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Old 03-01-2006, 10:52 AM   #1
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Default Something for Nothing: Part 2 - A nice little Anti Union Piece

Thomas Sowell is greatness!
Government is not the only institution that promises something for nothing. The decline of General Motors is just one consequence of the idea that labor unions can get their members something for nothing.

Workers themselves increasingly recognize the reality that there is no free lunch through unionization and are increasingly voting to be non-union. But the word has yet to reach many among the intelligentsia, who still think of labor unions as institutions that benefit the working class.

You can always benefit particular segments of any society at the expense of some other segment but unions do not benefit even the working class as a whole -- just those who are current union members -- at the expense of other workers, current and future.


One reason that General Motors has been losing market share for years -- going from selling about half the cars in the country to selling about one quarter today -- is that its union contracts put them at a disadvantage compared to its Japanese competitors.

Even though Toyota has factories in the United States, the American employees in those factories vote to keep their jobs by staying non-union. Toyota takes business away from unionized Detroit car makers, who are forced to lay off thousands of workers while Toyota is hiring additional workers.

There may not be any big difference in pay scales but unions can create higher production costs in many other ways. Fringe benefits are just one. Work rules are another.

In some industries, employers pay their workers as much as, or more than, unionized workers receive for the same jobs, just in order to be free of red tape restrictions on how they can organize their business or discipline employees who aren't doing their jobs right.

Toyota, for example, takes fewer hours to produce cars with fewer defects than Detroit cars.

While unions are declining in the private sector, they are expanding among government employees. Government agencies are usually monopolies, so competition is no threat to their jobs.

Taxpayers get hit with the high cost of these monopolies. There is no such thing as something for nothing.

Teachers' unions fight desperately and ruthlessly against vouchers, because they must maintain a monopoly of school children under the compulsory attendance laws. Their members stand to lose jobs if forced to compete with private schools.

Monopoly is the key to unionized teachers' job security -- at the expense of children's education as well as the taxpayers' money.

Labor unions in the private sector have long been in the forefront of those pushing for higher minimum wage laws. Usually union members already make much more than minimum wages but they need to safeguard their jobs from others who could do the same work for less.

People on the inside looking out benefit at the expense of people on the outside looking in. Losers include not only less experienced and lower skilled workers, whose output would not cover the cost of the minimum wage, but also future workers who may find fewer job opportunities in the unionized industries.

Minimum wage laws are like protective tariffs insulating unionized workers from the competition of other workers. It is robbing a less affluent Peter to pay a more affluent Paul -- all the while using noble rhetoric that appeals to the uninformed and the unthinking, which includes many people with fancy degrees and even fancier illusions about their own higher sense of compassion.

Some people may believe that unions benefit their members at the expense of employers -- and that big corporations should be paying a "living wage."

That may be possible in the short run. But think about it: If unionized workers producing widgets get higher pay by reducing the rate of profit of widget manufacturers, do you think investors are going to continue to invest as much in the production of widgets when they can earn higher rates of return by investing elsewhere?

The rate of return on widgets cannot remain permanently below rates of returns in other industries. Widget prices will have to rise -- and that means lower sales and lower employment. There is no free lunch, no way to get something for nothing.
http://www.townhall.com/opinion/colu...01/188160.html
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Old 03-01-2006, 11:00 AM   #2
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Sure =)

And employers would certainly give the employees:

paid vacations
sick days
health insurance
eight hour work days
overtime
job safety

and similar items

without unions forcing them to.

Odd how they didnt do that BEFORE the unions.
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Old 03-01-2006, 11:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Chiteng
Sure =)

And employers would certainly give the employees:

paid vacations
sick days
health insurance
eight hour work days
overtime
job safety

and similar items

without unions forcing them to.

Odd how they didnt do that BEFORE the unions.
Gee... very few unions in Texas, yet all the yankees seem to move here for what? BETTER JOBS!
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Old 03-01-2006, 11:06 AM   #4
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This has nothing to do with the original point of the article, but there isn't a single GM car that's better than Toyota. Toyota is god of cars
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Old 03-01-2006, 11:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Foust Farseer
This has nothing to do with the original point of the article, but there isn't a single GM car that's better than Toyota. Toyota is god of cars
Well.... it kind of does... Withoug stupid union labor rules, the workers work harder and work better. They can be fired a lot easier if they produce poorly and they know it. No union to hide behind = mo' better work ethic.
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Old 03-01-2006, 11:41 AM   #6
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In some respects, unions have outlived their usefulness. Originally they were needed for all the reasons Chiteng listed. Workers were shamelessly exploited wage- and hour-wise. Now, these "perks" are standard with any reputable company and its the unions making the workplace miserable for the worker.

There are still some companies out there that treat their unrepresented workers horribly (Walmart), but there does come a point in corporate development when they've matured past unionization.

Workers, when the situation calls for it, should not be afraid to unionize, but by the same token, neither should they be afraid to DEunionize.
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Old 03-01-2006, 12:09 PM   #7
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The whole union bullshit was what made me never want to work retail (that and other little horror stories). So I got a part time job that helped get me in the swing of things and started getting involved with my dad's business a bit more and since 3rd quarter 05, I've had my own business


Fuck unions. If I ever decide to hire employees, they'll have all the good shit.
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Old 03-02-2006, 02:43 AM   #8
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Unions were a wonderful thing, in their time, they have outlived their usefullness. Studies show, and employers know, that happy employees make good employees. Investment in those things Chit listed is a small price to pay.

I am almost thinking that if unions were to disappear altogether, we'd perhaps run into trouble again. Just the threat of a union can keep an employeer in line.....
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Old 03-02-2006, 02:50 AM   #9
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The reason Unions were a good thing at first is because they had power BUT not ALL The power, EMPLOYEES are FORCED to join unions in a lot of jobs, yet people do not bitch about it and I don't understand why I mean you want your freedoms but you let some organization FORCE you to join it then in return you pay a fee to be FORCED to join it. (not everyone is forced some want to but if they didnt want to they would have to hmmmm ).

I had a friend who worked in Chicago for AT&T I beleive it was, the union finally forced him to become a memeber.......... guess what cuts came and him being on the lower end of the totem pole for union members was cut.. (don't matter he got a better job anyway but).

So what we have is the government telling you on one side that you HAVE To hire minorities and the Union on the other side telling you that you have to pay more than you should have to to hire people to work for you and give benefits blah blah blah............ seems to me the freedom is all gone when it comes to running business (at least big business).

OH and chit when the said company is out of business or has job cuts because of too much expenditure and the ex employees are trying to make ends meet on 210 dollars a week unemployment does the union step in and pay medical bills and house payments and give them food for their kids?

NOPE.
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Old 03-02-2006, 04:02 AM   #10
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No one under the age of 80 has lived through the conditions that made unions necessary and powerful. At the moment they aren't needed because there have been no major economic setbacks since the world wars. On the flip side most of you haven't lived through the unionism that pretty much destroyed the UK's manufacturing industry.

Neither unions nor employers are capable of moderating their behaviour so each time the other gains the upper hand they fight to crush the other. Bosses only pay well today because there's plenty of money to pay with, if your boss could "reward" your "performance" with less money than he currently gives you then he would.

Unions will keep drifting away until at some point in the future, who knows when, the necessary social and economic forces arise again that will empower them and then they'll go down the same path of self destruction that they inflict upon themselves and so it repeats.

Capitalist groups and governments are allowed to band together into power blocs but the workers aren't? Since when? Only since you decided that. Current unions might be corrupt and short sighted but at the end of the day unionism is just a collective block of labour power like any supplier who wants market power. There's good reasons for unions just as much as there's bad issues with them.
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Old 03-02-2006, 05:54 AM   #11
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actually ibew local 429 took very good care of my dad up until he died this year. In the early 80's when there was very little construction work the union did offset unemployment to its members to help make ends meet, and kept health insurance up. Just wanted to point this out after reading axgars post.
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Old 03-02-2006, 06:07 AM   #12
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Ok, there are some good unions, my bad I shouldn't put them all in the same boat. (overall I see most of them out for themselves).
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:00 AM   #13
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What about German cars? By far better than all American cars, and argueably better than japanese cars, at least in terms of durability and performance. And yet Germany is highly unionized.

This is yet again Drysdale blaming the problems of the world on Unions/Social Security/FDR/Carter/Picasso/etc. Drys, bro, I understand, really; when the only tool life has given you is a hammer, all problems end up looking like nails.
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:10 AM   #14
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Testimonial:



Libertarians can kill anyone they want! Libertarians cut off heads ALL the time and don't even think twice about it. These guys are so crazy and awesome that they flip out ALL the time. I heard that there was this Libertarian who was eating at a diner. And when some dude dropped a spoon the Libertarian killed the whole town. My friend Mark said that he saw a Libertarian totally uppercut some kid just because the kid opened a window.



And that's what I call REAL Ultimate Power!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



If you don't believe that Libertarians have REAL Ultimate Power you better get a life right now or they will chop your head off!!! It's an easy choice, if you ask me.



Libertarians are sooooooooooo sweet that I want to crap my pants. I can't believe it sometimes, but I feel it inside my heart. These guys are totally awesome and that's a fact. Libertarians are fast, smooth, cool, strong, powerful, and sweet. I can't wait to start voting next year. I love Libertarians with all of my body (including my pee pee).





Q and A:.





Q: Why is everyone so obsessed about Libertarians?

A: Libertarians are the ultimate paradox. On the one hand they don't give a crap, but on the other hand, Libertarians are very careful and precise.



Q: I heard that Libertarians are always cruel or mean. What's their problem?

A: Whoever told you that is a total liar. Just like other mammals, Libertarians can be mean OR totally awesome.



Q: What do Libertarians do when they're not cutting off heads or flipping out?

A: Most of their free time is spent flying, but sometime they stab. (Ask Mark if you don't believe me.)
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:25 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Zzapp
Workers, when the situation calls for it, should not be afraid to unionize, but by the same token, neither should they be afraid to DEunionize.
Perfectly stated.
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:26 AM   #16
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Man, after reading Aganitte's post, I gotta check out the Cato Institute! It's gotta be like the Justice League, only with more sweetness!
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:32 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by aganitte
What about German cars? By far better than all American cars, and argueably better than japanese cars, at least in terms of durability and performance. And yet Germany is highly unionized.

This is yet again Drysdale blaming the problems of the world on Unions/Social Security/FDR/Carter/Picasso/etc. Drys, bro, I understand, really; when the only tool life has given you is a hammer, all problems end up looking like nails.
Yeah, but Germans are conditioned to be little cogs in socialized wheels from birth. That's why they made such good Nazis. And they made hellaciously good tanks and cars, even back then. They simply live under a socialist government happily. They don't gripe about a 50% Tax wedge (vs the US 30%) either. They're a smaller, more homogenous society that instills a better work ethic. That's DESPITE unions, not because of them. And finally, they have a tradition of being top notch engineers and manufacturers to live up to. And they do. Again, IN SPITE OF Unions. Just think of how much more productive they'd be if they didn't have that dead weight around their necks.

Picasso? Cute.
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:39 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Drysdale
Yeah, but Germans are conditioned to be little cogs in socialized wheels from birth. That's why they made such good Nazis. And they made hellaciously good tanks and cars, even back then. They simply live under a socialist government happily. They don't gripe about a 50% Tax wedge (vs the US 30%) either. They're a smaller, more homogenous society that instills a better work ethic. That's DESPITE unions, not because of them. And finally, they have a tradition of being top notch engineers and manufacturers to live up to. And they do. Again, IN SPITE OF Unions. Just think of how much more productive they'd be if they didn't have that dead weight around their necks.

Picasso? Cute.
So, in "short" they're like Dwarves.
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:44 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Davek
So, in "short" they're like Dwarves.
Not as hairy, smell better, and much much cleaner.
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Old 03-02-2006, 10:50 AM   #20
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hah! you've obviously not known the same german women that i have
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Old 03-02-2006, 11:01 AM   #21
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Old 03-02-2006, 12:01 PM   #22
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I hope that's a biblical "known"
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Old 03-02-2006, 03:08 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Drysdale
Yeah, but Germans are conditioned to be little cogs in socialized wheels from birth. That's why they made such good Nazis. And they made hellaciously good tanks and cars, even back then. They simply live under a socialist government happily. They don't gripe about a 50% Tax wedge (vs the US 30%) either. They're a smaller, more homogenous society that instills a better work ethic. That's DESPITE unions, not because of them. And finally, they have a tradition of being top notch engineers and manufacturers to live up to. And they do. Again, IN SPITE OF Unions. Just think of how much more productive they'd be if they didn't have that dead weight around their necks.
Would you care to qualify your claims that everything Germany does well would be done without labor unions of any kind? And that unions are not responsible in any way, shape, or form for their economy? Or is this just bullshit rhetoric you expect everyone to believe because you can't prove it?
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Old 03-02-2006, 03:14 PM   #24
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There's always the other option; that German unions are run properly, don't stimie employee incentives towards creativity, actually protect from management exploitation and ensure an equitable retirement plan?

Just because US unions screw over both management and employees doesn't mean that other unions screw up too.
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Old 03-02-2006, 03:17 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by AresProphet
Would you care to qualify your claims that everything Germany does well would be done without labor unions of any kind? And that unions are not responsible in any way, shape, or form for their economy? Or is this just bullshit rhetoric you expect everyone to believe because you can't prove it?
Sure! As soon as you can prove that Germany succeeds because they have unions in place... Or is THAT just rhetoric that you expect everyone to believe because you can't prove it either?
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