December 9, 2012

"The passage of right-to-work legislation in the state House and Senate may have Lansing in turmoil..."

"... but residents of Ann Arbor learned yesterday of a more immediate concern."
Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger, a staple for U of M students and townies alike, is looking for a new home...
Owner Rich Magner said a deal between the University of Michigan and the property’s owner, Patricia Shafer, means he will have to close Blimpy Burger in summer 2013. He wants to find a new location for the restaurant.

Shafer is the widow of Blimpy Burger's original founder, Jim Shafer....
Magner said the University made Shafer an offer "she couldn't refuse."
I was a University of Michigan student from fall 1969 to spring 1973, and in my last summer as a student, I worked at Krazy Jim's — with the original Jim. (I worked with Ruby. Remember Ruby?)

Here's TV's Guy Fieri visiting Krazy Jim's in 2009:



Check out the part where they grind up the meat and then make it into meatballs with an ice cream scoop. That's exactly the way it was done back in 1972. The customers say what they want in terms of the number of meatballs — e.g., a "quad" — and then the meatballs are thrown on the grill, and when they start to soften, they are slapped flat with a spatula, making a patty. I think we slapped them flatter back in 1972, and we didn't make such a messy pile of things then. You used your hands to pick up onions and pickles and so forth to top the meat, but not quite so messily. I remember a girl who didn't care enough getting fired. It was funky, but it held together.

Good luck to all. I'm glad Patricia got her money. And I'm sorry Jim is gone. I understand the "Save Blimpy Burger" ethos: "nearly 60 years on South Division Street."

My mother grew up on South Division Street — about a block south of Blimpy's. My grandparents still lived there when Blimpy's opened in the 1950s. I don't know if they ever ate there, but I like to think they did.

129 comments:

McTriumph said...

Every city has it's "Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger", they are part of every city's folk culture. They contain fond memories. Memories that get passed on to the next generation, like your post.

EDH said...

Call your Mommy is right.

That "salami" looks like a bunch of baloney.

gadfly said...

Returning to college to find your favorite fast food or beer joint hangout to be gone is the way of the world.

The only thing that saved Mory's Temple Bar at Yale was a $2 Million endowment.

So "from the tables down at Mory's" to the place where Patricia and Frank once dwelled will require some generous charity in this economy.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Blimpy Burger's the kind of place you eat at once, to say you did it. And then, upon graduating college, you realize that you really do need to get that much fat in you every now and then, keeping the neuron-coating glial cells thick and the old noggin' operating properly.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I couldn't remember exactly what caused the most skewering of Guy Fieri's restaurant in the Times lately, but my guestimation could be that he took a few too many lessons from places like these.

cubanbob said...

The Stage Deli in NYC is also closing because of landlord issues. The moral of the story is for the business owner to buy the location. Sooner or later the landlord will close you down.

Michigan passing right-work legislation is a major WOW!

Issob Morocco said...

Breaking radio silence to say I knew Ruby and you didn't fuck around with her or she would verbally kneecap you

alan markus said...

Love the menu - looks like it was drawn by Robert Crumb in the late 60's.

edutcher said...

And then some.The old Rust Belt is finally wising up.

What's that, 2 states gone right to work in a year?

Ya love it, right?

Titus said...

I STILL LOVE GOING TO THE PLAZA IN MADISON AND THEIR BURGERS ARE REALLY THIN, WITH SPECIAL SAUCE. I DON'T EAT BURGERS MUCH BUT IN MADISON I ALWAYS GO TO THE PLAZA.

THIS PLACE LOOKS JUST OK.

Titus said...

I CAME ON MY KEYBOARD SO I CAN ONLY TYPE IN CAPS, BUT WILL BE GETTING IT FIXED SOON.

SORRY.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Ah yes! But they've still got Ray's Red Hots. I'm not much of a hot dog guy but that place was great.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

What make me go happy fun time?

How do I create un-exploitieve?


D?

Or beyond, which all of us are, how bout, again, all other than Gaga

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2smz_1L2_0

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Ritmo Segundo said...

Michigan passing right-work legislation is a major WOW!

One in three Michigan families either works in manufacturing or has union membership. This bill to do the Koch brothers' bidding and reduce yearly pay (by $1,500 at last estimate) is the last gasp of a dying brand desperate to pay off supporters before revealing just how bankrupt it is of anything to offer the average voter.

Call it what it is: A right to work without representation.

Palladian said...

The only thing that saved Mory's Temple Bar at Yale was a $2 Million endowment.

Nothing saved The Yankee Doodle.

Michael said...

A friend of mine from High School worked there and is in the video. I used to eat there not infrequently. I never found a place quite as good in my years at Madison. Now that I am back in Southeast Michigan I will have to hit it up.

edutcher said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Michigan passing right-work legislation is a major WOW!

One in three Michigan families either works in manufacturing or has union membership. This bill to do the Koch brothers' bidding and reduce yearly pay (by $1,500 at last estimate) is the last gasp of a dying brand desperate to pay off supporters before revealing just how bankrupt it is of anything to offer the average voter.

Call it what it is: A right to work without representation.


What it is, is a chance not to have your pension stolen by the union bosses and not to have Solly and da boys tell you how to vote.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Exactly. A right to work without representation. And at average lower pay.

No one needs to be told how to vote by anyone, except for apparently these gosh-darned Koch-suckers. What exactly is your interest in the legislation, Ed? I presume you've thought about it very deeply and/or personally.

Richard Dolan said...

"... I like to think they did."

So many biographies have been stitched together based mainly on that. It's the operative principle in most autobiograhies by politicos; celebrities too, although there what they "like to think" often has a perverse twist. But everyone understands the game, making the whole genre a harmless form of fantasy that usually includes a happy ending for the protagonist.

So, when you write your Dreams of my Grandparents, you should definitely have them dining chez Jim regularly, and leaving an extra-big tip for you while they were at it.

Richard Dolan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alan markus said...

Titus, best use of CAPS in a blog comment evah!

Ann Althouse said...

"Breaking radio silence to say I knew Ruby and you didn't fuck around with her or she would verbally kneecap you"

I don't remember anything like that.

I remember the customers loving her.

Chip Ahoy said...

alan markus said...
Love the menu - looks like it was drawn by Robert Crumb in the late 60's.
aquí

Chip Ahoy said...

My favorite part is nobody is holding the meat grinder handle, it's spinning around by itself, by the force of the meat being shoved into it. It's a very comically forceful cartoon.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Cake has shown us all how long is the distance.

Of Course.

http://www.bing.com/search?q=cake+the+distance&form=OPRTSD&pc=OPER

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Too profound to answer are the questions I think "RHETORICAL!" and subsist.

DADvocate said...

Hate to see a place like that go. At Tennessee we had a drugstore on the corner. Ellis and Ernest, in front of the university center. I had my first strawberry soda there.

They tore it down while I was in high school to put in a sidewalk and grass for the university center. It's still just a grassy spot. Many times I think universities just like to play bully.

Chip Ahoy said...

I couldn't remember exactly what caused the most skewering of Guy Fieri's restaurant in the Times lately

Do you mean this?

Somewhere within the yawning, three-level interior of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar, is there a long refrigerated tunnel that servers have to pass through to make sure that the French fries, already limp and oil-sogged, are also served cold?

And other such treasures here. Over 1,000 people responded.

I hate that guy, truly hate him, hate every little thing about him, with a hatred that is pure apparently, purified by repetitive hammering, hammering of catchphrases, bling, and sticking his bacteria laden fingers into everything he samples as if doing that, sticking his fat ring-wearing finger directly into a bowl of batter doesn't inoculate it with his fat ass-wiping steering wheeling grasping hands. Meanwhile everybody else is wearing silicone gloves, touching this, touching that, touching that down there, that up there, that over there, that inside there, crosscontaminating all over the place and imagining themselves safely doing things because they're not touching any food directly with their hands.

Anews cites the Village Voice, New York Observer, New York Post, all bad reviews. It cites Marilyn Hagerty too, covered here earlier for writing a scathing review all in smalltown deadpan terms.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Won't you help to sing?

Songs of freedom.

http://www.bing.com/search?q=redemption+song&form=OPRTSD&pc=OPER

SONGS OF FREEDOM

Lem said...

Rodgers that.

virgil xenophon said...

Only popping up to periscope depth (as long as we're on a military jargon bent) to note that I once lived on a "Division Street" myself in my little east-central Ill college home-town...a street name that one doesn't find too often anymore--mostly in older towns/cities where the name often marked differing political jurisdictions (city/county, etc) or geographical or old land survey lines..

Chip Ahoy said...

The whole thing of grinding up meat, twice, then using an ice cream scoop, perverse touch there, then stating the number of ground up meat scoops to fry for that moment's satisfaction, then smashed on a griddle, makes me a little bit ill thinking about, then the flood of images of everything cow-related that comes before the meat chunks being being tossed into the grinder. Things like taking care of cows and tricking them into thinking everything's just fine were it not for the occasional branding, de-bolloxing, de-horning, delousing and so forth, other than those infrequent prods into crowded tight places, wandering around eating and chewing cud all day is fine. That's a lot of mischievous effort just to toss meat into a grinder and fry it into burgers. Compared to digging up a potato or picking an apple.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Oh yes, Chip - that was the article.

Your comments on Fieri's fingers (and the like) are pretty funny also. ;-) I wouldn't rule out an article with a thousand comments in your future, either.

Lem said...

Whats a right-to-work legislation?

Its illegal to marry your job?

KenK said...

Back in the day Ann Arbor was full of cool, one of kind of places like Krazy Jim's.

Pogo said...

It is strange that Michigan citizens until now did not have a right to work, and that fact passes without remark.

LordSomber said...

The gripe against Fieri is that he made his "brand" showcasing non-pretentious, home-cooked mom-and-pop food.

And then he opened a Times Square tourist trap restaurant offering $8 PB&J sandwiches and overpriced burgers.

Brand self-betrayal, basically.

McTriumph said...

It's interesting that the left's bogiemen the Koch brothers actually hire workers and provide society with products it wants.

On the other hand, the right's boogieman George Soros makes his fortune selling a society's economy short.

Gahrie said...

It's interesting that the left's bogiemen the Koch brothers actually hire workers and provide society with products it wants.

On the other hand, the right's boogieman George Soros makes his fortune selling a society's economy short.


Exactly. Soros is exactly the type of guy the Left claims to hate the most. He makes his money as a form of financial parasite, without producing anything of value.

bgates said...

Alternative opening line:

"Decades of political mismanagement may have driven real estate prices in Detroit to unprecedented lows, but in Ann Arbor the land under a beloved restaurant commands a premium."

or,

"My political views may have fuck all to do with this burger joint moving, but let me shove them in here anyway."

Matthew Sablan said...

I like how when the left does not like what an elected body does, it is an evil conspiracy by cartoon villains to deprive the everyman of his rights. Yet, they can turn around and see no issues with how the ACA passed or what it does, or they see legislators abandoning a state as an acceptable, even noble, solution.

Honestly, right to work legislation makes sense. People should not be forced to contract with Bob to work for Jim. That's a basic, First Amendment issue on the freedom to associate. Associating with one group should not be a prerequisite to associating with a second. See how that worked out for Rachel and Leah.

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

Pogo said...

It is strange that Michigan citizens until now did not have a right to work, and that fact passes without remark.

What is to say about a place where the UAW is headquartered, the Teamsters are de factio headquartered in Local 299, and the place once thrived on manufacturing which required skilled trades and the AFL-CIO?

Over time, folks figured out, that the AFL-CIO and UAW didn't do much to help keep plants productive and open overall by failing to enforce their own work rules in plants they represented.

We were losing auto plants due to UAW shortfalls long before the crunch of 2008-9.

Next, folks noticed that membership in UAW or an AFL-CIO union didn't mean relative equality between workers' pay and benefits...e.g., membership was all about dues in less than major plants, not union performance on behalf of the workers. The Teamsters at least made a stab at it, but seldom pursued organization in smaller outfits. Hell, the UAW refused to recognize a union for their own office employees and withstood a strike over it.

At the same time automotive and trade union representational performance was lagging, along cam SEIU and AFSCME with gometric growth and sweeping organization of almost anyone performing a "service" however ordinary, however singular. IIRC SEIU wanted to "organize" day care and baby sitter folks who worked in their own homes without them having a say in joining or not through normal union organizing means.

Finally...the unions, primarily goosed on by AFSCME and SEIU, sought a state constitutional amendment to mandate union membership by virtually all workers and eliminate nearly all prior state labor laws. That proposition [binding referendum here] was soundly defeated on 06 Nov 2012....along with 5 other state outrages and 5 county outrages that looked like they were all written by 3rd graders with English as a second language.

THAT last straw by "service" unions, such as trying to make home school parents and baby sitters union members by default as part of the constitution opened the door for the Legislature and Governor to make sure unions never again try to eliminate their oversight.

PS: The Legislature and Governor, like Wisconsin, were bright enough to NOT include police and fire unions in the right-to-work provisions. RAtionale is that police and fire represent the actual sole government functions that are necessary...e.g., defense and protection of the population...thus both the police and firemen, plus the government, have a vested interest in organizing. Governor Snyder was initially not in favor of such right to work move...but changed his mind with the "proposition" ploy last fall.

RMc said...

"Cheaper than food!"

Aridog said...

Chip Ahoy said...

I hate that guy, truly hate him, hate every little thing about him, with a hatred that is pure apparently, purified by repetitive hammering, hammering of catchphrases, bling, and sticking his bacteria laden fingers into everything he samples as if doing that, sticking his fat ring-wearing finger directly into a bowl of batter doesn't inoculate it with his fat ass-wiping steering wheeling grasping hands.

Amen. Guy Fieri is the kind of "celebrity chef" I would avoid, and most certainly avoid any restaurant he opened...just based on his show. Fact is, considering how he "looks" with the teenage girl hair "do" etc...I'd probably move if seated next to him on a plane or train.

But such oddball shows have their audiences...no worse that "Tru-TV's" line up.

cubanbob said...

Ari the exemption for cops and firemen is purely political. There is no fundamental reason to exempt them. They are not draftees or indentured servants, they can quit anytime they please. Before there were public sector unions there was no shortage of cops or firemen. If the local government doesn't pay enough they won't attract and retain people to do those jobs.

Ritmo representation without a job is pointless. Breaking the company doesn't do the workers any good.

Seeing Red said...

Those morons wanted to de facto unionize you if you stayed home to take care of a sick parent.

What were they going to do, come into your or your parent's home and cite you for everything that wasn't up to code? Force you to have strangers in the house to give you your time off? And you would have to pay for the privilege?

I read the governor didn't want this, told them don't push that on the ballot, they did.

This is the consequence.

Seeing Red said...

Ritmo is so weak he can't represent himself.

Dr Weevil said...

Aridog:
It's worse than what you wrote at 6:22am. It wasn't that Michigan unions were "trying to make home school parents and baby sitters union members" (emphasis added), they had actually succeeded in extracting union dues from home day-care operators and from parents accepting Medicaid payments to help care for their own severely-handicapped children (story), the latter for at least six years and $30 million. The linked story isn't clear as to whether they also forced grad student teaching assistants to pay dues, or were just trying to do so. The current governor signed legislation last April terminating the second of these three extortion schemes, begun under Granholm, but surely Michigan's current right-to-work movement has been encouraged by the grotesquely greedy 'fuck you pay me' attitude of at least some Michigan unions.

Seeing Red said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seeing Red said...

I'm looking forward to Ritmo's explanation why those were beneficial things for the citizens of Michigan, especially those who were impacted or going to be impacted.


garage mahal said...

Exactly. A right to work without representation. And at average lower pay

What a pathetic excuse for a political party.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Contrary to the union bosses' claims, it is simply not true that they are "forced" to represent employees who don't pay union dues (where there is a right to work law). Again, that is simply not true.

If you google the 1962 case, Retail Clerks v. Lion Dry Goods, you'll see how the law recognizes "member only" contracts--only those who pay dues are represented.

Interestingly, even in the 23 states with Right to Work laws, union bosses seldom, if ever, seek to represent only the dues payers.

In fairness, sometimes the employers don't want it that way (that's the untold story about this issue: frequently the corporate bosses and the union bosses prefer things neat and tidy, even if workers' individual interests are swept aside).

But still, it's curious: why don't union officials take advantage of the way given them to escape the burden they say is so terrible?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Also, the claim that Right to Work laws mean less pay is not supported by facts or common sense.

Compensation isn't a function of how many trips you get to make to the magic money tree; it's a function of profitability and value, which depend on many factors, including productivity and competition.

The big change unions bring to a company is usually negative to productivity, especially when successive contracts impose more and more work rules as well as endless procedures preventing discipline and dismissal of problem employees.

Even without strikes, the conflict model of labor relations isn't good for productivity; how can it be?

On the other hand, where a company can maximize productivity, it can pay higher real wages while remaining profitable.

The data the union bosses circulate about wages associated with Right to Work laws can be dismissed for a fairly obvious reason: they fail to account for tax levels and cost of living differences between different states.

They hope you forget that it's a lot more expensive to live in New York City than it is in Montgomery, Alabama.

Titus said...

Harvard Square used to have tons of cool one of kind businesses-it has turned into Chain Heaven now.

Mr Bartley's Burgers is still there-not as good as The Plaza though, which is the best.

Fr Martin Fox said...

The actual case for compulsory unionism was made best by Robert Reich, U.S. Secretary of Labor under President Clinton.

In a burst of candor unusual in this discussion, in 1985 (before he was in the Clinton administration of course) Reich said that unions, order to maintain themselves, “unions have got to have some ability to strap their members to the mast.”

The basic idea is that workers are better off in unions, even against their will. It's for their own good.

garage mahal said...

Democratically elected leader = UNION BOSS. I wonder how many non union workers get to elect their bosses?

Seeing Red said...

--Exactly. A right to work without representation. And at average lower pay

What a pathetic excuse for a political party.--


This doesn't make sense. If you don't like the pay, don't take the job.

I read in the 80s women should ask for 10% more than what they want.



Seeing Red said...

Ummm, via Vodkapundit:

So we can start agreeing on the base line of who "the rich" really are:

UPDATE: I almost forgot why I put “the rich” in quotes. And that is, you’re now “in the top 2% of earners” if you’re in the top 20% of earners. The NYT has that story for you:

Affluent people are much more likely than low-income people to have health insurance, and now they will, in effect, help pay for coverage for many lower-income families. Among the most affluent fifth of households, those affected will see tax increases averaging $6,000 next year, economists estimate. [Emphasis added.]

That top fifth includes households making $75k or so a year. But, yes, please let’s do keep talking about “millionaires and billionaires.”

Dr Weevil said...

I wonder why garage mahal doesn't mention how much of the higher pay union members get is taken back by the union in the form of dues.

I wonder why he doesn't ask how much of the higher pay union members get is taken out of the paychecks of nonunion members, whom unions try to bully into paying higher union rates for (often) shoddier work instead of getting someone who actually knows what he's doing and provides a day's work for his day's pay. (With none of the union-style "2 guys minimum for 4 hours minimum even if one guy could do the job in an hour" crap. Or - as I have personally experienced in Chicago - the union guy who fixed a faucet in 45 minutes, then chatted on the phone with a relative for 20 more, so he could get the time up to 1:05 and charge us for 2 hours.)

I don't wonder why gm can't even acknowledge that Michigan unions have been known to extract dues from people (e.g. mothers of handicapped kids) for whom they did, and professed to do, absolutely nothing. (See my previous comment.) He can't acknowledge that because it would demonstrate that Michigan unions (some of them at least) are the vilest of extortionists, preying on the vulnerable to enrich themselves. Maybe he's confused by the fact that unionists never wear top hats, monocles, or spats like true cartoon villains.

Seeing Red said...

GM also never asked why after Walker's reforms, the union could afford to cut their insurance rates by 5% to get the business.

Nasty competition.


So they were scamming an extra 5% out of their poor workers to maintain?

What, GM?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Union work rules are notorious, but most folks aren't aware of them.

Here's an example I learned, years ago, from a radio host.

He told me he did a one-man comedy act as a side activity; and on stage, he needed a stool and a glass of water. At one venue, he was told he, himself, could not carry these items onstage--someone else (I'm guessing a stage hand but I can't recall now) had to do it.

Then we can look at how government schools, where the education unions have taken control, have teachers that ought to be fired, but can't be.

I recall my cousin, many years ago, who worked at an auto plant in Lima, Ohio, talking about how high he was on unions, protecting the pushed-down little guy. He retired in his 50s, and I still remember him flashing a Rolex at me (I concede he probably couldn't afford it; but he did rather well nevertheless).

My father, who was a business owner (no employees other than his kids), so presumably one of the capitalist class, worked until he was 70. He did well for himself--no Rolexes.

He was a longtime member of the National Right to Work Committee. "Oppressor!"

Rusty said...

And then there's this.
PETER SCHIFF: First of all, I'm in the top two percent. Right now, I'm paying 45% of my total income in income taxes, both to the state of Connecticut and to the federal government, and if you take the 3% Medicare tax. After the tax hikes go into effect next year, more than half -- more than half of my total income is going to go to the government. You tell me, what's fair about that when medieval serfs pay 25%, I'm paying half? I don't care what the majority voted to do, they don't have a right to steal my money just because they vote for it.

###

SCHIFF: You know what the wealthy are going to do? They're going to invest more abroad, they're not going to work as hard, they're not going to pay as much in taxes, they're not going to employ as many people. They're employees are going to pay all the taxes.

No! Get out! Really?

ndspinelli said...

Yale has Louis Lunch for burgers and even better, Sally's and Phil Pepe's for pizza.

I don't know why I like Guy Fieri. He's the type of clown I would normally dislike. But, I like him. C'est la vie.

Fr Martin Fox said...

When I say my dad did well for himself...

He supported a wife and seven children almost always on his own income. (My mom held a job outside the home for a short time.) He sent all of us to Catholic school, at least for some years, if not all 12. We had an annual vacation, not fancy. We ate out regularly and he took my mom out for a date every Saturday. He owned his own home, no mortgage. And when he finally retired, he had everything he needed until he died at 97, with money left over for all his kids.

When I asked my dad why he never expanded his business and took on employees, he said he didn't want all the hassles. That was in the 1970s and '80s.

ndspinelli said...

These burgers do not pass the test of being able to eat w/o falling apart. I love Reubens, but if they fall apart, they're horseshit.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Rusty:

The Washington Post declared an extra dividend, payable this year...before the tax hike hits.

This is the same Washington Post that endorsed higher taxes on "the rich," and pooh-poohed the idea that such higher taxes wouldn't work because of rich people doing what, well, the Washington Post just did: trying to evade higher taxes.

cubanbob said...

Garage ought to be pushing for unions to buy the companies whose workers they represent. That way the workers can elect their bosses.

Too bad the republicans are not only gutless but almost as corrupt as the democrats. If they really wanted to rollback the parasite state they could push for a private, public and not for profit sector equity plan with no exceptions. Obamacare and social security for all with no grandfather exceptions. All non individually fully funded plans are subject to the current social security retirement age and payouts and all non individually purchased health plans be equalized to Obamacare. It would most amusing to see public, union and non-profit leaches howl how unfair it is to be subject to the same rules as the private sector mules how are forced to subsidize them at great expense and no benefit to them.

Rusty said...

Boy, Father, people acting in their own interests to avoid punishment. Who could see that coming, eh?
The whole thing is playing out pretty much as I said it would.
Unless some realistic budget that cuts spending is enacted soon there will be tears on Jan.2.

garage mahal said...

RTW laws are meant to weaken the economic and political power of unions. Full stop. Anything said to the contrary is a lie. Everyone knows it. It has nothing to do with freedom or concerns for wage workers.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

Hahahaha!

Your comment effectively concedes that coercion of workers is for their own good, as Robert Reich said: unions, order to maintain themselves, “unions have got to have some ability to strap their members to the mast.”

Feel free to say otherwise.

Palladian said...

Yale has Louis Lunch for burgers and even better, Sally's and Phil Pepe's for pizza.

Frank Pepe, not Phil.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

By the way, if you're right that workers must be part of coercive organizations, in order for their lot in life to be improved, why doesn't this principle apply generally?

Feel free to apply the logic of your argument to the entirety of society. What would it look like?

Aridog said...

cubanbob said...

Ari the exemption for cops and firemen is purely political. There is no fundamental reason to exempt them...

Political it is...however, that IS the reason to exempt them. Originally what is the first things new towns provided residents? They organized fire protection and hired a Marshal or elected a Sheriff. All the rest of urban governance is added spurious bull-crap if it cannot be afforded without sacrifice by the police and firemen.

Whenever politicians face a budget shortfall or can't spend what they want on crony projects, they blame the payrolls of police and fire personnel....and usually threaten lay off or reduction in pay. This is done to *scare* the voter public by hijacking the protection function as an extortion tool. The ONLT protection police and fire have is a union with teeth....in the fat cat political machines of today.

If you look just at Detroit...check out who is repeatedly asked for sacrifice of pay and benefits, and then expected to go out and take risks that do not decrease.

Meantime the city county -city hall edifice is clogged to gills with bureaucrat *service* and *administrative* drones, none of whom fall in the category of government necessity functions, such as protection and defense of the populace.Worse yet is the city's clinging to funcitons private sector firms are anxious to operate...Detroit Public Lighting for one, in the era of consolidated private sector utility electric and gas firms, and others are the water department as well as some of the parks. Detroit is stone broke and will NOT recover unless it retreats to core functions of protection and defense. Period.

Beyond that, as cited by Dr Weevil at 7:50 AM, police and fire unions did NOT successfully attempt to demand dues from private citizens or security guard firms...or anyone for having a CPL.

cubanbob said...

Hey garage, let the unions buy out the companies and the problem is solved.

Now if the republicans were truly maliciously evil they would push for the right of net taxpayers to form unions and allow them to collectively bargain for their tax rates, deductions and exemptions along with the right to strike by withholding their tax payments. Fair is fair.

garage mahal said...

Feel free to say otherwise.

I already did. And on this topic an atheist like myself is in tune more with the Catholic Church that you belong to.

You know what the motives are behind RTW laws, but you can't admit it. That's sad.

garage mahal said...

The reason given why we can't have unionized workers in Wisconsin was because "WE'RE BROKE!".

But not broke enough for Tonnette Walker to push for 500k kitchen renovations. The galling lies from Republicans are enough to choke a fucking horse.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

I will donate $100 to the Red Cross--today--if you will produce a quotation from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or from a papal document, that specifically endorses forcing workers to pay union dues.

In fact, the Catholic Church does not endorse this, and--since you claim to be "in tune more with the Catholic Church that you belong to"--please feel free to name the encyclical in which a pope specifically says workers must make the decision about what unions they affiliate with--and what rationales they are bound to apply when making that decision.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

You endorse forcing workers to be in unions; because, as you say, it's for their own good.

Why shouldn't that principle be applied to society in general?

Wouldn't we all be better off if we had more coercion?

cubanbob said...

Ari the only solution is to liquidate Detroit and after the liquidation reform a new city that is viable on the existing tax base. Otherwise as you say essential services are cut but not the superfluous spending. However strong a cop or fireman union is, they won't stop the stunts you refer to.
But under no circumstances should the national taxpayer be compelled to bail out Detroit or a any blue state self inflicted disaster.

Aridog said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Exactly. A right to work without representation. And at average lower pay.

Right. Consider the military and civilian federal workforce and how they'd suffer without a mandatory union set up!!

Oh, wait..... did I read something about how they're paid higher than their civilian counterparts, union or otherwise?

Why yes I did...and so did you.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Cue "Theme from Jeopardy" while we wait for Garage to produce the quotation that will net the Red Cross $100, as well as the name of the encyclical that presupposes workers have the freedom to join--or not join.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Since Garage claims to be "in tune more" with the Catholic Church than I am, I'm sure he can easily produce the quotation I asked for, and thus embarrass me, and thus generate $100 for the Red Cross.

If you would prefer a different charity, name it and I might easily say yes.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Next. Abolish Davis Bacon laws.!!!

Fr Martin Fox said...

The Theme from Jeopardy plays on...

Aridog said...

Fr Martin Fox said...

Even without strikes, the conflict model of labor relations isn't good for productivity; how can it be?

It can be *good* if the union(s) enforce their side of a contract upon the membership. Most frequently they do not do so...and that is where there is *conflict*....promises not kept.

As mentioned and Dr Weevil cited clearly, the attempt to extort dues from everyone, member or not, became the sole function of unions.

The only defense against that model is to become a right to work state. I'm saying that as someone who has supported trade unionism in the past, and still do. Calling a baby sitter or dependent care giver a *trade* is nonsense.

The unions destroyed themselves with their omnibus nonsense and by failing to kept their end of bargains up.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage?

Are you there?

I think you should accept my offer, or reject it; I don't intend to sit here all day to wait.

My offer expires at Noon Eastern Time.

Of course, if you need more time to research, I'll be happy to discuss that. I'm not unreasonable.

Aridog said...

cubanbob said...

Ari the only solution is to liquidate Detroit and after the liquidation reform a new city that is viable on the existing tax base....

Regrettably, I agree with you and it is coming sooner than later. Being an old skilled tradesman from my youth, I still think of police and fire as skilled trades.

The rest, all of the rest of city governance is just pure baloney. Now they're trying to recall the first mayor they've had who wasn't corrupt or a felon. Go figure.

Council idiot Joann Watson is dreaming when she demands "bacon" from Obama. She doesn't get it...that her vote for Obama was a plantation prerogative. She even had the gall to suggest *The Coalman* brought something to Detroit...when he was the negative end result of the losses Detroit was going through and made them worse. 1974...the year that Detroit really died.

Aridog said...

cubanbob said...

... the right of net taxpayers to form unions and allow them to collectively bargain for their tax rates, deductions and exemptions along with the right to strike by withholding their tax payments. Fair is fair.

Sounds good to me. I suspect you'd have numerous of voluntary memberships.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Aridog:

Yes, in theory, union organization could boost productivity, but it doesn't seem to work out that way.

Even so, as you say, it depends on varying degrees of coercion.

For example: if the union bosses say, "we made a deal with the bosses and now we have to keep it," that pretty explicitly means that any worker who thinks it's a bad deal can't be allowed to gum things up. Imagine if you had a smaller group of workers who kept picketing? It's not hard to think of real-world scenarios.

All back to Garage's echoing of Robert Reich's amazingly candid admission: that coercion of workers is for their own good.

garage mahal said...

I will donate $100 to the Red Cross--today--if you will produce a quotation from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or from a papal document, that specifically endorses forcing workers to pay union dues.

Pretty ridiculous wordsmithing. Of course you know that nobody is forced to join a union or pay union dues. And of course you know the Catholic Church has always been supportive of unions and the right of collective bargaining. But you'll dance around this and ignore it, for some reason.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Aridog:

Well, yes...but there's a problem--which won't be easily solved.

If Michigan comes in and "takes over" Detroit, fixes its financial problems, undoes a lot of its mistakes, and even if the city is simply dissolved and something new is created...

The same politicians--or their allies and successors--will make it a rallying cry for decades to come, and then when they can have elections again, guess who'll get back in, and start the whole thing over again?

It'd be nice if there could be some structural changes that would hinder that. But I don't claim to know what they would be. In any event, to some degree, the "takeover" is an easy way out for those most at fault.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

Well, if there is no such thing as forcing people to pay union dues, then you can have no objection to laws that forbid such non-existent things?

Right?

If a law passed in Michigan banning purple unicorns from within the boundaries of the state, would you consider that a threat?

So since you now claim "nobody is forced to join a union or pay union dues," then you can have no objection to banning that which never happens.

Right?

Aridog said...

Fr. Martin Fox said...

... my cousin, many years ago, who worked at an auto plant in Lima, Ohio, talking about how high he was on unions, protecting the pushed-down little guy. He retired in his 50s, and I still remember him flashing a Rolex at me (I concede he probably couldn't afford it;...

I can explain that Rolex for you...automotive plants were (maybe still are?) the best place for thieves to fence stolen items like watches and jewelry. A hot Rolex is affordable.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

The seminal document in Catholic teaching regarding unions is the encyclical by Pope Leo XIII, known as Rerum Novarum.

In it, the pope explores the issue at length; but one of the noteworthy things he does is enjoin workers themselves to be discriminating in the unions they support. He specifies various things that would make unions unworthy of their support.

In other words, Pope Leo took it for granted that workers would be free to refuse to affiliate with unions, for the sake of their conscience.

It is beyond ridiculous that he would take no issue with their being fired as a consequence of such a refusal. Which is what happens under contracts with forced-union-dues and no Right to Work law making said contract provisions illegal.

But, as you say, there is no such thing as anyone ever being forced to pay union dues--so making said coercion illegal is no more a threat than banning purple unicorns, right?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

I accept your gracious concession that the Catholic Church does not, in fact, endorse forcing workers to pay union dues, with loss of job as the penalty for refusing.

garage mahal said...

Fr
My point is the motives behind right to work laws are hoary lies. Ridiculously peddled in Michigan as "bringing Michigan together", and financed by scam artists like the DeVos family. And then making sure voters can't undo them democratically under a referendum.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

Lots of people support the First Amendment's prohibition on an establishment of religion for anti-religious reasons.

So when I say I support the same prohibition, for other reasons, that I'm secretly anti-religious?


The analogy is apt--because to oppose union's having coercive power is no more "anti-union" than opposing an established religion is "anti-religion."

garage mahal said...

Fr.
Curious: Does the Catholic Church endorse workers being "forced" other conditions of employment, like being forced to attend anti-union meetings?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

As you might expect, Catholic teaching on the rights of workers does not get into that sort of specificity.

I think you can figure it out.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Here's the only way pro-forced-union folks can explain Rerum Novarum:

When Pope Leo XIII enjoined workers to refuse to affiliate with unions if they endorse things at odds with the Catholic Faith, he meant that they should accept being fired, if they refuse to pay union dues, and if there is no job in their field open to them, they should seek employment in another field, or even another jurisdiction.

Because this is what actual defenders of union power say workers who don't like it should do--without mention of Pope Leo of course.

But later, the same apologists for union coercion will say, the Church endorses unions, implying Church teaching endorses union coercion.

Actually, what the Church endorses is the right of workers to form unions and to affiliate with them. Very different from saying workers ought to belong to unions.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Catholic teaching also endorses the concept of "solidarity," which means, broadly speaking, that we are our brother's keeper, and it's immoral to forget the needs of our community as we seek our own good.

How it works out in specific policy--especially in relationship to the right of individuals to pursue their own dreams, and to protect their own consciences--is not spelled out in detail by Catholic teaching, because it's impossible for such teaching to address every possible policy implication.

And while I wouldn't claim to be able to quote chapter-and-verse on this, I'd be very surprised if anything in Church teaching could be cited to say that a worker, who chooses not to strike when his or her union strikes, is doing something wrong.

Of course, we know well what union activists--ready to claim the endorsement of the Church when convenient--do to workers who don't toe the line.

garage mahal said...

If you don't want to belong to a union, don't join one. Pretty simple. A union contract is ratified and signed by the employer, who also imposes all sorts of terms as conditions of employment.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

...and under current federal law, if there is no Right to Work law at the state level, workers who refuse to pay the union dues get fired. Have to be fired. The union bosses can bring charges against the employer if the worker is not fired.

That's your notion of "pro worker."

As I said: you endorse the basic concept that coercing workers is for their own good--hence your claim that expanding worker choice necesssarily weakens them.

So why shouldn't this coercive principle be applied to society generally?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

You are hilarious!

"If you don't want to belong to a union, don't join one. Pretty simple. A union contract is ratified and signed by the employer, who also imposes all sorts of terms as conditions of employment."

In saying this, you are endorsing forced union dues under the rubric of the power of the boss to do what he likes to his or her employees.

You're justifying it based on the boss's power.

Too funny!

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

So, envision me with fist raised: power to the worker! Down with the bosses! Including their power to force employees to pay union dues!

"Debout, les damnés de la terre;
Debout, les forçats de la faim!"

Dr Weevil said...

garage mahal pretends not to have read my 7:50am and 8:53am comments, which demonstrate that many Michiganders who "don't want to belong to a union" were in fact forced to pay dues to a union which did absolutely nothing for them in return. I am referring to the daycare providers and the caretakers of severely handicapped relatives. If they weren't forced to join the union, so what? They had to pay for absolutely nothing, because unions and Jennifer Granholm said so.

Does he think we're stupid? Does he think we don't know that those who are free to not join a union are still forced to pay union dues in order to work in certain professions, unless they move to another state? I've paid union dues against my will, and have moved to another state to avoid doing so again. Unions are like tenure for professors: nice work if you can get it, but with nasty side effects on everyone else. Both artificially raise the pay of people who are already in the top half of the income distribution, at the expense of the lower half, thus increasing income inequality.

garage mahal said...

In saying this, you are endorsing forced union dues under the rubric of the power of the boss to do what he likes to his or her employees.

I'm no more forced to join a union than I am forced to join your church. Which seems to be an easy endeavor: Just pick and choose which teachings you want to adhere to!

You endorse the government "coercing", with threat of force, how a trade union and the employer operate.

Dr Weevil said...

garage mahal:
When someone writes about "forced union dues" and you reply with no one is forced to join a union, you are being deeply dishonest.

I've never joined a union, but I've been forced to pay union dues. Michigan parents of severely handicapped children were forced to pay union dues, getting nothing in return, for six years. What do you have to say to that? They should move to another state? They didn't even have jobs outside the home, or bosses of any kind to negotiate with, but they were forced to pay union dues. How was that in any way just or reasonable?

cubanbob said...

garage mahal said...
If you don't want to belong to a union, don't join one. Pretty simple. A union contract is ratified and signed by the employer, who also imposes all sorts of terms as conditions of employment.

12/10/12 11:40 AM

Get rid of the Wagner Act and you would have point. No Wagner Act and the employer is free to not contract with a union. If an employer doesn't want to contract with a union they should be free do so so as well. Just following your logic to it's conclusion.

Aridog said...

garage mahal said...

RTW laws are meant to weaken the economic and political power of unions...

Certainly. It weakens the confiscatory power of unions to take member dues without recourse...such as performance on behalf of the membership. When the union becomes all about the dues, even from non-members per se, it is time for the RTW law.

If you don't want to belong to a union, don't join one. Pretty simple.

Man, it appears you've never worked in a union shop and are expounding theory without practice.

Tell me one thing, please: If a union does well by its membership, what prevents other employees from joining and paying those dues voluntarily?

Fr Fox has pretty much nailed it with regard to the idea of compulsion versus democratic debate..e.g., strap the members to the mast.

One thing you've missed is the fact that by joining a union, voluntarily, the member agrees to the decisions made by the elected leadership and to abide the ratification votes of the membership...even if they don't agree. Now if the membership is compelled there is no such choice or decision, you are extorted to agree, period.

I've said earlier and on other days, I favor skilled trade unionism...all the rest, especially the various "service" unions are bullshit.

The positive effect of unionism was slowly disappearing under Lane Kirkland, as President of the AFL-CIO...unions under his auspices were violating their own contracts and labor law. He couldn't stop it or ameliorate it. His organization was being taken over by *service* unions and the take over was complete in 1995.

Right to work has arrived in its proper time. The pendulum has swung...unions evolved due to employer malfeasance and now right to work is increasing state by state due to union malfeasance.

Aridog said...

Dr Weevil....I apologize for not paying attention as much as I should have after retiring. I knew of the effort to take dues from homemakers, but I didn't grasp that it had been accomplished.

garage mahal said...

One thing you've missed is the fact that by joining a union, voluntarily, the member agrees to the decisions made by the elected leadership and to abide the ratification votes of the membership...even if they don't agree.

All union membership is voluntary. Federal law prohibits anyone being forced to join a union. And even non-members are still afforded all the benefits of the collective bargaining agreement in place.

Seeing Red said...

IF under federal law you don't have to join a union, what's all the bitching about? Why did the union expend all that cash on trying to make people who choose to stay home to take care of ill parents unionized?

The people told them no, they didn't listen.

Aridog said...

garage...

All union membership is voluntary. Federal law prohibits anyone being forced to join a union. And even non-members are still afforded all the benefits of the collective bargaining agreement in place.

Specific citations, please.

You keep saying membership is voluntary, but you skip the issue of whether dues deductions from payroll is also voluntary. If you pay dues are you not a member per se? If you really think membership is voluntary then I know you've never worked in a union shop in a non-right-to-work state.

Disagreeing is fine, however, try to keep it within the realm of reality. I think your sidekick, Sancho Panza, would agree. One windmill to far... :-))

garage mahal said...

If you really think membership is voluntary then I know you've never worked in a union shop in a non-right-to-work state.

The union is required to inform, by federal law, your rights to be a non-member. So, yes membership is voluntary.

Aridog said...

Garage...you didn't answer my question about dues. No matter...the union is required to tell you that you have rights as a non-member BEFORE you are hired. Once hired, you are bound by the union contract in place and dues are deducted from your pay. If THAT is *voluntary* to you...enjoy it.

It makes no difference in a closed shop what fancy name you want to call it...you either join voluntarily or de facto by advance payroll dues payment ... or you don't work in that shop.

I have been a union supporter for those unions that represent people who actually produce a product or service that increases GDP and thereby enables more jobs in the long run. Said membership gives members vested interest in the products of their labor (not an interest in capital). John Locke said as much vis a vis labor.

Now *service unions* where nothing is produced, other than transfer payments....sorry, can't support that...and phony ass lawyers like Trumpka are the reason why. His resume says he was a coal miner...but coincidently the time period of his manual labors are identical to his full time college attendance through a law degree...where upon he took his first real job with the UNWA as a lawyer, not a miner.

Pretty funny bio really, if you've ever been in the Kanawha Valley and seen the mines operate...not full time college students there from what I could see on my last trip there.

When prolific bullshitters take over unions, the unions soon are irrelevant except to the crony leadership.

PS: I appreciate your attempt to justify being against right-to-work....and for the virtue of unions. Problem is you are out of date with what has occurred in the organized labor movement. Once upon a time back in the 1980's Lane Kirland and the AFL-CIO were vociferous advocates for the Polish Solidarity movement. Today, the US unions seek dues from homemakers. Hell of a difference. YMMV...

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage, like union bosses, is hanging his hat on the technical difference (real, but to many people, obscure) between being forced "to belong to the union" and forced to pay union dues.

There is a difference, insofar as you can, under current federal law, opt out of "membership" but you are forced, still, to pay dues, if there is no Right to Work protection.

The difference is real: if you are a "union member," you get to vote on the contract terms that will otherwise be forced upon you. And if you are a full member, you can be sanctioned by the union leadership if you refuse to go on strike, and even if you criticize the union publicly.

Nevertheless, it's all about coercion.

Garage's idea of "freedom" in this regard is, well, if you lose your job, you're "free" to find work elsewhere.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

I'm sorry to be blunt, but either you are disingenuous or you are ignorant.

Simple fact: where such contracts are not illegal (under Right to Work laws), employees in a "bargaining unit" can be required--as a condition of employment--to pay dues to the union, or be fired.

Now, you persist in denying this.

Either you are simply dishonest, or you actually don't know this.

It's not that complicated.

Pay the dues required by a contract the union bosses create with the employer--or else you lose your job.

That's the force.

What part of this don't you get?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Aridog:

Be aware that there are legal differences between the terms "union shop," "closed shop," and "agency shop."

The differences are, for most people, technical and not that important, but the differences are real nevertheless.

Folks like Garage--unless he's really just ignorant, I can't tell--will hang their hat on these differences.

It's essentially dishonest, because we all know what we're talking about; most people shouldn't have to be conversant in the fine details.

garage mahal said...

Now, you persist in denying this.

See here. The actual laws that we are discussing. That's what I've been referring to. No idea what you're looking at. Get back to me if you're still confused.

Aridog said...

Garage...why thank you...your citation says explicitly:

Under the NLRA, you cannot be required to be a member of a union or pay it any monies as a condition of employment unless the collective bargaining agreement between your employer and your union contains a provision requiring all employees to either join the union or pay union fees.

I love these 6 of one or a half dozen of the other debates.

garage mahal said...

Non-members are already covered by collective bargaining agreements. Why should workers be able to freeload off others?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

As stated up-thread, the union bosses are under no compulsion to "represent" non-dues payers.

Can you explain why, if it's so burdensome to the union officials, that they don't opt out of representing non-payers in the 23 states with Right to Work laws?

No, I didn't you could.

Game. Set. Match.

Fr Martin Fox said...

The so-called "burden" (boo hoo for union bosses! boo hoo!) of "representing" non-dues payers is actually an additional fount of power and coercion.

The so-called "benefits" are non-voluntary.

The workers themselves don't have an opt-out of a union-negotiated contract if they find it doesn't benefit them.

Garage is--unless he's dishonest--incapable of even conceiving the possibility that a union-negotiated contract could be anything but blissful paradise for every worker. It's impossible, in his world, that a contract could be contrary to the interests of any worker, whatsoever.

Well, of course, one can easily think of real scenarios where such contracts are, in fact, contrary to the interests of some--maybe even most--workers within a "bargaining unit."

Example: promotion is based on seniority, not ability.

Another example: the contract limits pay-for-performance.

Yet another example: poor workers are protected by various union-negotiated systems from dismissal--which means talented workers don't get promoted.

Now, here's the really interesting thing.

While workers cannot opt out of a bargaining unit where the union bosses negotiate for them, the union bosses can opt out, as explained up-thread. They can seek a member-only unit; they don't have to seek an "exclusive representation" set-up.

But Garage keeps crying. Poor union bosses! They are forced to bear the "burden" of negotiating for ungrateful workers!

Boo hoo!

Fr Martin Fox said...

Google "members only" union contracts--you'll find lots of things about it.

Unions are not compelled to represent non-dues-payers. They choose to.

Why, if it's awful a burden that Garage is weeping uncontrollably for the pitiful, overworked union bosses?

garage mahal said...

"Union bosses" is such a painfully stupid choice of words to describe democratically elected officials. I mean, do intelligent people describe senators or presidents as their "bosses"?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Garage:

Answer my question, please.

Since you claim it's so burdensome for union officials to represent non-dues-payers, why don't they opt for "member only" contracts, as they can under the law?

Why?