you establish the job-creating capacity of unions?

Freder continued: When unions are destroyed (as they have been over the last thirty years) wages and benefits drop...

Notwithstanding the historical inaccuracy of this statement, if wages and benefits stay high, how does this enable more people to be hired?

J said...

Mein Gut Herr Doktor Hayden, let's agree an MD deserves more shekels than an RN. Yet...does a shys., er Lawyer deserve a larger salary (millions mo often) than an RN, or even a competent electrician? In that case, nyet. Mere rhetorical skills --ie, Higginshouse memorized a phone book, er torts text--is not mastering organic chemistry izz it

JMS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Freder Frederson said...
"No it didn't, [Ohio's repeal of SB5] retained the right of employees to have a union if they want one--which is by the way a fundamental human right
".

In other words, Ohio's repeal of SB5 reinstated state-run and mandated unions.

Freder Frederson said...

Cite please.
There you go

How about some citations for all the unsupported assertions made so far in this thread?

X said...

maybe you should read your previous comments and start over j instead of just reposting them

Pogo said...

In which garage voices another post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

Freder Frederson said...

Ohio's repeal of SB5 reinstated state-run and mandated unions.

"state-run and mandated" does not mean what you think it means.

Bruce Hayden said...

No it didn't, it retained the right of employees to have a union if they want one--which is by the way a fundamental human right.

I disagree that government employees have a fundamental human right to unionize.

The reason that I find this somewhat egregious, is that government employee unions have entered a cabal against the taxpayers in many jurisdictions around the country. Union dues are automatically deducted from employee paychecks, and a large portion of those union dues end up in the coffers of (mostly) Democratic politicians, who end up on the other side of the bargaining table, bargaining away our long term interests for their short term ones. And, hence, all the state, county, and esp. local governments that are effectively bankrupt today as a result of guaranteeing their unionized employees over-generous wages, benefits and retirements.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Solidarity forever!

"Ed Mullins, president of the New York Police Department’s Sergeant’s Benevolent Association, said Thursday that if one of his sergeants is assaulted while policing the protests, his union would file civil lawsuits seeking monetary damages against individual protesters as well as any groups whose support has sustained the demonstrations in lower Manhattan."

Henry said...

Many people have a romantic vision of the past. For reactionaries like my father-in-law the romantic past is when you could rebuild a car without a computer and paint it without worrying about aerosols.

For liberals the romantic past is when unions reigned triumphant and FDR rescued the country from capitalists.

Unions are a vehicle for fantasy. Young people like fantasy. And some old people too.

Freder Frederson said...

if wages and benefits stay high, how does this enable more people to be hired?

Well paid workers have more money to spend and invest and can afford better education for their children, thus creating more jobs.

What are you, against capitalism?

Richard Dolan said...

"Having no job at all? That's disgusting too. But you have to figure out who to be disgusted with."

Since this post is talking about students after college, it's a pretty sad (but accurate) comment on the education they received. The economics of unionism are not hard to understand. The point is to control both supply and demand of labor -- the closed shop being the union's ideal. By doing so, the cost of labor is artificially raised, which necessarily deflates demand for labor (it's the whole point from an economic perspective). Unionized work rules make the effect even starker. That benefits current job holders and union members (past and present) generally, but does the opposite for the out of work.

Naturally, today's college graduates cannot be expected to understand auch matters. It's possible, of course, to recognize where one's economic interest lies and to vote contrary to it. But the pitch by the AFL-CIO guy has a different spin. I think he knows his audience.

Pogo said...

Since the state of Ohio collects the dues automatically and without consent, it's state-run and mandated.

purplepenquin said...

No problem Meade. Glad I could help you see the error of your ways.

I am curious to know something...do you really beleive that the primary reason for workers to organize together is in order to create high-paying jobs for the leadership? At first glance, it would seem to be just a lil' slice of snark...but based on other remarks you have made it seems as if you see nothing-at-all good with "unions", and thus perhaps it was a sincere remark after all.

Would you mind clarifying? Thanks.

Lucius said...

I think the turning point will be when the idealistic young realize that greying union types use Toshibas instead of Macs.

The aesthetic irony of the self-consciously sexy/idealistic students supporting these old farts who screw them over, and probably have little-to-no real enthusiasm for the kinds of "sexy", civil-right-ie issues the students are most whipped-up about (just how do the Detroit auto workers stand on transgender bathroom privileges, anyway?) is always good for some sad mirth.

wv: delypard Probably he wrote the post-structuralist manual on lesbionics of transgression in Shakespeare's Sonnets. Ask OWS.

edutcher said...

Interesting how our perennial Lefties quote all of the cliches run in the Daily Worker 100 years ago.

Unions exist for the union bosses (who does the purple bird think Rich Trumka and Andy Stern are?), the rank and file get a few crumbs.

And their heads busted if they object to something.

And, of course, those who note only businesses, not unions, provide jobs remind all of a painful truth to the Left.

J said...

Doktor Hayden--
JFK signed a PE right into effect (for Fed workers-- tho some legalists argue it applies to state PE). Maybe take up JFK's arguments, Haar Hayden

Byro-X maybe you should go back to Utah, sweatshop troll, ASAP.

Scott M said...

Well paid workers have more money to spend and invest and can afford better education for their children, thus creating more jobs.

If that's true for "well-paid" workers, Freder, certainly there's some multiplier that should show that wealthy are even more able to spend far more, invest far more, and afford even better education for their children, thus creating even more jobs than the "well-paid" worker.

Freder has, in one comment, supported lower taxes for the wealthy.

Pogo said...

"Well paid workers have more money to spend and invest and can afford better education for their children, thus creating more jobs."

Underpants gnome economics.

So why not mandate the state pay every worker $1 million a year?

It would have done you well to have read a single post by rhhardin on wealth creation. What you post is dangerous nonsense, albeit a common error.

Freder Frederson said...

I disagree that government employees have a fundamental human right to unionize

Don't complain to me, take it up with the U.N. and their damn Universal Declaration of Human Rights (see article 23). If you check the Wikipedia page for it, you will see a nice picture of Elanor Rooosevelt (one of the authors) looking at a copy of it.

purplepenquin said...

Unions exist for the union bosses (who does the purple bird think Rich Trumka and Andy Stern are?)

How are they considered the "boss" of anything I do? Please explain exactly what you mean, if you can.


Ya'll remind me of my other pals who refer to Walker as a "Dictator"...all of ya are throwing around words without any regards to the facts.

edutcher said...

Freder Frederson said...

I disagree that government employees have a fundamental human right to unionize

Don't complain to me, take it up with the U.N. and their damn Universal Declaration of Human Rights (see article 23). If you check the Wikipedia page for it, you will see a nice picture of Elanor Rooosevelt (one of the authors) looking at a copy of it.


We don't live by the UN Declaration of anything. We have a Constitution.

Nowhere are unions given the power to say where someone can and can't work.

Bruce Hayden said...

Freder continued: When unions are destroyed (as they have been over the last thirty years) wages and benefits drop...

Freder is suggesting causation, whereas he really only has correlation, and, indeed, there are a lot of other factors are much more likely causative, including, but not limited to, more international trade.

TosaGuy said...

Bottom Line: If unions were so good for workers, then unions would not need laws to force those workers to join or pay dues.

Let a union operate without having to coerce and you will probably, in the end, have a more effective union.

Jay said...

Freder Frederson said...

Well paid workers have more money to spend and invest and can afford better education for their children, thus creating more jobs.


Hysterical.

I bet you oppose "trickle down economics" in principle though.

Watching you discuss economics is like watchnig a 2nd grader attempt algebra.

Freder Frederson said...

Since the state of Ohio collects the dues automatically and without consent, it's state-run and mandated.

As I thought, you simply don't know what state-run and mandated means. You have made up your own definitions.

Scott M said...

Don't complain to me, take it up with the U.N. and their damn Universal Declaration of Human Rights (see article 23).

The same UN that seats the most egregious human-rights abusers on the planet to its committees overseeing human rights? That UN? The UN that prevented Darfur? That UN?

Pogo said...

"their damn Universal Declaration of Human Rights"

And well it should be damned, as should Elanor Rooosevelt.

That communist-inspired (and composed) utopian document was part of their monstrous evil in the world.

Jay said...

Freder Frederson said...

The overpriced and overcompensated jobs are in private industry, especially in the upper echelons of it.


Something you couldn't possibly prove.

When unions are destroyed (as they have been over the last thirty years) wages and benefits drop

Except wages and benefits haven't dropped over the last 30 years.

J said...

Wow Freddy-Byro trying to act like a demo tooday are you, perp. Stick to the Romney-camp, foo.

PE rights were put into effect via exec. order by JFK. Ellie's UDHR, however well-intended, had nothing to do with it.

purplepenquin said...

If that's true for "well-paid" workers, Freder, certainly there's some multiplier that should show that wealthy are even more able to spend far more, invest far more, and afford even better education for their children, thus creating even more jobs than the "well-paid" worker.

A thousand people are more likely to each buy a pair of shoes every year than a wealthy person is to buy a thousand shoes every year.



Imelda Marcos is the exception that proves it is a rule.

Canuck said...

I've never been a believer in "What's the Matter With Kansas" type thinking.


People have different values, beliefs, different political interests.

Lots of kids going to that University did not protest. Many of them did support Walker.

Jay said...

A thousand people are more likely to each buy a pair of shoes every year than a wealthy person is to buy a thousand shoes every year.


And 200 wealthy people are likely to buy more than a thousand pair of shoes.

virgil xenophon said...

ST is right about the H1B program both holding down wages and taking jobs from American citizens. This is also particularly true in the Nursing profession. Both in LA and in New Orleans it is increasingly rare to find American nurses in ANY hospital except for an isolated few still hanging on in Sr mgt. Phillipeano RNs and those from Pakistan and Africa (Nigeria especially) are almost totally dominate--with an increasing number from India and Vietnam--especially in LA. In N.O. post-Katrina, both E. and W. Jefferson (Parish) hospitals hired 100 Phillipeano RNs each in one fell swoop. As a result wages have been stagnant to receding in both places for several years now..

And of course the dollars don't all stay here. Many are remitted back to families overseas and most of the Vietnamese and Phillipeano Nurses plan to retire in their home countries where they can live like a King, er, Queen on their US dollar-denominated pensions and where the cost-of-living is low, real-estate is cheap cheap cheap and luxury condos can be had for the proverbial song..

Pogo said...

"you simply don't know what state-run and mandated means."

I'm beginning to think you have dyslexia, cannot read English, or are simply reading every other word.

Or perhaps your eyeglasses are smudged.

ndspinelli said...

J, I truly dislike you but are you aware how much you've gotten into shoutingthomas' head? He thinks you and I are are Clark Kent[you] and Superman[me, of course].

Shouting Thomas said...

Thanks virgil for seconding the H1B thing.

Folks, this is something that political action could do something about.

First, you've got to disabuse yourself of the notion that immigration only takes away jobs on the lowest level.

Scott M said...

A thousand people are more likely to each buy a pair of shoes every year than a wealthy person is to buy a thousand shoes every year.

Laughable. That same shoe-wearing thousand is exceptionally unlikely to have much of a savings account, make any capital investments, start businesses, etc.

You would try to raise the water by lowering the boat. Eventually, it'll sink and we'll all be soggy.

TosaGuy said...

So Baby Boomer gray hairs are going to use the young as cannon fodder to protect their goodies....that the young people will still get to pay for.

I foresee that plan will result in a whole new type of OWS movement.

DADvocate said...

Well paid workers have more money to spend and invest and can afford better education for their children, thus creating more jobs.

The less I have to pay in taxes in order to pay for the salaries and benefits of government employee slackers, the more money I, and every other tax payer, will have to spend and invest and can afford better education for their children, thus creating more jobs sans the government waste and corruption. Plus, I earned the money in a freely, mutually agread upon exchange of labor for services rather than forcefully taking it under threat of imprisonment or seizure of property.

Freder Frederson said...

Something you couldn't possibly prove.

Of course I can't prove it, it is an opinion.

And the proposition that union members are overpaid is a demonstrable fact, not an opinion?

You are like Pogo, you change the meaning of words to make them mean what you want them to mean.

Shouting Thomas said...

J, I truly dislike you but are you aware how much you've gotten into shoutingthomas' head? He thinks you and I are are Clark Kent[you] and Superman[me, of course].

So, at least, you've ceased with the deliberate slander.

Apparently, you do have at least a minimal sense of self-protection.

As I said, I could use a big check for retirement purposes. You commit slander with great enthusiasm.

You are Exhibit A proof that false accusation is used quite often as a political tactic.

Oddly, you are so fucking stupid that you're proud of it. You and J are one and the same.

purplepenquin said...

If unions were so good for workers, then unions would not need laws to force those workers to join or pay dues.

So they would get the services that are provided by the union, but not have to pay anything at all for it?

J said...

Wrong again Shouting Tweek-fag, but like Truth never stopped klan-scum from belching did it.

Henry said...

@Freder -- This respectful review of your "Out of Balance" citation is worth a read.

Key graf:

in an important omission, the study ignores the unfunded but real, imminent cost of public employee retirement benefits such as retiree medical benefits because these data are not reported to the statistical bureaus. Thus, they overlook a highly valuable retiree medical benefit because it's unfunded. The same is true for unfunded pension costs that have now doubled because of 2000-2008 investment underperformance and a 20-year trend toward earlier retirement ages in some states (despite increases in life expectancy). So the taxpayers are on the hook for much higher benefits costs than the researcher's models have acknowledged.

The other major flaw to the study and its use of education levels as a index is how public education employees skew the results.

Using education level as a index may be the only way to tackle the data, but it's hardly relevant to evaluating the worth of an employee.

Undergraduate and masters degrees are not created equal and the streamlining of education masters for public school teachers does no good to anyone. The Huffington Post has a very good article on that (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/20/teachers-bonuses-masters-degrees-_n_786449.html).

Here's a key graf:

Ninety percent of teachers' masters degrees are in education, not subjects such as English or math, according to a study by Marguerite Roza and Raegen Miller for the Center on Reinventing Education at the University of Washington.

Their colleague, research professor Dan Goldhaber, explained that that research dating back to a study he did in 1997 has shown that students of teachers with master's degrees show no better progress in student achievement than their peers taught by teachers without advanced degrees.

Goldhaber said his findings were criticized vehemently in the 1990s, but repeated studies since then have confirmed the results.


But, effectiveness of a degree isn't an issue for "Out-of-Balance" authors Ken Bender and John Haywood. The useless masters degrees earned by teachers is, in fact, the main statistical prop for their argument.

purplepenquin said...

That same shoe-wearing thousand is exceptionally unlikely to have much of a savings account, make any capital investments, start businesses, etc.

People don't start a business just 'cause they have some extra money sitting around. They start a business because they see a marketplace that needs to be satisfied.

Like a thousand people suddenly being able to afford shoes...

Cindy Martin said...

Don't the young people know that their tuiton is going up like crazy because public pensions and health retirement costs are crowding out all other parts of the budget including money to universities? The unfunded pension liability will have to be paid by them if they help the union stay in power. Hopefully, they will learn before it it too late.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Libs can turn that old zero-sum assumption on and off like a light switch, can't they? When shareholders and managers get more money, it's axiomatic that it must be at someone else's expense, but when union members get more money, darned if it doesn't benefit everybody!

Pogo said...

"the exception that proves it is a rule"

Exceptions do not prove a rule, as in offering proof of it, which even a minute's thought would caution.

Instead, from the Latin probare, it means "to test", i.e., that the exception is a test of the validity of the rule. Rather the opposite of 'providing proof', it demands more.

Jay said...

Freder Frederson said...

And the proposition that union members are overpaid is a demonstrable fact, not an opinion?


It is a fact, as their wages aren't subject to market demand.

If unions are so great, why is membership often coerced?

If unions are so great, why is Detroit in shambles?

Curious George said...

"purplepenquin said...
If unions were so good for workers, then unions would not need laws to force those workers to join or pay dues.

So they would get the services that are provided by the union, but not have to pay anything at all for it?"

Translation:

a) Union workers are too fucking stupid to know what's good for them, so they need to be forced

b) Union workers are fucking selfish and will take but not contribute, so they need to be forced

c) Both a) and/or b)


What is the correct answer pp?

Scott M said...

So they would get the services that are provided by the union, but not have to pay anything at all for it?

I want various services. I pay for those services. If what the union provides is desirable to the employee, they will want to pay for it. Why do you come down on the side of coercion?

Patrick said...

"I thought the primary goal of unions was to hold onto and to improve existing jobs, even if it means fewer jobs and shutting out people — like today's young people — who don't currently have jobs. "

Regardless of their intentions, that is the effect of the unions.

Shouting Thomas said...

Don't the young people know that their tuiton is going up like crazy because public pensions and health retirement costs are crowding out all other parts of the budget including money to universities?

No, their tuition is going up like crazy because of the student federal loan program. It's an unlimited slush fund for college administrators and teachers.

But, it's the old stealing from the young, just in a different fashion than you've described.

JMS said...

In the real world, a young employee who wants to get ahead in his career works smarter, harder and longer. An exceptional young employee may be promoted or receive larger pay raises over older workers who have been there longer. In the union's world, working smarter, harder and longer gets you . . nothing. A young union worker can do absolutely nothing to advance himself, because everyone makes the same wage and rewards (better shifts, locations, etc.) are distributed on the basis of seniority. All the younger worker can do is "put in his time" until he's old enough to have seniority, and he quickly learns (or he's told) that it's foolish to work hard. This logic may have appealed to young people in the 1940s, but it doesn't today. Today's young people won't even entertain the idea of staying in a job for years, and they are eager to advance and improve themselves. The biggest reason they change jobs is to advance their careers.

TCB-n-a-Flash said...

What are these students being taught at the Universities? This is what happens when educational institutions become one-sided political cultures. You could probably find better deductive reasoning skills a state penitentiary than the a State University.

Scott M said...

People don't start a business just 'cause they have some extra money sitting around. They start a business because they see a marketplace that needs to be satisfied.

Ah...everyone's a rational actor at all times.

If that were true, there wouldn't be so many business failures. People start businesses all the time without proper market research and/or a good product or service to sell. I have two separate relatives with zero business experience that tried to start businesses when they suddenly came into money. One failed miserably, but they did make the attempt.

If I suddenly came into money, I would definitely try to start a business doing something I enjoy doing, not what the market says will be successful.

traditionalguy said...

Unions are like lawyers. They help abused clients get a fair shake.

But imposing mandatory lawyer fees paid by clients who are happy with their jobs is a sabotage act designed to send jobs to any other place that does not have that system.

Washington State has just set jobs to South Carolina. The NLRB has fixed that temporarily. But the NLRB is only making all of the USA out of bounds for good employers.

frank said...

Don't complain to me, take it up with the U.N. and their damn Universal Declaration of Human Rights (see article 23).

Heh, I'm sure the UNDH is supported by all gay pedophiles, smile.

stengle said...

Unions insisting on better pay and conditions for workers -- essentially their members, despite lip-service paid to the idea of 'all workers' -- is not the same as creating jobs.

Henry said...

Freder wrote: Well paid workers have more money to spend and invest and can afford better education for their children, thus creating more jobs.

Who are these "well paid" workers paying for "better education"? How is it that the union-sympathizing students with their "better education" don't have jobs?

JMS said...

I work in education and I think one reason so many good young educators leave the profession is that the best and most productive teachers get the same raise as the worst and least productive ones. It's very demotivating for employees with high enthusiasm and a good work ethic to receive nothing more than a pat on the back for good performance.

J said...

Trade unions were a reaction to robber-baron capitalism--Carnegie, Rockefeller, JP Morgan, et al. With a proper regulatory system in effect--and say controls of robber-baron capitalism and dynasties (ie Paris Hiltons), as the Founders wanted, unions might not be necessary.

purplepenquin said...

If what the union provides is desirable to the employee, they will want to pay for it.

By the mere fact of being employed by a company with a union contract, one is receiving the benefits the union provides.

(I'm gonna guess that you are also in favor of all taxes being 100% voluntary, eh?)

If the services of a union isn't desired, then the employee should seek work at a company that didn't have a majority of the workers vote to organize together and collectively bargain. Or vote for different union leadership that better represents your personal views. Or vote to decertify the local union. Many choices are available, so I fail to see how coercion comes into play.

TosaGuy said...

"So they would get the services that are provided by the union, but not have to pay anything at all for it?"

A union would better concentrate on those particular services and not charge as much for dues if joining and paying were not mandated. All that mandatory money sloshing around simply spawns corruption and waste, as well as a host of things that unions do that don't really benefit the duespayer.

I voluntarily join professional associations because they do good things for me. I am not naive enough to believe that they would do a better job if I was forced to join and pay them more money.

Scott M said...

By the mere fact of being employed by a company with a union contract, one is receiving the benefits the union provides.

Wrong. An employee can seek work and negotiate his/her own hours, pay, vacation, etc. If you want to argue that both union and non-union get to use the same bathroom the union has demanded gold-plated shitters to be installed in, I'd grant you that one.

However, in mixed shops, which I have worked it, common sense and the good nature of most people in the world created zero friction. When the union got something the non-union employees wanted, they picked up a couple of recruits. A year or so later, when the opposite was true, ie, non-union negotiating for something union members didn't get, they lost a couple who cut their own deals.

Why do you have such low opinions of people in general? Why do you come down on the side of coercion?

Ralph L said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
purplepenquin said...

@CuriousGeorge

Do you think Americans are too fucking stupid to know what's good for them so they need to be forced to pay taxes, or are Americans fucking selfish and will take but not contribute so they need to be forced to pay taxes?

Or do you beleive taxes should be voluntary, but every citizen still receives all the services provided by the gov't?

Chuck66 said...

The liberal students, Big Labor, and the old folks can all get together to demand more free stuff.

Bob Ellison said...

Yes, as Abdul Abulbul Amir and Meade have commented, the "primary goal of unions" is best assessed with regard to the incentives of those who run unions. Real people run unions, so they behave like other real people. But unlike any other enterprise in America, they often have a legal franchise on monopoly power (of the labor supply).

One should expect unions to behave the way those incentives push them: they aggregate power, comfort, and money for themselves and those who support them (union members, many of whom are forced to support them), and they fight every force that threatens their power, comfort, and money, even to the point of their own destruction. This is how the Soviet Union fell; it is how Detroit became a ghost city.

Browndog said...

JMS said...

You have hit on the very essence--the very evil of labor unions.

Why so many are so comfortable being reduced to the lowest denominator at their workplace is beyond me-

The cocoon of the collective...it's so warm and fuzzy in here..

purplepenquin said...

Why do you have such low opinions of people in general? Why do you come down on the side of coercion?

Oh. I get it now. You're just itching for a fight rather than seeking a discussion.

Sorry for taking you seriously. I'll try not to do so in the future.

Chip S. said...

If I suddenly came into money, I would definitely try to start a business doing something I enjoy doing, not what the market says will be successful.

I think this is the most neglected beneficial aspect of free markets. Individuals can choose whatever tradeoffs they want between money and job characteristics. If the people who think they can estimate the "comparable worth" of public-sector vs. private-sector employees would stop to consider ScottM's perspective, they might acknowledge the folly of the exercise.

People who are truly underpaid do not fight tooth and nail to preserve their jobs--they quit in order to take one of those jobs offering more money.

Chuck66 said...

As a recent MBA student, I can tell you that nobody spends money like Big Education. I have no idea where it goes. Some numbers. A typical MBA class has 60 students in it. The class lasts 3:20. Each student pays $325 for each class session.

That means the university takes in $19,500 for EACH MBA class session (disclaimer...not all classes have 60 students in them).

Beta Rube said...

I have a daughter with an Ed. degree from Madison. The rehiring of retirees precludes many youngsters from getting their first teaching job.

The union thinks this is swell.

Scott M said...

Sorry for taking you seriously. I'll try not to do so in the future.

You misunderstand if you believe I'm "itching for a fight". I'm sorry I thought you had enough integrity to answer a couple of questions. I was wholly serious about their content re your previous comments on the topic at hand.

Chip S. said...

@purplepenquin--Your point about non-members free-riding off the union's activities is valid. However, I don't think it ends the discussion.

A union that was specific to the employer might have a valid claim for mandatory membership. If it delivered benefits greater than the cost of union membership, then workers would be attracted to that employer (and therefore to that union). If it didn't deliver, then the union (and the firm) would lose employees.

But real-world unions organize workers not just across all firms in an industry but across many industries. This makes mandatory union membership a grant of monopoly power to those unions. That power is used to restrict entry of new workers and to entrench the union "leadership".

J said...

nobody spends money like Big Education.

you mean all those ueber-wealthy private universities such as the Ivy League, U.of Chi., Steinford, USC? Or perhaps the corporate funded and controlled state colleges like the UCs system. Yes you are correct--finance capitalism's control of the higher education racket is corrupt as fuck and rather unfortunate. Tommy Trojan, oppressor

PETER V. BELLA said...

Unions do not create jobs. The AFL-CIO has it backwards. Businesses create jobs.

purplepenquin said...

Yes, as Abdul Abulbul Amir and Meade have commented, the "primary goal of unions" is best assessed with regard to the incentives of those who run unions.

While I strongly disagree with the opinion (the main reason my union organized back-in-the-day was for safer working conditions and better pay, not to enrich the national leaders) knowing that some people truly feel this way helps be better understand why they are so deeply anti-union. If I also beleived as such, I would probably hold that same viewpoint.

However, I'm still interested in knowing...how exactly do these guys "boss" me around? Ya'll seem to throw that meme around without any thought to what you're sayin'



The Governor has more say about my workplace than the union leaders that have been mentioned in this thread, so would it be considered appropriate for folks to refer to Walker as the "Boss of Wisconsin"?

Scott M said...

The Governor has more say about my workplace than the union leaders that have been mentioned in this thread, so would it be considered appropriate for folks to refer to Walker as the "Boss of Wisconsin"?

"Sorry for taking you seriously. I'll try not to do so in the future."

Chuck66 said...

Penguin and others, I won't have such as problem with forced unionization, if the union primarily just worked to help out their employees.

But what does promoting abortion have to due with teaching?

And WEAC....on their web site this spring and summer, they listed where Governor Walker was going to be speaking, and told their members to bring drums and horns and try to prevent the governor from speaking.

Why should you have to join a fuck up organization like this as a condition to your employment?

Chuck66 said...

He isn't so much boss of Wisconsin as its Chairman of the board.

Revenant said...

Somehow I don't see an alliance between young people and organizations that enforce seniority rules.

Jay Fellows said...

Look for the union label...and RUN!

lyssalovelyredhead said...

PurplePeng said: If the services of a union isn't desired, then the employee should seek work at a company that didn't have a majority of the workers vote to organize together and collectively bargain. Or vote for different union leadership that better represents your personal views. Or vote to decertify the local union

Or, they could move to a right to work state. Where pretty much everything is better in terms of employee-employer relations, and where the employers are going anyway.

- Lyssa

J said...

Not exactly Don Bella. People who inherited a boxcar of shekels and then decide to become "entrepreneurs" may create jobs. Rarely is there a rags to riches story, except when a frat boy-MBA type makes shit up.

Chuck66 said...

"Somehow I don't see an alliance between young people and organizations that enforce seniority rules."

Never underestimate peoples stupidity. Are you familiar with the "bue-green alliance"? Unionists have partnered with radical enviromentalists. I first heard of this in NE Minnesota. Yes, the loggers and miners of Minnesota have partnered with people who want to end logging and mining.

purplepenquin said...

I won't have such as problem with forced unionization, if the union primarily just worked to help out their employees.

The thing is, they do exactly that. Unions are ran from the bottom-up, not the top-down.

The stuff that is on WEAC's webpage is because a majority of the members (who care enough to go to the meetings) want it there. If enough members are upset about the webpage...or anything else...then they can vote to make changes.

No democratically-ran organization is gonna make each&every member happy 100% of the time, so of course there will be some examples that someone will disagree with. But to claim the unions don't serve the members is kinda silly, when it is the members who are the ones running the union.

purplepenquin said...

they could move to a right to work state. Where pretty much everything is better in terms of employee-employer relations, and where the employers are going anyway.

I recently saw a study that shows a worker is more likely to be hurt and/or killed on the job in those states that in a state with a stronger union presence. While I look for that link would you mind sharing what studies/info you have that leads you to think "everything is better" for employees in those states? Thanks...

Chip S. said...

But to claim the unions don't serve the members is kinda silly, when it is the members who are the ones running the union.

This is a very selfish view. The larger point is the exclusion of nonmembers from the ability to compete for or retain certain jobs. You know, stuff like closed shops and strictly seniority-based compensation and termination rules.

Congratulations on your valuable status as one of the privileged insiders. It's rude of you to flaunt it, though, in a post about deluded students who suffer from false consciousness probably imparted to them by their unionized teachers through the years. Like those schoolkids taken to the anti-Walker rallies last spring.

Hagar said...

Big Government, Big Business, and Big Labor all are in favor of the status quo and against change. At that level they tend to get together to stifle innovation and keep the hoi polloi in their place so as to protect their own livelihoods with a minimum of effort.

Scott M said...

Rarely is there a rags to riches story, except when a frat boy-MBA type makes shit up.

Rags and riches are relevant. Take a dirt poor, divorced father of three that pays most of his paltry income to child support suddenly inherits around $10k, enough to get a small business off the ground, say a foreign language translation service because he was a linguist in the army.

He goes from from making minimum wage at a grocery store (where he was forced to join the bagger's union, mind you) to making around 60k a year take home. To him, $60k a year is riches he never thought he was ever going to see.

Chuck66 said...

J, you have never heard of someone starting with nothing and ending up a rich, successful person?

-Dick Schultz (Best Buy...a company now run by leftwingers)
-Jeno Palucci (dozens of businesses)
-Bud Selig (baseball)
-John Menard (Menards)
-Clearence Thomas (lawyer and SCUS)

And many many others.

Spread Eagle said...

I wouldn't be reading too much into Ohio's election. Special off-year election, low voter turnout, and all that. If the normal folks had voted in the usual general election numbers I strongly suspect the outcome would've been different.

Chuck66 said...

purple penguin, through at least the 1930s, many many unions (especailly auto workers and railroaders) didn't allow African-Americans in their union or the trades. The majority of the members supported this.

So are you fine with being forced to join a union as a condition of employment no matter how offensive that union is, because the majority of its members want those polcies?

If a pro-life person wants to teach in Wisconsin, they should be forced to join a pro-abortion labor union?

Meade said...

purplepenquin said...
"At first glance, it would seem to be just a lil' slice of snark...but based on other remarks you have made it seems as if you see nothing-at-all good with "unions", and thus perhaps it was a sincere remark after all.

Would you mind clarifying? Thanks."

You're welcome, purp.

Sincerely: straight up snark. Motive: amuse my friends, annoy my acquaintances.

But no, I don't think unions serve many good purposes anymore and especially public sector unions are corrupted and corrupting. Maybe they will change for the better, now that they are being busted. I hope so, don't you?

Hagar said...

Will Rogers, so it had to be before 1935, said he had been to one of them Labor-Management negotiations, and as far as he could see, the only difference between the teams were that the Labor types tended to dress a little better and smoke more expensive cigars than the management suits.

garage mahal said...

I wouldn't be reading too much into Ohio's election. Special off-year election, low voter turnout, and all that. If the normal folks had voted in the usual general election numbers I strongly suspect the outcome would've been different.

There was 2010 level turnout, higher than 2010 levels in some counties. Only six counties voted to keep SB5. Dems have a 10 point lead on the generic congressional ballot. It will be interesting to see how Republicans, especially Romney, decide how to run in Ohio.

Interesting to see how some who claim that public unions are corrupt while not seeing the utter corruptness [think Wisconsin here] of the people who are trying to destroy them. Willfull blindness, as they say.

DADvocate said...

I wouldn't be reading too much into Ohio's election.

I agree. Issue 3, the Ohio Health Care amemdment which calls for exempting residents of Ohio from national health care mandates which would stop any state law from forcing persons, employers or health care providers from participating in a health care system passed with 65.63% of the vote.

This was an anti-Obamacare initiative. Not a great sign for liberal causes.

Also, abuot 2/3s of all school levies and such across the state failed to pass. No mone for those union teachers means fewer jobs.

Hagar said...

Basically, unions are wonderful when they are small and struggling for recognition, bad when they come to dominate an industry, and awful when they also buy up the government.

cubanbob said...

purplepenquin said...
If what the union provides is desirable to the employee, they will want to pay for it.

By the mere fact of being employed by a company with a union contract, one is receiving the benefits the union provides.

(I'm gonna guess that you are also in favor of all taxes being 100% voluntary, eh?)

If the services of a union isn't desired, then the employee should seek work at a company that didn't have a majority of the workers vote to organize together and collectively bargain. Or vote for different union leadership that better represents your personal views. Or vote to decertify the local union. Many choices are available, so I fail to see how coercion comes into play.

11/10/11 12:02 PM

How come one can't get to choose to work in a whites only shop? Or no Jews allowed shop?

As for taxes, interesting idea. Lets pay taxes a la carte on all non core functions. That way I don't have to pay for your pension and benefits and salaries derived from non essential spending such as most entitlement spending and Davis-Bacon Act spending for another.

Scott M said...

Many choices are available, so I fail to see how coercion comes into play.

So you were against "card check" then I suppose and wholly for secret ballots for these votes you're talking about? Like de-certifying the local union you mentioned?

Jay said...

Chuck66 said...
J, you have never heard of someone starting with nothing and ending up a rich, successful person?


Of course not.

Liberals are often those inheriting wealth and the idiots voting for liberals see this as the standard view of how wealth is obtained.

J is a moron.

damikesc said...

The same kids who gripe about paying for music, video games, or movies (and thus pirate them) would happily give to unions?

Yeah, sure.

Curious George said...

"purplepenquin said...
@CuriousGeorge

Do you think Americans are too fucking stupid to know what's good for them so they need to be forced to pay taxes, or are Americans fucking selfish and will take but not contribute so they need to be forced to pay taxes?

Or do you beleive taxes should be voluntary, but every citizen still receives all the services provided by the gov't?"

So I'll take that as C)...right?
To answer your question, yes and yes.

But of course they are not the same situation.

Unions provide direct benefits to members. As a matter of fact, their is a uniformity to those benefits to each of their members...same benefits, and same costs. So a union member can connect the dots. They do this for me in exchange for this much of my money. Easy.

In your rebuttal you have a diverse set of individuals paying different rates and receiving different direct benefits. People pay for schools their kids don't go to...or have no kids to all. Roads they never drive down. Do we need a military? As a matter of fact, the complexity of the government budget is too much for anyone to measure individual benefit. That said, we have the best possible workaround, we may be forced to pay taxes, but it is based on a collective decision, through representation.

As a conservative, I wish to limit as much of the responsibility of government as possible. Even the framers knew the wisdom of that.

So nice try.

damikesc said...

The gap between rich and poor has grown larger over the last thirty years.

...it's also grown much faster in the last 3 years than in the prior 8.

Just sayin'.

And in laissez faire, businesses tend toward monopolies and cartels with the power to keep competitors out, wages low, and working conditions bad.

Hmm, sounds odd when you realize that FDR pursued that exact strategy with businesses during his Presidency.

Ever wonder why large companies seldom gripe about regulations passed by the gov't? Because smaller companies are less capable of handling the increased cost of them.

So they would get the services that are provided by the union, but not have to pay anything at all for it?

If their services were desired, people would be falling over themselves to join.

AlphaLiberal said...

Uh huh. Sure, Ann. Now you're an economist.

And tax cuts for the rich trickle down to working people. Except for every time that has been tried. Like the Bush tax cuts, which cost $1 trillion and preceded an unemployment crisis of historical proportion.

If trickle down worked, we should have 1% unemployment today!

In fact, unions do support policies for more and higher paying jobs. They always have. Your screed here is entirely based on right wing caricatures of unions, not reality.

the right wing wants to cut wages and benefits and then claim that this will create more jobs. Well, they have done just that yet --- no jobs.

AlphaLiberal said...

you can chart the membership in unions in America against the wages and benefits of working people. When we have stronger unions, we have higher wages and benefits. The best economic times for working people in our history were times with high union membership.

OK, cue the hate in 3-2-1....

n.n said...

The unions represents a structural inequality in the labor market, where the business will succeed or fail based on the market's acceptance. However, in the public sector, they are effectively the illegal fourth branch of government, which undermines our representative government. It's one thing to expect safe work conditions. It's something altogether different to allow cooperative voting in order to accumulate private wealth and, in the process, marginalize the voting rights of citizens.

That said, they were right to protest Mexican truck drivers inside America. The border to our administrative district (i.e., nation) should be treated as a port, no different from our seaports. Well, that's at least one position they pursued correctly.

As for the rest, dreams of instant gratification have, and will continue, to reveal delayed consequences, including progressive theft from taxpayers. The failure of corporations and municipalities is just the beginning. The failure of sovereign entities, including states, will follow, as has been demonstrated in Europe recently, and has been evident in the past through the world.

Occupy the unions!

Carol_Herman said...

On the other hand, isn't it more likely that they don't?

The unions can supply the "church" ... doesn't guarantee they can supply "the bride," though.

Revenant said...

Rarely is there a rags to riches story

True, but there are millions of true "rags to middle class" stories.

And of course most of "the 1%" were born middle-class.

Revenant said...

The gap between rich and poor has grown larger over the last thirty years.

I'm supposed to be upset because the poor are only 40% richer than they were a generation ago, instead of 350% richer like the top 1% are?

Why?

DADvocate said...

you can chart the membership in unions in America against the wages and benefits of working people.

Link to the chart.

Show me the hate.... (other than yours, that is.)

Peter said...

Unions increase the cost of labor even while reducing the value of that labor. The value is reduced due to union work rules that require more employees than necessary to do a task, and further reduced because union contracts almost always forbid employers from rewarding those who are more productive over those who are less productive (e.g., promotion and retention solely by seniority).

Unions are attractive to young people because they promise a world where one can earn high wages with minimum (just-good-enough) effort and still have good job security.

What’s missing is that that can only happen in areas with limited competition- such as government, or within oligarchies such as Detroit’s Big Three were before they were decimated by competition, or within government-enforced monopolies (such as electric utilities).

IF competition could be eliminated and we had a closed economy then perhaps we could all be union and all get paid paid twice as much. BUT we’d actually have less, because everything would cost more than twice as much due to reduced labor productivity.

What we do have are employers (and their employees) who are subject to market discipline and those which are not. In this economy, the effect of unions is to extract money (in taxes, higher utility payments, etc.) from all so those who are protected from market discipline can have more.

The illusion is that unionism can lift all boats. It doesn’t because it can’t, because the source of income is labor productivity, which unionism decreases. Because unionism decreases labor productivity it can only be a negative-sum game- either immiserating all of us for the benefit of a very few (union bosses), or taking a little from everyone so that a somewhat larger few can have more.

AlphaLiberal said...

...it's also grown much faster in the last 3 years than in the prior 8.

2008 saw one of the worst economic contractions in American history. In the last quarter alone, the economy contracted by 8.9%. In one quarter.

George Bush was finishing the last year of his two terms, after having gotten nearly everything he and the Republicans wanted, including "trickle down tax cuts."

Soooo... your policies ruined our economy, sent millions into unemployment and homelessness.

And you have the gall to blame that on the guy who followed Bush and has to clean up his mess? And you want to inflict the same policies on the American people?

It's loyalty to party and dogma before country. It's the poison of right wing propaganda.

Scott M said...

When we have stronger unions, we have higher wages and benefits.

When we had stronger unions, we had very little competition from the rest of world in durable goods production and sales. Gobs of foreign money were pouring into the US for our stuff because very few people elsewhere could duplicate what we did, mostly because we still had our industrial infrastructure intact and untouched by war damage. When so much capital is flooding into your system, you can get away with a lot of things you can in the leaner years, which, unfortunately, we seemed to have come to. Frankly, I'd almost rather go back to the bipoloar power structure, wondering if we're all going to die in the next thirty minutes rather than the cornucopia of uncertainty the multipolar world presents us. Obviously that's glib, but damn...I have a family to worry about now.

You still haven't stepped up to the plate, Alpha, to back up your personal accusations directed at me. Do you plan to? Or should I just assume you lack personal integrity and move on?

AlphaLiberal said...

DADvocate:

Link to the chart.

Why? Facts have no influence over the conservative mind. I have spent hours posting to facts here and it does not good.



Don't be so lazy. You can look it up yourself.

AlphaLiberal said...

Scott M:

I choose not to board your Denial Merry Go Round. Life is too short.

Perhaps I was too harsh on you and you do not consistently engage in the tactics I called you on. I should have added a caveat.

Does that help the hurt feelings?

DADvocate said...

Why? Facts have no influence over the conservative mind.

Well, at least you showed me your hate.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I recently saw a study that shows a worker is more likely to be hurt and/or killed on the job in those states that in a state with a stronger union presence. While I look for that link would you mind sharing what studies/info you have that leads you to think "everything is better" for employees in those states?

I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if that's true, since there's almost certainly more manufacturing and similar jobs in states like mine. As for "everything is better" - that's based on my personal observations (having lived in both a very red state and a very blue one) and a huge number of variables. But I don't have to look for studies to prove that budgets are better balanced, cost of living is much lower, standards of living are much higher, and employers are more willing to set up shop in states like mine.

But you know, Detroit's nice too, in it's own special way.

Freeman Hunt said...

I include today's college students and recent college grads in my generation.

I've already noted that my generation is idiotic.

There you have it.

Behold what the modern education system hath wrought.

AlphaLiberal said...

BTW, Scott, I do agree that international competition was a factor (less important) in declining wages. But the reality is that it was US corporations who so often shut down plants here to seek lower wages abroad.

It did not help matters that our government actually subsidized that in various ways (which unions opposed).

And we're not talking about the 40s and 50s here. But 60s and 70s.

Bottom line though is that this is a power struggle and working people have less power when unions are smashed. When unions are smashed, wages and benefits go down. We're living that in Wisconsin today, with take home pay reduced due to union busting.

Of course, in typical Repuglican fashion, the wages of lowest paid were reduced most (by %). Bastards.

AlphaLiberal said...

DADvocate, you don't seem to know what hate means.

That is experience talking. It has been empirically demonstrated.

Kind of like saying water is wet is not a hateful statement, capiche?

Example: WMD in Iraq.

Scott M said...

Perhaps I was too harsh on you and you do not consistently engage in the tactics I called you on. I should have added a caveat.

Does that help the hurt feelings?


No feelings were hurt at all. You think far to much of yourself if you believe you can have that effect on me through a blog. What I object to is a blowhard making a generalization about me personally and refusing to back it up with specific examples. If they presented and valid, it would be something for me to learn from. Since they were not, and still have not been, I have to a assume you were engaging in an ad hominem attack because your own argument was weak.

damikesc said...

So, AL, you admit that we give Dems Congress and within a year, they kill the economy...and continue pissing on it'd grave for 2 years.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Freeman said: I include today's college students and recent college grads in my generation.

(FH and I are the same age.) I would have, until I started law school. At age 26, I felt like I could be the parents of the 22 year old recent undergrad grads. It was a world of difference.

sorepaw said...

Nah- people really do believe different things about how the world works.

Indeed they do.

Are all of the different things they believe equally true?

Henry said...

you can chart the membership in unions in America against the wages and benefits of working people.

You can do that. And they you would find out that Alpha Liberal is wrong.

Look, Alpha and Freder, there's a reason why your side harps (and harps and harps) on income inequality. It's because in real dollars + benefits, middle class incomes have kept rising over the decades (the current recession being a downturn of course, but a downturn for everyone). This is especially true if you look at the most sophisticated analysis that factor in wealth transfers, tax rates, and different inflation rates for luxury vs. common goods.

When ThinkProgress screams "GRAPH: As Union Membership Has Declined, Income Inequality Has Skyrocketed In The United States" they are actually talking about a decline in "share of income."

Marx had this same problem. In his early writing he complained about absolute poverty. In his later writing he complained about relative poverty. Focus on envy. That's the ticket to complaining.

DADvocate said...

When we have stronger unions, we have higher wages and benefits.

The charts at the first four links, all the same as the one at Think Progress, do not show whether or not higher wages and benefits are tied to union membership. They show a correlation between declining union membership and the middle class share of national income, something quite different than what you're claiming.

Correlation does not imply causation, btw. Many other factors other than union membership may come into play, such as eduction. As the number of people with a collge education has increased dramatically, and tend to be employed on a professional level, fewer people would even be in the postion to join unions, for example. Many of these collge educated people are those who have become members of the 1% and the decline of unions does not necessarily have anything to do with the middle class share of the income.

Indeed, during period of time shown on the graphs, income went up for everybody. Just more so for some than others.

roesch/voltaire said...

A $500 million program to use union pension funds to create construction jobs was announced today as members of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. Executive Council gathered here for a midwinter meeting. Thought I would toss in one example to counter the narrative.

Freeman Hunt said...

(FH and I are the same age.) I would have, until I started law school. At age 26, I felt like I could be the parents of the 22 year old recent undergrad grads. It was a world of difference.

Now they're worse?!

We are effed.

DADvocate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DADvocate said...

DADvocate, you don't seem to know what hate means.

Oh, I know what hate means and your attempt at denial is pure lies and bullshit. Go make the same comments to a group of blacks or women and see how they react. Denial isn't a river in Egypt.

wv - worsiner: AL gets worsiner and worsiner.

damikesc said...

AL, using your economic theory....explain the disaster that is Detroit. Government has been "progressive" for decades and unions still run the failed city.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

That ThinkProgress graph tells you something that goes back to the subject of this post.

It tells you that union jobs stagnated. For decades.

Freder tried to argue unions create a virtuous feedback loop in which good union jobs create more good union jobs.

It didn't happen. Union membership declined because union jobs stagnated. Non-union jobs proliferated.

Unions don't create jobs.

AlphaLiberal said...

I don't know all the details on Detroit. The problems there seem to be a mix of factors including corporate flight to low wage areas and countries, white flight for racially homogenous communities that we saw in cities across the country, the decline of Motown music (joke) and whatever.

Capital is very mobile and very disloyal to the people who helped to build it and the countries it grew in. For the past several decades, big American corporations have laid off Americans to hire cheap/exploited labor abroad. (This is now biting them in the ass as demand has plummeted because their customers don't have mcuh money - duh)

For example, the massively polluted country of China. Or S Korea, where labor unionists have been found floating dead in rivers time and time again.

We need to reform corporations, themselves, and the very rationale for their existence. Most founding fathers were very suspicious of them but now they have more rights than our citizens do! More and more they consolidate power to serve greed, greed and greed.

AlphaLiberal said...

I was in Detroit back in the 1980s and literally saw wild packs of dogs.

One article:

Decades of white flight, coupled with the collapse of its manufacturing base, especially in its world-famous auto industry, have brought the city to its knees. Half a century ago it was still dubbed the "arsenal of democracy" and boasted almost two million citizens, making it the fourth-largest in America. Now that number has shrunk to 900,000.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/01/detroit-michigan-economy-recession-unemployment

Conservatives leap to blame unions for decline of US automakers. But the fact is that many of those companies put out some pretty crappy cars and they pioneered "planned obsolescence."

Because Detroit was so dependent on one industry, when that industry stumbled, they did not have other options. Pittsburgh had a similar experience but they have diversified successfully.

Do we really want the American people to have to work for 3rd world wages? From my own experience I know many working class conservatives do not seek that but business class conservatives very much do.

As long as this habit of demanding our neighbors be paid less continues, everyone suffers. From auto workers to public workers to truck drivers the most common refrain on wages is "they make too much." Well, what goes around comes around.

damikesc said...

AL, so unions price jobs beyond their value and unemployment follows. Detroit produced terrible cars that ran horribly and people stopped buying.

Alex said...

A $500 million program to use union pension funds to create construction jobs was announced today as members of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. Executive Council gathered here for a midwinter meeting. Thought I would toss in one example to counter the narrative.

Yeah right, another slush/mafia fund for corrupt unionistas.

damikesc said...

I work in the non-unionized South and I get better pay and benefits than the few unionized parts of my company.

Alex said...

I work in the non-unionized South and I get better pay and benefits than the few unionized parts of my company.

Yeah but you're poorer then the unionized members due to worse social services and you lack union safety protections.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 232   Newer› Newest»