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Old 09-27-2012, 06:31 AM   #1
Drysdale
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Default Strangulation by Union

Stossel is the big league hitter of the internet.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...on_115577.html
The Chicago teachers strike is over, but the public didn't win. Schools will still transfer bad teachers to other schools because it's nearly impossible to fire them. When bad teachers go from school to school, principals call it "the dance of the lemons." It would be funny if those teachers didn't slowly wreck children's lives.
The basic issue is: Who decides how to manage a workplace? Unions say it's good that they protect American workers from arbitrary dismissal and make sure everyone is treated equally.
But it's not good.
Rules that "protect" government workers from arbitrary dismissal and require everyone be treated equally are bad for taxpayers and "customers" -- and even union workers themselves.
But this is not intuitive. Union workers certainly have no clue about it.
At a union rally, I asked union workers if it bothered them that slackers are paid as much as good workers. The activists actually said, "There is no slacker," and that union rules mean less productive colleagues are helped, "brought up to speed."
C'mon, I asked, aren't there some workers who are just lazy, who drag the enterprise down?
"No!" they told me.
The union activists were also quick to say that unions built the middle class, that without unions, greedy bosses would lead a "race to the bottom" and pay workers next to nothing. "There would be no weekend, or eight-hour day!" they told me. "All that came from unions!"
Nonsense.
Workers' lives improved in America because of free enterprise, not because of union rules. Union contracts helped workers for a while, but then they hurt -- even union workers -- because the rigid rules prevent flexibility in response to new market conditions. They slow growth. And growth -- increasing productivity, which leads to higher wages and new opportunities -- is what is best for workers.
In 1914, Henry Ford doubled his employees' wages to $5 a day and cut their workday to eight hours. He then hired more people. He didn't do this out of benevolence. As Adam Smith wrote in "The Wealth of Nations," "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." It was in Ford's interest to increase his company's profits, and to do that he needed to attract the best workers he could find. When companies compete for workers, they get higher wages and better working conditions. Ford shortened the workday to better compete. Then GM and Chrysler matched Ford's deal to keep up. Workers won.
All without a union. It wasn't until 30 years later that the UAW appeared and unionized the workers. Union membership gave them good benefits for a while, but then growth slowed and stopped. That sure didn't help workers. Consider what happened at GM. Over the past 20 years, much-less-unionized Toyota created 15,000 jobs -- in America, not in Japan. Over that same period, GM lost 400,000 American jobs. One reason GM shrank was union rules. How's that good for workers?
Of course workers have a right to unionize -- it's part of freedom of association. But to be effective, that right needs a free-market environment. That means no compulsory membership -- free association, not forced association. Second, enterprise must be truly free and competitive, which means no privilege or favoritism from government -- no bailouts and crony capitalism.
When enterprise is competitive, workers acquire more bargaining power because multiple employers bid for their services. Also, self-employment is a real option because no government barriers to entry prevent it (like licensing, zoning or complicated taxes and rules). As the great economics writer Henry Hazlitt pointed out, free unions can play a constructive role when they have to attract members by offering valuable services, such as information on the latest market conditions. But the market must be free in all respects.
Today, workers should know the downside of unionizing. It's not just the cost of their union dues. It's the opportunities lost in union shops because the rules limit entrepreneurs' ability to change, adapt and grow. It's that freedom -- free enterprise -- that gives America and workers the power to prosper.

Copyright 2012, Creators Syndicate Inc.
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:51 AM   #2
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1. Industrialists treated labor like shit and took advantage, witheld pay and did horrible things to workers.

2. Unions formed, were violently attacked (also did attacking of their own)

3. Mr. Ford made changes (after unions were already around- good he had learned his lesson)

4. Unions helped make some of the most significant progress in workers protections and rights that had ever been made

5. Years passed and Unions turned into cesspools of filth and greed.

6. Unions are corrupt, executives are corrupt, and politicians are corrupt.

The End.

Although I did find that article a bit silly.

When enterprise is competitive, workers acquire more bargaining power because multiple employers bid for their services.
What naive silly thinking. That's just dumb. Multiple employers aren't going to "bid" for American workers... they will replace them with machines our outsource to cheaper labor. This isn't the 1800s.

The problem I have with unions (being from a family with one union parent and one executive parent)... is that with the change in the workforce and so many people having college degrees and such- cost of living has grown... and unions artificially inflate wages of huge numbers of people to be competitive with others that would otherwise make more... that hurts the competitiveness of the industry and also degrades the value of having those extra credentials. A union worker might make as much as or more than a CPA, some lawyers, or in some cases some doctors.

Without any union protections, many of these people would lose jobs and pay would be slashed. While that would probably help the industry and restore some of the logical imbalance in income- there is no way you are going to get huge voting blocks of people to allow that to happen. They will not voluntarily lower their standard of living. In addition, many union leaders are so corrupt that they cut bad deals. Some executives also cut bad deals, because they only hold a job for a couple of years and then move on and leave the mess for others. As far as industry doing what is best because it is in its own interest.- Again, many executives only hold positions for a couple of years, so they care about short term results, get bonuses and either enjoy golden parachute terminations, or leave to the next job with money in hand and start over, leaving the mess for someone else.

Last edited by Pinkheart; 09-28-2012 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:26 PM   #3
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Sounds like Stossel isn't the naive one...

Unions did good... Back in the 1800s. Today? No way.
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Drysdale View Post
Sounds like Stossel isn't the naive one...

Unions did good... Back in the 1800s. Today? No way.
Yeah, did you read what I wrote?

I didn't say unions were doing great things. I did, however point out the reality of not having them and what it would mean. The article naively wants to ignore the reality.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:03 PM   #5
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explain right to work states then. and why corporations tend to move there.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:45 PM   #6
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Also, unions do exist in right to work states, and do well. I once worked with a union in a right to work state.

The difference is that in those states, they serve as what they are supposed to do: collective bargaining in exchange for quality assurance.

In non right to work states where they have a monopoly, the quality assurance part of that trade off is abandoned.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Pinkheart View Post
Yeah, did you read what I wrote?

I didn't say unions were doing great things. I did, however point out the reality of not having them and what it would mean. The article naively wants to ignore the reality.
Ever been to Texas? Now go work in Illinois for a while.

You'll be singing a different tune. The fact that you refuse to acknowledge this is the funny part.
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:08 PM   #8
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Toyota. Largest employer of factory workers building cars inside the USA.

Not a single plant of theirs is located outside of a right to work state. also. they are getting paid 18 dollars a hour. GM on the other side is paying Starting wage at 38 dollars a hour.


Which one is living on government bailouts/handouts?

So yes 38 a hour is great. except it put gm under and will continue to put gm under
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Drysdale View Post
Ever been to Texas? Now go work in Illinois for a while.

You'll be singing a different tune. The fact that you refuse to acknowledge this is the funny part.
Ever read what I wrote? I am an employer in Texas, you twit (and my dad was in a union here in Texas). Rather than arguing about what you think I should have written, read what I fucking wrote.

As an aside: There is a movie called The Men that Built America (or something like that) that made me think of this conversation. I am looking forward to seeing it.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by SupportTank View Post
explain right to work states then. and why corporations tend to move there.
Lots of reasons. Texas gives tax breaks, no income tax, lots of land. We do have unions here, too. We have a pretty good economy, and decent growth. Lots of big corps moving into Austin. Our city Council is also generous with the tax incentives (our very liberal council, mind you- the council that just passed a resolution supporting gay marriage).

Varies by state and industry. (and market... there are still people moving to New York... can you believe that? /gag)
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:01 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Pinkheart View Post
Lots of reasons. Texas gives tax breaks, no income tax, lots of land. We do have unions here, too. We have a pretty good economy, and decent growth. Lots of big corps moving into Austin. Our city Council is also generous with the tax incentives (our very liberal council, mind you- the council that just passed a resolution supporting gay marriage).

Varies by state and industry. (and market... there are still people moving to New York... can you believe that? /gag)
We do have unions. But not mandatory ones, for the most part. That makes a huge difference, and is a fact that you're conveniently glossing over.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:03 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Pinkheart View Post
Ever read what I wrote? I am an employer in Texas, you twit (and my dad was in a union here in Texas). Rather than arguing about what you think I should have written, read what I fucking wrote.

As an aside: There is a movie called The Men that Built America (or something like that) that made me think of this conversation. I am looking forward to seeing it.
Ahh... that's where the union love comes from... Dad. Got it.

I did read what you wrote. I also noticed the weasel words and glossing over that's par for the course with you.

You're pretty fucking funny: If it's a GOP issue, it needs to be changed no matter what. If it's a DNC issue, such as Unions, the fact that they did something positive in the past means that the "reality" is that they need to be here now.

It's time to move on. Don't you like progress, Pinky? You aren't being very progressive here, are you? Unions need to go the way of the dinosaur. I wonder how long it'll take to render Hoffa and Chavez down into something useful.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:22 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Drysdale View Post
We do have unions. But not mandatory ones, for the most part. That makes a huge difference, and is a fact that you're conveniently glossing over.
Not mandatory- for the most part.

Ehhh.... well, we have some major mandatory ones here.... speaking of glossing over, you pretty much glossed over that. We have teachers unions, unions for telecom employees, actors unions, all sorts of unions.

Our economy is much more diverse than reliant on a single industry like auto- THAT is the major difference. Nice try, though. We have major real estate, oil and gas, tech, and all sorts of sectors that aren't as vulnerable to unions. We actually have quite a few government employees, too.

So, we don't have as many mandatory unions, relative to our sectors... but that is more because of our economic diversity than union policy. Those sectors are not vulnerable to unions in other states as well. Texas is a great state... just not necessarily for the political reasoning you are trying to use.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:26 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Drysdale View Post
Ahh... that's where the union love comes from... Dad. Got it.

I did read what you wrote. I also noticed the weasel words and glossing over that's par for the course with you.
Uhhh no. Actually, my dad refused to hold office in his union, because he believed it had become corrupt and self serving.

You're pretty fucking funny: If it's a GOP issue, it needs to be changed no matter what. If it's a DNC issue, such as Unions, the fact that they did something positive in the past means that the "reality" is that they need to be here now.
Again, not what I said- at all. I said there would be a reality to just getting rid of unions. There are other ways of dealing with those realities besides unions. I don't get how you repeatedly missed my criticism that unions have become corrupt cesspits. You really do wear blinders.

It's time to move on. Don't you like progress, Pinky? You aren't being very progressive here, are you? Unions need to go the way of the dinosaur. I wonder how long it'll take to render Hoffa and Chavez down into something useful.
I don't disagree. I think Unions are an obsolete relic that now do more harm than good. That doesn't mean that not having them wouldn't have consequences. Those need to be considered as well.

Do you enjoy having an imaginary argument with yourself?
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:07 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Pinkheart View Post
Not mandatory- for the most part.

Ehhh.... well, we have some major mandatory ones here.... speaking of glossing over, you pretty much glossed over that. We have teachers unions, unions for telecom employees, actors unions, all sorts of unions.

Our economy is much more diverse than reliant on a single industry like auto- THAT is the major difference. Nice try, though. We have major real estate, oil and gas, tech, and all sorts of sectors that aren't as vulnerable to unions. We actually have quite a few government employees, too.

So, we don't have as many mandatory unions, relative to our sectors... but that is more because of our economic diversity than union policy. Those sectors are not vulnerable to unions in other states as well. Texas is a great state... just not necessarily for the political reasoning you are trying to use.
Someone needs to learn the laws here in Texas.

According to the website of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, (oag.state.tx.us) "…the choice of whether to join a labor union is yours; you may not be required to join or pay dues to a union as a condition of employment, nor may you be denied employment because you have joined a union."

Furthermore, "If your employer has entered into a collective bargaining agreement with a union which requires employees to make payments to, or on behalf of, a labor union under the agreement as a condition of employment (often referred to as a 'union security clause'), your employer may be in violation of Texas right-to-work laws.

Despite Texas' Right-to-Work laws, some employers or organizations have attempted to fire employees because they refused to join a union or pay union dues. In 2007, Abbott filed a lawsuit against a union and an employer because a security guard was allegedly fired for refusing to join a union or pay union fees. A federal administrative law judge reinstated the employee to his position. The suit against the union and the employer alleges that they entered into an unlawful contract requiring employees to join the union or pay union dues.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:27 AM   #16
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Interesting, because I know quite a few people that couldn't get work because they weren't in a union.

Of course, proving that could be difficult.

A good example is a friend of mine at UT. She couldn't get work until she had enough hours to get into the actors union (actors guild or whatever it was called). she was stuck for a long time, because she had to get hours worked to get into the union... but couldn't get work because she wasn't in it.

Maybe it's an issue of enforcement. I have teacher friends that are the same way.... my dads work was also the same way.

I guess the laws look great on paper... but enforcement would be difficult. Texas is notorious for siding with employers. (Which isn't all bad)

I guess if you aren't in a union and protected, though... you could be fired more easily during layoffs. That would suck. You weren't fired for being in a union or not... you just weren't protected by union negotiation.

In any case, the discussion wasn't n regards to whether you were forced to be in unions, it was as to whether they are here and functional (and/or strong). They are. The teacher union is really strong. I guess employers here do have a legal reason to hire non-union workers... but that wouldn't prevent people from joining the large unions for the protections. I can't think of any people I know in industries with unions that don't join.... I mean why would they put themselves on the chopping block first? Since you can't be denied for being in the union, it's pretty much a given that you should be for the protection.

Last edited by Pinkheart; 10-02-2012 at 11:38 AM.
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